- It is probably one of the most legendary amplifiers from the English hi-fi company Musical Fidelity, which is now resurrecting it with the Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier.
It was quite a surprise that the English hi-fi manufacturer Musical Fidelity brought with them to Munich, because hardly anyone expected that one of the most legendary amplifiers would be resurrected. At the High End 2023, the English company was sure to attract a lot of attention when they presented the new Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier.
Like the great model from the 1980s, the new Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier naturally also relies on the decisive feature that distinguished it in particular, namely amplification built solely in Class A.
Completely contrary to Musical Fidelity’s corporate philosophy
Musical Fidelity is actually known as a company that focuses on one feature alone in amplifier systems, and that is performance. This strategy has always been pursued by company founder Anthony Michelson and is ultimately reflected in numerous particularly potent amplifier systems in Musical Fidelity’s product portfolio to this day, even if Michelson has long since retired and sold the company to his long-time friend Heinz Lichtenegger.
And it is thanks to Heinz Lichtenegger that there will now be an amplifier from Musical Fidelity that contradicts this said corporate philosophy, namely the Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier.
Lichtenegger raves about this amplifier from the 1980s and even made sure that Musical Fidelity relaunched it in a small series at a time when he was not yet at the helm of the company.
Now that he is at the helm of the company, it is of course a special affair of the heart to revive the Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier, even or especially because it is completely contrary to what one has come to expect from Musical Fidelity in the field of amplifier systems.
Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier – Not a 1:1 copy from the 1980s
The Musical Fidelity A1 was such an outstanding amplifier in the 1980s because, as already mentioned, it relied solely on Class A, and not on Class A/B as so many other solutions still do today.
Class A is considered to be the optimum when it comes to amplifier technology, as it produces a performance that is completely free of sound-damaging distortions and is said to have a very special warmth, an outstanding richness of detail and thus a particularly musical performance.
However, there is a decisive disadvantage: amplifiers in pure Class A are not exactly known for being particularly effective, quite the contrary. This leads to immensely high waste heat, which developers have to counteract with appropriate measures.
Since the Musical Fidelity A1 was designed as a particularly slim solution in the 1980s, it was not only appreciated for its particularly fine sound, but was often jokingly referred to as a true hot plate.
Accordingly, the new Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier is not a simple reissue of the amplifier from the 1980s, but rather an interpretation that is intended to be as close as possible to the original in order to offer its advantages without having to accept the associated disadvantages.
Twice 28 watts in pure Class A
The new Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier delivers a power of 28 watts twice to speaker systems with an impedance of 8 ohms and is capable of delivering 25 amps. This is ensured by a solid power supply based on a toroidal transformer and separate power supplies for the left and right channels.
Nevertheless, loudspeaker systems with a high efficiency are a must, and Musical Fidelity is offering the new Musical Fidelity LS3/5A Nearfield Monitor Loudspeaker solutions, which fit perfectly to the new amplifier system with vintage charm.
The new Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier, in any case, is supposed to distinguish itself in the proven manner with a powerful, dynamic, and even exceedingly musical performance, according to the manufacturer’s promise.
By the way, in order to effectively counteract the already mentioned problem of high heat generation, the manufacturer relies first and foremost on a housing whose side panels and top are made solely of aluminium cooling fins, and which, like the aluminium front, are anodised in black. The slim system weighs in at 12 kg.
Sufficient Inputs – Pure Analogue
The new Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier is a purely analogue amplifier that does without digital inputs or even integrated streaming.
Five pairs of cinch sockets are provided, as well as a phono preamplifier, which is equally suitable for turntables equipped with MM or MC cartridge systems. A pre-out is not missing either.
The front panel presents itself in the style of the original with a main switch, a rotary volume control, behind which there is a high-quality potentiometer from ALPS, and another as an input selector switch, as well as a source direct button.
Prices and availability
The new Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier is expected to come onto the market in the course of summer 2023, as Musical Fidelity announced during the presentation in Munich. The recommended retail price is listed at € 1.599,-.
Getting to the point
It must be a real affair of the heart for Heinz Lichtenegger, CEO of Musical Fidelity, to be able to resurrect a true legend of the English hi-fi forge from the 1980s with the Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier. Since the decision was made to adapt the concept at least to the extent that you think you have a complete copy of the legendary amplifier system in Class A before you, but in fact at least optimisations were made to offer only the advantages without having to accept the disadvantages, the new Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier will probably find many, many friends.
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