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hifinutt

music first audio classic mark 2 copper

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Posted (edited)

Just noticed this well priced copper mark 2 transformer MFA pre amp 

 well worth the money at 1295 quid 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Music-First-Audio-Classic-Pre-Amplifier-Black-6-inputs/324117313981?hash=item4b76e5b9bd:g:0wAAAOSwmVxefic3

Edited by hifinutt

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wow , well spotted . i had the copper V2 before my modrights . charming pre amp and has a lovely character 

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Super Wammer

Caveat emptor and all that: what's a Mk2? MkII vs V2 anyone?

If they're the same, the £1295 one is indeed a decent price but AFAIK original V2 (with the 25% larger transformers) said V2 on the front, like the second link here from @mr.me. If MkII is supposed to be the same thing, I'd be checking for evidence of post-purchase upgrade (with the seller or with JB).

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Super Wammer

If anyone is interested in any of the linked for sale on ebay items mentioned above then I compiled this list a while ago to get my head around which versions uses which transformers.

TX102 - original ie V1 Classic and now used in the Baby Classic.

TX102 Mk2 with 25% larger core. Used in the V2 Classic.

TX102 Mk4, exactly same 25% larger core as used in the Mk2 but with an improved winding structure. Used in the Baby Reference.

RX 63. Used in Baby Reference V2.

Sometimes an MFA Classic pre is upgraded to V2 back at the factory by installing Mk2 transformers in which case it will not say V2 on the front but will usually have a sticker on the base and will have MkII written on the top of the transformers.

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I wonder if Jonathan ever produced a TX102 Mk3. Seems strange to skip from 2 to 4.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Fourlegs said:

If anyone is interested in any of the linked for sale on ebay items mentioned above then I compiled this list a while ago to get my head around which versions uses which transformers.

TX102 - original ie V1 Classic and now used in the Baby Classic.

TX102 Mk2 with 25% larger core. Used in the V2 Classic.

TX102 Mk4, exactly same 25% larger core as used in the Mk2 but with an improved winding structure. Used in the Baby Reference.

RX 63. Used in Baby Reference V2.

Sometimes an MFA Classic pre is upgraded to V2 back at the factory by installing Mk2 transformers in which case it will not say V2 on the front but will usually have a sticker on the base and will have MkII written on the top of the transformers.

Brilliantly put nick I upgraded my V1 classic to V2 transformers [ silver ] but you could not tell from looking at it , except for documentation 

Edited by hifinutt

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55 minutes ago, hifinutt said:

finishes in 2 hours time ... i reckon it will be a good buy for someone , they are superb pre amps 

Never had a chance to listen to a MFA pre amp. I realise it's not the same as a basic passive pre but I've never experienced a passive that came anywhere near close to an active

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gosh , when i had my arc ref 5 and a mfa baby ref v1 together , the performance was incredibly close . some folks preferred the slam and dynamics of the mfa . I am using a bel canto pre 3 vbs at the moment . i know for a fact if i used one of these the slam and dynamics and transparency would increase ...BUT they don`t have any remote and i like my BC remote !!! and its still pretty good 

you can read CD`s thoughts on these amps at a sort of review we did when jonathan visited from mfa some years ago 

Okay my thoughts on the newest Music First preamplifier.

Yesterday in Phil's system we had the pleasure of listening and comparing three rather good preamps.

1. Music First Audio 'Baby Reference' - rrp c £6k

2. Music First Audio Mk II - rrp £5k

3. Audio Research Ref 5 - rrp £10.5k

We used a selection of tracks to try out as each of the preamps were inserted into the set up: Kraftwerk, Supertramp, Katie Melua, Trentemoller, Can Atilla, Led Zep had repeat plays.

I'll kick things off with my observations and I'm sure Phil will add his.

The 'Baby Reference' had been playing for a few hours by the time I arrived. It's the preamp I've been crying out for Music First to release - a Reference stripped of the additional outputs and the motorised remote. Appearance wise it looks like a slightly bigger Classic, with a coloured front panel with the same switches as the other models in the family. It has the Reference coils with less attenuation steps on the dial, and the +6dB switch now removed.

The sound is quite unmistakeable Music First - zero noise, crystal clear. The soundstage is well defined and easy to locate instruments - precise but not etched. It's unbelievably transparent. The most obvious thing that strikes you is the extra headroom at top and bottom end. As a result instruments and voices have more depth and solidity, there's more weight to the images so it sounds more real and convincing.

Jonathan popped back to collect the amp and so we had a chance to chat about its construction and get the lid off to see where he had used damping materials on the inside of the casework. There was some chat about the MFA MC step up which I'll be auditioning once I get my power amp back.

Next up, the Music First MkII I had brought for comparison. Mixed opinions on the differences. To me it was clear that I was hearing the benefits of listening to a well run in unit - the Reference was produced less than 2 days ago. As a result I thought that the MkII sounded a bit more even across the mid range, a touch more depth and the soundstage more spread out between the speakers. What was obvious was that the Reference had the edge on overall bandwidth, and that little extra weight of image.

Finally came the Audio Research Ref 5. It didn't take long at all to appreciate the vastly different presentation. The unit warmed up in about 10-15 mins and was fully on song. The most obvious feature - massive projection of vocals. Music flows from the Ref 5, very effortless and easy to enjoy. The soundstage is big and three dimensional and extends beyond the speakers. Its not as precise as the MFA preamps but it does make instruments sound 'right'.

They're all extremely good amps, just very different. A summary description which doesn't do them justice but may help to define the contrast, is that the MFA's sound is vivid and quite 'hifi' - with transparency, zero noise and incredible detail. The Ref 5 on the other hand just sounds 'analogue' and very easy to listen to.

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