Musical Fidelity has officially announced the availability of the highly anticipated reproduction of its classic 80’s A1 integrated amplifier.
The original A1 helped to establish Musical Fidelity as an established brand and a major name in the market. It was considered a budget amplifier back in the ‘80s; the new A1 will launch at £1499, so that’s no longer the case.
We had our first glimpse of the new A1 amplifier at High End Munich 2023 back in May. Our first impressions were positive. We described the amp, in our brief listen to it, as having “bold and full-bodied sound; one that's richer, smoother and more easy-going than is typically the fashion today.”
The electrical layout of the new A1 stays faithful to the original, using completely discrete, fully symmetrical pure Class A technology. The low-noise pre-amp circuit is the same as the original’s, with only a few modern touches to bring it into the present. This includes a ‘Direct’ control, which allows users to bypass the gain stage before audio reaches the volume control and applies roughly 10dB less gain – perfect for more modern, high-gain sources and devices. The power supply has also been updated for each channel.
Visually, the new A1 is identical in design to its predecessor, but it now comes in a slightly bigger case to deal with the amount of heat that the pure Class A amplification generates.
The original was known for getting pretty hot; the new case should help dissipate heat better and comply with current regulations. A handy new remote for adjusting volume only is also a new addition.
On the connectivity front, the new A1 features five RCA stereo inputs, fixed-level and variable outputs, along with a built-in phono stage which is compatible with both moving-magnet and moving-coil cartridges.
In terms of power, the A1 delivers 25W of power to an 8-ohm load – fairly low compared with a number of modern amplifiers. However, the A1 is also capable of sliding into Class B operation for moments where extra current draw is required.
The new Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier is available now for £1499 / $1699 / €1599 in a black finish. We currently have a review sample of the new unit in our listening rooms (as well as an original A1), so keep your eyes peeled for the official review very soon.
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