Musical Fidelity A-5: Can its sound quality compete with today's top rated integrateds?


I have seen several members asking about vintage speakers and separates. I currently own a Rogue Sphinx v.1  hybrid integrated which is a very good amp and also has a very good phono stage. Rogue has introduced  v.2 version of Sphinx integrated with upgrades, that is, a lower noise floor, and much welcomed higher gain phono stage. The amp remains at 100RMS  (Upgrading from a Sphinx v.1 to a v-2 cost $400 plus shipping both ways; I am on the West Coast).

I am curious if the musical Fidelity A-5 which is 250RMS. with supposedly a good phono section. My question is: Can the A-5 issued in 2004 equal or outperform the new somewhat improved Rogue Sphinx v.2 . I have heard other Musical Fidelity amp and integrateds, but not the A-5.  I am considering one of Magneplanar  speakers under $2000, or possibly another top rated box speaker of  low efficiency, so the extra power  of the A-5 would be welcomed.

However, buying a 12 year old integrated  amp, the sound quality may be just typical solid state sound, that is, clean, accurate, but generally SS sound which is rarely exceptional. The Rogue Sphinx v.1 is a good sounding amp, though has some operational limitations. However, the sound falls into that category of SS quality which too often  generally lacks of emotional excitement and content ( to use a somewhat vague description).  Would like some feed back  about the MF A-5, especially if you owned one, but moved onto newer and more expensive  brand electronics.    Thank you  

sunnyjim
one of my audiophile friend has a MF A5cr power amp. he sent it to MF for a upgrade "fine-tuning" done by Antony Michaelson about 4yr plus ago. i would say his upgrade had made the A5cr sounded improved favorably to 3times the cost initially. sometimes i drop by his place and do some listening, it is a high quality amp. any changes upstream including cables (in the price range $800 and up) , the amp would response well. It has VERY DEEP & TIGHT bass with SLAM if your cables are up to it, it can also portray many different bass and mid bass quality with different cables. but mostly he would switch to more neutral cables according to his likes. That's what i think about that amp. Nowadays, it's more and more difficult to hunt down quality built amp. YMMV as you are referring to A5 integrated. 
I do not know of the A5 but for what its worth have the relatively new M6Si. I'm very happy with it on all accounts. I don't do analog phone listening but in the case of the M6Si the specs (on paper) are on par with more expensive gear and of course can go MM or MC.
I have an A5 int amp and it holds up quite well in sound quality.

I have not heard it in a head to head vs the Rogue Sphinx v2 - I think that would be a function of local enthusiasts w/ a combo of gear getting together for trying different components out.

Which I have done with my A5 in some local meetups. The results being some raised eyebrows of respect for the sound capability of the A5.  

It all comes back to price point for a given component.  At the right price, the A5 represents a vg value, imho.  It can drive practically any speaker, does have great low end control, neutral and clean up top w/ no 'grain'.  

But, it isn't tube-like warm, if that is the sonic signature you are chasing.

And I think it does have a v. respectable phono section.  I tried a couple of value based ext phono pres, even the much hyped Jolida J9, but kept going back to the A5's phono input.

Given the pedigree of available A5s, and at the right price, easily worth a check in your own rig, and if it doesn't tickle your fancy - a very low risk to flip it back for little/no loss.

ymmv....
For the sake of an old geezer member, what does YMMV mean??. Two responders used this cyber speaker in their replies.   Thanx
Your Milage May Vary.
A catch phrase indicating no two set ups are alike due to all the different variables (ancillary equipment, cabling, room, tastes, etc.) so what they describe in their set up doesn't guarantee the same results in yours.

All the best,
Nonoise

Nonoise,    Thanks for the clarification.