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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 4:48 pm 
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I bought a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated amp (new) back in 2002 or so. It's seen periods of greater/lesser use over the years, but has always treated me well.

Recently, I've been using it a lot and it has become a little glitchy: sometimes when I power it up, none of the input selectors work or light up when I try to select them. Powering it on and off once or twice always fixes it. And yesterday, the remote volume control didn't work. Everything else on the remote worked, but not the volume. Today, it works fine.

For the glitchy input selectors, I'm thinking (hoping) maybe it's just a relay that needs cleaning? But I'm not sure why the remote volume would work sometimes and sometimes not (I believe it's just a motor that uses a rubber band to spin the actual volume knob.)

So, I'm not sure what to do. I'm tempted just to sell it (with full disclosure of the issues) and get something new, but I'd rather not spend the $$$ on something new if I don't have to. I guess I could take it to a local shop and have them service/clean it, but not sure it's worth it. I understand that MF uses some obscure/proprietary parts, and I doubt the local shops are familiar with MF stuff.

Any thoughts/experiences? I can live with the glitches, if this is as bad as it gets, just wondering if it's a sign that the end is nigh.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 4:58 pm 
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A word of caution about using the local repair man who also services toasters and CB Radios for any sort of high end audio gear.

DON'T DO IT!

Find a reputable service organisation who has prior, relevant experience with the brand to service your gear. Selling a known bad piece of gear is fraught with pitfalls, not the least being the halving of its value or more and that you still can be held responsible for any repairs or cancellation of the sale if you do not disclose ALL the problems resulting in a hit to your reputation and credibility and the refund of the selling price AND shipping charges.

You really have only 2 options: sell it AS-IS and document it in writing that it is an AS-IS sale for parts only OR get it fixed.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Thanks. There may or may not be a decent repair shop somewhere in Calgary (I've checked out the thread elsewhere here), but it's doubtful any shop here would be familiar with Musical Fidelity stuff.

I've been turning off the amp between listening sessions, but for now I think I'll try leaving it on. Once it's working, it seems to stay working.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 5:45 pm 
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It looks as if the A3 uses a pair of small plugs to run the signal and power to the front panel and lights/indicators.

This also appears to control the power and signal sensing for the IR sensor.


Pulling and then resetting those two plugs MAY make the problem go away.

There appears to be three of them, actually.

They are connecting the main board to the front panel and are closest to the center shaft for the volume control. The power supply for the IR sensor and the front panel is right adjacent to the spot the cables plug into on the main board.

Image

The unit needs to be unplugged from the wall power (120V) and then left sit overnight, then one can try pulling and then re-seating those three plugs, on both ends of each plug. Only do one at a time, so things don't get confused. If you try this on your own, don't be wearing any rings.

Pulling and re-seating that relay control plug (between the blue relays), would not be a bad idea either.

_________________
(Ken Hotte, of) Teo Audio


Last edited by Teo Audio on Mon May 01, 2017 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:11 pm 
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Location: AB, CA
That's fantastic. Many thanks!

Yes, I think I'll open it up and have a poke around myself. I have a Grade 13 electronics course under my belt (30 years ago :shock: ), so I'm not entirely clueless. :?


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:24 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
HI luckydog-regarding your volume issue only-I had similar problem with my tri-vista turned out the junky mf remote was the culprit. I replaced with a harmony and stuck the mf unit into a dustbin :?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:45 am 
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@luckydog

I am curious if re-seating has resolved your issues as I am experiencing the exact same problems with my MF A300. If you get a chance please reply.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:23 am 
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Location: Georgetown, ON, CA
Don't leave stuff running all the time. Its not good for the equipment and also opens you to the risk of damage if there is a large spike on the power.

You may have some power supply issues. Your equipment may simply need to have some maintenance work done. Don't try to do this yourself.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:06 am 
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luckydog wrote:
I bought a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated amp (new) back in 2002 or so. It's seen periods of greater/lesser use over the years, but has always treated me well.

Recently, I've been using it a lot and it has become a little glitchy: sometimes when I power it up, none of the input selectors work or light up when I try to select them. Powering it on and off once or twice always fixes it. And yesterday, the remote volume control didn't work. Everything else on the remote worked, but not the volume. Today, it works fine.

For the glitchy input selectors, I'm thinking (hoping) maybe it's just a relay that needs cleaning? But I'm not sure why the remote volume would work sometimes and sometimes not (I believe it's just a motor that uses a rubber band to spin the actual volume knob.)

So, I'm not sure what to do. I'm tempted just to sell it (with full disclosure of the issues) and get something new, but I'd rather not spend the $$$ on something new if I don't have to. I guess I could take it to a local shop and have them service/clean it, but not sure it's worth it. I understand that MF uses some obscure/proprietary parts, and I doubt the local shops are familiar with MF stuff.

Any thoughts/experiences? I can live with the glitches, if this is as bad as it gets, just wondering if it's a sign that the end is nigh.


Those MF's also known under another brand, I think Audio Fidelity, were tiny little integrated class A amplifiers that ran too hot for their own good. Over the years, the heat and lack of heat exchange or any real effective heat sinks would make these little amps so you could easily fry an egg, no shite. They could sound pretty good though and would be better sounding than other comparable class B amps like a Mission Cyrus for example.

-- 14 Aug 2017 07:08 --

Musicware4u wrote:
luckydog wrote:
I bought a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated amp (new) back in 2002 or so. It's seen periods of greater/lesser use over the years, but has always treated me well.

Recently, I've been using it a lot and it has become a little glitchy: sometimes when I power it up, none of the input selectors work or light up when I try to select them. Powering it on and off once or twice always fixes it. And yesterday, the remote volume control didn't work. Everything else on the remote worked, but not the volume. Today, it works fine.

For the glitchy input selectors, I'm thinking (hoping) maybe it's just a relay that needs cleaning? But I'm not sure why the remote volume would work sometimes and sometimes not (I believe it's just a motor that uses a rubber band to spin the actual volume knob.)

So, I'm not sure what to do. I'm tempted just to sell it (with full disclosure of the issues) and get something new, but I'd rather not spend the $$$ on something new if I don't have to. I guess I could take it to a local shop and have them service/clean it, but not sure it's worth it. I understand that MF uses some obscure/proprietary parts, and I doubt the local shops are familiar with MF stuff.

Any thoughts/experiences? I can live with the glitches, if this is as bad as it gets, just wondering if it's a sign that the end is nigh.


Those MF's also known under another brand, I think Audio Fidelity, were tiny little integrated class A amplifiers that ran too hot for their own good. Over the years, the heat and lack of heat exchange or any real effective heat sinks would make these little amps so you could easily fry an egg, no shite. They could sound pretty good though and would be better sounding than other comparable class B amps like a Mission Cyrus for example.

An external power supply would have made lots of sense but the cost would have been higher.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:46 am 
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Hi Musicware4u,
And the heat damage is very severe too. I'm talking from experience with these on my bench.

You should hear serviced Cyrus equipment, and the current stuff. They have a lot on class A done cheaply. Just because something is "class A" or "class AB" doesn't describe how they will sound, and class A products have their own distortion - especially the budget ones.

You have your own taste in music, but I think it would be nice if on average, you can bet on getting music instead of smoke when you switch it on. The only thing worse would be to leave it on all the time. The A-1 or A-100 you're talking about should be dead by now.

-Chris


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:38 pm 
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lucky13-67 wrote:
@luckydog

I am curious if re-seating has resolved your issues as I am experiencing the exact same problems with my MF A300. If you get a chance please reply.

Thanks!


Sorry, just saw this now. Haven't done anything yet, but hope to give it a try sometime soon. Will let you know the results if/when I do.

As I said, it works normally 95% of the time, but I had a good one a few months ago: turned it on and couldn't figure out why I was hearing a low level noise from the speakers. Took a closer look and realised the volume control had cranked itself up to the max! I turned it down, but as soon as I let go of the knob, it spun itself back up to 100%. So I turned off the amp, turned it on again, and all was well. It's like the thing is possessed. :shock:

And I did decide not to leave it on all the time, although this one isn't Class A like that early MF amp. No heat issues here: I'm using it in a small room, and even after a loud (for me) listening session, I've never felt the case get more than barely warm.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Location: Scotts Valley, CA, US
Thanks for the reply!

We certainly have the exact same issue(s). I had the volume control do exactly the same thing, except in my case I had to unplug it and wait several minutes to reattach power and turn it on before it stopped. This happened only once so far and on a very hot day this past summer so I am thinking that was heat related.

The other issue happens about 1 in 4 power ups, so about 25% of the time. I did go in and reseat all of the connections, but that did not seem to help at all. So no reason for you to try I suppose.

Thanks again and good luck. If I have any other valuable encounters/information I will let you know.


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