Review: Musical Fidelity X-A1 Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

This was a setup for my girlfriend. She listens mainly to jazz (Bill Evans, Diana Krall) and classical, some tango music. We were looking to build a budget system that wouldn;t sound harsh, having some of the tube midrange magic, great imaging, soundstage, air. Basically, what you want as a jazz and small scale classical listener (no organs, orchestras...)

Strenths: sounds smooth, liquid, yet detailed. Non-fatiguing. Great value. Awesome looks! Every visitor asks about it. Great on vocals. Jazz bass, piano, and saxophones sound right.

Weaknesses: lack of slam, sounds a bit strained at higher volumes, bass doesn't compare to a Rotel. Not ideal for difficult speaker loads. Would suggest 8 Ohm speakers with >90 db/m efficiency. No remote. Runs hot.

Overall: a fantastic peace of equipment for a budding audiophile on a budget. You could pay 2x the money without getting better sound. In my opinion, knocks Arcam down. Much more the NAD. Almost tube sound without the tubes.

Associated gear
Spekers: Axiom M3Ti
CD source: Marantz CD63
Tara labs Prism 22 interconnect
Audio Magic X-stream 12ga speaker cable

Similar products
NAD 314, Rotel RA971, Arcam Alpha 9, Jolida SJ302A, etc.