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robbie010

Musical Fidelity A1008 opinions

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Super Wammer

Hi all,

I’ve been looking for a powerful amp to run some new Sonus faber venere 2.5’s. I was working on a tight budget (<>£500) and wanting 200 watts. A big ask, I know. 

However, a Musical Fidelity A1008 integrated has come up at £1100, far more than my budget but the credit card is an option. It seems like a monster piece if kit with built-in DAC and phonostage. 

The alternative is a Krell kav-300i with seperate phono stage. 

Anyone used it or heard the MF A1008 and can comment on its performance?

Cheers

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I owned the MF kW550 & the A1008 is reported to be a slightly less powerful version with very similar sound. 
The '550 is a very good amp & MF built-in phono stages are generally very good. 
I would advise you to try it 1st if poss. of course.
 
The  KAV-300i  was a powerful, punchy amp capable of good soundstaging but was a touch lean sounding - so again
do try before you buy.
 

Edited by Von Krolock
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Super Wammer

Cheers Von.

Thrown caution to the wind and bought it. It is a private seller at the other end of the country so a demo was never on the cards. However, I've had loads of MF stuff and like the sound.

The DAC and on-board phono swung it, plus the fact that it has been upgraded by JS Audio and comes boxed with remote and packaging.

Should give the Venere's a run for their money!

:D

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With the JS Audio upgrades you will have a top class amp Simon - a good buy.:^

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Superb buy! It is an excellent unit: I have owned it on two occasions and rate it very highly indeed! With the included phono stage and DAC (based on the XDAC V8) it is great value. Both are great performers, easily competitive with decent £500 'separate' units. All you need to do is add a decent transport and you will have a very good digital front end. The phono stage is a well above average performer on the MM side. If using a MC, I would recommend adding a head amp like the Rothwell Headspace for ultimate MC performance, there is no need for a separate MM phono stage imho. 

The JS Audio mods are hugely worthwhile so I reckon at £1100 you have got yourself a total bargain!

I tried it with both Dynaudio Contour and ProAc Studio speakers. I found it a little too warm with the Dyns for my personal tastes, it was however quite superb with the ProAc Studio speakers, and in particular the 130's, at least for my personal tastes. I reckon it would work superbly well with the ProAc Studio SM100's; my feeling is, together they would make for a very satisfying musical combination.

We all have different tastes, but I have an inkling, in combination with Sonus Faber speakers, the overall sound may be a little overly warm for my personal tastes. On paper, i would of probably recommended the Krell as a better match for the SF's. However, the A1008 is a superb piece and with the JS Audio Mods, you've got yourself a total bargain at that price! If you get the chance, I would highly recommend you try it out with ProAc speakers and in particular models from their Studio range.

Edited by marlew

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Super Wammer

I had its predecessor the A1000 lovely powerful rich sounding amp

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Super Wammer

Thanks all.

All in all a bit of a whirlwind week or two. After deciding to do away with a Kuzma turntable to try and claw back some funds, I’ve ended with a new turntable, new speakers and a new amp!!  Talk about a fresh start!

However, after some research I think I may have got a couple of bargains, as well as some funds back on my old gear and I’m looking forward to giving my new gear a run through its paces. 

Thanks again for advice and comments!

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Super Wammer

So what TT/arm/cart combo did you end up with?? (it's not in your kit list) 

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Had a 1008 for 2 years.  Loved it, but I am a MF fan anyway.  Powerful and weighty.  Reliable too.  The internal dac was good but bettered for detail by an external one later on in it’s stay.  

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I'm currently running a KW550 with ProAc D15's and they sound great to me. I honestly can't fathom some of the criticism leveled at it. Very enjoyable, listenable and immersive. Strange as the D15's hated a Marantz PM-11S2 which used to sound bright at the top end. The Marantz loved Dyns and PMC's though which both sounded great. The 1008 will be excellent imo and the phono stage will be excellent too if my 550 is anything to go by.

Any Krell of that era is great. I thoroughly enjoyed a Kav400xi. I just didn't especially like its looks and, of course no phono stage. Awesome thing though.

I haven't moved the 550 or the ProAc's in five years and that speaks volumes. I swap stuff around in another system but those just sit there. What more can I say? 

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Love my kw750. It just works, and is basically a bigger kw550. Much bigger lol. I've been a huge fan of the proper MF amps since having the TriVista 300  and worked through the range. They make some really cracking stuff higher up the chain, where the budget stuff, to my ears, is good for the shed system. Strange.

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On 1/24/2018 at 12:47, robbie010 said:

The alternative is a Krell kav-300i with seperate phono stage. 

Tried one of those and it was bloody awful sounding.  The test was through the Westies, just because it was passing through my hands at the time, (I didn't actually want it), and it created so much horn colouration through a most unruly bass balance.  Not the sort of amp to use with these, but I take the view that no-matter what, an amplifier should not add 'character' period.  

Do you have to have the DAC?  The latest Rega Brio is well worth trying out on a home dem for anyone on a budget.  Punches well above it's weight for sound per pound and it has a fine MM phono stage.

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5 hours ago, britishcomposers said:

Tried one of those and it was bloody awful sounding.  The test was through the Westies, just because it was passing through my hands at the time, (I didn't actually want it), and it created so much horn colouration through a most unruly bass balance.  Not the sort of amp to use with these, but I take the view that no-matter what, an amplifier should not add 'character' period.  

Do you have to have the DAC?  The latest Rega Brio is well worth trying out on a home dem for anyone on a budget.  Punches well above it's weight for sound per pound and it has a fine MM phono stage.

Westies? The kAV 300i was hard as nails & was a good amp for poking certain types of speakers into life. 

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