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chebby's picture
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Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier.

My quest for a solid state, class A power amp of around 25 watts per channel (to partner a good USB DAC with volume control) has come to nought.

So...

Integrated, solid state, class A amplifiers of around 25watts per channel. There seem to be two, the Musical Fidelity A1 (the new 2008 version I mean) at 30wpc for £999 and Sudgen A21a series II (£1300) at 25wpc.

I have seen good reviews of both amps and both have enough power to amply drive my Rega R3's at the listening levels I enjoy. But the Musical Fidelity has a built in MM phono-stage (nice) AND a built-in USB DAC (even nicer).

The DAC is a bonus but not a deal breaker (I have that covered already) but could be handy if it is better than the Firestone Audio USB DAC that I currently use. (I assume it is a version of their 'V-Dac' module) It would reduce the box-count and the built in MM phono stage would also reduce it again making my Rega Fono-Mini redundant.

The Musical Fidelity A1 has all this and it is £300 cheaper and a tiny bit more powerful.

Could anyone comment on the current versions of both amplifiers? (I realise there are incarnations of both amps going back to the time dinosaurs roamed the earth - especially the Sugden - but I am interested in the brand new versions.)

Thanks.







"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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Re: Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier.

I'm as curious as you are on this one Chebby, in fact the A1 is rated at about 37W.


I'm surprised WHF hasn't reviewed this cheeky thing yet.

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Re: Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier.
manicm:

I'm as curious as you are on this one Chebby, in fact the A1 is rated at about 37W.


I'm surprised WHF hasn't reviewed this cheeky thing yet.



From memory MF don't really provide their products for review by WHF or WHF choose not to review them. Shame coz I've had a few amps over the years and they've all been brilliant.

R

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Re: Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier.

Found a PDF of a recent Hifi World review of the Musical Fidelity A1 (November 2008) which described the sound as exactly what I am after. It was favourable in all areas. (Five globes.)

It's MM phono stage was described as minimally noisier but otherwise very similar to the Trichord Dino (great) and praising the excellent sound of the USB input/built-in DAC too.

Yes I know, Hifi World reviews don't count around here (so I won't post a link) but it was very encouraging. Nearest MF dealers are 25 miles away so I am definitely going to audition one in the new year.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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Re: Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier.
chebby:Found a PDF of a recent Hifi World review of the Musical Fidelity A1 (November 2008) which described the sound as exactly what I am after. It was favourable in all areas. (Five globes.)

It's MM phono stage was described as minimally noisier but otherwise very similar to the Trichord Dino (great) and praising the excellent sound of the USB input/built-in DAC too.

Yes I know, Hifi World reviews don't count around here (so I won't post a link) but it was very encouraging. Nearest MF dealers are 25 miles away so I am definitely going to audition one in the new year.



 

The A1 is also the Runner Up for Amp of the Year (2008) in HiFi World.... It's definitely a product I'd like to check out...

Anonymous
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Re: Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier.
Ajani:chebby:Found a PDF of a recent Hifi World review of the Musical Fidelity A1 (November 2008) which described the sound as exactly what I am after. It was favourable in all areas. (Five globes.)

It's MM phono stage was described as minimally noisier but otherwise very similar to the Trichord Dino (great) and praising the excellent sound of the USB input/built-in DAC too.

Yes I know, Hifi World reviews don't count around here (so I won't post a link) but it was very encouraging. Nearest MF dealers are 25 miles away so I am definitely going to audition one in the new year.



 

The A1 is also the Runner Up for Amp of the Year (2008) in HiFi World.... It's definitely a product I'd like to check out...

I know how the old MF A1 sounds, but I havn't heard the new one yet - it's a bit underpowered for my needs.

 



I wonder if the new one sounds similar to the old one? Apart from the LCD screen, what other differences are there?

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Re: Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier.
Hughes123:
Ajani:chebby:Found a PDF of a recent Hifi World review of the Musical Fidelity A1 (November 2008) which described the sound as exactly what I am after. It was favourable in all areas. (Five globes.)

It's MM phono stage was described as minimally noisier but otherwise very similar to the Trichord Dino (great) and praising the excellent sound of the USB input/built-in DAC too.

Yes I know, Hifi World reviews don't count around here (so I won't post a link) but it was very encouraging. Nearest MF dealers are 25 miles away so I am definitely going to audition one in the new year.



 

The A1 is also the Runner Up for Amp of the Year (2008) in HiFi World.... It's definitely a product I'd like to check out...

I know how the old MF A1 sounds, but I havn't heard the new one yet - it's a bit underpowered for my needs.

 



I wonder if the new one sounds similar to the old one? Apart from the LCD screen, what other differences are there?

 

HiFi News did a direct comparison between the old and the new A1... The new version is more powerful, measures far better and sounds better according to them...

 

Overall the A1 Amp and CD player combo got good ratings though I thought the Conclusion was one of the worst ones I've read in a while:

"For $2500, there are, oh, 20,000 other pairings that can match the A1 sonics. But these you can buy for a far more valid reason: they're as retro-cool and fun to own as the new Mini."

 

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