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Thread: want another amp - which?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: Lincs

    Posts: 979
    I'm Philip.

    Default want another amp - which?

    I am really enjoying my little dulci set amp.
    But fancy something to put besides it.

    SHort list is -

    marantz pm4
    ming da piccalo set
    musical fidelity A1
    Audio innovation 700/800 (more pricey)
    quad 303

    The speakers will be JBL L96 or Kef coda III.

    How would you rank those?

    Can the musical fidelity hold it's own?
    Last edited by philv; 10-04-2021 at 20:29.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: cheltenham

    Posts: 709
    I'm matt.

    Default

    Having a Quad 306 myself I'm obviously going to suggest Quad. Compared to other amps I've owned, The first thing you notice is how small it is. It's got tight, deep bass that's nice and full. The midrange is open and full of life and projects nicely into the room, and the treble is very smooth. This is with a Little Bear passive preamp though. I've heard people say that Quads own preamps can sound a bit dull.

    If you do get a Quad, it's worth getting the Dada service kit for it. I don't know about the 303, but the 306 is an absolute doddle to service. Every component is numbered on the board and it only takes two screws to access the underside.

    I haven't owned or heard any of the other amplifiers on your list though...

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 46,514
    I'm Geoff.

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    I also like the Quad 306, the sound is as Matt says and I much prefer it to the 303. It would sound great with the JBLs.

    I wouldn't want the MF A1, they tend to have reliability issues,

    Audio Innovations amps struck me as not very well built.
    Repeat after me 'I must not look on ebay! I must not look on ebay! I must not look on ebay! I must not look on ebay!

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 30,969
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    I'd avoid the original MF A1 as it has serious reliability issues.

    I'd also avoid the Audio Innovations as I don't rate them at all.

    The Marantz and QUAD 303 are worth considering although agree with Matt that the QUAD 306 probably a better option than either.

    Don't know anything about the Ming Da but my general rule for cheap Chinese valve amps is to avoid.

    The JBL L96 are better speakers than the Coda III although I do like the Coda III. I'd expect all the amps on the list to work fine with either speaker.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Audiolab 6000CDT* Topping E30 * Philips 22AH380 pre-amp * NAD C320BEE power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 *

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 25,038
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    The Quad 303 is an old but good sounding design, and like most Quad gear they are very reliable. The BBC used dozens of them.

    If you do find one, it is a good idea to get either Dada (in Belgium) or NET Audio (in the UK) to give it the 'once over'; the capacitors will most likely to need replacing.

    The Quad 306 is a more recent design that is generally reckoned to be a very good amplifier.
    Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Near Saffron Walden, Essex

    Posts: 6,694
    I'm Dave.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I'd avoid the original MF A1 as it has serious reliability issues.

    I'd also avoid the Audio Innovations as I don't rate them at all.

    The Marantz and QUAD 303 are worth considering although agree with Matt that the QUAD 306 probably a better option than either.

    Don't know anything about the Ming Da but my general rule for cheap Chinese valve amps is to avoid.

    The JBL L96 are better speakers than the Coda III although I do like the Coda III. I'd expect all the amps on the list to work fine with either speaker.
    I go along with that. The only amp I would consider from that list is the Quad.

    Which pre-amp will be used ?

  7. #7
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: Lincs

    Posts: 979
    I'm Philip.

    Default

    Thanks for the replies.

    I am using a tisbury mk 2 pre.

    I may give a quad 306 a go if i can find a nice serviced example.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 2,889
    I'm Phil.

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    Ming da has the advantage of an excelled dealer in Malvern, his rooms always sound superb at shows imho. He really knows how to get the best out of Ming da

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: London

    Posts: 290
    I'm David.

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    Ming Da have excellent build quality and do not count as 'cheap Chinese amps in their UK spec guise. I recently serviced a Quad 306 to Dada specs and was under-whelmed by its sound. Much better was an A and R Arcam 60 given a makeover or indeed a Quad 303 as was mentioned. There's nought wrong with a serviced AI 700/800 and with my choke mod that would be the best-sounding of all by a considerable margin.
    David

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2014

    Location: Solihull

    Posts: 681
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hifinutt View Post
    Ming da has the advantage of an excelled dealer in Malvern, his rooms always sound superb at shows imho. He really knows how to get the best out of Ming da
    Damn Right!! First class bloke
    Tangerine LP12,Naim Aro, Benz Wood
    Voyd Valdi AN Arm 1 V2 and Denon MC
    Audiomeca Talisman Highly Modded
    Audiomeca Kreatura &,SW1X DAC1
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    Hovland Radia
    Quad FM4,RWA Cassabria + LCD 3
    Wilson Benesch Actors
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