i have a love-hate relationship with antony michaelson's musical fidelity (mf). love it because my first mid-fi integrated amp was the mf a100 and it allowed me to peep into high-end in more ways than one. hate it because antony is shrewed man of way too many ideas. the company never stops changing and making new models at such a breakneck speed, most of the latest models have little lineage in terms of both looks, build and technology from its predecessors. the result is no protection of investment for its products and customers failing to catch up.

mf has always been value-for-money. there were still plenty of followers in malaysia for its early products such as the a1 integrated amplifier (the subject of this article). when i was operating a 2nd hand hifi business in 2004, i was shocked to realize just how many audiophiles are (still) playing mf a1!

the first a1 was released in 1985. it produced 20w of class A power. if you are new to this amp, (or its bigger sibling the a100, which i owned in 1988 when i was a budding audiophile in s'pore) - it produced a prodigious amount of heat! the top corrugated plate was so hot that you can practically fry an egg with it! that was the joke then. i am not sure if the reborn a1 is still as hot.

the original a1 sold a whopping 200,000 units worldwide and it propelled mf to overnight stardom. in fact, i dare to say that mf in the next 20 years never quite repeats this feat.

to know a1 is to love a1. the a1 is sweet, warm, full and exciting, all attributes of class A sound. partnered with the right speaker, it sang like no tomorrow. the new a1 has a remote control, an USB port, a LCD display, still with the same striking and unique looks. and unlike the old a1, it does not sound "muddy" when it is pushed to the limits.

GA (global availability) for a1 is mid-april 2008 and the retail price is 999 pound (roughly RM6,000), not exactly cheap. when has classic been cheap?

mr. tony lee
LTB enterprise (subang jaya)


jazzy said...

previusly the rits were the king of intergrated amp

I think the title now is held by the french with Lavardin and Neodio.

Still can't go wrong with British designed Intergrated.I believe this particular MF is manufactured in China.

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...


i have a feeling that my readers are too young to appreciate mf a1 hence the lack of response ;-(

Anonymous said...


Not too young, but rather too high end, I think.

juju said...

I think most people still do not get the value or beuty of int amp

Have a listen to a lavardin ,Gamut ,Neodio or even Sugden intrergrated amp and you will never go back to seperates.

The key is to match the input ,making sure the input of the int amp doesnt get saturated,and use a speaker with Reasonable impedence load.

jules said...

Most europeans and Japanese are moving towards hi-end integrated.
I think in malaysia the bragging factor is still important

jameson said...

yup a1 MF Vs the Yorkshire bred Sugden used to fight for top spot. i personally prefers the Sugden ruggedness but you can't go wrong with either

Bertrand said...

it seems like the new trend is to build an intergrated amp as your flagship amp.

it was started by Lavardin of France,and followed by Kondosan.

now the latest buzzword is the revered Italian Specialist Delta Sigma whohas built a cost no object integrated amp.It is even better than the highly regarded Neodio 150 of france,the brits has a lot to catch!!!!!

Guillame said...

yes bertrand is right ,
I was listening to the delta sigme int driving a manger sp during last yer's CES and thought the sound was ridiculously good.

Neodio also mmakes superb intergrated and together with gamut There are amongst the best amp money can buy.

i get the imp that Int amp is not really popular in Malaysia...

Akhyar said...

Give me integrated amp anytime.
Save me money from buying extra pairs of i/c and p/c... :P

Anyway, being only 30+, I'm a bit young to appreciate this MF A1.

I started my hi-fi journey by appreciating the lower cost Japs evergreen like the Pioneer A400x and Kenwood 3020se.
The first Brit int amp that I purchased is Arcam Delta 290 back in 1995.

Still using integrated amp now although no longer using Brit.

jackie said...

Akhyar a lot of the Japanese brands you mentioned use Class d amplifications,hence the mid-fi sound.

If you want good int amp look for dual-mono design probably biased in class A .

that is when the Magic haoppen....Try the french{Lavardin,Neodio} or the Yougoslav made karan KS1280...you will never buy seperates again,,,,,But don't try to use the to drive Low imp speakers Like Thiel,PMC ,ATC...

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

anyone heard of ASR emitter?

larry said...

ASR emitter Maggie?You sure know your stuff.

To my ears ,better than Ongaku.

Only the Germans are good enought to take on the Japanese.

chester said...

ASR emitter to me is one of all time classics.

I built my whole systems around it?

Do you have it In Malaysia?

You really know the greats ,Maggielurva

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi larry and chester,
no, we don't have ASR in malaysia. but they have it in s'pore. what a shame ;-)