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Musical Fidelity B200

Discussion in 'classic' started by stevec67, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Hi folks, I have found a B200 at a reasonable price. Are these worth having and do they suffer from the reliability issues that blighted the A series?

    Anyone got any comments?
  2. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    Didn't sell many of these even when they were in favour with the mags as they weren't particularly stunning. We didn't have a lot of trouble from new but a year or so down the line we had a couple with faulty volume controls.
  3. DSJR

    DSJR Between us and them

    Have all of you forgotten the B1 that did all the reviews - and the production ones that were nothing like it...
  4. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Ah yes, I remember reading all that argy-bargy in Hi-Fi Answers back in the day.

    Aren't the mags boring today.
  5. enbee23

    enbee23 pfm Member

    Can you give more detail of what actually happened?
    I had a B1 at the time (1989) but didn't hear until quite recently about this controversy... Doh!
  6. Steve Haill

    Steve Haill pfm Member

    I have still got two of them. My main one is highly modified and sounds great! It is still the best amp i have heard in my system. The first one i bought got so hot that it smelled of burning paint but they gave me a replacement that has lasted for 19 years. Not too bad! The only problems i have had with it are when doing mods, but that is my own fault, just clumsy.
  7. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    As a reviewer for many years, I sometimes had products to try which were beautifully put together using top notch bits but the production models were cheap and slung together with the performance suffering as a consequence. I have to say that this was only a problem with a few of the larger companies who, no doubt, would justify this policy but it is a bit worrying.
  8. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    That sounds very much a mixed bag. I may not bother. I'll have another look just the same, I know a friend had MF gear in the 80s and it was fab. Any idea of current value?
  9. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    £75-80 should be about right IMO

    I actually quite liked the sound of MF stuff from that period - the waffle top stuff designed by Tim D'P. I say that having used some of it within the past few years - wasn't 'allowed' to like MF stuff back in the day :)

    The A1 was decent if used within it's limits and assuming it stayed working.
    The P140 power amps were lovely things - and ran cool!
    The P172 pre amp sounded great and dared to have tone controls.
    The P270 & P370 power amps were also good - poor mans Krell.
  10. jackiechansthem

    jackiechansthem pfm Member

    I'm still using my 3 x P270 power amps and they're lurvly........poor man's Krell? I don't think so - the MF's were bought in favour of the KSA 50 and 100, which whilst beautifully finished were not sonically better and were significantly more expensive. The P270 have amazing capacity to drive impossible loads to silly levels without ever breaking into a sweat. Breathtaking!

    Just my two pennies worth :)
  11. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Absolutely, the comment 'poor mans Krell' was made in relation to the cost not performance.
    A friend had 270s driving huge door sized Apogee ribbons when everything else we tried slammed on the protection.
  12. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    In the early 90's I ran a Musical Fidelity P180 power amp + choke regulated power supply. It was a nice amp, but ultimately I felt it wasn't that resolving. plenty of power though, and still in use in my brothers system. It's 18 years old now!

    Weren't those old MF amps designed by Tim deParavacini?
  13. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Hi Neil,

    Yes I'm sure the P series were the work of Tim dePee.

    IIRC the P180 had about 20 output transistors all laid out on their own little heat sinks. Looked neat :)
  14. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    there you go:-


    Mine had the choke regulated supply though which was an extra box that sat in between the amp and power supply and contained 8 x 10,000uF caps and a couple of choke transformers. There was so much capacitance in the power supply that if you turned the power supply switch off, the amp would keep playing at full volume for at least 10 seconds before fading out.
  15. joel

    joel mojo working

    What we need is a list of all the amps Tim de P has designed over the decades. This would throw up some interesting names.
  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Many were, though sadly a fair few seemed to have been assembled by a baboon on acid. I knew someone who went through a Synthesis integrated, Preamp, Dr Thomas, MVT and a P170 - there were more dry joints in that lot than a hippie's ashtray. Every single one failed in some way soon after purchase and needed at least one warranty repair. They were big powerful spacious sounding things, but too lose and slow in the bass to my ears. I didn't get on with them to be honest.

  17. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    yeah, I didnt think the bass control was that great either.
  18. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    I recall my first ever experience of MF when a friend bought a MVT/P140 to drive his Epos ES14s. We both ran ES14s and used LP12/Ittok/Troika front ends but I ran Naim amps.

    I remember spending many evenings at his place enjoying his system but for entirely different reasons to my own. His system would take tiny details about the recording acoustic and present it right in front of you. There as also a warmth and liquidity to vocals that was stunning through the ES14. Play something up-beat and the problems appeared in terms of control and timing but I can understand why people liked Paravacini MF. IIRC the aim was to instill a little vintage tube amp character into the products so you could argue they succeeded.

    The 270/370 were better all-rounders and had plenty of grip and drive, as they should with a PSU not far removed from the local power sub station!
  19. Sniffers

    Sniffers Member

    I have a B200x. It runs cooler than the A1, A100 series, as it is a class AB amp. It shares the same case as the A1.

    There have been some problems with the selector switch just as in the A1 etc. Aside from that it is a very nice sounding integrated, well above average. Never had a problem with the volume control. Mark Hennesey in his site on the A1 goes through the various models. The last A1 special addition was based on the B200 and not the earlier A1. They do sell quite inexpensively and being much more reliable than the A would be a good entry level piece of equipment.


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