Musical Fidelity A-2 Integrated Amplifiers

A-2

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
Mash   AudioPhile [Feb 24, 2003]
Strength:

First SS amp that I have liked listening to through Magneplanars. Always used tube amps on Magneplanars before. Maybe the class A design of the A2 helps.

Weakness:

Power limitation if you want your ears to bleed. I listen at 'reasonably' realistic levels so the power is OK. But! I do use a powered sub, and soon I will switch in a Velodyne HGS 15. Watch the heat!

Bought new, for bedroom stereo HiFi / TV sound. Very smooth & musical, unless pushed hard. 25W/ch at 8 ohm & 50W/ch at 4 ohm. I use with a powered woofer. Dec 02 switched from Lineaums to Magneplanar MMG's. VERY detailed & smooth.

Similar Products Used: I use nothing truely similar. My Futterman amps run class A and then class AB at high power, but these are tubie amps.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Adam   AudioPhile [Nov 25, 2002]
Strength:

Musical enjoyment

Weakness:

Reliability - Had many repairs done to the volume pot, power supply.

Excellent amplifier! Not the most dynamic or transparent design around, but allows enjoyment of music like no other anywhere near the price!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Adam   AudioPhile [Nov 25, 2002]
Strength:

Musical enjoyment

Weakness:

Reliability - Had many repairs done to the volume pot, power supply.

Excellent amplifier! Not the most dynamic or transparent design around, but allows enjoyment of music like no other anywhere near the price!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
aum   Audio Enthusiast [May 07, 2002]
Strength:

Power, built, look.

Weakness:

No remote control.

I bought it second hand, 2 years old and was surprised with its warm, detailed sound, wide and deep soundstage. Don''t be affraid of "only" 25 Watts per channel, it sounds like 100 Wats, please, belive me. If you don''t want to spend a lot of monney, try to find that "little monster" and you will be satisfied ''till you die.

Similar Products Used: Marantz PM 66SE
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lee   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 18, 2001]
Strength:

warm, musical sound

Weakness:

none at this price

at first i have doubt on this used amp,but after using it for about 3 months ,i was surprised ,it is so musical and warm(its a class a amp),make my gears lively.highly recommended.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Myrko Schneider   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 13, 2001]
Strength:

Very natural sound, although it makes bad recordings sound bad.

Weakness:

It gets really HOT, not so much power to drive really difficult speakers.

I've owned and listened to the A2 for a year now and it hasn't let me down. It plays all kinds of music in a gentle way, and seems to never have a shortage of power, although is only rated for 2*25 WATTS.
I have the feeling the amplifier sometimes lacks the control over the (difficult) Rogers LS7 speakers. But the question is who's to blame. B&W DM5's are driven perfectly, just like Wharfedale's Diamonds. It looks to to me as if this amplifier can make very many speakers sound great. The A2 surprised me when I let him play with the Wharfedale Diamonds, which are pretty cheap speakers. He makes them sound very well!

Overall the A2 is a very nice amp to have. To overcome it's problem with difficult speakers, you must really spent a lot more money. I wonder if the difference will be worth it.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha AX 400, Rotel RA 820
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Allen   an Audiophile [Jun 01, 1998]

The Musical fidelity A-2 is in my opinion one of the greatest music lover'sbargains out there! This integrated amplifier is rated at 25 wpc into 8 ohms
and 50 wpc into 4 ohms and retails for $ 799. This unit offers a smooth, detailed spacious sound with greater dynamic range than you would ever expect
given the wattage rating. The soundstage depth can almost be scary at times if
your front end is up to it. This unit sounds equally terrific playing classical
and rock when used whithin it's limits. If you still listen to vinyl [gee I
hope so!] the phono stage [mm only] sounds terrific! This unit is a must hear
for the fiscally challenged. This review was conducted using $3500 worth of ampand pre-amp for comparison!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Edward Hsu   an Audio Enthusiast [Oct 26, 1998]

I had been looking and listening to the Bryston B-60 and the YBA Integre DT. I was pleasantly impressed with them but gagging a bit at the price. Not being able to audition the A2, I decided to buy one on 30 day approval. The A 2 isnot perfect but does have an extremely warm sound. Saxophones sound so life like it's scary. I have never heard so much live presence in a playback system for under $ 5,000. The speakers are Thiel CS 2 and the CD player is an old JVC TZN 1050 (which surprisingly leaves an ARCAM Alpha 8 CD player in the dust) The speaker cables are Audioquest AQ 6 and the interconnects are Audioquest Turquoise. The A2 lacks the bass punch of more gutsy amps and you might accuse it of lacking a bit of clarity and detail in the mid frequencies compared to $1.5 K to $3 K amps. Despite the power rating, the A2 has no trouble driving the Thiels to very loud volume levels. I lke the abscence of tone controls, I have never used them, and their abscence can only improve the signal path. The amp does run very very hot and cannot be practically kept in any kind of cabinet. Intrestingly the amp does not sound its best until it has benn on for quite a while and has gotten hot. The unit also took a lot of hours to break in and sound good. In summary if you like jazz, have a tight budget and do not keep your equipment in a cabinet then this is the amp for you.

Needless to say I am going to keep the A2. If money were no object I would probably go for the YBA Intergre DT

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Henry   an Audiophile [May 26, 1999]

I must echo the opinions of the two other reviews of the A2 in that I have not heard an amplifier in this price range that can touch it, when it is used within its limits.It will even give units costing 2-3 times its price a run for their money and beat them in most cases.
Associated equipment used for listening tests were a modified Music Hall turntable with Grado Prestige Red cartridge, a Philips Magnavox combo DVD/CD player (96/24 decoding for audio) and a pair of Vandersteen 1C speakers. Interconnects are StraightWire Rhapsody and the speaker cabling is Tara Labs Space & Time with TFA return.
Taking the amplifier out of the box, I was struck by the build quality. This amplifier looks and "feels" like a far more expensive unit. The volume control and input selecter are buttery smooth. The gloss front faceplate looks elegant as well. And this is no lightweight, considering its modest size.
You are immediately struck by two things when the system fires up. A) This is a terrific amplifier and B) Boy does this sucker run hot!
Being a true Class A amplifier, the output devices are always ON. So, the A2 will actually run hotter sitting at idle than it will at low to moderate listening levels. The current has to go somewhere, either heat or sound.
Do not put this unit in a cabinet, even one open at the front.
Putting on both CD and LP versions of Sheffield Labs recording of Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker "I've Got the Music In Me," one is immediately struck by the dynamics. Quick, sweet and detailed. The highs are all there with no smear, grain or harsh edge. Bass is surprisingly tight and "thud-free." The mids are simply marvelous.
A couple of selections on this album really show off Tower of Power's horns. The baritone sax will raise the hair on the back of your neck! That "Palpable Sense of Presence" is there in spades!
On Fritz Reiner's classic recording of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Sheherezade" on RCA Red Seal CD, the delicate violin soars above the rest of the orchestra. Truly magical. And the phono section (MM only) is up to the rest of the unit in quality.
So, for those of you looking for more than a simple taste of high end amplification at a bargain price, check out the A2. I lucked into a demo unit from Audio Advisor for $499. Even at the full retail price of around $700-800, you will get much more than a taste, more like a full bite!
My rating allows some brownie points for value. In absolute terms, one less speaker.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Joey Vela   an Audiophile [Jun 03, 1999]

I've owned this amp for about 2 months now, and I have enjoyed ever second of sonic pleasure that I have been rewarded with. I was originally looking for a Jolida SJ302A tube integrated amp, but I was turned-off by the lack of line level inputs, although I would have been willing to fork over cash to purchase a separate phono preamp. I kept hearing about this amp from fellow audiophiles who I have known to purchase equipment from Audio Advisor and was pleased to hear that it had a built-in phono stage. I happened to luck out when I found this amp for $450 in Audio Review's classifieds. I too was impressed with its construction and asthetics. It is truly a most beautiful and elegant piece of equipment. When I fired it up for the first time, I was impressed. The strings on Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony" were heavenly, and at only 25WPC, this amp sounds much much more powerful and dynamic (much more than my 40WPC Denon PMA-7.5) as evidenced by the strong dynamics. It really does sound more powerful than any mass-market 100WPC receiver or amp that you find at your local Best Buy and Circuit City. I can only imagine the power of the bigger A-220. However, I hadn't heard anything yet. After a couple of hours of classical, I decided to continue the audition with some John Coltrane since I heard that this amp is at its best when playing jazz. I WAS ABSOLUTELY STUNNED by the realism of "A Love Supreme". It gave me the biggest chills, and that was just the digital. I spun a little vinyl on my Linn Basik, and the detail and soundstaging was so amazingly real, I could almost walk up and touch the musicians in the room. Yes, this amp runs hot, but that will come in handy during the winter. Excellent amp for the money, even worth much more than its $700 retail price.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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