It was the Stereophile Budget Component of the year several years back. Since then, a lot more competition has shown up and the price of the MMF7.1 has gone up. I no longer think it's a "best in its price class" table any more (if it ever was). The current price has gotten too close to VPI Scout territory, which is a table in another league entirely. In addition, Rega, Michell, Marantz, Clearaudio, and Sota (to name a few) offer compelling alternatives at similar prices.
Disclaimer: Former MMF7 owner, now a VPI owner.
I also noticed today that Music Direct is selling the VPI Scoutmaster at 25% off.
I agree with Tfkaudio. I had one and for what I paid a few years ago ($800) it was decent but not exceptional. At today's asking price you can do much better! In fact my Technics SL-1200MK2 sounds better to my ears!
I cannot compare the 7.1 to other turntables. I have had one for several years. It is reliable, spot on speed every time I check it, the cartridge and tonearm still align perfectly (from the factory). There may be better. I like the reliability factor.
The Music Hall mmf-7.1 and the VPI Scout are not in the same league because the Scout now lists for $2100 and the mmf-7.1 lists for $1300 (without cartridge). That's over 60% more money to buy a Scout; I would expect it to be in a different league. The question then is: Should I go ahead and spend more money for an even better turntable? If you consider what's available in the range of $2100 then I'd also look at the Music Hall mmf-9.1 (without cartridge), the Pro-Ject RM 9.1 or PerspeX, or even the the Avid Diva II with the Jelco arm for another $400. I have no experience with any of these tables but they're the ones I'd look at if I were upgrading my mmf-7 right now. (I'm not, and I'd probably look at turntables another notch up if I were.)
If you don't want to spend the extra money, the mmf-7.1 with the Pro-Ject 9cc carbon tonearm is a decent turntable for the money in my opinion. My mmf-7 (with the Pro-Ject 9 aluminum arm) is still going strong and sounds great with a DV-20XL cartridge. I eventually would like to upgrade but the mmf-7 has allowed me to experiment with cartridges and phono preamps and learn the finer nuances of cartridge alignment and cartridge loading by being responsive enough for me to hear the differences each time. If you have the extra money, there are certainly better tables, but the mmf-7.1 is still a good buy at $1300.
For around the price of the MMF-7.1, the Rega P3 and P5 are much better tables.
I'm a VPI Scout owner, former MMF-5 owner.
I was originally looking at the p5, but I was kind of turned off by the fact it doesn't have VTA adjustment.
I thought I was in the market for a P5 to upgrade from my Pro-Ject Xpression III but I really like the look of the MMF-7.1 and wish I would have gone with that over the Pro-Ject. Now I'm not sure what I'm going to do :/
I just purchased a used MMF-7 from here on A'gon. Let me just cut to the chase and say I am enjoying every moment with the MMF-7. No, it's not the last word in detail, or transparency, but it is as musical as all get out. It has a natural warmth, with lot's of air, and really a great soundstage, and has a nice, fully adjustable tonearm. Bottom line, it sounds great.
Now, is it competative at list price? As I've never listened to the similarly priced Regas, Projects, etc., I really can't say. However, I don't think Tfkaudio's comparison of the VPI Scout and the MMF-7 is valid. MMf-7 list price is $1295 (w/o cartridge) $1495 (including cartridge...and really a nice one at that) vs. VPI Scout $1799 (w/o cartridge). I'm sure the Scout is a fine tt, and one I will consider upgrading to in the future, but for right now, the MMF-7 is very affordable (especially when purchased used) and ultimately enjoyable (ie, musical).
Find a used one here on A'gon, plug it in, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I am!
Louis, glad to hear that you're enjoying the mmf-7. Your description is right on. It is a great turntable for the money, and a used one in good shape is a true bargain. (Though you have to be careful, I bought a used mmf-7 that wasn't properly packaged and was NOT as advertised.)
You're correct in the VPI Scout at $1800, I was (mistakenly) using the VPI Scout II price. But the relationship is still valid. And as for future upgrades, I think I'd go one step up from the Scout; from all that I've been reading (and hope to hear) the added cost (+/-$2500 USD) puts you into another category of sonic ability and is worth the extra cash.
Yes, I never meant to imply that the MMF and VPI were the same price. I was suggesting that the price gap had closed to the point that I would consider the extra few hundred bucks for a VPI to be a no-brainer. However, I did forget that the MMF price included a pretty good cartridge.
@Tketcham, does the 7.1 have the Pro-ject 9cc tonearm or a specific music hall one similar to the Pro-ject arms.
I haven't seen the new mmf-7.1 but from the photographs of the turntable (located at the Music Hall web site), the tonearm doesn't look like the Pro-Ject 9cc. The tonearm in the high-res image appears to have a separate headshell from the arm tube, which was how the earlier 9c tonearm was built. The descriptions of the mmf-7.1 don't clearly say which Pro-Ject tonearm is included so it may be that Music Hall is still using the 9c tonearm. What's funny is that the picture of the mmf-7.1 on the Music Hall website isn't even the mmf-7.1, it's an earlier mmf-7 with the Pro-Ject 9 aluminum tonearm.
Before making a conclusion about the tonearm, though, I'd ask a dealer about it. Music Hall may not have updated its web site to show the latest tonearm model being supplied with the mmf-7.1.
Can anyone tell me the diameter of the 7.1 motor and its height to where the belt hits the platter? Can you use a thread belt with it? Is the belt round? I'm looking for a Well Tempered Record Player round motor but may have to settle for something like this.
Gvoth, the dimensions of the mmf-7 motor are as follows:
motor housing diameter - ~80mm
pulley height above motor housing - ~8.5mm
pulley height above shelf surface - ~87mm
pulley diameter - ~26mm (diameter at groove surface)
pulley groove width - 1.5mm (accomodates a 1.5mm square belt)
pulley shaft diameter - ~2mm (couldn't actually measure the pulley shaft without removing the pulley)
I think you'd have to find a different pulley to use with a string belt. I think a string would just slip around the pulley. The pulley height could be adjusted if the new pulley had a set screw.