Music Hall Audio MMF-7.3 turntable The Maple Platform

Sidebar 3: The Maple Platform

While preparing this review, I felt that the sound of the Music Hall-Goldring combination, while meticulous and superbly illuminated, could be improved, especially in the all-important (for me) area of weight. My Kuzma player is as powerful as George Patton, a mighty warrior of solid-rocket–ready, testosterone-fueled muscle. Surely there was a way to amp up the Music Hall to more closely resemble "Old Blood and Guts" rather than Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers), from Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. . . ? I removed the IKEA Aptitlig bamboo board from beneath the Making Merry Fast-7.3, and replaced it with a Maple Platform: a 2"-thick board of solid, "ready-to-be-finished" maple ($75) from those purveyors of tips and tweaks, Mapleshade Records (footnote 1).

Again, the difference was instantaneous. The Maple Platform removed the shiny haze from the '7.3's music making, correcting its overabundance of "air" and lack of low-end fundamentals. The Platform subtly shifted the turntable's tonality to reveal more bass heft and textural gravitas. Bass and baritone notes, be they from bass drums, violas, electric or acoustic bass, or even journeyman jazz singer Johnny Hartman, were still relatively light-footed, yet more ample and of deeper tone than before the platform switch. The MMF-7.3 still presented music with a subtle hand, but weight, pace, forward movement, and flow were improved, making each listening session a treasure hunt through familiar worlds.—Ken Micallef

Footnote 1: Mapleshade Records, 871 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Tel: (888) 236-2753. Web:
Armour Home Electronics Ltd. UK
Distributor: Music Hall Audio
108 Station Road
Great Neck, NY 11021
(516) 487-3663

Anton's picture

I have a friend with that cartridge and I thought it sounded good. I can't explain such a poor perception of it. Could it be a dislike of the Ortofon "house sound" thing?

Anyway, if I were in the market for a table in that range, the review would put it at the top of my list. I think Roy Hall just has a grumpy-old-man persona to maintain. It was very well written and gave me a solid idea of what I would expect from the table.

Bill Leebens's picture

It's only fair!

Anton's picture

Maybe next time I see you!

Cheers, amigo.

tonykaz's picture

You should've asked for various features to be explained.

I went to your Web page and read a long list of desirable features that I didn't notice in the review.

A Piano Lacquer finish? Is it actually as good looking as it is in the snaps?, very nice Curb appeal for the Mrs.

Sorbothane, multi layer plinth, 22 oz platter, hmm, does the Motor have Quartz speed control ( to what level of accuracy? ), does it have Litz wire to those GOLD RCAs on the back?, what is the Arm resonance freq.?, what cartridge compliance is ideal?, will it work ok on wooden floors? ( LINN LP-12 will bounce when folks walk around ) .

I would expect a reviewer to be properly informed, am I asking too much?

Of course the reviewer might've called and talked to you!

Both Guilty, shared 50/50!

Having said that, you certainly had me looking at your web page and I'm not an Analog Man, since 1985.

I was in the Audio Business long ago, I think I met you a couple of times, rather pleasant memory of you considering you're a Brit.

Tony in Michigan

ps. Can you pleeeeeze send Nigel Farge back home, he's causing a bit of a ruckus round these parts. ( but then, maybe you don't want him either )

Catcher10's picture

I don't have a "7.3", but rather a 7.1 I purchased 4yrs ago and last year upgraded the 9c arm to the 9cc and added a Cruise Control. Essentially I made a 7.3 from my 7.1

I have had zero desire to change tables in the past 4yrs, or now in the future. Having owned many tables in the past 30yrs, this design has given me the best sound retrieval from my LPs....Period! It has taken many cartridge upgrades and each time I have experienced a better sound, I run a Lyra Delos on it now and am beyond satisfied with the higher end performance. I would love a mmf-11.1 table but cannot afford that model, I'd like to think one day!!

I have communicated with Roy Hall via email several times, and every time he has been more than cordial and very prompt in his responses. When I first received my 7.1, I was having an issue with setup, I emailed him and within 20min I had several responses...BTW it was a Saturday afternoon. I don't get the dislike of him....just me though.

I love my table.....

Eoldschool's picture

First of all, the Ortofon 2M Bronze is hardly a budget and mediocre cart. Sure compared to a $1000, it may be "budget", but cost never equates to quality. Most folks do not run 4 digit carts either, so that bit is skewered.
Secondly, it should have been pointed out that an MC cart (in the case of the Goldring) is a different animal to an MM cart and each have their good and bad, but both are fine for the job.
Third, different tonearms are compatible with different carts. For instance, I put a Shure 97xMe on my Denon DP47f and it was awful no matter what I did with my analog front. It was just not compatible. Swapped it with a 2M Bronze and night and day. In fact, I learned that the 2M Blue would be an even better choice for the Denon tonearm on that table as would the Denon 103 for a MC cart.
Fourth-You don't mention whether you are using a phono preamp or not and if so it likely adjustable to which you can make the cart behave differently.
Fifth- did you try changing the platter mat?
None of these important things were mentioned and therefore your review is skewered in a certain direction.
Yes, there are many fine tables out there under $2000. Even the lowly Music Hall MF2.2 can handle better carts than it comes with. However, when you think about just that fact alone not to mention others, the MF2.2 isn't all that lowly. The MF7.3 of course has better refinements and such and is just as good a choice as any other table in the range.
It's the beauty of analog, the fact that one can simply change the mat let alone anything else and get a completely different sound, a sound the way the individual likes it.

George Napalm's picture

I received the October issue of the magazine and noticed that Music Hall MMF-7.3 is listed as Class B component. But despite being the cheapest turntable in this category it doesn't have a "$$$" mark. Was it placed in B category by mistake?

Bobbersound's picture

Can anyone tell me just how much better this mmf7.3 is compared to the Ikura and mmf5.3 tables im interested in the best sound for least money i wish not to waste money for little gain, the Bronze cart is what interested me about the 7.3 over the other two which come with the blue cartridge how much of an upgrade is it ????

otaku's picture

Hi. This 'table seems to be competitive in price and features with the Marantz TT-15S1. Has anyone here listened to both of them? Is it correct that the MMF goes in Class B and the TT in Class C? Is it due to a difference in the tonearms? Or cartridges? Or motor/suspension?