Music Hall Maverick, Is it any good

I was thinking of buying a Music Hall Maverick. I have read some mixed reviews about it and would like to know how it performs. Is it an all around good player or is it troublesome? I will be hooking it up to a DK Design Ref II. and am thinking of trying out the upsampling and SACD.
Thanks for your info and time. Cheers Bob
I have had mine for nearly a year now. Its a stock unit. The Underwood Modified Units are killer but of course cost more. I Purchased mine new from HCMAudio at a very good price (good people). I have friends who have more expensive units but they do not sound better. I would purchase again. I would highly recommend even to my best friend. I find it a terrific value for the investment on better quality playback.

There are better units to be sure but I'm thinking one needs to invest nearly twice as much to begin noticing any meaningful difference. (The Underwood modified Maverick adds about $400 or so to the cost.)

I really enjoy the sound I get from mine and I am particular. I also find the upsampling makes a quality difference (a point I strongly disagree with the critics on). The Maverick on my system does wonders for redbook and really performs exceptionally with SACD. It treats HDCD as redbook which is unfortunate. The remote is very good. And I like the looks of the unit.

When I bought the Maverick I tried using a digital interconnect but found the analog interconnect to sound better. Upgrading the power cord and getting a higher quality interconnect cable helped take the edge off of the upper end and create a richer midrange and base that thumps one's breastbone, even at low playing volume.

I seek a more natural sound. I do not seem to get any sound coloration with the Maverick.

I am listening to Beck's "Sea Change" SACD on the Maverick right now at low volume and it is playing back nearly as though some of the musicians are in the room with me. Before that I had Patricia Barber's "Split" playing which is redbook. Ms. Barber WAS in my room, the sound was so real. Before that I put on an old Traffic "John Barleycorn Must Die" cd I have from the early 80's (great music but unfortunately a terrible recording and terrible cd production with unnatural sound quality -- over-pronounced high end and muffled midrange and base, if that makes communication sense) and the upsampling did a whole lot to improve the sound quality.

The system this is on at my home has 3 cd players (I have 5 cd players totally across a couple of audio systems so lots of comparison), one being a newer professional cd recorder/player by Tascam.

I am into analog (SOTA Nova V vacuum tt, Origin Live Incognito arm, Shelter 90x cart, Art Audio Vinyl One phono preamp and a PS Audio GCPH phono preamp on a second SOTA vacuum tt). I only mention this because I have some good comparison on sound achievement. I find the Maverick to perform somewhat close to analog. I have 2500+ lps and probably around 2600 cds and listen to music a lot so lots of comparisons.

Value of this system is probably around $35k to give you a general idea of what I'm using the Maverick with.

Hope this was helpful.

I have owned a Maverick for about two and half years. It has given me some serious headaches. On about a half-dozen occasions, without warning, the program stopped and the speakers exploded with a loud hissing. Did I say loud? I mean LOUD. I could not get off the couch quickly enough to turn the thing off. Additionally, much more frequently, certain discs caused the machine to start with an easily discernible rumble that would only fade after four-to-five minutes of play. Initially I thought the CD's were defective, but after one too many espisodes of the white noise explosions, I emailed Music Hall and asked for advice. Never heard from them. I went on the net and did some checking. On two owners related similar experience. I read an Audiogon ad listing a Maverick for sale in which the seller listed the same two problems. (What an honest guy.) I contacted the dealer and he put me in touch with the authorized repairer who cured the rumble, and so far the white noise too. Cost me $200 and couple 140-mile round trips to the repair station. The repairer generously loaned me a Jolita tube-based player while mine was in his shop. It was quite nice. But both my wife and I agreed it was not up to the Maverick's capabilities when it was working right.

I have decided to keep the Maverick. Originally I intended to fix it and then get rid of it. But I changed my mind mainly because the Maverick does its part with my Music Hall Mambo and Magneplanar 1.6qr's in reproducing the best sound I have ever heard, or want to hear. For example,in my living room setup, the Stones' "Hot Rocks" SACD sounds like the band is right there. And you know how magazine reviewers frequently write about hearing additional musicality when listening to whatever new piece of equipment they are reviewing? Well it happened to me with the Mambo and my present rig. I put on Liszt's second Hungarian Rhapsody--the Berlin Philarmonic version with von Karajan conducting. It's on the Deutsche Grammaphon label. At first, I thought something was wrong and replayed the passage. I was shocked when I realized that I had just heard for the first time how impressively beautiful a concert piano can sound. I was almost euphoric. Now everytime I play anything I listen carefully to the individual instrumentation and voices and to the overall impression of the music. I realize that listening this way is overly analytical, but my system invites it. Complete listening satisfaction has been the result. I can't ask for more. So the Maverick stays.

I reccommend that you visit all the dealers in your area. Listen to each player's performance on the kind of music you enjoy. Take your time and be thorough. I think Philips has introduced a new SACD player for less than half the price of the Mambo. McIntosh has a new player that goes for more than twice the Mambo. The Jolita tube player is one to audition, if you get a chance. But the loaner I had did not have SACD capability.

You won't be sorry you took time to personally test each player. Then when you make your choice, be sure to play the machine frequently while it is still under warranty. Hopefully any bug will surface while the manufacturer is responsible. Personally I think it is scandalous that Music Hall put a player on the market that cost as much as I paid for mine, but had such serious defects.

Good luck.
Follow up on my repaired Maverick: Last night it stopped playing SACD's. Won't recognize the discs. Authorized repairer says it needs a new board. He advises that I stay away from SACD. Too late. Correction on my length of ownership: I bought the Maverick in late July of 2004.
Thanks for your input and your time !!!

My experience with the Maverick is the same as that of Libertasdon.

1) White noise outbursts
2) Can't read many SACDs
3) Stops playing SACDs mid-track

Mine is in the box in a closet and has been there for months. It's un-sellable (with a clear conscience) unless I wanted to put it up on the 'Gon for auction with these problems listed clearly and rated 0/10.



Wow! Not my experience at all. Maybe I got then one good unit they made. Mine sounds terrific. Want to buy it? Sorry, not for sale.
If you got the good unit, consider yourself very lucky. There aren't many of them, as I've found out. Shame, too, because it sounds terrific when it works.
I've got to ask, is anyone out there having the good experience with the Maverick that I am (so far)? I am kinda surprised about the negative performance these other folks have experienced.
I purchased one right after they were out on the market. In the short time I owned it, I never had any issues with it, other than the occasional tray not responding to the open/close command. I did not keep it as I decided digital just wasn't my cup of tea.
I have had a Maverick with level 1 mods from Parts Connexion that I bought used about a year ago. It was $1000 used, about half of the retail price. This unit has performed flawlessly. I have a home office, so I play the unit 30 hrs a week. I have it paired with a pair of Shanling SP80 tube monoblocks, also with level 1 mod from Parts Connexion. I am very happy with this pairing, along with a pair of Meadowlark Blue Heron II's.
Other then a small part going bad in one of the SP80's, this set up has worked flawlessly.