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PunkJr
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Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated

Hello
This is my first post here and i just subscribed to Stereophile today. i am from australia and live in a remote location that makes it hard to audition components. i am arranging a trip to sydney to do just this but want to do as much howework as possible before i go.

i have krix neuphonix speakers which are 4 ohm, 250 w, 90db@1m. my current pre/power is a rotel 1068/1075 combo and i want to improve my 2 channel performance. the 1075 produces about 200wrms per channel with 4 ohm speakers and i don't think this is enough for my neuphonix, however a preamp for me is the most important upgrade. i am now thinking of a musical fidelity a5 integrated to get a double hit improvement. i am not sure what the members think of my current power amp but if it is enough grunt, i would sooner get a seperate pre amp. does anyone have any suggestions for me?
regards
tom

Soniq SD 42"- plasma, Thomson DTI1500 - hd set top box, Yamaha S1500 - sacd player, Cambridge Audio 640c - cd player, Rotel RDV1060 DVD-A/V player, Rotel RSP1068 - pre-amp, Rotel RMB1075 - power amp, Krix Neuphonix - front speakers, Krix KDX-C - centre speaker, Krix KDX-M - surround speakers, VAF Research LFE-03 - sub woofer, Neumann TM-01 - headphone power amplifier, Sennheiser HD 580 - headphones, QED Qunex 3 phono interconnects, QED Silver Special 25th Anniversary Edition cables

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated

You first need to look at what spl you are listenting to most of the time, hopefully @ less then 90db. Your speakers are able to produce that sound pressure (loud) with 1 watt. I am curious as to why you think your current amp(s) are not enough? Find (borrow or buy) a Radio Shack spl meter and use it. It is not totally accurate, but it will give you some idea as to what spl you are living at. There was a link here about the acuracy of the new digital meter. If I can find it I will send it along.

I would think the MF gear would be an upgrade, but I am not familar with those speakers so I am shooting somewhat in the dark. Another member may be familiar with those speakers and may comment as well.

Do you find that the Yamaha SACD/CD player an improvement over the Cambridge 640? I am curious as to why you use both, unless you feel the Cambridge betters the Yamaha on CDs.

If possible I would plan on carrying the speakers with you and audition them with the MF at the dealer. With such a long drive making a mistake here would not be good. You may want to take one of your cd players with you also.

If you end up with the MF integraded you may find yourself upgrading your front end faster than you think. You are quickly upgrading and changing the "weakest link" in your system.

Regards and welcome.

PunkJr
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated

thanks jim
i would suspect that i would listen to music at around the 90db mark but sit back about 12ft from the speakers. occasionaly i will turn up the volume for a symphony or piano concerto and play at about 100db. considering a real symphony would reach about 110db, i don't think this is excessive however i'm only guessing at my levels. for my speakers to play at these levels, i've calculated that i would need 200w (which i have), but i would like to get some head room with my amp.

let's assume that my multichannel power amplifier has enough grunt. will buying a stereo power amplifier with the same grunt, from the same company, from the same line, produce a better sound or is it entirely up to the pre amplifier as for the sound stage, imaging, detail etc?

RGibran
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated

You have a very nice system there IMHO. I'm having a hard time finding fault in your pre/power or speakers. I don't know what it is you feel your missing. I'm guessing your looking at pre/power since you feel your lacking something from both the Yamaha and Cambridge, and then assuming it must be further down the line. Just from an outsiders point of view, and strickly on paper, I would look at the front end for greatest improvements.

RG

PunkJr
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated

i don't use the yamaha now. i use the ca azur for cd's and the rotel 1060 for dvd-audio. the improvement in sound from the yamaha to the ca was incredible.

do you mean cd player when you talk about front end? the rotel 1068 is a great ht preamp but i thought that a good 2channel pre or integrated amp would do wonders for my system. i guess i'm after more grunt to give me a bit moore oomph and tightness in the bass. so therefore i thought a good integrated like the musical fidelity a5 would give me a better sound stage, seperation, detail and more grunt. am i right?

Monty
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated

Overall, I think the MF would be a step in the right direction for better 2 channel music. However, I think the speakers are probably current hungry as you suspect...especially given your preference in listening level.

You really have several paths to choose from to improve your 2 channel performance. I think a better 2 channel preamp would be a significant upgrade, but might not address your power issue. A bigger amp would address you power issue, but would probably still leave you a little weak in the preamp section.

If you opt for the MF without a home audition you are rolling the dice a little bit. It could be perfect, or it could completely upset your tonal balance and musical preference. Try to arrange a return option if things don't work out satisfactory for you.

Since this is going to be a bit of a trip for you, consider making out a list of things you like about your sound and things you dislike about it. Make a diagram of your listening room, speaker positions, furniture and dimensions along with what cables and interconnects you are using to take along to the dealer. If he is a competent dealer, he can make suggestions that are more likely to address your particular needs and this information will be very useful to him.

Sometimes moving speakers to take advantage of room boundaries and simply using better cables and interconnects can have dramatic affects that are far cheaper than new components.

Keep us posted and welcome aboard, mate.

PunkJr
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated

thanks monty. my dilemma is that i have $2500 to spend and i know that i will get a better preamp stage in a dedicated pre than i will in an integrated (a5 integrated vs a5 pre) but by getting the integrated, i will have better amplification. i currently use a rotel 1075 multichannel amp for my 2 channel aswell but i'm just not sure it has the headroom for my power hungry speakers. i also plan on getting a rega p3 turntable aswell if this makes any difference to the equation.

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