Broken Music Hall MMF 5 coming my way! Advice?
Sep 16, 2009 at 9:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

frogstomp88

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Hello everyone,

I recently found a MMF5 but its going to need a little work. Firstly, I'm about to spend $150 on it. However, it has a bent tonearm and needs a new cartridge. I'm looking for advice on:
Price point (is $150 too much for the damage)
A replacement tonearm
A good cartridge in addition to the Goldring

I've looked at a few sites for minor modifications and such. I plan on making my own interconnects and a few other DIY projects. This will be my first (entry level) audiophile TT and I'm really excited to start 'experiencing' analog.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 6:39 AM Post #2 of 4

NightOwl

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A new Music Hall 5.1 turntable sells for around $850. and up. The majority of that cost is in the tonearm.

The MMF5 came with an aluminum arm or an optional carbon fiber arm. Since that arm is bent, it's the aluminum arm. The carbon fiber arm would break rather than bend.
I haven't seen the Music Hall arms for sale separately, but the Pro-Ject arms are virtually the same. A new replacement aluminum Pro-Ject 9 arm sells for around $600. I would think that a second hand arm (if you can find one) would be $150. or so cheaper.

The Music Hall's tonearm cutout is a Linn mounting geometry, so any arm with the same geometry like a Linn Akito or Audioquest PT6 would physically work. What it would sound like, I don't know.

If you're sure that:
a) You like the sound of the Goldring cartridges.
b) The Goldring cartridge is undamaged and has lots of life left.
c) You're willing to hunt for a second hand arm or use a lesser arm.
d) You feel comfortable installing a new arm and cartridge.

Then the table might be worth it.

I personally think that the Music Hall's value is as a package. I'm not that enamored of the table (or the Rega for that matter) on its own.
At that cost I'd be more inclined to look for a second hand Rega Planar 3 with an RB300 arm and the cartridge of your choice.
 
Sep 21, 2009 at 2:16 AM Post #3 of 4

frogstomp88

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Any idea on where I might be able to get a Project arm because the Linn's look rather expensive. Also, there isn't a cartridge...

I have an experienced buddy who would be more than willing to help out with the arm/cartridge replacement.

Still questioning the value...
 
Sep 21, 2009 at 11:10 AM Post #4 of 4

NightOwl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by frogstomp88 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Any idea on where I might be able to get a Project arm because the Linn's look rather expensive. Also, there isn't a cartridge...

I have an experienced buddy who would be more than willing to help out with the arm/cartridge replacement.

Still questioning the value...



IMO I don't think it's good value.
I've never seen or heard a Music Hall turntable with an aftermarket tonearm. This leads me to believe that the value of the table is as a package with its own arm, otherwise more people would be experimenting with different tonearms on it.

A used MMF5 with tonearm recently sold on Audiogon for $400., which means that you would have to find a tonearm in the $300. range, max, to not exceed market value. You could wait and look for a used complete MMF5 or older Rega Planar 3 which both sell in the $400. range.

If you really want the table and can negotiate the price down to $100., then the tonearm in the link below would fit the MMF5. The quality is comparable to the original arm and it would probably work better with moving coil cartridges than the original. I like the Scorpio and think it's equal to the Rega RB300, but the caveat is that I've never heard it on the Music Hall table although I thnk it would be ok..

AudiogoN ForSale: Helius Scorpio

You could also look for an Audioquest PT6 arm which show up on Audiogon frequently. These sell in the $200. range. I don't think it's quite as good as the original arm, but would fit the table and should still sound ok.

Once you get an arm, then you can get a cartridge to match.
 

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