Cables for Musical Fidelity/Dynaudio system?'s the problem. I have the new Musical Fidelity X-150 amp and X-Ray CD player.
I've just tried out some Dynaudio 52SE speakers, along with Tara Labs Reference Generation 2 interconnects and speaker cables.
The sound is bloated and, to my ears far to heavy in the mids, obscuring highs and most fine texture. Take my word for it, I've tried every positioning option. The sound is like having a loudness control on all the time. I suspected the speakers were to blame. I burned them in some more, but nothing changed.
I contacted the dealer and he arranged for me to hear the exact same setup at his showroom, but this time with B&W 805 speakers. I expected greater detail and clarity but to my amazement the sound was very similar. Again bloated and flabby. This suggested to me the amp or cable was to blame.
The dealer said it must be the amp. He demonstrated this by changing the Musical Fidelity for a Krell and keeping everything else the same.
The difference was astonishing. The bloat disappeared totally and the highs were far clearer (but not harsh). This was how I knew the CD I'd brought for audition purposes should sound.
Knowing that the Dynaudios at home sounded similar to the B&W with the Musical Fidelity/Tara Labs combo, the obvious (maybe too obvious) conclusion was that the substitution of another amp could be better for the Dynaudios too. BUT...
The problem I have with all this is that the dealer was very keen to sell me a Krell system and wasn't too interested in investigating the cables. I mean, could silver cables (for example) bring the best out of the Musical Fidelity and remove the objectionable heavy mids and allow some sparkle up top?
Before I dismiss the rest of the system, I'd like to know if people's experience leads them to believe the Tara Labs cables are a bad match for this setup. Unfortunately, the dealer sells only Tara Labs cables so I had no chance to compare others.
I would really like the Musical Fidelity system to sound acceptable - it's a totally neat combination and I'm certain it's capable of more than the dull sound I've heard so far.
Any thoughts on this?
I have a MF A308 cd into a TriVista int. amp. I use all Homegrown Audio Silver Lace (IC and speaker) into N802s. Very satisfied.
Can you get hold of Kimber? I use a 4TC\8TC biwire combination between Musical Fidelity X-A200 monoblocs and Harbeth Compact 7 speakers. Both these products have a full bass, but the balance is just right. If you cannot biwire, try the 4TC because the 8TC can overwhelm some systems in the midbass. Good luck!
well.... the krell is a great amp.

you are comparing apples to oranges. it is very typical ( the british audio audiophiles are notorius for using a smaller speaker and a HUGH QUALITY(overkill amp). It really opens the speakers up ( the krell was a killer on the celestion 600/700 series).

I think you can do as better by upgrading the amp to a classe, muse mono, pse,BAT, CJ, ARC- great amps at a more resonable price and upgrade your interconnects with the money you save.

if you want to try speaker cables and ic's i would suggest the cardas neutral / audience au 24. they are very neutral and let you know how your components sound.

hope that helps,


I use all Synergistic Research cabeling. I have tried the A308 with a pair of Dynaudio with execelent results.

See if a dealer won't let you borrow a pair of IC's and speaker cables to try first.

You may find your system to be to bright if the cables are not burned in.

Good Luck

Remember to take the system as a whole.
It may be the MF. I'm not familiar with the X-150 but had a Musical Fidelity A300 on trial for over a month with Dynaudio Audience 70s and had a very similar experience. Break in was not an issue as the MF was a demo unit.

The mids were way over bloated and bass was not exactly tight & exaggerated. The signature on the MF remained unchanged during the trial period. Cabling changes in my system did not solve the problems which did not come as a surprise. BTW, I also tried silver ICs (HG Silver Lace) and nada!

Keep listening and you'll end up with a much better match for your Dyns. Next time around, perhaps your dealer will allow you to test drive the gear in your system.

Thanks to you all for your input,
I do have some positive news – I tried some Nordost Red Dawn (interconnects and speaker cables) and there has been a BIG improvement. Everything tighter and more extended. They have only had a few hours play and I'm hoping they will open up some more with break in (they sound quite forward just now), but the veil of boomy mids that bloated everything has been cut quite dramatically.
I have to give it longer and I'd say there is room for improvement (female voice strikes me as a little hard thus far), but at least I feel there is a basis for judging what I'm hearing now. Before, it was simply horrible.
I guess that, with this combination of equipment at least, the Nordost has gone a long way to rescuing a problem that the Tara cables only seemed to accentuate.
By the way, I heard that the Tara Reference Gen. 2 (which is the cable I used) is to be discontinued imminently. A replacement, unshielded cable is due to replace it very soon.
I just tried them this weekend with my Canton Ergo 900s and they sounded great. I was about to order the pair. I was just doing some last minute research and found your post which makes me think I should wait and try the NAD C162, 272, 542 trio before my order goes out. Did you try any other combos or trios ? I tried the Rotell tri in the same price range, forgot the models, but they were sad.
I have both the CD and Int Amp by Musical Fidelity that you speak of. I use Ref 3A speakers (Royal Masters) and for cable and interconnects I use Nordost Blue Heaven. If you can't find heaven with your musical fidelity don't look for new hardware, the problem is somewhere else. I have had Jadis Tubes that don't sound as musical as this system.