Music Hall MMF-5 TurnTables

Music Hall MMF-5 TurnTables 

DESCRIPTION

  • Manual belt drive turntable with glass platter
  • Two-plinth design
  • Two-speed synchronous motor, and 9" tonearm with Goldring G012 moving magnet cartridge
  • Medium-mass tonearm with adjustable arm height, damped cueing, & anti-skating
  • Package includes felt turntable mat, cartridge alignment protractor, record clamp, dust cover, and 45 RPM adapter

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-10 of 37  
    [May 12, 2009]
    gretchen
    Audio Enthusiast

    The Music Hall 5.1 can be had for $702 shipped,from www.uptownaudio.com.The cartridge is supposed to be a $300 value,yet it sells for $275.
    associated equipment: Definitive Technology SM450 bookshelf speakers
    P.S.Audio Control C100 integrated amp
    P.S.Audio Prelude speaker cables
    Bellari tube preamp (1937 design)($212 shipped) from sweetwaveaudio.com

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Nov 10, 2008]
    sqlsavior
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    SSShhhh! Quiet! Noise-pollution-free zone.

    Weakness:

    Haven't found any so far, except possibly price.

    Long ago I had a really nice Teac TN400 turntable with a custom wood base and a Denon tonearm. The TN400 stock was supposedly liquidated because Teac was sued over the MagneFloat feature, which took most of the weight off the platter bearing, but which violated another company's patent. Sadly the Teac broke and could not be serviced.

    Anyway, for years I made do with a P.O.S. el cheapo Technics direct drive P-Mount unit. When I would scratch my fingernail on the P-mount headshell, the "WHEGH-WHEGH" sound that came out of the speakers was disgusting, and I suspected that even with a decent Ortofon P-mount cartridge (the only P-mount moving coil I could find), that the Technics was probably holding the system back, and was part of the reason that just I couldn't get very excited about my vinyl for so long.

    That has all changed with my new-to-me MMF-5. Boy this turntable is quiet! Probably better than my old Teac even, and such an improvement over the Technics that I profoundly regret "making do" for so long.

    I have been hearing new detail and complexity on my LPs for the first time ever. The MMF-5 was the last component to be added to my all-new (to me) system, and boy was the old Technics holding the system back. In particular, I can follow bass tracks note-for-note now which would previously get lost in the rest of the music.

    I can definitely say that a mid-fi turntable is not going to do your vinyl justice. For a long time I assumed that the cartridge would account for most of the difference, but now I think trying to put a fine cartridge on a mid-fi turntable is false economy. Get a good turntable!

    Speaking of cartridges, I never got to hear the Goldring, as it arrived damaged (as did the dustcover). The cartridge I am using is a Denon DL160 high-output moving coil, and I really like it.

    And speaking of damage, a turntable is one item that I would hesitate to buy used, except locally. Unless you can see it and take it home yourself, you are at risk of being disappointed, as I was. If you do buy on eBay, insist on air shipment, and insure it. Fortunately for me, the damage was easily repairable.

    The MMF-5's replacement, the 5.1, is going for about $800 new, it seems. If that is too much, maybe go for the cheaper units from Music Hall, ProJect, or Rega. Just don't try to make do with a P.O.S. like I did, for way too long.

    Similar Products Used:

    Teac TN400, Technics

    Rest of system:

    Music Hall MMF-5 turntable
    Denon DL160 high-output moving coil cartridge
    Marantz CD5001 CD player
    Apt-Holman pre-amp
    Hafler DH220 power amp
    Magneplanar MMG speakers

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Jan 26, 2008]
    Vic Sotelo
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    The quality of design and appearance.

    Weakness:

    Tone arm can easily slide to the right side of the tone arm pedestal, letting the stylus
    hit the plinth surface and causing damage. I put a clear plastic bar, just to the
    right of the pedestal, which arrests the tone arm 100% from falling onto the plinth!

    Please note that the Musical Hall MMF-5 Turntable was actually purchased from
    Stereo Unlimited not Stereo Design, as listed in my extensive review of this product.

    Customer Service

    Customer Service is exceptional at Stereo Unlimited, in San Diego, CA. All the
    salespersons are happy and serious to help customers with their particular needs.
    This store also has an "extensive" library of used vinyl (LPs) for sale, from classical, opera, jazz, rock and roll, country, ballet, symphonic, broadway shows, etc. All labels
    are represented. And you can "audition" each and every "open" LP album at your leisure. You can also "clean" your LPs "record surfaces" with a vacuum unit.

    Similar Products Used:

    Rabco ST lateral turntable

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Dec 13, 2007]
    Victor S. Sotelo
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    The most obvious "strength" was purchasing the Music Hall MMF-5 at such a bargain price and in turn receiving such a high level of quality sound reproduction for the buck! Price range was within my budget. The Music Hall MMF-5 turnable is esthetically beautiful and a well designed unit. The model I purchased came with a shinny "piano black" top level plinth. Once again, purchasing this unit in store, eliminated any real issues with the actual "pre owned" condition of this turnable and its related alignment parameters related to stylus and tonearm. Hearing is believing! Listen to the 1972 era Columbia Master Works M2 32681 recording of G. Mahler: Symphony No. 2 with L. Bernstein conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in Ely cathedral in England!! Also listen to any Buddy Rich, living recording LP! This Music Hall MMF-5 turntable and Goldring cartridge reproduce large or small recording venues (live or studio) with excellent clarity and realism!

    Weakness:

    The tone arm can easily and effortlessly move "laterally", to the right side of its "resting place", very effortlessly, causing the tonearm to "free fall", which in turn makes the stylus hit and bounce off the top plinth, which is damaging to the stylus. Just be careful with your "audiophile" investment!

    I am one not to purchase "audiophile" equipment on line, due to the on going stories I read, written by disappointed purchasers. I prefer to shop in store and audition (i.e. see it and hear it) the equipment, especially when it comes to turntables! I recently purchased a pre owned Music Hall MMF-5 turntable, with a shinny "piano" black top plinth surface. Used Price: $425.00. It came with a Goldring 1012GX cartridge, translucent green glass platter, record clamp, box, and manual. The original owner had it for only 3 months, and the store had it for only one week. I found it on line, but went to the store to audition it. The sales person was kind to check for very essential alignment issues: 1) cartridge VTA and 2) tone arm azimuth for proper alignment. There were no issues. He also check for proper stylus tracking force, which was set at 1.75 gram VTF. I have no issues with the felt pad that came with this turntable. The pad grips the record surface better and accentuates the "treble" frequencies which is to my advantage. Due to the fact that I purchased in store, and had this unit checked out by the sales person, I had absolutely no problems installing the turnable at home. To my advantage this particular Music Hall MMF-5 turntable was almost "burned in" and "opened up", which is relative to the cartridge and tone arm breaking in period, with use. A good 100 hours of playing time is recommended to "break-in" a turntable. I certainly will be enjoying this task for sure. This Music Hall MMF-5 turnable is a super fantastic "audiophile" bargain of the highest order. The soundstage, presence, and depth, recorded on my vintage LPs can readily be heard and appreciated with this unit. From small jazz assembles to large romantic symphonic works, this excellent turntable lets me appreciate the composers, the artists, and the recording engineers magic, by becoming "audibly" invisible. I highly recommend the Music Hall MMF-5. Gustav Mahler, Buddy Rich, or Beethoven have never sounded so great!

    Customer Service

    The Stereo Design store in San Diego, CA. has a team of experts with customer
    service of the highest order. Highly recommend to browse in the store and speak
    to experts in the field of "Audiophile" equipment. They are always available to discuss your issues and or to answer your questions with clear answers in person.

    Similar Products Used:

    1) Marantz SR8500 7.1 DD Surround Receiver.
    2) Parasound MCA 3500 Ultra Current Power Amplifier.
    with two Mono Block 350 watt Amplifiers in one chase.
    3) Mirage M-1 Bipolar speaker(s) with 6 Speakers in each tower.
    4) Mirage BPS 150 Subwoofer with 2 each apposing 8" Speakers

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Sep 10, 2004]
    HenryH
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    Tight, albeit slightly woolly, bass, natural resonant mids and clean, if not overly extended, highs

    Weakness:

    None at this price point

    I can but second the uniformly excellent reviews this table has received, not only here, but in the audio press as well. In a nutshell, it's the best bargain in vinyl playback today. The "bang for the buck" ratio is unmatched by any other table/arm/pickup combo you can name. Of course, in absolute terms, there are far superior tables, but to achieve substantial improvement over the MMF-5 you would have to spend nearly twice the price.

    Similar Products Used:

    MMF 2.1, Linn Axis and LP12, various Thorens and H-K tables, Simply Physics Dark Star.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [May 31, 2004]
    Deke_Nut
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Price for value, build, design.

    Weakness:

    You can get better for more, but so what.

    For someone wanting to get into or back into vinyl and not bust the bank this is a fine turntable. I am the type of person who obsesses over "should I spend more" and with this purchase I went through the same dilema, but am totally satisfied and expect to be for some time. If you are going to approach the $1000 mark in your tt budget, then there is a lot out there to confuse and bewilder you, but if it is less, then you simply cannot go wrong with the MMF-5. Though I am always skeptical of audiophile language and opinions, this unit did indeed take some time to "burn in" and there was a noticable "opening up" as it was played. My setup is probably a little unique, but I am running this through a 1960s H H Scott 222 tube integrated amp and single driver Omega Super3R single driver speakers. Harshness is the last thing you will hear in my living room and this little turntable is a great addition to the family.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Jan 20, 2004]
    ddarch44
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Built in screw-down clamp. Dual plinth design for isolation.

    Weakness:

    Anti-skate weight a little hard to adjust. Included felt pad is cheesy.

    I have owned this table for about four months now. Before this, I owned a tweaked up Thorens TD-160. Set up of the table was relatively easy, but I have had a lot of experience with TTs. The Audio Technica AT-0C9, which came with the unit, was already mounted. The biggest problem I had initially was a whirring sound I isolated as coming from the platter bearing. Though the manual says the bearing doesn't need oil, I used a combination of sewing machine oils and a couple of drops of Tufoil. After a couple of days the noise was gone. At the first few listens, I was a little disappointed the sound from the MMF5 wasn't a drastic improvement from the Thorens. In fact, some of my records even sounded better on the TD-160. I gave the table a few more weeks, and I think the problem was the brand new phono preamp wasn't "burned in". A couple of months later, the table is running in tiptop form. A couple of weeks ago I further the TT using some Corian and brass cones. That seemed to help the mid-bass become more defined. It's hard to know what else to say about the MMF5...so much is cartridge dependennt, but it has operated flawlessly since I took care of the whirring sound. One of the finest points to the MMF5 is the screw-down clamp that is included. That extra feature really distinguishes it from other tables in this range.

    Similar Products Used:

    Thorens TD-160 AR XA

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Dec 26, 2003]
    betobeto
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Value / Performance ratio, extras (cartridge, glass platter, record clamp), solid construction, dual-plinth design.

    Weakness:

    Next-to-useless manual, VTA adjustment can be tricky

    After doing a lot of research on many places including this site, I came to the conclusion that the MMF-5 carried the most bang for the buck on my search for an audiophile turntable to replace the cheap barebones Technics I was using until then. Having bought it used (but practically new) from another person at eBay, the TT obviously came unmounted. It was up to me to do the whole setup. If you are new to vinyl and are not familiarized with other than "plug-and-play" turntables, you're in for some surprises - not all of them pleasant. The manual included with the MMF-5 should be rather a joke if this weren't serious business. It is so useless that you're better off asking at forums like those at audioasylum.com or downloading the Pro-Ject 2.9 manual in PDF from sumikoaudio.com (The Pro-Ject 2.9 features an almost identical design to the MMF-5). It took me a good while to figure out how to set up the whole thing, but once I was in track it became smooth sailing (Well, almost). My TT came with the custom Goldring cartridge installed but the tonearm's azimuth was way off - at least a couple of degrees on its right side. This seems to be a recurrent problem with shippmked Music Hall 'tables. Fortunately, fixing it is relatively easy once you get used to it - just unscrew the antiskate rod on the back of the tonearm, lift it and find the fine "hidden" screw. Unscrew it just enough so you can twist the tonearm and adjust until you get a pleasant perpendicular alignment, then screw it again and put the antiskate rod back. (a protractor and a stylus gauge come in handy here) Unfortunately I can't say the same about VTA adjustment. Now, there are a couple of Allen screws on the tonearm base intended for that purpose, but getting to loosen the screws, which seem to be deep in the tonearm's innards, became almost a lost cause. Luckily, the VTA seemed to be adjusted just right for the included Goldring cartridge, so I just left it at that. So far, so good. As for sound - once it was set up properly, the MMF-5 began to shine through. It is with a rig like this that you can attest by yourself all those claims of vinyl sounding better than CD (It has always been so for me anyway). Such sound pouring from the MMF-5 can become highly addictive, even on the cheap Aiwa stereo I use (for now). I've probably not touched my CD's in weeks. However, this TT can also be too sincere in the sound - ergo, it won't make a lousy produced/pressed/wasted record sound good. On the other hand, some real good pressings that sounded trashed and with lots of surface noise on the Technics come out pristine and gorgeous on the MMF-5. It includes a record clamp that screws on the TT's custom spindle, which helps solve many warping issues, which is quite important considering the Goldring is a low-rider cartridge that demands a dead-centered azimuth adjustment to stay on track, or else Bad Things Can Happen :-) All in all, if you are a vinyl enthusiast that feels ready to graduate from the cheap Sonys and Technics - as was my case - or are just looking for a TT that gives the best sound $500 can buy, the Music Hall is a great choice. Best deal you can get at this price point.

    Similar Products Used:

    Technics SL-BD27 (quite cheap TT w/p-mount tonearm) ... the MMF-5 was quite an improvement.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Aug 10, 2003]
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    Excellent performance for the price

    Weakness:

    Inaccurate VTF markings on the counterweight Cheap supplied felt mat

    I purchased this turntable yesterday afternoon to replace a P-mount Technics SL-QD33 turntable that could no longer keep up with new audiophile pressings of classic jazz records. When I unpacked it, the supplied Goldring 1012GX cartridge was already installed, and properly aligned after inspecting it. After about 20 minutes of checking the connections and setting up the tracking force (I don't trust the markings on the counterweight, but rather I used a $20 Shure stylus pressure gauge to set a 1.75-gram VTF), this MMF-5 really sings great music! The detail is much improved over my old Technics with any cartridge. I had purchased that Technics back in 1989 because I fell into the trap that fully-automatic, quartz-locked direct-drive turntables with DC motors and P-mount tonearms are "superior" to fully-manual, belt-drive turntables with AC synchronous motors and standard-mount tonearms. But after further research, I've found that most high-end turntables are of that so-called "inferior" fully-manual, belt-drive, AC-motor type. Why? Because direct-drive turntables actually transmit noise and vibrations to the platter, affecting the potential sound quality. Automatic features tend to add even more noise to the sound. And asynchronous DC motors are much more expensive to manufacture than synchronous AC motors of similar quality and performance. Worst of all, P-mount tonearms tend to be really cheaply made, flimsy, record-mulching toy arms with no adjustments for VTF, VTA, azimuth or anti-skating. No wonder why my old Technics SL-QD33 distorted on loud piano notes when it was fitted with a P-mount Grado Prestige Silver cartridge, and switching to the Audio Technica AT925 only reduced that distortion. But the MMF-5 doesn't distort at all on those same loud piano notes, even with the same phono stage that's integrated into my 14-year-old entry-level consumer Pioneer SX-2600 receiver that I had used my SL-QD33 with for years. (A standard-mount DJ-style Panasonic fully-automatic DD turntable with a Grado Prestige Red cartridge also didn't distort on those loud piano notes, but obviously it didn't deliver anywhere near as much musical detail as my new MMF-5.) The MMF-5's full-manual, belt-drive operation means no more extraneous noises coming from the turntable itself intruding into the sound quality. The only noises that I hear from the MMF-5 are the pops, clicks or scratches on worn or abused vinyl. If you buy the MMF-5, there are two things that I would recommend: Buy a separate stylus gauge (the Shure stylus pressure gauge for $20 works well), and replace the felt mat with a mat made of a different material (though I tried a cheaper "upgrade" mat that was so sticky that it left marks on one of my practice pieces of vinyl).

    Similar Products Used:

    Technics SL-QD33 (junk), Technics SL-BD202 (trashed), Rotel low-end auto-return (trashed)

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Aug 03, 2003]
    rbr
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    fantastic "low noise floor".This is a very quiet TT (actually I cannot perceive any noise coming out of this TT at all. very heavy glass platter with record clamp. deeper bass(I actually have to turn down the volume in my bass setup). The goldring 1012GX medium mass MM is a high output (6.5mV)cartridge, very natural sounding. I do not think that I need to upgrade. with my old Technics TT, I needed to have the volume almost to reference level in order to gain volume. Not with this TT & cartridge combo. Now listening levels are just a few notches more than when I am listening CD's

    Weakness:

    The felt mat (I will replace it with something better)

    After a lot of research I decided that the Music Hall MMF-5 was the best turntable for the money. At $495, the features and, sound quality coming out of this turntable right out of the box is just simply amazing I do not longer have to crank-up to almost reference level the volume on my receiver(Denon's AVR-3802 to be able to listem to the music. Larry, at hollywood Sound (in Hollywood,FL) setup my turntable (at no extra cost!!), Thanks, Larry. I decideded to buy the TT locally so, that I could get all the support I might need,since I do not have any experience setting up TT, since my previous TT were semi-automatic cheap plastic Technics TT's. which are plug & play It seems that Music Hall have iron out some of the Quality Control posted here by previous reviewers (last one was in 2002. The cartridge in my TT does not ride low, Azymuth was perfect(probably ,because Larry set up the TT)

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 37  

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