Musical Fidelity AMS100 power amplifier Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Digital Sources: Ayre Acoustics C-5xeMP & DX-5 universal players; Apple G4 Mac mini running OS10.5.8, iTunes 10, Pure Music 1.80; Shuttle PC with Lynx AES16 and dual-core AMD Athlon processor running Windows 7, Foobar 2000, Adobe Audition 3.0; dCS Debussy, Benchmark DAC1, Logitech Transporter D/A converters; Halide S/PDIF Bridge, Musical Fidelity V-Link USB-S/PDIF converters.
Preamplifiers: Simaudio Moon Evolution P-8, Ayre Acoustics K-5xeMP.
Power Amplifiers: Classé CT-M600, MBL Reference 9007 monoblocks.
Loudspeakers: Audience Clairaudient 2+2, BBC LS3/5a, Harbeth P3ESR, Linn Majik 140, Thiel SCS4T, Vivid B-1
Cables: Digital: DH Labs Silver Sonic AES/EBU; AudioQuest Coffee, Belkin Gold USB; prototype AudioQuest FireWire 400. Interconnect (balanced): AudioQuest Wild. Speaker: AudioQuest Wild, Cardas Neutral Reference, Audience Au24e. AC: PS Audio Lab, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Celestion Si 24" speaker stands; Target TT-5 equipment racks; Ayre Acoustics Myrtle Blocks; ASC Tube Traps, RPG Abffusor panels; Shunyata Research Dark Field cable elevators; PS Audio Power Plant 300 at 90Hz (preamp), Audio Power Industries 116 Mk.II & PE-1, APC S-15 AC line conditioners (not power amps). AC power comes from two dedicated 20A circuits, each just 6' from the breaker box.—John Atkinson

Musical Fidelity Ltd.
US distributor: Tempo Distribution LLC
PO Box 541443
Waltham, MA 02454-1443
(617) 314-9227

soulful.terrain's picture

Holy smokes! that is a beautiful beast. I'll take it!

John Atkinson's picture

I'll take it!

You won't be able to lift it :-)

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

soulful.terrain's picture


No doubt John. Geez, where did they pack in all that weight? Couldn't be the chassis alone. Or, could it?

Nevertheless, I can envision hefting that behemoth up the front steps... with the Ambulance arriving shortly thereafter. :-)



John Atkinson's picture

Geez, where did they pack in all that weight? Couldn't be the chassis alone. Or, could it?

4 power transformers + 4 bifilar-wound chokes =  "Heavy Iron"

But all that for 100Wpc = equally heavy silliness!

But it did sound gorgeous.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

soulful.terrain's picture


No wonder it's so heavy.

John, Even though I have been involved in this hobby for quite some time, I still consider myself a novice when it comes to the more intricate aspects of Hi-Rez audio.

How come some of the best sounding amps are the 100 w/ch. amps as opposed to the mega watters in the 300-600 w/ch. range?

Am I wasting my time just going for the really powerful amplifiers?

Your opinion matters tremendously to me.

Thank you,


volvic's picture

You can turn off your baseboard heaters in the winter and rely on this baby to keep you warm.  Like you mentioned in the article I would imagine summer listening might be kept to a minimum.  It is beautiful to look at though and no doubt even more beautiful to listen to.  Doubt I will ever hear it at a hi-fi show though due to its excessive weight.  

Soothsayerman's picture

This silly product does prove the corollary true...

If you want to make a small fortune in high end, start with a very large fortune.

billyb's picture


I can't help but wonder why there were no other amplifiers in the same classification mentioned in this review. In fact, the premise of the article and Antony Michaelson seem to imply there are not other class A, 100 watt or more, solid state amps on the market.

     Am i missing something obvious here? Surely companies such as Sugden, Krell, Plinius, and Pass Labs all have current offerings similar in specification.  Wouldn't it be useful to compare something to this amp? If I were looking to buy it I would certaintly be doing just that.

John Atkinson's picture

I can't help but wonder why there were no other amplifiers in the same classification mentioned in this review

That is a fair point. However, comparisons can only legitimately be done with products with which the reviewer is intimately familiar. In the case of the AMS-100, this was the case with the Classe and MBL monoblocks. Though both are more powerful than the Musical Fidelity, they do bracket its price.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

serdarsenturk's picture

I had bought AMS50 and primo preamplifier one month ago.  That was a demo unit that I had bought from the distributor. I had installed the system this week. Main complaint for me is the audible noise coming from the transformer of the AMS50. At night when there is silence you can hear the hum coming from the transformer. Also no input noise on the speakers when AMS primo is fully on is at audible levels.  I think that above issues are negative points for an amplifier, but these have not been pointed out in the review. Generally when read the rewieves I never do read any comment about the above issues. IMHO these two issues are important and must be mentioned.


darkmatter's picture

A question for JA

In your view John, could the AMS 100 drive a 1 ohm load such as the Apogee Scintilla?
A review published in the UK magazine HiFi News /RR March 2011 rated it at 660 watts into a 1 ohm load, but this was under dynamic conditions with 28 amps of clean (<1% THD) current over 10 msec.

I will have to dig out old reviews / measurements of the KSA50 / 100 to see what their current delivery was and to see how the KSA100 compares to the AMS 100 in this regard, and thus its suitability as a potential Scintilla driver?