For those comparing the MFA against solid-state alternatives, the former really comes into its own when partnered with ultra-low output cartridges.
With the MFA you will notice much less noise and a stronger cleaner sound. But even for those with higher output cartridges, the MFA still has tangible benefits. Put simply, through the MFA, the music sounds fuller, cleaner and more solidly focused.
Naturally, everything depends on the quality of the solid-state unit you compare the MFA to, but few (if any) will offer such a winning combination of rich, silky smoothness and focused incisive clarity.
The MFA – even the standard copper version – is not cheap. Yet it offers tangible improvements in sound quality and greatly reduced noise – even compared to the best solid-state MC step-up preamplifiers.
Used with MC cartridges having 300uV+ output voltage, the MFA is perhaps something of a luxury – albeit a very worthwhile one. But for those using ultra low-output (100uV or less) cartridges, the MFA transformer is all, but essential.
The sonic benefits of ultra-low output MC cartridges – incredible delicacy and subtle finesse – tend to be lost when a sold-state MC step-up is used. The MFA, however, lets you hear these cartridges at their best.
Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview