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Musical Fidelity Repair

  • Musical Fidelity A1, B1, repair - £145  (or repair + full recap with higher quality long life electrolytic capacitors -  £179)

  • Musical Fidelity MA50, MA65 - £109, ( or repair + full recap as above - £140 per amp )

  • To enquire further about this service click here to use the contact form 

   

      Long life high temperature Nichicon audio grade electrolytics currently used to replace the budget components usually used on the above models.

      Note - these are not available for the larger PSU capacitors which due to size constraints will be a different brand.

     

      (Please note - the A100/A200 are not repaired here.)

Musical Fidelity A1 Musical Fidelity A1

Buying Used - Musical Fidelity A1,  (typical Ebay prices)

Expect to pay : £125-£175 for an A1 or MA50 with prices approx £50 higher for the A100

 

The A1 has always had a strong following with a distinctive warm tone that sounds very different from almost anything else in it's price range (one of the main reasons I suspect being at the end of this paragraph). Despite it's pleasant sound the build construction is quite atrocious by the standards of today and has nothing in common with the excellent Musical Fidelity equipment produced in recent years which is in a very different league.  In conjunction with variable component quality often pushed close to their limits it has never made for a particularly reliable ownership experience but the unique sound for it's price range almost forgives it's frequent affinity for the workshop bench. Despite the class 'A' label and the ultra pure sound folklore that circulates amongst the audiophile community these are not quite as 'pure' as their reputation might lead you to expect when put through their paces on an audio distortion analyser and a Cyrus One/Two will easily wipe the floor with them by comparison.

 

These are generally accepted by most to be only biased partly into Class A (i.e low volume levels) with the entire top lid acting as a heatsink it does run astonishingly hot and anyone with an ounce of engineering common sense will wince at the temperatures these things attain!  With internal temperatures in excess of 65C adjacent the heatsink do not expect the usual  30 odd year lifespan from electrolytic capacitors (or many other components for that matter!). Almost all A1's seen here in the workshop have at least 25% of their electrolytic capacitors  beginning to suffer from high ESR and falling capacitance (mainly budget 85C rated varieties although occasionally you see a few decent Elna's  and Rubycons mixed in). The PCB suffers from localised hotspots around certain components and thus dark brown burnt  patches are normal. In fact the internal appearance is often more akin to a home constructed kit but don't let that put you off as if you can live with the 20W output they really are a worthwhile buy for a cash strapped audiophile.  As the very early models were simply a sealed box with no ventilation whatsoever the later ones with the vented side panels are a much better used buy. Those with a painted lid/heatsink will shed their paint rather easily (tip - use satin black  VHT engine/caliper enamel to refurbish and you'll enjoy a far more robust coating than original) Also expect noisy volume controls and intermittent input selectors along with various parts of the case often never quite fitting together properly and you won't be dissappointed.  

 

The MA50 mono power amplifier is an A1 minus the preamplifier circuitry, a higher 36V supply and the outputs of left and right channels simply paralleled at the loudspeaker sockets. With 50W output it suffers the same heat related degradation as the A1 and well used examples benefit from a new set of electrolytic capacitors  now that all are over two decades old.

 

If more power is necessary in integrated format you might dare to risk the rarer A100 instead with a genuine 50W minimum available into 8 ohms. The amplifier circuitry is identical to the A1 but it has a split rail 38V dc supply (instead of 24V) and a couple of internal fans fighting a losing battle to dissipate the even higher temperatures that these run at (up to 10C higher than the A1). The case is slightly taller allowing space for the larger toroidal transformer. Reliability is even worse than the A1 with everything stressed more through higher voltages, currents and temperatures and these are not amps to own if you hate things failing on a frequent basis so best avoided! The 60mm 12V AC Papst cooling fans can become noisy with age if not partially dismantled and the sleeve bearing lubricated (note - no direct replacement  is available so if yours are noisy then there is no easy remedy unfortunately).

 

In summary if you hate things failing then don't even consider buying an A1 or an A100! If you can tolerate the potential for unreliability then they will reward you with a sound like no other for the price of a couple of tanks full of petrol!