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Looking for a amplifier to replace my old Musical Fidelity A1

 

New member
Username: Audioboy55

Spain

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-17
Hello.

I am looking for a integrated amplifier (price $500 - $900) to replace my old Musical Fidelity A1. I donÂ't like to hear rock music, I prefer good Jazz.
My speakers are the B&W 601 S3.

IÂ've heard good things about brands like Exposure or Creek. Could any one fit in well with the speakers I have?. I like smooth sound.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18363
Registered: May-04
.

Since you live in Spain, there's no telling what you have available. Well, yeah, there's telling but you didn't and I can't tell. I also have no idea what the $ value amounts to in your area.
The 601's are a minimum 3 Ohm load with only moderate sensitivity which will require either a fairly stout amp or a transformer with a 4 ohm tap.

Personally, I don't consider either Exposure or Creek to be "smooth".

Maybe a Rega or another Musical Fidelity?


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3418
Registered: Oct-07
What's Wrong with the MF?
What do you hope for besides 'smooth' sound? Some of the Jazz I've heard is smooth enough to
make me slide out of my seat.
 

New member
Username: Audioboy55

Spain

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-17
The A1 is a good amplifier but it is more than 20 years old and it seems to me that its sound is not as before.

Maybe another amplifier of that same brand (the A100 for example) could be the solution or perhaps change the speakers (Quad 12L).

I've heard good things about some vintage amplifiers like the Creek 4330 and could buy it and see if the sound is more pleasing to my ears.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3422
Registered: Oct-07
If bought right, buying / trying / selling used equipment doesn't have to cost a LOT of money. You might be out shipping.

That being said? The #1 wear-out item in an amplifier 20+ years old would probably be the Power Supply Capacitors. These are typically the large
cylinder shaped components in the main power supply.
Replacement should be Relatively inexpensive and may restore your amp to its robust health.

Being a hi-bias design with as much as 8 watts in class 'A', the BIAS to the output devices has probably ALSO drifted over the years.
If the amp is NOT running as warm as it once did? That's something to look into.

Google 'Musical Fidelity A1' and see that repair is no longer offered by MF, but schematics and data are still available.

With all of the above being true, many modern designs (not from the '80s) will have some perhaps useful features, like a Balance control and perhaps even tone controls. I was thinking NAD, but am loath to simply recommend something without more knowledge about what YOU like and have heard.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18364
Registered: May-04
.

"The A1 is a good amplifier but it is more than 20 years old and it seems to me that its sound is not as before.

Maybe another amplifier of that same brand (the A100 for example) could be the solution or perhaps change the speakers (Quad 12L).

I've heard good things about some vintage amplifiers like the Creek 4330 and could buy it and see if the sound is more pleasing to my ears."



Mostly just sounds like you're tired of looking at your old amp. "Greener on the other side" and all that BS.

If you are torn between a new amp or new speakers, you don't have a lock on what you actually want.

leo's correct that most solid state amplifiers can be brought back up to OEM specs through maintenance repairs and replacement. I just get the impression you want something new because you've had something old.

Going in blind with an "I want" attitude is going to cost you money. You can change the sound all you like, just move your existing speakers to another side of the room and you've accomplished that.

However, no one can get into your head to figure out what you actually want and need unless you have it already in your head.

You need to prioritize the performance of your present system and identify what it does well that you wish to keep and what you wish to upgrade. That isn't just "I want a new amp or speakers" approach.

Until you do that, you might as well just go out to the nearest overpass and toss a few hundred $$$ at the first passing truck. It'll do you just as much good as wasting it on equipment that you just buy just to buy new equipment.


.
 

New member
Username: Audioboy55

Spain

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jan-17
About the capacitors of the amplifier, I have seen a photo of that device inside and I could count about 60. But there are specially 4 great units that are of the power supply that have a value of 10.000 microfaradios - 25 V of the brand Rubycon.
I think it would be a good idea to change those 4 units...
And also check the input selector switch to prevent contact failure because sometimes the sound of a channel disappears.
 

New member
Username: Audioboy55

Spain

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-17
Here are all the capacitors of the A1:

Upload
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18369
Registered: May-04
.

YIKES!

OK, caps do not require replacement unless they have failed or show signs they are beginning to fail.

Did you do any checks or measurements on this amp before you tore it apart?



Each part in an amplifier has what are termed "tolerances".

Manufacturers tend not to buy the tightest toleranced parts unless they feel a specific part might benefit from a 1% part vs a 5%. "High end" electronics tend to use more closely spec'd parts than will the mass market builders.

Some high end builders will hand check parts for even tighter tolerances to meet critical design objectives.

By replacing parts willy-nilly you may risk throwing off a circuit which, in total, meets factory specs.

Power supply caps are large and, therefore, tight tolerances are expensive, and for the most part, unnecessary. Filter caps are out of the signal path and do not affect the sound quality of the component. Storage caps are not directly tied to the signal path either. Coupling caps in the main circuit of the amp are also out of the signal path. Swapping out these caps is probably money and time wasted unless they are failing.



There has been an argument for and against the "sound" of caps that has run over the last thirty years in high end audio. High end builders/designers tend to select caps and resistors based on what they perceive as the most desirable musical performance at the most realistic cost.

You can select from Mylar, poly or paper in oil caps (to name a few options) and somewhat alter the perceived performance of an audio component. Only you can decide whether the change is worth the cost.

Resistors have similar characteristics. Output devices set the final "sound" for any amplifier.



IMO it's not the best idea to just rip an amp apart. If the amp was operating at its OEM specs, then you've not thought through what you want and where to go to find it.

If you don't know whether the amp was operating as designed, then you may replace parts but still not know why the amp needs work.

It's sorta like thinking you want a new car because the old one hasn't been running right so you go buy tires for your old car.



Good luck.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3426
Registered: Oct-07
PS caps, the BIG ONES should be replaced at First Sign of a 'bulge'.
Waiting until they 'pop' is dangerous and destructive. Such caps can last 25 to 30 years in regular service and Less time when stored than slammed with just bein g turned 'on'.

Having your tech adjust the bias is a fairly simple procedure needing only knowledge of the test points, the value needed and the location of the little screwdriver potentiometers. It might be worth 1 hour of his time to adjust back to spec and just look the amp over for any obvious defects or problems.

Got the Itch? Start checking ads for stuff to ship off for. Look for well-rated sellers and be careful of scams.
 

New member
Username: Audioboy55

Spain

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-17
I think, perhaps is better to reeplace the speakers (B&W DM601 S3) and to avoid opening the amplifier and manipulating the device.
I like English sound and then I thought of a pair Quad 12L.
Do you think that they can fit with my amplifier?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18371
Registered: May-04
.

The amp can drive the small Quads.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3427
Registered: Oct-07
Jan,
Can't help somebody or talk 'em out of the 'upgrade' once the Itch Starts.
 

New member
Username: Audioboy55

Spain

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jan-17
Finally I've sold the B&W.

Now I have the Epos ES11. Very good speakers. I'm satisfied with the change.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18377
Registered: May-04
.

Congrats.



"Jan,
Can't help somebody or talk 'em out of the 'upgrade' once the Itch Starts."


I wasn't trying to talk anyone out of buying anything, leo. I am a salesperson at heart after all.

Just trying to qualify, as I would with any client, what objectives were driving the change. As usual, "change" for the sake of change appears to be the driving force.


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