Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR) |
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回覆 (25): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Some revision on Home Trial Reservation List  
 
1. 18/12 - 24/12 David Wong  
2. 24/12 - 5/1 Richard Lau  
3. 5/1 - 20/1 CP  
4. 21/1 - 5/2 Chi Ng  
5. 6/2 - 22/2 Icefox  
6. 23/2 - 8/3 Daiwok  
7. 9/3 - 23/3 CP  
8. anyone?  
9. dkyyu  
 
Gentlemen,  
 
Per CP's initial impression, the BBR under home trial has potential but unfortunately far from proper run-in status yet. So please be warned that you have to work much harder to run-in the unit day after day before your serious listening.  
 
 
dkyyu
12-01-18
18:17:32
回覆 (54): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Dear Icefox,  
 
Thanks for it. I love to hear your review at later stage as well.  
 
dkyyu
12-01-18
15:10:51
回覆 (53): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Dear dkyyu,  
 
You are going to be happy to see a review like this. MFA (Baby & Ref) got compared against a bunch of big boys pre-amps like Allnic and Einstein.  
 
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ok, after my einstein mk2 has been fully warmed up and run during the last 2 days, today I can listen to my system for around 2-3 hours and can do some writing now. In the very first days when I received the pre as stated before, I could listen to my system for 10-45 mins so I could not make any comment as the valves were not warmed up. From that very beginning impression, I could hear the einstein's sound on it own nuance with a thought the pre is quite bright and harsh. But it turned out not like this because after 1-2 hours warming up, the pre sounds completely different.  
 
I have listened to various type of music from vocal, acoustics, instrumental, pop, rock, dance, electronics, hiphop and classical. Every time I change CDs, I can hear the differences which I could not before. The einstein has added a little "flavours" and "spices" to my system, and yes that's the way I like . I see it add weighs and warmness to the sound, especially the sound-stage is bigger + more accurate and precise, the overall performance is more dynamic, really natural and musical to enjoin. The Einstein mk2 has extremely wide band-width from 2hz-300kz, so when adding this valve pre to my system, the benefits can be clearly audible. I can see bass go deeper and more touching, besides trebling are so much. I dont mean so much trebles = bright or harsh but sometimes this makes me feel that my system sounds a bit edgy. If you are Treble Lover, then it's completely fine and you would love this type of sound. But for me, I prefer the trebles are little lesser than the current status because it takes away a little warmness from my system .  
 
The Einstein also tighter the bass and it eats bass like we have to eat foods for living. There are several songs which I have never satisfied before regarding the bass and bottom end when I listened to my system without the Einstein, but things have changed. Yes, right there with more punch, bass goes deeper and tighter, better controlled with high definition. Never be happier! If you are Bass Hunter then the Einstein might be your champ in this competition.  
 
Regarding the midrange, I see many of you use the word "liquid midrange" and yes, it is exactly like this. If you are the one who is Dying For Mid, no doubt this would be among the most beautiful midrange preamps out there and you could bring home without hesitation. I can see Alan Taylor, Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Diana Krall, Sara K, Laura Fygi, Don William etc all sing better with the Einstein. This is a kind of very relaxing and enjoin-able which I cant describe by my very limited English. Also the pre has reproduced perfectly 3D and amazing holographic sound-stage.  
 
The Einstein is also among the most quiet preamps I have ever tried until now. It has a completely dark and quiet background regardless of how loud I keep the volume. It is also the most transparent preamp I've heard, yes it must be as good as the mf baby ref with pure and clean sound. Not like the Allnic L3000, the Einstein mk2 doesnt fiercely interfere the sound, it makes its own way by gently adding its superior magic to my system.  
 
Living with my wadia s7i for 5 months until now therefore I know extremely well how my system sounds with the wadia alone. So when adding the Einstein, I can immediately recognise the differences. I can say the Einstein mk2 is a very "honest" preamp, bad recordings are revealed straight away with no mercy or really "improvement gained", whilst great recordings becomes better sounding according to my ears - how? as described above. IMO the edgy I experienced in several recordings might due to my Nordost Valhalla xlr ic - I'm not sure this right or wrong. I connect my wadia to the einstein by valhalla xlr, and from the einstein to my altair by synergistic tesla apex xlr with galilleo mpc supported. I might replace the valhalla in the future by another pair of xlr ic which can reduce a bit the trebles and enhance a bit the warmness to make my system completely balance, also the power cable supported by the manufacturer - this is weird as the iec socket is under the amp with L-shape iec connector and schuko main plug.  
 
Finally, I can say the Einstein mk2 is a great valve preamp, it has the best from MFA preamps and the Allnic L3000 then combine in itself. While the MFA preamps dont make any change in the sound but only making the sound-stage bigger and background darker with extremely pure + clean sound, the Allnic L3000 adds so much colours into the overall performance of my system; the Einstein Mk2 goes between them. please check my previous reviews about the MFA + Allnic L3000 to see how the Einstein is different from them.  
 
I read and heard many people talked/suggested/recommended about MFA and today I have a real opportunity to listening to them in my house with my system. The Baby Reference was the first to try, very very impressed me. It looks really beautiful and much bigger than pics, how does this Baby sound? Well, really interesting to my ears. I have to admit that I have never heard anything which is clear, pure and transparent like this. When the Baby first connected to the system, I realised the familiar sound of the Wadia straight away, yes right there from the very first notes.  
 
It seems the Baby didnt do anything at all which interfere the sound, it just helped my Wadia performed at its best with more transparent and very dark background. The sound stage is wider I believe. Because of so transparent so loads of details were revealed, bass and treble are somehow better with more controlled and accurate. We listened to the Baby for nearly 2 hours then swapped the Reference in.  
 
Well, according to my ears, it was very difficult to recognise the differences between the Baby and its bigger brother. Jon said he prefers the Baby over the Ref, and to him, the Baby sounds better. However, my taste is different, I see the Ref is somehow more neutral and punch than the Baby, slightly better in the bottom end but less resolution in high freq compared to the Baby. As Jon told me, the Baby's design is based on the Ref but less in component and some technical issues which I cannot remember , so they sound very very similar and close to each other.  
 
In my opinion, the Baby is worth every penny and absolute bargain compared to the Ref one. But system matching, personal taste, etc etc will be different for everybody, so which one is taken home I cannot tell. For me, in near future I will try the Ref because for me I prefer it over the Baby.  
 
Compare the MFA pres to the Allnic L3000 is absolutely difficult for me. Many will ask which one I will keep, so my answer is I will try them both . The MFA preamps are truly great to my ears. The made the music flows in my system very natural and relax. They are like a beautiful woman and gently/softly help you to enjoin "real music and original recordings". My CDs sound exactly like they were recorded, no more no less, just to make the background darker and completely quiet. If someone prefers a transparent and deadly quiet preamp, then no doubt MFA will be bought immediately. However, if someone wants to add some colours to the sound and play the music in the way they like: warm, punchy and "enjoin-able" then the L3000 will be given a shot. For me, the L3000 is like a big muscular guy which controls and adds so much "benefits" to your system if you like this way. But always warm is also not for me, yesterday when I listened to the L3000 I had realised that many songs I don't like when adding the L3000. Somehow it interfered too much in the sound and make everything warm in an unnecessary way. For many many songs, this is good, but for many songs, I don't think this help because it lacks of the transparent and clean of the sound. But the punch and "enjoin-able" which I myself like and I believe many people like as well, then the L3000 is still for consideration.  
 
When Jon left, I listened to my system with the Wadia only and no more pre, still great . I thought I don't need any pre , but for sure I will have one because I prefer the overall performance with the pre over the wadia alone. I believe many people won't buy any preamp and completely happy with the wadia, but it's not me . Lets consider the Wadia, L3000 and MFA is a very beautiful girl, but the Wadia for me is when she has just waken up and doing nothing . For the MFA preamp, it is like she has washed her face, brushing her hair and she's beautiful in her natural born. For the L3000, it is like she has made up, well quite heavy, and ready for a party. At any status, she's still gorgeous for me, but which her best is difficult to judge.  
 
This time, it seems to me that Einstein The Tube Mk2 is truly a wonderful woman. She has "made up" lightly and it is easy to realise her natural beauty inside her gorgeous dress. She knows exactly what I want, how I want her to do it and she does everything to me without asking . But she's not perfect, that's normal as no one is perfect. I might send her back to the manufacturer for upgrading to the flagship specs of The Tube Ultimate with phono built in by the end of this year - it is extremely difficult to find info about this flagship preamp of Einstein from internet. The game has just begun.
icefox
12-01-18
13:50:02
回覆 (52): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Sure dkyyu, not a problem. My pleasure! I last had one cooked a week ago at home. As suggested by Chef daiwok, I had it pan fried for a few mins on both sides until it turned to light brown. Then into the oven in high for a little less than 15 mins. Fxxking so juicy! Better than paying four times the price at "Amber"!
bobui
12-01-11
10:57:45
回覆 (51): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Bobui,  
 
Absolutely the prime rib is ranked higher than and TVC or cow cow. Can you put me in the group buying list?
dkyyu
12-01-10
21:07:43
回覆 (50): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
you need to start a Prime Rib Groupon thread at "art and leisure session".  
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Sorry to dkyyu and other high hands here. I will pm you guys regarding the Prime Ribs group buy later tonight.  
 
In return, here is a lovely photo of the Tango MCT-999. The MCT-999 is the only mc transformer Tango ever made. It stopped production many years back before Tango change hands to the current new production line/owner. I last saw a pair in bay watch asking for USD1,300.- Yes, to me much better than Sowter. No idea how it would compare with the Laudahl sliver 1933Ag.
bobui
12-01-10
15:36:52
回覆 (49): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
高下立見,呢隻牛受歡迎好多! ^__~  
 
dkyyu, sorry to have override your thread. bobui, you need to start a Prime Rib Groupon thread at "art and leisure session".
icefox
12-01-10
15:01:00
回覆 (48): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
I will be around. I like to buy some Prime !
daiwok
12-01-10
14:48:38
回覆 (47): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
I do.  
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Sure, no problem. Its roughly 1kg each piece. HK$40.- per 100 gram. 朋友, Chef let me know if you will be in HK over the week of Lunar year. Perhaps a small gathering of Oysters and Prime ribs if we can find a venue.
bobui
12-01-10
13:20:57
回覆 (46): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
 
Anyone want to join the order list.  
_______________________________  
 
I do.  
 
 
cpsjj
12-01-10
13:13:35
回覆 (45): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
I care more about this sort of COW. Tamura, Tango? No la!!!  
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I will order a few Prime ribs to share with family over Chinese Lunar Year. Anyone want to join the order list. Let me know or PM me before following Wednesday please.  
 
bobui
12-01-10
13:08:39
回覆 (45): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
I never heard of an exotic core windings from Lundahl, have you?  
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Oh my god! Sliver MC cow from Lundahl. I am so far behind on market updae. Silly me! Where could I get one? Where could I get two?
bobui
12-01-10
12:50:55
回覆 (44): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
I care more about this sort of COW. Tamura, Tango? No la!!!
icefox
12-01-10
12:39:20
回覆 (43): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
there are quite a few transformer winders in US and europe that know what they are doing.
drwkng
12-01-10
11:49:59
回覆 (42): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
There is also a local HK guy who winds transformers for a living who lives across the road from me. A hi fi visit a few months back, the Evil Kong and 朋友 listen to his COW fitted on a china made 300B amp which was driving 2 JBL horns with 15 inch bass drivers and 2 Altec with 15 inch bass - did not even break sweat. I was pretty impressed with what the amp could do. 8^) I believe this SiFu is working for Twins Audio now.
daiwok
12-01-10
11:32:02
回覆 (41): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
just to add more fuel to the fire !
http://www.tribute-audio.nl/
daiwok
12-01-10
11:27:26
回覆 (40): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
I never heard of an exotic core windings from Lundahl, have you?  
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http://vinylsavor.blogspot.com/2011/12/lundahl-silver-mc-transformer-listening.html
daiwok
12-01-10
11:26:23
回覆 (39): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Diy one!  
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Total admiration for component builder and room tuning experts. Me..... building transformer? I can see that coming but not for now. I want to master my chassis building skill and learn more about material reasonce frequency, shielding mathod, durability etc before moving into winding transformer or even rolling my own capacitor. I did tried constructing cables from bare wire and making resistor from carbon pencil. Kind of fun and a good learning curve but its hard to go further with the very limited supply of foil and carbon rod. You know what i mean!  
 
Chassis building is fun because the end result can pleased the eyes too.  
 
I heard you are a frontier in transformer winding, wish we could meet and blow water!
bobui
12-01-10
10:59:08
回覆 (38): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
"""Tough time for DIYers in finding good cows."""  
 
Diy one!
ThomasC2
12-01-09
20:13:12
回覆 (37): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Tango and Tamura have no idea what they are actually doing.  
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No, I cant enlighten you because If you are referring to the existing Tango and Tamura, I totally agree with you. More so with Tamura with their current production quality issue. They no longer made in JP, right. And Tango is not much better with their new production line. Nothing is the same!  
 
Tough time for DIYers in finding good cows.
bobui
12-01-09
14:05:00
回覆 (37): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
 
I'm confused. Someone enlighten me please!  
 
Apparently Tango and Tamura have no idea what they are actually doing.  
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that is not quite right. they know what they are doing. they just don't know what they are talking about^-^
drwkng
12-01-09
13:39:39
回覆 (36): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
 
 
Lundahl and Sowter are the only left behind audio transformer guys knowing exactly what they are really talking about.  
 
The only two successful audio transfomer makers that have put in extra effort on different core materials and winding methods are Tango and Tamura...................I have never seen a C-core Sowter...........  
___________________________________________________________________________  
 
I'm confused. Someone enlighten me please!  
 
Apparently Tango and Tamura have no idea what they are actually doing.  
 
 
cpsjj
12-01-09
13:17:21
回覆 (35): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Someone enlighten me please!  
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isn't it obvious?
drwkng
12-01-09
12:21:05
回覆 (34): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Is it independent ground point/switch for INPUT/primary and OUTPUT/secondary side of the transformer?  
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Interesting question. Have you got the answer from else where?  
 
Its a passive preamp which is not connected to the AC mains, right? So what is the ground switch for. The return signal path must be connected to the lower winding of the transformer anyway, hard to imagine there is swtich to cut it off. You cant really have a disconnected signal return oon the primary and secondary, right? It has to be a complete circuit!  
 
Someone enlighten me please!
bobui
12-01-09
12:11:38
回覆 (33): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
I tried some of sowter MC step-up transformers years ago but with disappointment.  
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At best, Sowter is just OK to me. Never exceptional or special to me. The thing is, most current or past proper audio transformer makers never look beyond their equations or client feedback (market reseach) when producing their range of products. Its all text book knowledge and maths they care.  
 
The only two successful audio transfomer makers that have put in extra effort on different core materials and winding methods are Tango and Tamura. Others mainly stick to what they believe and offer only a very narrow range of options. I never seen a C-core Sowter, have you? I never heard of an exotic core windings from Lundahl, have you? Has anyone seen a Jensen push-pull 100watts audio transformer? Not long ago, you can get all these options from tango and Tamura! To me, the tango MCT-999 mc cow is one of the best.
bobui
12-01-09
11:35:17
回覆 (32): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
""""as per the LS3/5A scenario"""  
 
Completely irrelevant!  
 
3/5A is a discontinued product and therefore enhancing speculation while any TVC is 要幾多有幾多 now and at any time.  
 
Every hifi fan needs/has at least one pair of loudspeaker. TVC is purely for a very tiny niche market and absolutely 難成氣候。 The MFA guys of course is also aware that such niche can be fille up pretty quickly and the "laughing all the way to the bank" days won't last long. So you see how "fierce" they are in pricing!  
 
BTW, if you are really interested in TVC but not anything fashionable (or looking for some investment), I strongly suggest you go to Dignity Audio and have an audition of their TVCs as well (http://dignityaudio.com/). You would at least not be that much wounded if by chance you discover a Dignity can do the same (or even better) job than a MFA.
ThomasC2
12-01-08
23:17:01
回覆 (31): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
I wasn’t aware that 2nd hand MFA’s are selling like hot cakes. If you can recoup at least 80% of your investment then there is no harm in trying and whether the item is worth its asking price is immaterial, as per the LS3/5A scenario.  
 
Those MFA guys must be laughing all the way to the bank.  
 
feikeung
12-01-08
21:39:35
回覆 (30): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Feikeung,  
 
believe it or not.  
 
Should I recruit the BBR home and kick the MK2 out, a friend of mine has asked me to sell my MK2 for his second system (he is also usimng MFA in his reference system), he also told me a group of Taiwanese audiophiles have expressed high interest in buying used Mk2.
dkyyu
12-01-08
21:03:47
回覆 (30): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
sowter cow cow?  
______  
I tried some of sowter MC step-up transformers years ago but with disappointment.
dkyyu
12-01-08
21:00:49
回覆 (29): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
 
 
..........my hard-earned money into something which has no or pitiful resale value on the 2nd hand market  
______________________________________________________________________________________  
 
Dr Feikeung,  
 
Which 2nd hand market are you talking about? I suggest you should take up a few of these TVCs like your Meridians and ARCs. These TVCs are selling like hot cakes, much like the 15ohm 3/5a 2 or 3 years ago. I put up my Classic for sale and within half an hour it's gone. The price is not bad too.  
 
 
cpsjj
12-01-08
20:46:31
回覆 (28): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Hard-earned money  
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Absolutely, my hard earned cash, not a lot really! Lundahl and Sowter are the only left behind audio transformer guys knowing exactly what they are really talking about.  
 
Www.sowter.co.uk  
 
bobui
12-01-08
16:13:44
回覆 (27): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Being a cheap skate, I would first investigate the possibility of having Lundahl, who really know what they are talking about without taking you to the cleaner’s, to custom make the damned impedance matcher with multi tabs before sinking $80K, which I think is absurd, of my hard-earned money into something which has no or pitiful resale value on the 2nd hand market.  
 
In my not so humble at times opinion, those MFA guys are thieves, unless you feel really good about being mugged, which, from certain perspectives, offers a psychological factor which can not be measured in monetary terms  
 
http://www.lundahl.se/index.html
feikeung
12-01-08
12:37:52
回覆 (26): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
There is two GROUNDING switches.  
 
Is it independent ground point/switch for INPUT/primary and OUTPUT/secondary side of the transformer?
icefox
12-01-08
02:36:35
回覆 (25): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
 
 
Photobucket  
 
 
Photobucket  
 
 
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cpsjj
12-01-08
00:39:00
回覆 (24): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Home Trial Reservation List  
 
1. 18/12 - 24/12 David Wong  
2. 24/12 - 5/1 Richard Lau  
3. 5/1 - 18/1 CP  
4. 18/1 - 2/2 Chi Ng  
5.  
6. 16/2 - 28/2 Icefox  
7. 1/3-14/3 Daiwok  
 
Let me know if any high-hand is interested in reviewing the BBR.
dkyyu
12-01-07
23:56:31
回覆 (25): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Daiwok,  
 
Do you prefer before or after Icefox?  
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After, as I am likely to be traveling in Mid Feb
daiwok
12-01-04
15:42:52
回覆 (24): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
 
 
So far, I heard favourable comments from the first 2 legs but both have some concern on the asking price.  
________________________________________________________________________________________  
 
I have no concern on the price at all, cos I can't afford anyway. But for critical comments, that's my forte.  
 
 
 
cpsjj
12-01-04
11:59:29
回覆 (23): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Daiwok,  
 
Do you prefer before or after Icefox?  
 
Home Trial Reservation List  
 
1. 18/12 - 24/12 David Wong  
2. 24/12 - 3/1 Richard Lau  
3. 3/1 or 4/1 - 18/1 CP  
4. 18/1 - 2/2 Chi Ng  
5.  
6. 16/2 - 28/2 Icefox  
7.  
dkyyu
12-01-04
11:47:03
回覆 (22): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Sorry, Icefox, it should be  
__________________________  
After serious listening by Ah Chi, we will deliver the BBR to your place to receive the TAU "Torture As Usual" process by Feikeung.  
dkyyu
12-01-04
11:45:17
回覆 (21): Music First Audio Baby Reference (BBR)
Update.  
 
 
CP,  
Will pass to you on Friday for your critical home trial. So far, I heard favourable comments from the first 2 legs but both have some concern on the asking price.  
 
Please conduct critical review. We wish to hear more opinion before any decision or commitment.  
 
Icefox,  
After CP's serious listening, we will deliver the BBR to your place to receive the TAU "Torture As Usual" process by Feikeung.  
 
Feikeung,  
If you are reading this, please take note that we also wish to hear your critical comments on this BBR. Please prepare for something serious.  
 
Happy New Year
dkyyu
12-01-04
11:44:04
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