Is Musical Fidelity A5 int amp good? Any similar range products to compare with?

Eddieboy

Wammer
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May 30, 2012
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Ed
Hi guys, I recently looked at an old model of Musical Fidelity integrated amp - the A5 and was quite tempted with the power (250WPC @ 8 ohm), HT bypass line in and more importantly it's warm sounding according to a few review. I was wondering if there is any comparable int amp to this?

 

chrisB

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It's been many years since I listened to one.

Very good impression.

 

duncan7263

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when I was looking at the A5, I was also sorely tempted by the Primare i30 (on looks alone!), but in the end went for the A5 and have been very pleased with the amp. Mind you my speakers do need some driving and the MF provides plenty of power and amps.

 

chrisB

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I know I have seen some good reviews and was really curious about any other product comes close to the A5.. :love:
I think for the A5's price it would be a tad difficult to find a similar (drive & musicality) product.

 

tackleberry

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I have had lots of experience with mf gear,a5 can be a little bright, if the cm7s are anything like i remember them it may not be the best match. Just my opinion though. Do you intend to keep the speakers, and are you dead set on that amp?

 

Jazid

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The old MF story that the pre-amp section isn't at the level of the power amp applies here. An excellent amp nevertheless and you'd be fine running cd etc through it, but IMO the phono stage isn't too crash hot. I had a A5cr pre power combo for a couple of years, the power amp was clean and neutral in the best sense ie not sterile or bright, the pre added a smidge in the presence region which made music exciting but ultimately a bit fatiguing for my taste, though for rock it was great. I can't currently remember if there's a pre-out power-in connection on the back of this amp. If so then I'd say buy with confidence, the power amp is a good piece of kit and will drive anything with ease and refinement, you can upgrade the pre if you need to at a later date, and the amp can be shifted for about what you are goig to pay for it (assuming its about average price) as second hand MF kit does have a steady market. :^

 

vacdac

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Hi Ed,

TBH I think you could be missing the obvious here Bud. :)

You already have a very nice power amp, but don't seem to be running it to its full potential, if as I suspect from your kit list you are using the Arcam integrated as a pre-amp?

rb1080_front.jpg
ModelRB-1080
Power Configurations

Watts/Channel all channels driven, unbridged, 8 ohm load, 20 to 20k Hz, 0.03% THD
2x200 watts
Total Harmonic Distortion

(20 Hz - 20 kHz)
-
cont. rated power

one-half rated power

one watt per channel
0.03%, maximum

0.01%, maximum

0.02%, maximum
Intermodulation Distortion

(at rated power, 60Hz:7kHz = 4:1 )
0.03%, maximum
Damping Factor (8 ohms)1000
Input Impedance/Sensitivity1.5V, 32 kOhms
Input Overload Level5V
Frequency Response15Hz-100kHz +0.5dB, -3dB
Signal to Noise Ratio (IHF A)116 dB
Power Consumption:550 Watts
Dimensions (W x H x D):430 x 139 x 400 mm

17 15/16 x 5 1/2 x 15 3/4 in
Power Requirements:115 volts, 60 Hz (U.S. version)

230 Volts, 50 Hz (European version)
Weight (net):16.7 kg, 37lbs.

Review here>>>.http://www.stereophile.com/solidpoweramps/608/index.html.

If it was me I'd really be wanting to keep the Rotel & a little 'Warmth/Magic'/whatever by introducing a good active pre......A valve pre would seem an obvious suggestion.

Summat like an icon LA4 or the New Project Pre-Box RS looks rather fine + has some good recent user feedback & a mini review on here. It's a valve pre that boast impressive connectivity inc balanced inputs + balanced XLR pre outs as well as plenty of RCA inputs & RCA pre out/tape outs. All in a nice small form factor case, with full remote operation & with the advantage of a full warranty for around £600.

 

Jazid

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Kinda missed that bit about the Rotel. Thusly revise my opinion to wot Vacdac says :^

 

Eddieboy

Wammer
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May 30, 2012
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Ed
Thanks for the inputs guys! Sorry for the slow reply have been out all day.

I forgot to mention that I had been pleased with the Rotel 1080 plus Arcam A65 as pre until the Rotel decided to stop working. It was quite sad that I am no expert in the repair, changed the fuses and still had no luck getting it back to life hence the curiosity of other similar range product.

Interested in the MF A5 for its sort of all in one - plenty of power, HT Bypass, and considerable weight - easy to bring abroad when I relocate possibly end of this year.

Could be interested to stick with another Rotel 1080 actually seen a few on eBay at the moment if no luck on the MF A5 hunting :cool: and that will just need another HT bypass capable pre.

 

Eddieboy

Wammer
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May 30, 2012
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Ed
Valve pre sounds interesting, myself has not really experienced one. Do they turns hot like the usual class A Valve amps? And more importantly able to do HT Bypass?

 

vacdac

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Thanks for the inputs guys! Sorry for the slow reply have been out all day.I forgot to mention that I had been pleased with the Rotel 1080 plus Arcam A65 as pre until the Rotel decided to stop working. It was quite sad that I am no expert in the repair, changed the fuses and still had no luck getting it back to life hence the curiosity of other similar range product.
Well worth getting looked at/repaired properly Ed. I'm sure some Wammers can advice re good repair techs who are local to you.

It strikes me that the MF A5, rated at 250w @ 8ohms is not much more powerful than the Rotel. :nup: In terms of any extra headroom/noticeable extra oomph over the Rotel, any difference would be v small/insignificant.

 

Eddieboy

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May 30, 2012
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Ed
I have had lots of experience with mf gear,a5 can be a little bright, if the cm7s are anything like i remember them it may not be the best match. Just my opinion though. Do you intend to keep the speakers, and are you dead set on that amp?
CM7 is nt too bad to my ears (although I preferred the look of the older brothers B&W 700 series), generally okay with most stereo amplifiers but when pairing with an AVR, sound can be a bit harsh and bright.

Could be tempted for other speakers options too if there is any good recommendation and more importantly the upgrade does not cost too much bullet! :p

 

vacdac

Wammer
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Jul 19, 2011
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Chris
HiFi Trade?
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Valve pre sounds interesting, myself has not really experienced one. Do they turns hot like the usual class A Valve amps? And more importantly able to do HT Bypass?
A fair few valve pre's get little more than warm at the top plate if in a fully enclosed case . :cool: << :roll:

Small signal valve kit doesn't tend to run nearly as hot as kit that runs beefy Power valves. I have a few bits of small signal valve kit & none of mine runs hot to the touch at the casework. Obviously the valves themselves do run fairly hot, but nothing like the temps that valve power amps reach.

Unfortunately neither of the valve pre's I suggested have H/T bypass. :( They're just a couple that I would always consider if spending around £600 & upwards. There are valve pre's that are more fully featured to allow this. I'm sure others could advise here/offer some suggestions.

I have similar requirements, having my AV setup fully integrated into my main 2ch system. My MF A1fbp allows this & sounds excellent. :stereo: Funnily enough at the time I bought it the Valve Pre that wuz in my sights at the time was the latest version of the Icon LA4 I mentioned. At the time I'd been using my MF x-can v8 as a simple valve pre* for around a year & a half. It did sound v good too.

*Although it's lack of inputs meant feeding it from the tape-outs of my Audiolab 8000AV processor & using that as an analogue switchbox. :geek:

It was a little mad-cap but did sound v good & even allowed for AV use, albeit with two Vol. knobs to adjust. I did have the convenience of remote switching of inputs, so muting if needed by switching inputs was possible, but I lost remote control of volume.

EDIT

Could you please include any bits of AV kit you are using/needing to integrate, as this will be a great help re giving you the most appropriate advice.

ATB

C.

 

Eddieboy

Wammer
Wammer
May 30, 2012
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Bromborough
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Ed
Cheers for sharing the thoughts Chris :^ Yes yes i have not noticed that my kits are not updated to my profile, will do it right now. :)

 

silencio

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Feb 12, 2010
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Sofia, Bulgaria
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Chris
As an previous owner of B&W 683, for the CM7, I'd try to keep the Rotel and add a valve pre. Say an old Lumley. That should be an overall better combo than the A5, imo. Alternatively - try to hear the Unison Research Unico hybrid. It worked pretty well with my 683. Even better, if domestically acceptable and within budget, go for a good valve amp. Works better with the B&W.

 

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