Music First Audio: A Smooth Operator

The Music First Audio system, which included the Music First Audio Step-up and Music First Audio Baby Reference preamplifier (in front, in red), helped create a midrange-strong system that, on a recording by Eva Cassidy, sounded very smooth indeed. Favoring the midrange over brilliance in orchestral fare, the system transmitted the natural resonance of horns, and credibly communicated the full and meaty sounds of violins.

Analog first. The turntable was a Triangle Arts Symphony, tonearm a Rega RB-300 with Audio Origami mods, and cartridge a Denon DL103D. The phono preamp, a Conrad Johnson Motif, was set to 10k input impedance, which together with the Music First step-up resulted in a net load on the cartridge of 267 ohms.

Other goodies: AMR CD-77.1 CD player, Audionote AN-E Lexus HE silver wired speakers, Zu Audio Event silver cabling, PS Audio P10 Power Plant, and GIK Acoustics 244 bass traps with Scatter Plates. Oh, and Otari MX5050 Mk. III-2 tape deck and, talk about detail, RMG International Studio Master 911 tape.

Warren_Jarrett's picture

Thank you, Jason, for your complementary comments and nice photo of our Music First Audio display at T.H.E. Newport Show. Those violins you heard, in our room, consistently caused our listeners' jaws to drop, including yours as I remember.

We did indeed achieve a very smooth sound, as a result of the AMR CD player, Denon 103D, and Otari deck as sources... plus the Audionote speakers and Music Reference RM-10 amp, all working well together in this regard. But, in all fairness, the Baby Reference preamp did its job to transparently convey the characters of these components, without adding coloration of its own. In every system which we display our preamp, we don't hear any character (of its own) that it is adding, but rather that it lets the other components convey theirs'.

We offer free in-home demo, so that audiophiles can hear for themselves what their system can sound like with optimum preamp compatibility and neutrality. Our preamp does not impose its own output impedance upon the amplifier. Rather, it matches the source's output impedance when at full volume, and only lower than that as volume is attenuated. No other active or passive technology can claim this. --Warren, Fullerton, CA