CD Player Recommendation - Music Hall MMF25


Having just sold mine, and with ABSOLUTELY no affiliation to the company, I would like to throw out a formal recommendation of the Music Hall MMF25 CD player.

In my opinion, this player is THE BEST BARGAIN IN HIGH END AUDIO TODAY.

Over the course of two plus years, I lived happily with this player. The cosmetics, while not spectacular, were nice enough. It won't win any beauty contests in my mind, but neither will it probably be off putting as its big brother the Shanling might be over the long run. Build quality and solidity were commendable for any real world CD player, but at its price, exceptional. I never once encountered anything that approached less than 100% reliability.

However, this is a hobby where sonis rule overall. In this area, the Music Hall really shines. At the $600 retail price, there is nothing that comes remotely close. I have listened to the Cambridge old and new players, low to midlevel Carys, the Rega Planet and Jupiter, Jolidas old and new(JD100), Linn Genki, Musical Fidelity A3 variants, Rotel players, and a whole raft of other players in the affordable category. None has ever surpassed it.

My friend, Michael(Sufentanil) and I A/B'd it against the very, very nice CAL Alpha/Delta, and the MMF25 came oh so close to a player that cost six times as much. The CAL was subtly, yet definitively better.

And, my buddy, the doctor(mechans) here owns two players, a Music Hall MMF25 and a Jolida JD100 which costs 50% more. Guess which one is in his personal system? Yes, the Music Hall. The Jolida resides in his wife's system.

I have come into a much more expensive player, the Granite 657, offering both tube(variable) and solid state(fixed) outputs. It costs $3000, and believe me is a bargain at that price. The solid state output offers a very relaxed, analog sound, with great bass. The tube section adds a lot more zing and shimmer, giving it a beautiful, yet exciting sound. Which is preferable comes down to personal tastes, but it is TRULY like having two very different machines, each of them outstanding in their own right.

It took me a while to decide which player I would keep, that is how good the Music Hall actually is. In the end, it took a new pair of very special tube monoblocks to finally push me in the direction I went. It was not an easy decision as to which player to keep, but I ended up keeping the outstanding Granite 657.

Every product has its shorcomings, and the biggest of the Music Hall was the awful remote I used. Other flaws were lack of very powerful deep bass, which I complain about with 99% players, and a step back from the refinement of the best players. Almost all digital does not have the flow of analog to my ears, and this player is no exception. That is a mightily short list from this mightily critical audiophile.

I would like to say that anyone looking for a great CD player who is not working with a large amount of money should definitely consider a Music Hall MMF25, unmodified!

I completely agree that the player is an excellent bargain. However, you should hear it after Dan Wright does his magic with it.

The Teac C-1D, at US$199, uses the same DAC as the Granite 657, a Burr Brown PCM1710U and is an excellent sounding player. In my system it was slightly dark, but changing the OPA2604 dual op amps to Browndog adaptors with OPA627AUs made the top end balance equal to my Oracle with a Sumiko Talisman Sapphire and made the already excellent and deep soundstage even bigger. Strangely, there's a review on the net of it describing its harsh, bright top end. I think that person must have gotten a defective unit. He also mentioned a noise that it made. Mine is dead quiet and sounds amazing for its price.
Thanks for the insight Mattybumpkin! Can you also let me know, either here or via e - mail -, the approximate cost of the mods Dan did? Dan seems to be one of the "good modders" out there. If the matter is one you view in more of a private way, I more than understand. Thank you, Joe.
I fully agree with your recommendationd of the Music Hall MMF25 CD Player. I bought mine in February of 2002 and from the very start I've enjoyed it. Right out of the box, the Music Hall sounded very smooth yet detailed - and improved with use. And prior to buying it I had given several of the usual suspects a listem including the Cambridges and the Rega Planet - which reminded me of a very old VCR with it's top CD loading.
Though I'm also looking to upgrade to possibly one of the newer Classe models, I'll be keeping the Music Hall at home in my second home office system. It's a true "keeper".
By the way I'm a big McIntosh fan - and the Music Hall is a very decent match with McIntosh electronics.
You are oh, so right Avideo.

I was more or less in the same position, having a second system that I considered keeping the MMF25 for. However, my wife liking the convenience of the Sony SCD-C333ES 5 disc carousel and its SACD capability won out despite the fact that the MMF25 is clearly superior on Redbook CD. But, the Sony has a nice, smooth, rich sound that I am more than impressed with, coming from a company many do not feel builds adequate gear.
Hmm, I really hated that player. Sounded pretty much the same as the cheap AMC CD8b I compared it with, thin and brittle. I since moved on to a Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 which blows them both away for not much more than the Music Hall. I expect that the Jolida is similar.
I have not listened to many cdp's but my ears tell me what I like - definition, clarity, depth, staging. I listen to wide range of music types. I have been listening to Rotel 1070 with a Rotel 120wpc amp. I happen to come across rave reviews on Music Hall CD25 Modified so I called upon "partsconnexion" to modify and purchase.

What an incredible cdp. Though Rotel 1070 is not a slouch in sound fidelity, the Music Hall clearly is a better sounding cdp in terms of slightly better clarity and sound staging. It's a keeper and highly recommend it.

Now I am in search for more power in an amp (short-listed to Bryston 4BST) to complement the cdp with an existing set of KEF Q65.