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Experiences with Musical Fidelity X-A1 amp?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I put this here in "general" cuz it's neither a headphone amp nor a source component

I have an opportunity to get one of these for a decent price. I've always wanted a Musical Fidelity amp, and I *love* the X series because of the size and build quality. The X-A1 and X-A2 have both received very good reviews, but I've never heard either. The main difference is supposedly power. While the X-A2 has a few other changes, I've heard from a couple people who have heard both that the audible difference between the two is negligible.

Anyone heard or owned the X-A1?
post #2 of 12
MacDEF, I think this should probably be placed in the cables/mods/tweaks/speakers/accessories/whatever-the-heck-the-name-is forum.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Fine :P

You're right... I forgot about the "power" in the forum name

Duly noted and moved.
post #4 of 12
There are a few amps in the X-range, the X-A1 (50W I think) is one of the earlier versions, the version after that is the X-A100R (R = remote, £1000) and then the X-A2 (75W, £500) and now the X-A200R (75W, £700). There are also the Mono Blocks, but they are in a league of their own, 120W per channel and £550 each. Being mono, you'll need to buy 2.

The X-A1 was retail at £500 new but can now be bought at around £250 secondhand. The new X-A200R is £700 but I've seen a new one for £500, the only version I've heard of is the X-A200R. The unit comes with it's own PSU with is seprate from the unit, most amp's transformer is built within the chassie. The X-A1...to...200R have their externally, this is to avoid interference.

Sound wise, using the X-RAY cd player and JAMO 7.7 speakers (bi-wired), the sound is well control and with great transparency. There seems to be no ceiling to the amp, it looks small but it certainly doesn't sound it. The amp doesn't have a headphone socket or a phonostage, but it does have 6 inputs and a pre-out for bi-amp, and it comes with a remote (could be better design).
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, raymondlin!

I don't think they released the X-A100R or X-A200R here in the states, but I have seen the X-A2 (I'd rather have that, but it's quite a bit more and there's some debate over whether it's a big improvement over the X-A1).

Are you sure the X-A1 comes with a remote? From everything I've read on the X-A1, it's remote-less?
post #6 of 12
Hi macDEF, I had an X-A2 with the X-Ray CDP and a set of Acoustic Energy AE1's for quite a while before going down the tube route. As you probably know the AE1's are a bugger to drive well, the X-A2 did a fine job of it though. A very detailed soundstage with good depth and width IMO. A definate improvement over the X-A1 which a mate of mine had (he bought my X-A2). It has no remote. When you factor in the cost it is a remarkable piece of kit which embarasses much more expensive kit on occasion.
A demo goes without saying though, goog luck.
post #7 of 12
I have used Musical Fidelity gear in my two systems for 15yrs now. The XA-1 has no remote control (bummer) the models that end in "r" have remotes ie: X-A1000R.

I feel the A3 integrated is a step up from either XA-1 or XA-2 and is what I would recommend. Has remote and detachable AC cord,
looks great and does not cost much more especially if you find used unit:

http://www.musical-fidelity.co.uk/pr...ies/index.html

I have several X series components, but the A series is a step up
across the board, especially in the power supply design.
post #8 of 12
I agree, the A3 amp is a better amp then the X-A2 but the X-RAY is almost identical to the A3 CD player, it has the same DAC and transport.

X-A1 & X-A2 does not have remote, on the X-A-100R & X-A200R. You can see a little circle next to the tape loop button, that's the remote sensor. Also, I think the X-A2 looks better, coz it has a blue light rathe then the red (personal preference).

And as to the A3 being better, the reason is mainly that the A3 is a dual mono deisgn, both channel is completely separated. And it has a little more power (85W), but a newer version just came out (you can tell by the gold trim) and it has 100W per channel. Here's a picture of the X-A100R and X-A2. X-A1 looks identical apart from the remote sensor.

X-A100R


X-A2


For both, you can bi-amp or use it as a pre-amp with a X-AS100 dual mon power amp later.




Notice the separate powercord for each channel? The A3 power amp have the same design.

For more information, go to www.musical-fidelity.co.uk you can download the manual for all their products on there, have a look at the X-A1 while you are there.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
I have used Musical Fidelity gear in my two systems for 15yrs now...I have several X series components, but the A series is a step up
across the board, especially in the power supply design.
Mm...I have to agree...I have an A3CR power amp, and it is _definitely_ a step up. I really should plug that bad boy back in, one of these days...or sell it... (except that I want to try that experiment of driving a pair of headphones with the speaker outs with it...)

Too bad they don't make an A-series headphone amp, no?!?!? (Hey, MF, you reading this?!?!?) I would love to hear a choke-regulated solid-state amp...
post #10 of 12
Dam Dusty!
You have a MF A3cr amp collecting dust? I also have A3cr preamp and amp, amazing sound for the price. Are you just listening to the Manley integrated, shame to not use A3cr amp, maybe you need to start a back-up system for your "spare" gear.

I was refering here to the A3 85w integrated (now even more powerful I believe) Yes, Anthony Michaelson should get cracking
on NuVista choke regulated headphone amp to replace X-Can II.
post #11 of 12

No!

Do you want to hear something really sick? The Manley is gathering dust, too. As is the Jolida, which is probably the only one I'll end up keeping.

No, I've been spending 24/7 with the RKV/HD600 combo. I rearranged things when I got the RKV, so the (and this is really going to piss some people off) two Sunfire True Sub Jr.'s are acting as the amp stand (I've never even turned them on since I got the RKV). At some point, I moved the Manley, disconnecting it from the Spendor's, and never got around to reconnecting everything. Alright, yeah, I can't listen to headphones when I get right out of the shower, so it's more like 23/7...minus 8 hours for sleep, leaves 15/7...minus work days...anyway, you get the idea...but other than that, that's what I'm listening to. My point is, why bother, when you have a headphone system as good as I do?
post #12 of 12

Just got a chance to compare Musical Fidelity A1-X (A class, originally launched in 1984, Modified: upgrade 1: http://www.mhennessy1.f9.co.uk/mf_a1/mods.htm and upgrade 2: http://myoldvintagehifi.blogspot.com/2010/11/musical-fidelity-a1x.html and Myryad MXI 1250 (B class), +10 years "younger" integrated amplifier. My setup: Myryad CD player MXC 6000CD, Dali Ikon 6 speakers, Lessloss DFPC power Cables, Silver Clear Day speaker cables in shotgun configuration and Magnet wire inrteconnectors. Audio tracks: LINN records Volume 3 Super Audio collection CD.

 First I shall confess - booth amps are silent and romantic. Second, soundstage is wider in Myryad amp- its more airy and there is definite space between instruments- kind of 3D vividness is here....Musical Fidelity amp brings everything in to smooth plain  2-dimensional  stereo image, indeed very accurate. A1-X adding extra punctuality in lower mids (comparing to Myryad), e.g. dynamics of piano in Claire Marin "He Never Mentioned Love" was more articulated and Barb Junger "Beautiful Life" had better detailed instrumentation. But details are equally present in both amplifiers. Heights, basses where there, and pecisely articulated.

These details (differences) are very minor and evaluating booth speakers I shall say- they are almost similar. And its brings to my conclusion: in 10 years amplifiers of B class of 90's become close to A class amps of late 80's (with technological improvements). I have no vast statistical data but this is the case it in my setup. If could consider cost side: 1700Euro I paid for a new Myryad  (6-7 years ago) and 200 Euro for the vintage A1-X (I bought 2 days ago) - and similar sonic performance the value/money equation shifts towards old school gadgets. I slightly prefer soud quality of Myryad over Musical Fidelity because of extra sense of musical space around me -  I am in the music (not just in front of it). This gives option leave Myryad for main audio setup and move A1-X amplifier for upgrade of desktop audio - as initially intended (anyway I will spend more time there and A1-X vintage marvel definitely will make life more enjoyable).


Edited by Ervins - 1/12/13 at 11:48am
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