Musical Fidelity A3 Integrated Amplifiers

A3

Integrated Amplifier

User Reviews (37)

Showing 1-10 of 37  
jonskitch   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 09, 2010]

This amp is overly rated. I owned a Pioneer A400 and that was a decent little budget amp. I decided to upgrade MF A3 at first I was pretending this was good but never truly delivered the music that I wanted it to be. The sound never settles down- tried (its too forward very very bright) hand full of interconnects many speakers but had no joy. Went back to my little classic Pioneer and that blew it apart!

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
lumiere   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 27, 2004]
Strength:

Soundstage, musicality, everything.

Weakness:

None, to me.

This is for the MF 3.2, which I bought 4 months ago. Lacking the technical vocabulary of the audiophiles, I'll just say this: This amp is amazing! It takes anything you throw at it and does it with grace. I listen to many kinds of music _ jazz, rock, blues, classical, and some hip-hop. The soundstage is huge (wide and tall), the top end is detailed, but sweet, the bottom end is powerfull and tight, and the mids ... are just perfect. And I haven't even finished configuring my setup yet. The MF has revived (for now) the Klipsch KG 2.5 that I got seven years ago. They sound so much better that I feel I can take my time to find the right speakers. Anyway, I digress. Just give this baby a try. You'll love it.

Similar Products Used: Arcam, Rotel, NAD.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kpatterson   AudioPhile [Jan 24, 2003]
Strength:

Vinyl to analog source recording, HDCD recording, price

Weakness:

none at this price

I purchased this used from an individual who had it listed on www.audioweb.com for only $200.00. Audio Advisor (www.audioadvisor.com) is selling them new for $299.00. I wanted an way to record some vinyl to CD, most of it not available commercially on CD, other than using the PC which is impractical to relocate for this. The recorder is easy to use with selectable digital and analog sources. You can record from one CD deck to this with either the digital or analog source. I will also record copies of your HDCD disks. Other features include adjustable record level; manual recording; auto recording; artist, title, & track naming; and CD-R/RW recording. I use only CD-R audio disks as recommended (TDK @ Circuit City). When I made a recording of a Rolling Stones, Hot Rocks, 1964-1971, vinyl to the analog source, I was very surprised to find it had more detail, soundstage & depth than the re-mastered SACD Rolling Stone (CD layer) hybrid disk! This was evident when the recorded CD was played back in my home audio system or in my vehicles. When I recorded from my CD deck using the digital or analog source, the playback was only slightly less resolved as my commercial CDs but still far better than a burned copy on my PC. I did have trouble. About 4 months after I received the unit, it would no longer power up. It is now at the repair shop. I'm not concerned because this was a used unit, and is something to be expect. With that said, I'm excited about getting it back. I would highly recommend this unit to anyone who wanted an convent inexpensive way to create quality recordings from your vinyl collection. You will not be disappointed. My home audio system: - Musical Fidelity, A3, Integrated - NAD C541 CD deck - Pro-Ject RM-4 turntable - Grado Reference Platinum cartridge - Triangle Titus speakers - Analysis Plus speaker & interconnects

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MuFiPaul   AudioPhile [Oct 16, 2002]
Strength:

Doesn't emphasize any particular frequency spectrum. Awesomely smooth without sacrificing detail.

Weakness:

May not be enough power for some types of speakers, but not in my experience.

I moved up to this amp from my Parasound set-up based on some positive reviews in Stereophile. And MAN was it worth every penny! Kills everything I've had in my system to date. Extremely musical, detailed and easy to listen to. Go listen for yourself!

Similar Products Used: Adcom Parasound NAD Sony ES (and heard lots of better brands at shows)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Hifi Steve   AudioPhile [Oct 02, 2002]
Strength:

Detail. Power, speed, timing. Big and deep soundstage. Very good build quality.

Weakness:

Can be bright and forward, to the point of being unlistenable, if you don't use proper, read expensive, cable.

After initially being excited about the sound of this amp, I also came to find it bright and aggressive. Quick cure... GET A GOOD INTERCONNECT! I switched from using Vandenhul D102 MKV to KimberKable Silver Streak. This made all the difference in the world! The sound is incredibly detailed with powerful bass and quite a large soundstage. Now there is only a slight hint of brightness only on poor recordings. Get a good recording, like Mobile Fidelity’s CD issue of Dark Side of the Moon, and you will be rewarded with sound quality like nothing else in the price range. Absolutely blows away my previous Cyrus 2/PSX combo. The sound from my system right now is the best I’ve ever had. I just can’t believe the level of detail. Amazing. My system: Rotel RCD 1070 CD Player Mission 753 speakers Musical Fidelity A3 integrated amp Audioquest Crystal speaker cable KimberKable Silver Streak interconnect

Similar Products Used: Various from Linn, Naim, Bryston, Cyrus
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
leo948   AudioPhile [Sep 29, 2002]
Strength:

Smooth, detailed, sweet. Dual-mono configuration very impressive.

Weakness:

None whatsoever for an amp of this price.

This is quite some amp. I used to have some custom made Discrete Technology amps years ago--in a phono-only system driving Apogee Calipers--and this little integrated--mated with an A3 CD player, a pair of B&W Nautilus 805's and a Velodyne SPL-800 sub--brings back the magic of those components for me. I can't really compare this amp to those amps, of course, since (1) that was a long time ago, (2) the associated components are so different, and (3) those amps cost 6 times with this amp cost me. But the goosebump factor is definitely there. I undoubtedly could get a bigger soundstage with a dedicated power amp with more current, so probably what I'll do eventually is use the preamp out on the A3 and bi-amp: the power amp driving the lows and the A3 driving the highs. Right now I'm bi-wiring the 805's with Distech wire on the highs and double Kimber 4TC on the lows. An AQ Viper connects the A3 CD player to the amp, and an old AQ Blue runs the sub. The sound is absolutely stunning, reminiscent of tubes but with more detail and control. I should mention that the dual-mono configuration is very impressive in an amp of this price, and undoubtedly contributes to its spectacular sound. My dealer was closing these out because MF just came out with a new model, but I have no regrets whatsoever and have no desire to “trade up.”

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Erik   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 02, 2002]
Strength:

High-end resolution (not a slice but for the entire) is made affordable.

Weakness:

Not a weakness, but to avoid seeming shortcomings it should be valued after the break-in period.

This review is about the A3.2. This new MF amp supersedes the A3, but it is not just an adjusted version. Its circuit Technology (power amp configuration) is derived from the Nu-Vista M3, MF's flagship integrated (see www.upscaleaudio.com to down-load MF's vision on this New Product). The sound coming out differs from (and betters) both the A3 (gold and platinum) and A300 (gold and platinum) in its presence. A3 and A300 were refined, detailed, warm (esp. the ‘Gold’ models) and ‘musical’, but also, more or less, (obtrusively) powerful and bass heavy. Due to its construction, my listening room (19 x 13) suffers from a strong resonance and could not handle these amps to well. I mainly want to stick to them, while they still joined my Dynaudio Contour 1.1 speakers the best compared to other brands (Marantz, Cyrus, Primare) tried. Maintaining MF’s musicality and skipping side effects, I ended up with the smaller X-A2. Which unfortunately lacked ample grip on the Dynaudio’s. Once launched, I could try the A3.2 at home. The dealer added it had played for a few hours only and would need about 30 hours real playing time to reach real abilities. Although it first sounded analytical and clinical (as told by the Dutch importer before I actually heard the amp), the power had better control and the bass came out tight. The low end finally got rid of its emphatic tendency and appeared to be a defined layer under the overall sound without affecting the other frequencies. Also clear from the start were the amp’s main sound features: the capability to handle EVERY genre of music evenly convincing, and full dynamics and fine details at low volumes. After purchasing the device, it took five full weeks before it started to convert (which took another several weeks) into the direct, detailed, warm, and incredibly dynamically sounding amp it eventually is. This is a wondrous amp, living up to any expectations on what sound quality should be: all there is to come out and to make sure to go fully through any music’s intentions. And the classy and sturdy package makes a fabulous look. Other equipment: MF E624 CD player (+Van den Hul First Ultimate) Marantz ST17 Tuner (+Van den Hul D102mkIII) Atacam Nexus 6 stands + Soundcare spikes (top!) on top.

Similar Products Used: A3, A300, X-P100/X-AS100, Primare A30.1.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Erik   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 31, 2002]
Strength:

High-end resolution (not a slice but the entire) is made affordable.

Weakness:

Not a weakness, but to avoid apparently shortcomings it should be valued after the break-in period

This review is about the A3.2 and joins the previous two. This new MF amp supersedes the A3, but it is not just an adjusted version. Its circuit Technology (power amp configuration) is derived from the Nu-Vista M3, MF's flagship integrated (also see www.upscaleaudio.com to down-load MF's vision on this New Product) The sound coming out differs from (and betters) both the A3 (gold and platinum) and A300 (gold and platinum) in its presence. Although the sound of the other models used to be refined, detailed, and warmly (esp. the ‘gold’ sounded warm) musical they also sounded more or less, powerful and bass heavy. Due to its construction, my listening room (19 x 13) suffers from a strong resonance and could not handle these amps to well. I mainly want to stick to them, while they still joined my (mighty) Dynaudio Contour 1.1 speakers the best compared to other brands tried (Marantz, Cyrus, Primare). Preserving MF's musicality and skipping side effects, I ended up with the smaller MF X-A2. After its launch the dealer allowed me to try the A3.2 at home. The sales man added it had played for a few hours only and would need about 30 hours in total to reach the real abilities. Although at first it sounded analytical and clinical (as told by the Dutch importer before I actually heard the amp) and a little harsh, the power was better controlled and the bass came out very tight. The low end finally got rid of its emphatic tendency and appeared to be a well-defined layer under the overall sound instead of affecting the other frequencies. Also clear from the start was the amp’s prime feature, its capability to handle EVERY genre of music evenly convincing. After purchasing the device, it took five full weeks (didn’t count the hours but it certainly will join Neal ‘s givens) before it started to convert (which took another two weeks) into the direct, detailed, warm, and incredibly dynamical sounding amp it eventually appeared to be. This is a wondrous amp, living up to any expectations on what sound quality should be: all there is to come out and make sure to go fully through the music’s intention. And the classy and sturdy package looks fabulous. Other Equipment: MF E624 CD player Dynaudio Contour 1.1 speakers Marantz ST17 Tuner Van den Hul first ultimate (CD-amp) Van den Hul D102mkIII (tuner-amp) Atacam Nexus 6 stands + Soundcare spikes on top

Similar Products Used: MF A3, A300 and X-P 100/X-AS 100, Primare A30.1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
oopsscott   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 30, 2002]
Strength:

Everything

Weakness:

Zero

This is not a review. I wanted to add to the other reviewers opinions on break-in. I agree break-in of this piece is crucial. One reviewer stated he took an A3 home that was a demo on the sales floor for 3 months. What a joke, the piece was probably used for a total of 30 hours at best. Most HiFi stores have so many pieces that it's impossible to play them all the time. He stated that he left the unit turned on for 3 days and thought that would smooth the sound out. If you leave a unit on with no music coursing through it veins it will not change the sound. You have to play music through an amp for at least 100 hours to do a proper burn-in. I feel the A3 has been given a bad review also based on beginners in the HiFi market not realizing burn-in. Stop posting inaccurate reviews unitl you know what you are talking about!!!!!

Similar Products Used: You name I beat I've listened to it.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Neal   AudioPhile [Aug 30, 2002]
Strength:

Just sounds so wright!! The new A3.2 has much better bass with better mids and highs and more air and detail to boot.

Weakness:

none at all to my ears

Excellent integrate. The amp does need to be broke-in for at least 200 hours though. The previous reviewer obviously did not do a proper burn-in. I found the sound of the unit the same as he did at first, but after 150+ hours the harshness was gone. The amp sounds more like tubes, in that it has warmth and is very open and clean sounding. No harshness to be found on my A3. By the way I have just bought the new A3.2 and it is by far better than the A3 and A300. But it will also require a 150-200 hour burn-in as it sounds horrible for the first 100-150 and smooths out completely after 200. This 5 star goes to both the A3 and make the A3.2 a 10 star, its that much better.

Similar Products Used: Musical fidelity A3 and A300, Bryston B60
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 37  

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