Musical Fidelity A1 experiences

I have the original MF A1 and I never had the chance to get the right speakers for it. My past speakers that i used are Epos ELS3, Magnepan 1.6, MB Quart Domain 30's, Dynaudio Audience 52, Merrill Zigmahornet "fullrange" and never got the sound right. All of the speaker mentioned the sound it created, the bass is quite thin and the highs sometimes fatiguing. Does anyone have experiences on the best speakers to use? or is it the amps fault?
Hmm I had an A1 for a few years, used with a pair of Spica's... I don't recall the amp as thin or fatiguing. More like warm lower mids and gentle highs. And this was using Monster cable of all things on the speaker cables. I replaced that amp with a Forte 1a which was a step up in several areas.
I use to sell them; I also thought that they had a "warm" sound which was quite good. I used them with Spendor and Musical Fidelity speakers. They should not sound thin or lack bass. Either it is not working properly or the ICs or speaker wires are a bad match. It should run quite hot; if it is not then have the bias checked.
It does heat up so no bias problems. For the speaker cable i'm currently using monster cable. I'm planning to keep this amp so I need to find a set of speakers that will match.. Did anyone have tried B&W's or any brit/italian brands?
I remember visiting a local NYC dealer years ago while helping a friend shop for speakers. I still remember being amazed at the sound that the A1 produced driving a pair of original Proactive Tablettes. It was beautiful, with electrostatic- like clarity and VERY sweet highs. Now, the Proacs could not produce much bass, but it was not the fault of the amp, and fatiguing in the highs it is not. PSB calling?
If I'm thinking of the right amp, it's the little 20wpc class A. I owned one for quite a while a number of years ago. Nice sweet sounding piece.

All the speakers you mention are not on the 'easy to drive' list. My guess is you are straining the little guy if the sound is thin and harsh.

You might look at some of the higher efficiency speakers, particularly those with higher impedance. I don't think class A SS likes 4 ohm loads.

And if you room is big, or you like to listen loud, that is definitely not the amp for you.
I had one of their older integrated amps (A300 I think) and with Maggie 1.6 it sounded as if cymbals were four feet in diameter and way out in front, when I switched to a Plinius 8200 things went back to the proper perspective. The A300 was bright, nice tone but very tipped up.

It sounds as if the A1 may be an older model yet so maybe this info is worthless...
"Proactive Tablettes" !?! I cracked myself up. Should be "Proac", of course. My IPad's spellchecker strikes again. An interesting paralell to audio, IMO: sometimes what we think is an advance, is not an advance at all.
I guess i was straining the little one.. The A1 is different one i think compared to the A300. The A1 is fine sounding amp it's just compared to the other amps i tried it does sound quite thin.. Im going to try my friend's monitor audio BX1 and his B&W 685 if it will sound ok.
Just want to weigh-in on this thread a bit.

I picked up the newer version of the A1 recently, and I'm really liking it on my Quad ESLs (I use the originals). Value-wise this is a superb buy. Comes with a USB input and an MM phono stage. Original circuit was designed by Tim deParavicini (I'm a big fan of his work) back in the day.

This new version of the A1 is a bit more powerful than the older version (36w vs 20w), but it is all the power that I need so it works well in my system.

I'm still trying to get my head around the quality of the MM phono stage. So far I see it as just 'adequate', but I have to do some more critical listening before I really make a declaration. I'll admit to wanting to try a step-up transformer with it so that I can really put it through its paces, but I dont have a SUT, so that experiment may have to wait a while.

My weakness is for solid-state integrated amps. I've gone through about 12-15 of them in the last 10 years. One of them was the Musical Fidelity M3 Nu Vista. I loved it a lot, but was disappointed with the quality of the volume pot. The volume control on this new A1 seems to be a bit different (still not sure of the quality though...time will tell).

Anyway, just wanted to share some of my thoughts on this particular classic (or at least the new version of the old classic). If your speakers can hang with the little amount of power that this amp kicks out, I think it is a very good buy.

I had an A1 for a number of years. It had the usual problems with a noisy pot that required spraying evry couple of weeks and high case temps. I heard the A1 with many speakers but the best synergy to my ears was with a pair of Arcam 2 speakers

Yeah - I dont think this new A1 has a pot. It may be using some buffer / digital-relay type of contraption.

The old A1 was pretty famous for some reliability problems. My instinct is that Antony Michaelson is not as much of a cheapskate nowadays, given that his company has a lot more momentum than it did back in 1984 when the original A1 rolled out.

However, sub-standard volume pots are the industry standard in hi-fi. There are very few manufacturers that abhor them (Ayre, Tom Evans, and Gryphon come to mind). After having a few bad experiences with cheap pots, anytime I seek out a higher priced linestage / preamp / volume-control; I make sure that I know what kind of pot they're using in that component before I buy it.
I currently own the newer version of the A1. I have it paired with Klipsch Heresy's and also a REL Strata III subwoofer. This is my first Hi-Fi system and I am blown away with the performance I am getting out of it.