Musical Fidelity A308cr Dual Mono Amplifier with Mods by The Upgrade Company
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Musical Fidelity A308cr Dual Mono Amplifier with Mods by The Upgrade Company
479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
Powerful and carefully designed amplifier from Musical Fidelity that is an exact fit for the matching A308cr upsampling 24-Bit CD player that we also have available for purchase, along with the matching DAC.
Click here to view all three matching pieces on our site.
Here's an excellent synopsis of this high-end amplifier from The Absolute Sound (Robert Harley, Issue 139):
"The A308 power amplifier is rated at 250Wpc into 8 ohms. It, too, is a true dual-mono design, with separate torroidal transformers for each channel, choke regulation, and 40,000 microfarads of filter capacitance in the power supply. The audio circuit is all discrete, and the output stage comprises three pairs of bipolar output devices per channel.
The A308 power amplifier offered the dynamically effortless presentation that such high power tends to confer. It shared many of the preamplifier’s qualities, particularly the dynamic effortlessness, natural rendering of timbre, and quiet background. The amplifier’s soundstaging was wonderful, with a natural sense of air between the performers, fine gradations of depth, and a transparency that let me see deep into the soundstage rear."
This amp was upgraded to the Signature Edition by The Upgrade Company with more specifics than we can describe here, so please click on this link to head to their site for specific details.
Tested and working without issue to manufacturer original specifications. Shows some signs of use around the front panel logo, but nothing major, and is not something you really notice while sitting back enjoying this amp from your listening chair.
This listing includes the amplifier, a power cord, and the upgrade documentation as shown in the last listing photo.
Output Voltage, RMS Peak: 45 Volts 20Hz to 20kHz 127 Volts
Power Output, Single or Both Channels Driven: 250 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (24dBW), 450 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms
Peak-to-Peak Output Current: 72 Amps
Damping Factor: 180
Output Devices Per Channel: 6
Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise: 0.003% at 1kHz up to 90% power, into 4 or 8 Ohms, < 0.007% 10Hz to 40kHz at 12.5 Watts into 8 Ohms
Intermodular Distortion: 0.002% at 12.5 Watts into 8 Ohms
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz ±0dB, 10Hz to 100kHz +0 / -1.5dB >
Channel Separation: 100dB 20Hz to 20kHz
Audio Gain: 30dB (31.5 times) nominal 31K Ohm
Input Sensitivity for Full Power Output into 8 Ohms: 1.42 Volts > 124dB “A”- weighted
Inputs: "A": 1 pair RCA connectors, selectable from the front panel "B": 1 pair RCA connectors, selectable from the front panel
Outputs: 2 amplifier channels via 2 pairs of speaker binding posts per channel, 1 pair RCA loop output sockets
Dimensions: 440 mm, 17.3 inches wide, 143 mm, 5.6 inches high including feet, 394 mm, 15.5 inches deep including terminals
Weight: 23.5 kg, 51.7 lbs. unit only, unboxed 26 kg, 57.2 lbs. in shipping carton
Click here for a PDF copy of the Owner's Manual
Please click here for detailed specifics regarding our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.
Yes - Power
-Hi-Fi Choice PRODUCT OF THE YEAR - Stereo Pre/Power Amp
Musical Fidelity’s A308CR is a big shiny amplifier which offers bags of power and a good selection of features. Our original reviewer claimed it is one of the least “sounding” amplifier combinations you can get. In other words, it has very little character that you can identify - a real talent for a hi-fi amp - and you’ll hear the source, the cables, and the speakers’ character before you can get a handle on the amp’s sonic signature. It seems to work with just about everything you throw at it - hip-hop, classical, rock, whatever, it all gets the same non-treatment. Its accurate, honest, spacious nature brings you closer to the music - excellent value in a sector dominated by larger and more expensive alternatives.
-The Absolute Sound (Robert Harley, Issue 139)
The A308 power amplifier is rated at 250Wpc into 8 ohms. It, too, is a true dual-mono design, with separate torroidal transformers for each channel, choke regulation, and 40,000 microfarads of filter capacitance in the power supply. The audio circuit is all discrete, and the output stage comprises three pairs of bipolar output devices per channel.
The circuit-board layout, which has a large effect on the sound, is the result of 20 years of evolution at Musical Fidelity. The literature says the company has refined its layouts over the years, making incremental improvements along the way.
The A308 power amplifier offered the dynamically effortless presentation that such high power tends to confer. It shared many of the preamplifier’s qualities, particularly the dynamic effortlessness, natural rendering of timbre, and quiet background. The amplifier’s soundstaging was wonderful, with a natural sense of air between the performers, fine gradations of depth, and a transparency that let me see deep into the soundstage rear.
I can recommend the A308 pair even for demanding high-end systems, though many audiophiles may overlook them as not being expensive or exclusive enough. But if sound quality and honest value are important to you, this new pair from Musical Fidelity should be on your short list to audition.
-The Inner Ear Report
All preamplifiers [used in the evaluation] established the MF’s masterful harmonic proficiency. Its 250 watts per channel was not imposed on the system, but rather its power was well controlled and tamed to conform to the loudspeakers’ demands. When program material required dynamics, the MF rose to the occasion instantaneously providing weight and spirit to the music. Yet, the amplifier managed superb inner detail and presence, much as one would expect from very small, very intricate (and very expensive) amplifier designs. We noted bass information was rich, well-textured, and harmonious. All midrange information showed exceptional mastery of subtle elements, such as tonal gradations, timbre, and other musical complexities. The MF power amplifiers provided an effortless, gracious flow of high frequencies, which resulted in a sophisticated presentation of instruments which perform in that range.
The Musical Fidelity system offers enough power and finesse to accommodate even the most demanding loudspeaker designs. Audition these components with upscale cables, for they could be the weak link in an otherwise great audio system.
-Hi-Fi Choice (Alan Sircom)
This strikes a perfect balance, with more than enough power on tap to give it loads of grip over the bottom end of most speaker systems. It also has a treble and midrange that are completely free from grain or constriction. But none of these are evident until you switch back from the A308cr. At that point, the majority of other amplifier combos sound "bunged up" like they have hay fever.
Nothing phases the A308cr. Even full-on Mahler or balls-out Led Zep can be played at insane listening levels with reserves on tap.
The biggest reason for many buying something costing more than the A308CR is “label pride”. Those stuck on spending over the odds on buying the latest designer label will always stump up extra cash for extra cachet, even when there is little or no reason to. There is no such thing as the perfect amplifier, but the Musical Fidelity A308CR pre/power amp combo gets closer than most.
-Hi-Fi News (Dave Berriman)
Here was subterranean, firm, powerful bass, precise but not overpowering, a deep, wide soundstage and no sense of unnatural strain.
Apart from the superb build quality, their sonic and musical performance is little short of stunning, with oodles of clarity, space, rhythm, bass texture, and instrumental definition. It’s as close as you’ll find to a neutral conduit anywhere and may force you to really listen to familiar recordings anew.
Hi-Fi World (David Price)
Its low frequency articulation is almost a religious experience.
A top-drawer pre-power combination that does so much so well and gives away so little to its price rivals from all sides of the field. It’s open and smooth, yet manages to pump vast amounts of power. I’d say the Musical Fidelity A308 pre-power combo is all most people will ever need from a hi-fi amplifier.
Verdict: Four Stars. Another fine all-rounder with a brilliantly powerful and clear sound. Partner with good ancillaries and you may never upgrade again.