Review: Musical Fidelity A-3cr Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

After about 40 hours of playing music, this amp is really a killer. That when the bass starts opening up. Transparency is always there right when I played it the first time. Great details. The amp is also very pretty, small compact but powerful. It is also very quiet. With Joule Electra LA100 tube pre-amp, I couldn't stop listening to many old CDs. The bass, the soundstage, the transparency, details, sweetness all show up to give me the sense that I own a very expensive system. Great product at very reasonable price.

I listen to Jazz and vocal. Mid-range is important to me. Base is important to my wife. This amp has been in my system for about 9 months. I replaced it with Krell. A lot more transparency, better base, more clarity after replacing Krell with MF.

Strengths: Transparency, great sound stage, good bass, nice looking, small

Weaknesses: None

Associated gear
Joule Electra LA100 tube pre-amp
PSB Gold-i speaker
Naim CD3

Similar products
Krell KSA 100
I just replaced a Hafler 9500 with the MF A-3cr. I had the Hafler for over 8 years and enjoyed it very much. The MF is so much more trasparent. The mids and highs are crystal clear and spacious but never hard. The weakness is reported to be the bass, but I biamp with stereo subs, so I can't comment on the bass. For the money I paid, the MF is a great bargain.
I agree. The MF's area a great bargain. It shows that expensive does not always equate with quality. They produce such a natural unfatigueing sound that you tend to listen for hours, across a wide range of musical genres. A very high compliment indeed.
I just got the A3.2 and it is an amazing amp as well. I know that this review is over 6 months old but i had to comment. The 3.2 has the better binding posts and i am just amazed at how natural the music sounds with it in my system. I replaced a Plinius 8200 which is much more expensive and am very pleased
I recently made some upgrades to my system. Here is the final formation:

Denon 5900 Universal Player with Underwood Level 1 Upgrade.
Joule Electra LA-100 MKIII Line Stage.
Musical Fidelity A-3CR
B&W Nautilus 803
Nordost Quattro Fil Interconnects
Nordost Red Dawn Bi-wire Speaker Cables.
wireworld silver electra III+ on Denon
Electraglide Fat Man K on Joule and MF

All this was done within a six-month period. As a result, I have never been more broke in my life, yet was never happier. I do not see how anyone could want more than what I am hearing from this system.

I do not want to bore the readers with all the usual creteria of a good system, such as frequency extends, sound stage, resolution, image, air, sweetness, ets. Instead, I will just say the wholistic experience while listening to good recordings is just breath taking. Each time, I sat in my listening chair for hours, and never wanted to leave.

The thing that impressed me the most is the timbre of instruments. Not only do I hear the glorious weight and authority of a nine foot concert grand piano, I even heard the distintive difference in tonal quality between a Steinway Grand and a Bosendorfer. Night after night, I felt being in the same room with the wonderful musicians of the Berlin Philharmic, or the Vienna Philharmonic, pouring their hearts out over the music. There is no other words to describe the sound but "sheer magic."

While I am cognitive of the fact that if I sell my house, I might still be able to upgade my system to yet another level. But as it is now, I am already in "hi-fi heaven" each time I listen.

I suspect some readers might question the wisdom of spending more on cables than the power amplifier. I would only observe that the beauty of the MF-3cr is not only in its musicality, but the reasonablness in price. Because of that, it allowed me to invest in better interconnects and power cables. This amplifier is one of those rare breeds of high end components that most of us dreamed on finding: down to earth priced with world class sound and build quality. I know it sounds a little farfetched to suggest that one could actually fall in love with an electronic equipment. In my case, let's just say I felt an enormous gratitude and affection towards this lovely little amp.


How does a new version A 3.2 CR compare to older A 3 CR ?
What is difference in new version A 3.2 CR ?
Has any one compared Primare A30.2 dual mono amp with A 3.2 CR? They are in similar price range ( $ 2000 vs. $1500).

Thanks in advance for your input.

Bought my MF A3-cr from a very careful audiophile friend. When first used it inmediately noticed a "relaxing" quality in sound never experienced before. Also bass has an impressive authority and definition. Not to forget the velvety black silent background. Only recommended improvement is replacing the power cord. My amp is currently plugged-in with a home-brewed double shielded "Merlino-14" (factory is 18 gauge, no shielding).

Have heard better (VTL 150 tube mono amps, At-mass phere OTLs) but those cost 7 to 10 times more and differences are really small. Besides, by careful system set-up a very "real" musical illusion can be achieved.

Last but not least. A sound system includes, the electricity caracteristics in your area, your recordings' quality, your listening room topography and dimensions, room furniture, your own moods and also your ears not to mention your sound balance preferences. These are unique and very personal elements.

Happy listenings to all!