Musical Fidelity how loud should I go.....


Picked up my Musical Fidelity A5 amp which most of you know produces 250w per channel at 8ohms. This has replaced my superb Arcam A80 amp which I'm tempted to keep to power some speakers for my computer but not 100% yet.

I have only used the ammp for 2 hours since I got it as I work away quite a lot at the moment but will get a few hours under its belt this weekend.

I understand all the stuff about speakers being damaged easier from being under driver rather than over and the shop that I bought it from said the more power the better but say I get the urge and want to really crank it up with something like Timbaland/Mika etc would the 250w kill my 805s after a song or two which are rated at 50 to 120w per channel at 8ohms on an unclipped programme. So basically over twice the power going to them :suicide: I won't do this very often and not at all if its not good for them but when the suns shining and I have the house to myself and a really good song comes on I sometime like to get the tunes going nicely! :oops:


Distinguished Member
Most speakers will survive far better with a more powerful amp than they are rated for than the other way,as when an amp clips,it's usually the HF driver that bites the dust.

Having said that,sustained abuse of your speakers will undoubtedly lead to damage,but my 805s are driven by very conservativley rated Krells,well capable of 300+ W transients.

Just be sensible,and you shouldnt have problems.
many thanks alex like I said it won't be a common occurance but just once in a while probably only for an hour every 6months at high volume the rest of the time its just to enjoy high qulaity music :rotfl:

thanks again.


Active Member
I'm sure when you start to get too high, your speakers will start to give a lot of distortion and won't sound as controled. Wind it back down when you get near this point, sustained listening around this point will over time damage your speakers. Just use your common sense.

Of course one has to ask, how big is your room and how far away from your speakers do you tend to be? In an average home, with your setup I'd expect your ears to be damaged long before your speakers... Its the top end, high frequency range of your hearing that will go first, followed by a sustained tinnitus or constant background hiss that you can never escape. By which point you may as well swap you 805's for a pair of subwoofers. :smashin:


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Arfa makes a very good point which many people seem to miss,which is that you only get one set of ears.

Once you've damaged your hearing from sustained high levels of sound,it doesnt improve,and the additional effects as mentioned,can be even worse.


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aye, use your ears....

i have a pair of GR10's on the A5 and normally 10oclock is quite loud enough in my 18x12 room to hear things with a bit of a punch......i've gone to more or less 12oclock on quieter stuff, but with loud music thats too much tbh....

however MF tend to get most of the power out early on, once you get past 12oclock you dont get a whole lot more anyhow......the A5 driving a pair of KEF's Reference big floorstanders (cant remember which model now) went reasonably far round the clock, but past 12oclock there wasnt a whole lot more to add.....either that or my ears had reached their limit where they could discern a volume


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Mika would destroy any speakers at any volume!!!:devil:
Many thanks I don't intend blowing my ear drums just a nice bit of music at a decentish volume without having to worry about blowing my speakers.

I contacted B&W with regards the matter also and they said the bass driver would burn out first but the speaker would distort well before this and the 805s would take quite a bit to kill. I should think it will get to a loud enough level well before they start to distort anyway and will see at the weekend how well they cope.

As for Mika I think his album is superb and sounds great too theres not any song on the album I don't like. I also love Nelly Furtados album and got Timbalands and P Diddys new album the other day which are all pretty :thumbsup: but then everyone prob thinks there all :thumbsdow lol.


Active Member
Hmm, Arcam Boy seems you'll have to change your moniker now you've defected to the opposition. Having done precisely the same amp exercise as yourself but driving medium Dynaudio Contours, I am mightily impressed with the way the A5 deals with the transients. One slight weakness with the remote is that with a single push it is possible to go from being too soft to too loud necessitating rising from my chair to tweak the big knob.

Contours give superb mid/treble with the tweeter at ear level when seated but having already suffered some industrial hearing loss, I'm not about to make it worse by turning them up. They're 4 ohm speakers rated at 300w (the MF is 400 w into 4 ohms) so I'm sure my ears will tell me before speaker damage occurs.


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that is possibly the only real gripe i could bring about my A5, using the remote for volume isnt exactly useful at night when you want to listen at very low levels.....the remote seems to go from nothing to quite a

altho i'm talking about wanting it seriously low....heh


Active Member
that is possibly the only real gripe i could bring about my A5, using the remote for volume isnt exactly useful at night when you want to listen at very low levels.....the remote seems to go from nothing to quite a

I've seen reviewers comment adversely and I cannot understand why MF have done this. Having experienced Arcam amps, there is never a problem. A single push on the Arcam remote gives a 5 dB(?) increase, I believe. On an MF remote the change has to be 10 dB or more. The MF remote also seems to be fussier as regards where you point it to get a change. But at least you can change sources remotely. There's still a few cheapskate high end amp manufacturers who use rotary switchs to change source.



Distinguished Member
i can only assume the Arcam uses a digital control like an AV amp......the MF uses a more simple old fashioned technique, perhaps feeling spending more money on the amplification itself is a wise thing....which personally i agree with.....if the A90 didnt have all the extra control gubbins it might have been a better amp....

and yes, the MF is fussy about having the remote pointed at it, i can only take a guess that its because the receiver is set back too far in to the front panel......its also pretty small....


your speakers are rated at 120w rms which is an average loudness figure,they will handle twice this at least as music has peaks of loudness and also quieter moments. as said before you will hear distortion if speakers are driven too hard but i suspect that the volume levels will be far to loud for your house and your ears before this happens. in my opininon music should be played at a decent volume level so that it can be felt as well as heard (cellular level) as long as you have a detached housed lol.
i have mf xa1 amp ,x ray cdp, castle stirling 3 speakers but would luv to upgrade to a 3.5 or a5 amp


With your room being quite small, smooth walls, and laminated floor, i doubt very much you'd get any further than 60/70 watts anyhow.

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