Which speaker for Musical Fidelity a3.2 ?


I'm a total Rookie...and you can save me from dropping wads of cash that I do not have in my crusade to build a sound sytem that can amaze me. I have just picked up the following,

Musical Fidelity A3.2 Integrated Amp
Musical Fidelity A3 CD Player
Transparent Music Link Super Interconnects

Now I need a speaker. And I'm completely confused! I can spend as much as $2k and would prefer to buy used cos' I want to get more for my money.

I heard a pair of Aerial 5s and I thought they lacked a warm lower end (not that I know much about the darn lower end, I just knew that it was lacking substance)

I heard B&W 603 S3s and they were a little bright and a little punchy with their low ends. I kind of liked them but I'm trying to look ahead to a time when I'll want more transparency.....perhaps as my tastes evolve.

I heard 602 S3s but they were outclassed...though they did offer a great bang for the buck. Infact I'm still tempted by them.

Any advice you can provide will be very appreciated. People have asked me to go hear the following,

Triangle Celius
Audio Physic Spark
Magnepan Planar (1.6QR??)
and Thiel 1.6s

Please Advise.

Triangle is probably the best on your list.
You should also add Tannoy D500 used.
Don't search for heavy, power-hungry or speakers with large woofers for your amp.
Pack your amp in your trunk, go out to the audio huts, connect it up and listen for yourself. Or better yet, see if you can borrow the speakers of interest for the weekend and connect them up in your own system and give them a listen. It's that simple.
The Magnepan 1.6QRs are phenomenal sounding for the money. I drive them with the Musical Fidelity A3cr pre and power amp which is very similar to the 3.2 integrated and have wonderful results.

Good Luck.
I have a pair of Paradigm Studio 60's powered by the Musical Fidelity A300 integrated amp. I am very happy with this combo. With your setup, you should give the Paradigm Studio 100's a serious listen. At $1,900 (US) you really will be hard pressed to find a better sounding pair of speakers for the money. They have been favorably compared to speakers costing up to three times as much!
I onw the a3 int. amp and love the maggies with them. the soundstaging and over all image knocks my socks off still after 1 1/2 years. I had to go with the mg12's due to lack of space. My listening room is like 12 X 15. I heard both at the same time hooked up to my int amp in a shop and loved them both.
i owned the MFa300 integrated and used it with audio physic tempos. the tempo is the model up from the spark. i thought the sound was fantastic! i could not have been more happy. controlled bass, fluid midrange and nice clean high end.

i have heard the spark quite a few times, and i think it is a super speaker. audio physic does not get the good press that it richly deserves!!!
what about dynaudio?
I would pair it up with a pair of Monitor Audios either the new Silver series or the Gold reference series. The Musical Fidelity/Monitor Audio rep was in the Chicago area a few days back and he was showcasing these two products together and wow are they ever nice! I own a pair of the new Silver 8s and in my opinion beat out the two B&W speakers you mentioned. I was actually interested in the 603S3 until I heard the MA. Many people hear MA and think "bright" well that is not true and least in my case. Those people may also be using silver wires too, which can make many speakers sound bright or they are judging them right out of the box. The new series have redesigned drivers and are different from the old silver series. Anyway, I run a pair of biwire Zu Cable Wax into mine and I could not be happier. I am in the process of purchasing either the MF 3.2 or the 308 but I am still waiting to hear the Plinius 8200 MKII before I make my decision. Take the chance and have a listen. Good luck
I also have the a3.2 integrated amp en cd player and I have chosen for a couple of Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mkII. They are neutral, uncoloured, dynamic and fast. They don`t sound warm but neither to analytical, they are very accurate and precise. I love them because they produce such a realistic sound. I have also listened to the B&W Nautilus 805, Monitor Audio Golden Reference 10, Linn Katan and some other speakers and they didn`t came close.
One reason I chose the MF a3.2 amplifier was for it's versatility. It has "tube-like" smoothness and full sound but with the detail and control of SS. This means that it can match with either thin, detailed speakers or warmer speakers. It's not too bright, either.

MF does have a bit of a "house sound" so that the amps sound similar. You can go to dealers that sell MF and listen to what speakers they are using. Having an integrated is an advantage also because you can easily take it to a friend's house or to a dealer.

For speakers, I've liked the Meadowlark, Totem for acoustic/vocals and KEF, Paradigm for rock. I like Dynaudio also but the reputation is that they like a lot of power. B+W are too forward/bright for me. Go out and listen.
Thiel 1.6 are a nice speaker, the Thiel 2.4 ($4200) are by far the best speaker I have heard on Musical Fidelity equipment. 1.6's seem to have issues with the tweeter going out at higher volumes. So if you listen loud, then these may not be a good option.

My experience with Triangle has been limited but it seemed like it needed hardware that was able to keep the bass tight. The A308 was very good at this, but I am not sure about the 3.2.

Recently I had a pair of T+A TAL XM bookshelf speakers and was blown away by them. This time it was a Musical Fidelity x-150 and these were by far the most transparent sounding. The range is down to 35hz, which is good for a bookshelf, but a tougher speaker to drive. The x-150 had no issues with it so I would expect 3.2 to have no issues. Though tough to find (www.audioport.com), at $2K msrp, these are worth trying out (www.taelektroakustik.com).

BTW, I am selling B&W 603 S1 speakers for $525 (includes decent cables for free). By all means if you have 2K to spend don't waste your time with these but if you want something to get started with let me know (kryptos1@yahoo.com). The 603's are going to be hard to part with.
The Thiel Dealer I visited recently is also a Musical Fidelity dealer, although he was demoing the 1.6 with Rogue monoblocks, and they sounded fantastic in that setup, MILES above a B&W 603. The Thiel 2.4s are much more authoritative but in another price range.
I think with that low standard (B&W 6 series) of entry the Celius, Theil & Magnepans (as long as you dont want very large dynamics) would be a huge step up. The Celius 202 would probably have the most impressive bottom end of that list, but I think the other two have better mid-ranges and overall clarity and coherency (I have heard all three but not side by side). One other caveat about the Magnepan's is they do need careful placement and perhaps room treatment to get the very best out of them as they are dipolar (radiating sound front and back), but will sound great if setup right.
For what it's worth I'd add the Totem Hawk to that list, which was The Absolute Sound's pick in that price range over the others you mention, and although not as efficient as the Thiels would still be easily driven by your MF amp as long as you are not looking for 110db levels.
Sonus Faber Concerto
Save yourself alot of money and buy paradigm studio 40v3.Good stands and you are ready to go.Bass is incredible after long break in period.Total cost will be less than $1300.You can't do better at this price.Good luck!!
Hi Udai,
I had an A 3.2 and thought it was a great integrated, I was sorry I didn't keep it a little longer. At 115 watts you shouldn't have a problem with most speakers out there including Dynaudio since the A3.2 is rated at 140 watts into 4 ohms.
Again it depends on what you want. A full range speaker is always more satisfying IMO, I have tried many different speakers within your price and always come back to a full range.

Some suggestions:

Meadowlark Osprey's, they are beautiful, sound fantastic and can be had for a very reasonable price. Build quality is top notch. Bass is very tuneful and accurate, not extreme.

Vandersteen 3A sigs. Lots of room filling bass, an excellent all rounder, maybe not the best at imaging and detail ( some may differ in their opinion) but an excellent speaker if you can find it at your price.

The Revel Performa F 30, Very good sounding speaker, big and not real pretty but it sounds fantastic top to bottom.

PSB Stratus Gold i , a very good speaker that will not leave you dissapointed, especially for the used price!

Go listen to some Dynaudio's if you get a chance. They may not impress you much in the first three minutes but give them a good listen.

good luck!

Hi. Purely going by spec alone. If the A3.2 only have 140-watts at 4-ohm, you can forget about the Magneplanar 1.6QR unless you are in a pretty small room. Not enough power.
Try the Contour 1.3SE.
I listened to B&W, Monitor Audio (silver & gold series), and many other speakers with my MF A3CR amp/pre combo, and now with my A308CR Amp/pre combo. I just kept coming back to the Dynaudio's. I have to agree with "shoe"... give them a few mintues.. since nothing is glaringly upfront, it may not seem as lively or dynamic as the other speakers... but when switching back to the above mentioned speakers.. something was always missing. The Dynaudios were just tonally "right on", with dynamics, and a full sound. Everything from top to bottom was there in equal parts. You can hear everything going on.. and natural, natural, natural sounding.
I have the Contour 3.3's, because, I, like "shoe" again, wanted full range speakers.
However, I was totally blown away by the 1.3se's and wish I had gone with them. I was originally planning on moving into a bigger place and thought I would need the full range of the 3.3's. That never took place, and I have the 3.3's in a room that probably doesn't use their full potential. The 1.3SE's would have been a better match.
DYNAUDIO for sure.