Music Hall MMF-2.1 TurnTables

Music Hall MMF-2.1 TurnTables 

DESCRIPTION

  • Manual belt drive turntable with medium-mass tonearm and Goldring Elan moving magnet phono cartridge with spherical stylus and 5.0 mV output
  • Manual belt drive turntable with medium-mass tonearm and Goldring Elan moving magnet phono cartridge with spherical stylus and 5.0 mV output
  • Medium-mass tonearm with adjustable arm height, damped cueing, and anti-skating
  • Package includes felt turntable mat, cartridge alignment protractor, hinged dustcover and 45 RPM adapter

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-10 of 48  
    [May 23, 2010]
    frenchmon
    Audio Enthusiast

    Ok...I've read many reviews about the Muisc Hall 2.1 with the Tracker or Goldring Elan and the pros and cons about it.

    Now that I found my problem...having the MC switch on with a MM cart and having corrected the problem...this seems to be not a bad, but a very capable entry level table and cart for someone looking to get into vinyl under $500 and even so at the demo/discounted price of $249. Could the combination be better?? Im sure it can be improved upon...At retail when new it cost ruffly $400 bucks Even at the full retail price, the sound that it spits out can be said to be a full bargain considering you get a decent cart and tonearm....very listenable. For the price I paid for the table alone was way cheaper than the interconnects and speaker cable in the rest of my outfit. The Music Hall table came tripled box from MusicDirect The outer box was full of peanuts with the two other boxes containing the 2.1. After removing the table, setup was very easy. Remove two screws holding the TT motor in place, balance the arm, loop the anti-skate weight around its post , set the tracing, put on the belt, sit the platter, and lastly remove the guard on the Tracker and you're ready to go. It all takes about 15 minutes for a newbie, about 5 for those who have experience. After my embarrassing 4 days of figuring out the MC switch was on...on the preamp, and having switched it back to MM, I preceded to listen, and listen is what I do best. This is where the big payoff with the small fee paid comes in....Its a real bargain for this table....its like stealing...you get much more than you paid. Being a Jazz lover...I mean bop, I had to go for the gusto right away....I mean after a buddy having already told me what he thinks about horns and Vinyl I had to see for my self and I was not disapointed. First up was the Hard Bop of none other than the Master Dexter Gordons master piece "Gotham City". Dexter on Sax, George Benson on guitar, Cedar Walton on piano, Percy Heath on bass and Art Blakey on drums. A 1981 recording. The first thing I noticed was the bass was not as I thought it should be and the whole presentation sounded thin. But I was surprised at how Gordons sax sounded. It was more robust than I previously remembered, and Blakey...one of the all time greats on drums sounded so in tune and up front. I could hear him just as clear. I was wondering if vinyl could sound as clear as CD and now I know it can. The overall presentation was clear but I was wondering about the bass. Even with the sub turned on it was still distant as if the sub was not even on. Next up was Benny Carter and His Orchestra with Colman Hawkins, Jo Jones, Phil Woods, Jimmy Garrison Charlie Rouse,Dick Katz and John Collins. A 1961 recording.The various sax players sounded very good with clear tones, and the position of the different saxes could easly be pointed out with the large sound stage the 2.1 presented. In comparison, the Dexter Gordon album had a more narrow sound stage. The drums where just as clear on this album as it was on the Gordon album, but what I did notice was more back ground noise and hiss for this recording, At loud portions of the recording, like when two or three sax's where playing at the same time, I could hear that the Goldring cart had a hard time tracking the notes...there was a distortion that could be heard when the sax's altogether played loud. Next up was one of my favorite sax players...known for the tone of his sax. Paul Desmond. His album "Glad to be Unhappy" Desmond on alto sax, Jim Hall on guitar, Gean Wright and Gean Cherico on bass, and the great Connie Kay on drums. This is a very mellow album. And Desmond plays with a lots of passion and emotion. This is where I was extremely pleased with the 2.1 and the tracker. Every note of Paul Desmonds emotionally charged playing came through loud and clear. I was extremely moved by what I was hearing. Alone with the mellow soft sound of Jim Halls guitar and the tap of the cymbals of Connie Kay on drums in the fashion of Jimmy Cob when he played the drums on Miles Davis tune "kinda Blue" just gave me goose bumps. IF you want a mellow mood..laid back just chillin kinda grove, do you self and get this recording on Vinyl...Paul Desmond "Glad To Be Unhappy". Im sure you can find it somewhere...I got mine from a used album store. This is a great album. Any one of the few recordings Paul Desmond did with Jim Hall is worth getting. The last album before bed, (office call at 4am)....I had to listen to some vocals . I put on an old album I picked up 2 days ago...Nat King Coles "Unforgetable". The strings sounded natural as well as the drums and bass. But the voice of Nat Cole was just as clear and I could hear him as he took his next gasp of air before he sang the next note. You really cant appreciate a great voice until you hear it as clear as can be.

    My curiosity about vinyl and turntables in today's world is settled and it's greater than ever. I had not really listen to vinyl sense the 80's.

    The Music Hall entry level 2.1 has been long replaced by the Music Hall 2.2. Its a very musical entry level turntable for any one who is looking to get into vinyl. Dont worry about the debates about Music Hall/Pro-Ject versus Rega for now. While the Music Hall entry tables are very good for the money, I dont see the entry level Rega P2 stock being to far ahead in what it can offer at a slightly greater price.

    I cant wait to try a better cart with a few tweaks. The table does not rumble or have any back ground noise cept for the back ground noise of a bad recording.

    If you want to get into vinyl...the Music Hall entry level tables are a great bargain....at least it was for me.




    __________________

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Dec 18, 2005]
    starguygwb
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    For an entry level table, lack of rumble(with dustcover up). Simple set up.

    Weakness:

    Cartridge realy needs to be upgraded.

    I see alot of people complain about this table as if it were a high end product, its not! It's a very good entry level doorway into Vinyl. I wanted to see how a new table would sound like compared to my directdrive Tecnnics, and the mmf 2.1 seemed least exspensive enough to do the job. The cartridge that came with the table didn't stay on very long, I replaced it with a Ortofon super om30. It got alot quieter,and seemed to open up some. I can't believe home quiet this table is.One thing of note, open the dust cover when using and it gets rid of any rumble that I can hear. And no interference with my Martin Logan subwoofer at all. I must admit that I'm going to upgrade soon, but after all this was a test to see if new gear outdoes the old. I think anyone looking at a low price point, or a step toward a higher end rig wouldn't go wrong. I've heard people complain about the bad wiring. I've always treated my gear with the utmost care, from my directdrive table to my B&W 805s speakers. My point is some people treat their gear kinda rough and then wonder why it breaks when others use their gear for years without mishap.

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    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Nov 05, 2005]
    7.62Matt
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Inexpensive, easy to set up

    Weakness:

    Cheap cartridge

    I bought this turntable for my second system, and I have enjoyed it, after a few changes. It appears to be well made, and it is simple. The cartridge that was supplied was not of my taste. I didn't like it at all, to the point I wasn't using it at all. One day, I came across a slightly used Grado red cartridge at a good deal, so I gave it a try. There is no comparison, this turntable came alive! There is a bit of rumble, but there are ways to reduce this. Playing Classic rock, this is the budget set up.

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    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Apr 27, 2005]
    Rudy64
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    Good entry-level table for light usage.

    Weakness:

    Build and material quality not up to the standards of other tables on the market. For the price, it's a bit much.

    While this is a good entry-level "audiophile" turntable, I can't recommend it due to its rather flimsy build quality and use of cheaper materials. The biggest complaint I've seen on this model are that the delicate tonearm wiring is easy to break off; in fact, mine had one wire broken off inside the arm, which means either the tonearm would need to be rewired, or the tonearm replaced with a new one. (Music Hall wants $160 for a new arm.) The anti-skating is also not very adjustable--you are given only three "notches" on a post to adjust it. The motor uses a clever rubber suspension system to isolate it from the turntable base (it is suspended by a clamped-down BUNA o-ring), but the torque of the motor also tilts the motor slightly at an angle relative to the platter, which could be a potential future problem. The dust cover hinges are nothing more than L-shaped rods held in place under friction, unlike true spring-loaded hinges in other turntables. The included cartridge is not all that great--at this level, you're better off replacing it with something like a Shure M97XE that has better tracking and a neutral tonal balance. (Music Hall should offer this without the cartridge as an option.) I could recommend this to someone who wanted a budget, entry-level "audiophile" turntable for lighter usage, but if you're going to be playing a lot of vinyl, I'd look elsewhere for something more sturdy. I've heard of too many other dissatisfied MMF-2.1 owners to feel good about recommending this to everyone.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    [Jun 14, 2004]
    drbrousters
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Musicality, build quality, cost.

    Weakness:

    Noise

    Bought this demo from audio advisor and a demo Grado Red cartridge. The $269 included shipping with mounted cartridge. I will say that this combination is a great way to experience vinyl 2 channel audio. After listening to CD's on a good quality Player and a few LP's on a cheap Turntable, this is a treat. It helped me better understand the reason audiophiles use the term "musical" to describe good quality sound. It truly is a musical combination. The instruments sound like instruments. Bass is well-defined and solid. Guitars sound like they are being strummed. Everything is crisp and natural. I'm glad I did this. For those who have had a less than positive experience, try a cartridge updgrade. That having been said, I will not ignore the negatives: 1) Surface noise and scratches. They are atill there and still annoying. 2) Amplifier hum. I grounded this turntable to both the pre-amp and amp, but a hum is still audible (though very low in volume). If those things keep you from enjoying the music, spend your money on a CD player.

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    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Dec 13, 2003]
    rppb
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    price, value

    Weakness:

    not built like a tank

    This is a great turntable to listen to your old records. Easy to assemble and the cartidge is already mounted. It would probably sound even better with a cartridge upgrade but sounds good to me. I'm using an Onkyo thx receiver and Snell cv speakers.

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    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Aug 28, 2003]
    Eric Nelson
    AudioPhile

    This is a pretty good turntable, but suffers from rumble problems. Do not try to use this turntable in a system with a big subwoofer. The rumble causes my Bag End Infrasub to shut off. Pretty nice sound, otherwise. Not as good as rega, but not as expensive either.

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    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    [May 02, 2003]
    Time_Stands_Still
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    *Solid design that is simple. *Nice tonarm given the price of the unit *Dead quiet operation *Nice entry level cartridge for the money *Excellent dampend cuing *Heavy 4.5lb platter *Very heavy and clear dust cover *Its attractive in its simplicity *Adjustable VTA

    Weakness:

    *The counterweight being filled with a rubber insulator is hard to tweek in setting up tracking force. * The Manual is is light in info and missing references to things like VTA adjustment * The felt matt looks a little cheap to me, but works well enough * Solderd on cables, makes swapping to better ones more difficult

    After a gap of over 12 years from listening to analogue playback, I began toying with a turntable again. I bought into the digital sound in the mid 80's for its clean dynamic sound. I had run of the mill Japanese stuff back in the 80s' and it sounded fine for me. However I began reading about vinyl playback on internet forums and the itch to revive my vinyl playback got to me. I am a budget audiophile and wanted to get good bang for my buck. Music Hall quickly stood out for me. I did look at other brands in similar pricing from Project and Thorens, but I wanted to get as fair of a deal as I could. The Music Hall MMF2.1 fell into my budget and seemed like a good entry level audiophile turntable. After searching and reading for a week or so I came across the Audio Shop in Ottawa and began to deal with them on this turntable. I was satisfied with the whole deal and had them ship it too me. Upon receiving it and opening it all up I was generally pleased wih its construction. It was straight forward to assemble. The instruction pamphlet is nothing to get excited about and it fails to identify the VTA ( vertical tracking adjustment screws ) I found the tiny allen key type screws. The supplied allen key is pretty lame and I used a better one I have to make tweeking VTA adjustments, via a very falt LP and a large magnifying glass to get a good look at the ride of the stylus in the groove. I then verified the cartridge alignment and found it to be almost dead on from the factory. I just tweeked it ever so slightly. I found the gold plated ends of the cables to be nice but I wish the cables were not soldered onto the unit. It would make a cable upgrade easier later. But atleast the cables were not too cheezy. I hooked it up to my system and I knew it would take about 20 hours for the Goldring Elan cartridge to burn in, BUT! it did sound very nice out of the box. I cued up Tears for Fears, Songs from the Big Chair and was impressed by the clarity and dynamics, even from Goldring's entry level cartridge. Bass was good and the airy sound of the music details was very nice, esp. compared to a midline Japanese brand CD player I have. I A/B'd the LP with a CD version of the album and the MMF2.1 with Elan cartridge blew the cd away on my midline Denon cd player. The cd was clean and dynamic, nice for a cd, but it was 2 dimensional. The LP was as if I were in the studio with the Tears for Fears. I loved it right away. Now after the cartirdge is burned in, it sounds better. The edge in the highs are smoother and the bass is more wholesome for me. The Turntable runs DEAD QUIET. The only noises I get are the general clicks an pops on lp's. It even has these very low in level unless you play a 2nd hand lp. that was not so well cared for. I detected no motor noise in the room or filtering from it through the cartridge/ tone arm set up. I think Music Hall does a good job in isolation on this unit, and provides a decent tonearm for the money, esp. given its lower price. I have played with various platter matts from the supplied felt mat from Music Hall. My experiment of such continues. If you are looking at a great budget audiophile turntable that is straightforward and upgradable in terms of cartridges etc. the MMF2.1 is a good choice. If you demand good quality for the price you get it in this model. If you want to enjoy the superior sound of good vinyl playback but you can't spend thousands of dollars, the MMF 2.1 is a great choice.

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    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Jan 19, 2003]
    Jeff
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Very good sound after cartridge upgrade. Simple and easy to use. Good quality tonearm, platter and bearing.

    Weakness:

    The supplied Goldring Elan cartridge is quite poor and needs to be upgraded. Non-removable headshell so cartridge replacement is a major hassle. Hard-wired RCA plugs.

    This is a very nice-sounding turntable and an incredible bargain at its sub-$300 price. Simplicity is the name of the game here. If you're looking for features like auto-return or automatic 33/45 switching, then you will need to look elsewhere. I've compared it to a number of vintage 'tables from Dual and other manufacturers and I can honestly say that the MMF-2.1 blows them out of the water. It's not the last word in audiophile sound, but it's very nice and will give you a real taste of the wonders of vinyl. A few caveats are in order, though. The supplied Goldring Elan cartridge is, to put it mildly, disappointing. It is a $50 cartridge and frankly sounds like it. Even after significant burn-in time, it still sounds lousy, with a tinny, sibilant sound. A cartridge upgrade is essential, so I really think that Music Hall should sell it without a cartridge and lower the price a bit. Another thing I don't like about it is that it does not have a removable headshell, so cartridge replacement can be a real hassle. After a short time, the flimsy tonearm wires came unattached and had to be soldered back in place. I also wish it had female RCA jacks so that the interconnects can be replaced. The ones they provide aren't very good. Still, if you're looking for a nice entry-level turntable for a reasonable price, it's hard to do much better than this.

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    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Aug 16, 2002]
    Mike
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Price was fair. The turntable was great, while it worked, but good luck if you have trouble.

    Weakness:

    A bad connection in the tone arm and the left channel went out. I took it back to the store where I purchased it and they had trouble with the Music Hall distributor, who was too busy to deal with stores that carry his product.

    If you buy this turntable, chances are you won't have any trouble. However, if something breaks you better hope you have a trustworthy store that will give you store credit because Music Hall does not have good customer support. The local shop I buy from has been repeatedly blown off by Hall himself when requesting replacement parts. Thanks to the guys at Audio Systems I will have a full credit trade in/upgrade to the Rega P2.

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    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Showing 1-10 of 48  

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