• 02-05-2004, 01:30 PM
    MikeyBC
    Musical Fidelity integrated?
    I'm Currently using a rotel RA840BX3 integrated amp and am looking to upgrade to the Musical Fidelity A3.2 integrated, or maybe even the A308 integrated at almost double the cost. Does anyone here feel the extra cost is justified for the A308?
  • 02-05-2004, 01:49 PM
    bturk667
    Have you heard either of the two units with your system?
    What kind of a budget do you have?
    What speaker are you using?
    Are you happy with the rest of your system? Or could you use the difference to upgrade something else?

    As to justify the extra cost? Reefer back to my first question.
  • 02-05-2004, 06:57 PM
    RGA
    First of all - rethink and then re-think some more about what you really want to do. Is this boredom? Is there an identifiable weakness with your current amp that you're SURE the MF will fix.

    You're not considering buying based on some review from Stereophile are you? Fatal mistake if that's the case.

    I bought an Arcam Delta 290 in around 1997 which I did audition and I did like and Stereophile raved giving it a class B rating. The British mags loved it. And it was a good amp no question. However I heard it against a Sugden which sounded better but I decided to go with the award winning unit. I always regretted that move a tiny bit.

    Years later I found the Sugden used and picked it up for $400.00(2k new). And it's actually funny you mention MF because I was comparing it against the MF A300 ~3k in Canada and the A300 won out in the pyrotechnics department but were biting on the highs and the Sugden won out on the musical goose-bump factor and on smaller ensemble and vocals was richer. In the end the Sugden was a better amp IMO despite being several years older and several price points lower.

    There is no question that you should be checking out the USED integrated and separates at your dealer over anything new...You can pick up some seriously exceptional gear used...look for Staples like the Sugden A21a (assuming your speakers are rated around 87db sensitive and don't dip below 3ohms). MF is ok to me but hardly a standout and damn expensive for what you get.

    The used market with a budget LESS than 1k can get you Quad amplifers, Sugdens, YBA's a host of possible Tube amps and dozens more.
  • 02-06-2004, 09:17 AM
    MikeyBC
    The thing is that i'm in the process of building a simple mid to high end system, I have a budget of around 4000.00 CDN. I"ll be keeping the Rotel and cheap Sony dvd player with the tv and purchasing an integrated amp and cd player. I have read reviews on the M.F. gear that directly compared them to a Bryston 4B and a preamp that I cant remember at the moment. I have heard my speakers (PSB Stratus Silver's) with the 4B and really liked what I heard (CD player was a Classe cdp.3 that i used to own and sold...regretably) so i've been using that as a guide. I can get the MF gear at a bit of a discount and possibly get the A308 for just under 4000.00 CDN W/taxes. Then at income tax time use that money to get a decent cd player. My speakers reallly seemed to wake up with some quality power behind them.

    Any further advice is appreciated...thanks.
  • 02-06-2004, 11:04 PM
    topspeed
    Is is just me or does $4K sound like a helluva lotta dead presidents to unload on an integrated? This is not to say there aren't good integrateds, but you have to admit there's more options in separates. You could get a serious amp and pre for the same if not less, especially used. A PS Audio PCA2/HCA2 betters the MF imo and costs less to boot.

    http://psaudio.com/products/hca.asp
    http://psaudio.com/products/pca2.asp

    You can also get some nice ARC amps and pre's for less than 4K.

    Bottomline, I'd shop around quite a bit more before I bit on the MF. It's good quality stuff, no doubt, but as RGA pointed out, they are premium priced.

    Good luck.
  • 02-07-2004, 03:33 AM
    F1
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    ....
    Bottomline, I'd shop around quite a bit more before I bit on the MF. It's good quality stuff, no doubt, but as RGA pointed out, they are premium priced.
    Good luck.

    Premium priced? Sure when new. I got my Musical Fidelity Synthesis for under 200usd. It was a repaired old amplifier but the sound is good. Well, I ended up spending another $60 for better capacitors and op amps because of my itchy hand. I compared with my bro's MF A3.2 with Dynaudio Contour 1.1 (in less proper room, though) and I could not really tell the difference. For integrated try to shop around for used stuff, you may get lucky. However, make sure you know the condition. Good luck.
  • 02-07-2004, 09:16 AM
    MikeyBC
    Thanks guys for the advice, will shop around for a while longer but there's still something about buying new that appeals to me, especially when I can get a very good discount off full retail. But I will continue to look.

    Will B back in 10 Days,
  • 02-07-2004, 09:38 PM
    RGA
    Mikey I don't think anyone should say how much you spend or the percentage you want to place where. Personally I think better speakers are the primary place to put this money. I realise this goes against what UHF magazine reviewers think...and I like the magazine...but I disagree whole heartedly. The reason is simple. Highest diminishing returns in those areas.

    Just because an Amp is expensive and gets good reviews does not mean YOU will like it better than something 1/3 the price. Consider that I mentioned the Sugden A21a - it's not that expensive for a high end amp...and it is a high end amp. It would probably go for around $1700.00US. The money dodn't go into advertising and frills. Add those issues in and that amp could very well be $3700.00 and be looked at more seriously by many audiophiles...and quite frankly I will put it up against ANY 4kUS amplification of any kind. I'm not saying it would woin but it won't be embarrassed - it would be damn close with some and beat many. There's a reason it's been around so long.

    Heck I bought the Sugden A48b against a MF A300 integrated. Technically the MF was more powerful and had that grip on everything to make everything sound really tight and crisp...it was also less involving and musical - analytics versus emotions is tough to recommend however.

    Note: I'm not steering you to the Sugden I'm just using myself as an example. MF is well built has a good reputation look beautiful, well reviewed etc etc.

    Are you from BC, Canada? So am I. Where are you looking? I may be able to at least suggest a competitor to try out with the MF that may be superior or at least as good for less money.
  • 02-13-2004, 09:15 PM
    Mash
    list price is often meaningless
    Mikey
    Discount from list is meaningless unless you KNOW that 99% of other people buying that product actually pay the full list price. Many list prices are inflated to allow 'bargains'. Retail is the science of how dealers extract the maximum number of your dollars.

    If you like the Musical Fidelity, scare up a used A220 or, for smaller rooms, a used MF A2 integrated amp. These are Class A solid state amps sporting .0009% distortion levels and since they are Class A you have no rising distortion at lower listening levels to live with. Your light bill will take a bit of a hit. Which might make the A2 and A220 cheak in Canada where electricity is dear.

    B/t/w are items that plug into the wall still extra expensive? I lived in Montreal in 1970 and items that plugged into the wall were extra expensive there.
  • 02-15-2004, 06:28 PM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MikeyBC
    I'm Currently using a rotel RA840BX3 integrated amp and am looking to upgrade to the Musical Fidelity A3.2 integrated, or maybe even the A308 integrated at almost double the cost. Does anyone here feel the extra cost is justified for the A308?

    I've had the pleasure of using a Musical Fidelity A3cr amplifier. The amp was wonderful! Clean, transparent, and very punchy. It drove my maggies with no problem. I would definitely recommend Musical Fidelity amps. The only reason I am not buying one myself is that soon I will have a brand new PS Audio multichannel amp. The new PS Audio is a super efficient "D" class amplifier, and is going to be able to deliver 500 wpc to both my sets of maggies. (3.6r's & III's ) Hopefully Paul will be able to pull it off for under 4k, but we are all waiting for pricing.

    At the 4k price point you've got a lot of choices in amps, both integrated, and separates. I would do a lot of research if I were you before you plunk your $$$ down. That being said, nearly ANYTHING you get at this price point will be fantastic, and after you get it you will never have to worry about your amp being the limiting factor in your audio system.
  • 02-15-2004, 07:39 PM
    92135011
    used market??
    you guys keep talking about the "used market"
    where would I find where to buy used stuff anyways?
    And how do you know if the stuff in good working order? Arent transactions usually made in public places?

    I live in Vancouver, BC, if you guys can help
  • 02-16-2004, 03:42 AM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 92135011
    you guys keep talking about the "used market"
    where would I find where to buy used stuff anyways?
    And how do you know if the stuff in good working order? Arent transactions usually made in public places?

    I live in Vancouver, BC, if you guys can help

    There's a great place to buy used equipment. It's called AudiogoN, and you can find it at;

    http://www.audiogon.com/

    I've purchased from there before. Just be careful, it can get addictive!
  • 02-16-2004, 05:56 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 92135011
    you guys keep talking about the "used market"
    where would I find where to buy used stuff anyways?
    And how do you know if the stuff in good working order? Arent transactions usually made in public places?

    I live in Vancouver, BC, if you guys can help

    You're in Vancouver. Commercial Electronics on Burrard street - downstairs they have a big used section. Some stuff might be upstairs. Last time I was in they had amplifiers from Copland, Arcam, YBA, Cambridge Audio and Jamo, Quad and Energy speakers.

    Hi-Fi Center on Seymour street...2 doors down from Seymour A&B Sound. Last time I was there they had an Aragon and Anthem tube two channel amp and they had the Jolida 202a a More than $1000.00 Tube integrated amp for $300.00Cdn...It did have some repair issues though. Still the had several other componants used as well.

    Then there is a high end store hi-fi plus I think that is located on East Broadway across from a big London Drugs - not quite across but a few block away.

    The best place though is Soundhounds in Victoria because they have a much greater selection and a lot of used pieces. I bought my Sugden Amp for $425.00Cdn and it retailed in the mid 90s for $2000.00.

    You always take a gamble on used pieces but amplifiers very few moving parts and a 2k amp in the mid 90s like mine uuses very high quality parts - and even 10 years old would probably out last whatever you could buy new for $425.00. Hell my old store went through 2 Sony receivers in 8 months.

    As an example as to what Soundhounds carries... http://www.soundhounds.com/