Musical Fidelity Trivista 300 vs. kW500

A few extra $$'s appeared. Time to ditch the tweaked Hafler pre-amp/amp and go with my choice du jour: MF Trivista. Please advise...300 or the big 500 integrated amp. Driving my old but still damn good B & W 901F's, medium size room, mostly classical. Also need advice on a new (or good used) CD player to meld into this system...preferably multidisc (shudder you audiophiles). Thanks for any direction in the above quest. farmdoc
IMO, you can't go wrong with either one. Maybe get the Tri-Vista and with the money saved buy the matching SACD/CD player.
I have the TriVista. Although I love the TriVista, I spoke to my retailer about "moving up" to the KW500 (we all do this don't we?). His opinion was that the two are different, but the KW500 is not necessarily better.
I have not heard the "500" on my equipment. Maybe that might be a consideration before the big splurge but I am 130 miles from the nearest dealer.
It may depend on where you are ultimately taking this system, in terms of speakers and room. If you wish to drive something challending, in a bigger room, the kW-500 may be the ticket. In my case, I had the same decision to make as you, and chose the kW primarily because of ts high damping factor, and the fact that my Puppies are not the easiest woofers to control. I heard the "500" through B&W 802 Ds at my dealer - that was a nice combo as well. FWIW there is also a new kW SACD player...
The Tri-Vista has a damping factor of 210, the kW is listed at >200. How much greater is it?
Merganser, I must have misread the info on MuFi's site, or looked at the wrong spec sheet. You are right, they are basically the same. I thought I had read 100. I suspect ultimately it may come down to sonic preferences, and room size with these 2 models. I have owned a couple of MuFI products over the years, and I have never been able to figure out why their stuff is beaten up so much in these forums.
Speaking of beating up on MF stuff, I love the KW500 throught some Thiel 2.4s except for the lack of bass. Something is wrong. Other less $ equipment plays the kettle drums and other base fine with everything the same but the int amp. EVERYTHING the same save the wall outlet. MF KW500 issue or it just needs repair??? I've even brought in my amp and hooked it up to the preamp out of the MF and it plays the base (but not the wonder detail and air in the highs).

Opinions? I'd love to take it home if it will just play drums and bass guitar, etc. Shop says I'm FOS, that thier $7000 amp that they can't sell for years and years plays base fine, but it clearly doesn't. They won't sit in the room and listen with me long enough to hear the passages where the difference is so obvious (always some mega deal phone call or customer coming in by the time the cables are all moved over). I just want to know if what I'm (not) hearing is the amp's deficiency or what!
Hi Dave,

If you don't mind me side tracking here first, this store your talking of stinks! It would be easy for me to tell you to just forget that store because their treatment of you, but I also realize you can't simply go down the street to another dealer.

Your results with this amp does surprise me a bit and I can see why you'd question if the amp has something wrong. The best advice I could give is to call the U.S. distributer and relay what you have said here to them and see what they have to say.

Who knows, maybe it simply doesn't mate well with those speakers.


Very good sir, you had me wondering. I suspect the answer to your question involves the ugly green monster.


Will they let you do a home trial? If not, can you bring your speakers to them? I've listened to the kW500 on a few different speakers including the WATT/Puppies, but no Thiel's and it did not find it lacking bass on any of them. What interconnects are they using?
I can't remember the interconnects. They are using Kimber cables to the speakers and the 2.4s don't seem to be the problem. The ones at the store sound close enough to the same (on my amp) at the store and as my 2.4s sound at home on my amp. They've got plenty of detail and base short of the really deep base + LFE ranges.
Ah, I thought you were running older B&W's at home. Just a thought......I'm not a fan of Kimber cables, always found them light on bass. Do they have other cables you can demo with?
Maybe, but they are proud of the Kimbers and the other 2 amp have bass-a-plenty through them and the same speakers that the MF doesn't. The only thing changing between using my amp + MF pre vs MF amp + pre is the addition of cables from the pre-amp to my amp and the amps. So it's in the KW amp part of the integrated KW500
Currently have thiel24 with kw500. No lack of bass comparing to many other amps
I had a TriVista 300 and absolutely LOVED it, and have just bought a replacement. My impression from the dealer/experts is that the KW has more detail...which is not something that is lacking in the I'm not sure what to make of it. But I trust MF to move onward and upward.

If your looking in this price range and really have the money, my advice is 'take home demo' KW500. Prepare them for a couple of rounds, after the second or third round, if you can muster the will to return it, then it is not the amp for you. I'm sure they'll have something else to offer in that range, and then you'll have a point from which to triangulate.

If you buy the amp, you'll want the CD player. It's true, right? You will! There's no getting around it. So if you want to spend 6K...spend 7 or 8 on the TriVista complete set. Or spend 12-14 on the KWs. If you get the TriVistas, and are VERY CAREFUL handling them. You can resell for minor loss (10%) if you feel they are not for you. (That's what I thought...but my second TriVista is on it's way).