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Music Hall MMF-5.1 review

Music Hall MMF-5.1

Overview

The Music Hall MMF-5.1 Turntable is a two-speed, belt driven audiophile turntable, with a quality design.

The MMF-5.1 features the same Pro-Ject 9 tonearm as on the more expensive MMF-7 turntable, an RCA junction box, a dynamically balanced alloy platter, special vibration dampening feet, a record clamp, and a unique dual-plinth construction originated by Music Hall. The MMF-5.1 comes mounted with the high quality Ortofon Magic 3 moving-magnet cartridge, making this audiophile turntable hard to top for under $1,000!

The split-plinth design means the 12V AC synchronous motor, switch, wiring and electrical parts are mounted directly to the bottom plinth, while the critical sound reproducing components, the arm, cartridge and platter bearing are mounted to the top plinth. Viso elastic cones separate the bottom platform from the top. This gives the turntable an extra level of isolation from those nasty vibrations which cloud the music’s details. This makes Music Hall’s MMF-5.1 a definite winner compared to competitor’s tables where the motor is mounted to the same plinth as the “arm” and platter bearing.

The glass platter and felt mat sit on a high quality, stainless steel ball bearing sheathed in Teflon providing fluid and noise-free operation. The bearing assembly comes pre-charged with lubricant. The RCA junction box replaces the permanent capture hard wiring of the MMF-5. This allows you to use the provided interconnects or any type of interconnect cable of your choosing!
The Music Hall MMF-5.1 is easy to assemble and comes with an excellent instruction manual and 45 rpm adapter.

Music Hall MMF-5.1

Price: $875

Review

The MMF series has gotten rave reviews over the year; they are a bargain for what you get.

The MMF-5.1 looks great with the high gloss piano black plinth, and is a pretty sturdy turntable. A high end LOMC cart, an improved platter mat, better feet, and a Speedbox II will greatly improve it though. As for cartridges, we recommend a Denon DL160 high-output moving coil.

The design of the MMF-5.1 remains the same as the award winning MMF 5: a two-speed, belt driven turntable with a dual plinth, Teflon coated noise-free main bearing, an isolated asynchronous motor, and all-manual operation. It upgrades the MMF 5 by focusing on isolating the core sound components even further, from each other as well as from the environment.

Most significantly, the MMF 5.1 uses the Pro-Ject 9 Tonearm, the same arm used on the higher-end MMF 7 record player. Made from a single piece of aluminum, this arm boasts high-rigidity, with the rear stub slightly lowered, leveling the de-coupled counterweight’s center of gravity with the stylus tip. The wire inside the arm has also been replaced with a higher grade of copper.

Note that the effective length of the tonearm is nine and a half inches. This allows for a very shallow tracking arc on the record thus reducing distortion. The tone arm comes mounted with a high quality Goldring GL 2200 moving magnet cartridge (a $175.00 value).

The new alloy platter –which replaces the glass platter of the MMF 5–, weighs half as much, with stronger dampening properties. To isolate the platter further, Music Hall added a set of adjustable vibration-dampening feet. Instead of the integrated RCA cables, you get a junction box, allowing you to use your own interconnects. A quality set of RCA cables is still included in the box.

All of these changes are implemented in a unique but proven dual-plinth design, with the top plinth isolated from the base by a set of Viso-elastic cones. This innovation will give a darker backdrop to the sound, keeping unwanted noise out while letting rich detail seep into the sonic image. The MMF-5.1 is amongst the quietest you will ever have the chance to listen to.

This record player has a good pitch, without any audible speed variations in the motor. The tonearm and cartridge tracks LPs very nicely, without any glitch. Next to the tonearm on the plinth is a built-in level that seems to be pretty accurate for leveling.

The soundstage, presence, and depth, recorded on your vintage LPs can readily be heard and appreciated with this unit. From small jazz ensembles to large romantic symphonic works, this excellent turntable lets you appreciate the composers, the artists, and the recording engineers’ magic and craft. With Music Hall’s MMF-5.1, you’re likely to hear new details and complexity on your LPs for the first time. What about being able to follow bass tracks note-for-note, as opposed to these getting lost in the rest of the music?

The MMF-5.1 goes for $875 new. If that is a bit too much, we recommend you go for the cheaper models from Music Hall (read our review of the Music Hall MMF-2.2) or Rega. Just don’t make do with a mediocre system for too long…

Sure, the cartridge accounts for a lot of the difference in getting the most out of your vinyl. But trying to put a fine cartridge on a mid-fi turntable is a false economy. Get a great turntable, and you will truly hear the difference. The MMF-5.1 rightfully allows you to hear that difference, and is a wonderful upgrade from a mid-level stereo system.

For someone wanting to get into or back into vinyl and not bust the bank this is the perfect turntable. Approaching the $1,000 mark for a record player budget often poses all sorts of dilemmas, as there is a lot out there to confuse and bewilder you. But if it is less, then the choice becomes rather easy, as the great sub-$1,000 turntables are well-known and enjoy a great reputation. The MMF-5.1 is one of them; you simply cannot go wrong with it, and its purchase lets you sleep soundly, knowing that you needn’t have spent more to get the best audiophile sound that your ears will hear.

Praise

Music Hall MMF-5 Turntable: So Good it’s laughable! The MMF-5 is a ‘plug and play’ design you can have up and running in 10 minutes. The MMF-5 will make an analog believer out of the most doctrinaire digital fanatic. It’s a gateway drug into the intoxicating world of analog playback. Get hooked… you’ll never go back!
— Michael Fremer, Stereophile, Analog Corner

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND 2006 EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS Turntables Under $1000 Music Hall MMF-5 – “…provides the LP lover with a warm, musically engaging, and affordable vinyl playback solution…the Music Hall is an outstanding value.” (SH issue 135)

 

StoresProductPrice
AmazonMusic Hall mmf 5.1 Black Record Turntable

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AmazonMusic Hall MMF-5.1 Piano Black Belt Drive Turntable

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of Jun 30 11:00:17 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Features

  • Gorgeous high-gloss Piano Black Lacquer finish
  • Music hall’s unique dual plinth construction
  • Top tier one piece alloy tonearm with flexible internal wire drawn from high purity copper
  • Counterweight’s center of gravity is level with the stylus tip is decoupled from the arm and acts as a resonance damper
  • Flexible internal tonearm wire drawn from high purity copper
  • Separately isolated asynchronous motor with two-speed (33/45rpm) pulley
  • Goldring GL 2200 moving magnet phono cartridge/Goldring 1012GX moving magnet phono cartridge ($300 value) with replaceable fine line Gyger II elliptical diamond stylus. The cartridge supplied is properly aligned and mounted
  • Precision stainless steel main bearing sheathed in Teflon for noise-free fluid operation
  • Dynamically balanced alloy platter with soft felt mat and screw-on record clamp
  • High quality gold RCA connectors and detachable phono cable
  • Special vibration damping adjustable feet and round spirit level
  • Low noise fully manual belt drive design
  • Excellent instruction manual and easy assembly
  • Dust cover and 45rpm adaptor

Specs

Dimensions (w x d x h) 18.5 x 14.2 x 5.2 inches

Weight of the unit (incl. packing material): 24 lbs

Table:

Speeds: 33 1/3 rpm, Move the Belt for 45 RPM
Effective length of tonearm: 9 inches
Overhang: 0.06 inches
Platter diameter: 11.8 inches
Platter weight: 3.15 lbs.
Power supply: 110V/60Hz
Dimensions (w x d x h): 18.5 x14.2 x 5.2″
Weight of the unit (incl. packing material): 24 lbs

Cartridge:

Frequency range: 20-27.000 Hz
Frequency response: 20-20.000 Hz + 2 / – 3 dB
Tracking ability at 315Hz at recommended tracking force 90 µm
Compliance, dynamic, lateral: 30 µm/mN
Stylus type: Nude FG 70
Stylus tip radius: r/R 5/70 µm
Equivalent stylus tip mass: 0.3 mg
Tracking force range: 1.25-1.75 g (12.5-17.5 mN)
Tracking force, recommended: 1.5 g (15 mN)
Tracking angle: 20°

Instructions Manual

Click here to download.

StoresProductPrice
AmazonMusic Hall mmf 5.1 Black Record Turntable

Too Low to Display


Go to Store
AmazonMusic Hall MMF-5.1 Piano Black Belt Drive Turntable

Too Low to Display


Go to Store
Product prices and availability are accurate as of Jun 30 11:00:17 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
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