Fine Tuning - Technical & Sonic Overview

*** Please Note: Our Fine Tuning Service is only available to UK based customers ***

At any price-point Musical Fidelity products perform in an exemplary manner. To make a substantial improvement in their technical performance would need them to be a different amplifier! We extract the maximum performance from any given circuit arrangement without affecting reliability or long-term life.

The aim of our upgrades is not to change the technical performance but to upgrade the listening experience. Therefore our upgrades to both amplifiers and CD players centre around:

Capacitors

These are replaced with newer high technology devices which have low ESR, wider temperature operating range and greater frequency response. Also worthy of note is that capacitors “age” and their performance reduces. Fitting new ones will rejuvenate your amp or CD player.

De-coupling and bypass caps are a particularly sensitive area. Changing or adding these to the circuit improves the sonic performance.

Transistor matching

We go to considerable lengths to make sure that all the transistors are matched but they are not hand super-matched. This does make a difference to the sonic performance but strangely has no effect on the measured performance.

Tube replacement

As everybody knows tubes age and their performance wanes over a period of time. It is quite surprising how much sonic effect this has. When you put that together with super-matching pairs of tubes you get a serious sonic improvement.

Regulators

Quality commercial regulators seem to work okay. Our research has shown that professional quality types with much less HF noise and low output impedance have a considerable effect on the sound quality.

Re-clocking

Re-clocking is a very sensitive area. There’s no doubt that fitting any of our DACs or CD players with our precision clock configuration results in a cleaner, smoother sound. It is really important to note that doing anything to the clock is extremely likely to affect the jitter performance. Our super clock upgrade has no effect on the jitter figure, this took a lot of work on our Miller and Rhode and Schwartz jitter measurement gear. Buyer beware! Many people offer clock “upgrades” to our CD players and DACs.

They have no means of measuring them to find out their effect on the jitter. On the few examples we’ve seen of so-called “upgrades” the jitter performance has been dramatically worsened. Beware of technicians offering upgrades. Actually they’re offering downgrades.

Laser replacements

As with any optical device, a laser’s efficiency reduces with time. On our upgrades we replace and realign the laser assembly to ensure maximum performance.

So what’s it sound like then!

Our aim is to make the sound more refined with less grain and better imaging. The bottom end is also tightened and extended. Dynamic attack is about the same but mid-level smaller dynamics are remarkably enhanced.

The total result of our upgrades is a rejuvenation of the sound which gives greater musicality and listener satisfaction.

Third Party Tweeking?

 

Upgrades or downgrades?

There are many self-appointed Musical Fidelity “experts” who offer modifications. Let’s get one thing straight: none of these people have a proper technical background; they are service engineers trying to scratch a living by offering to tinker with MF equipment. We have seen many examples of their work.

CD players

The results of their work on CD players are shocking. In all cases the original excellent jitter performance has been dramatically reduced by a factor of about 10 times. Noise ratio has also been affected and reduced by 8dB to 10dB. With CD players and DACs the slightest change to anything in the power supply or clock will have far reaching repercussions on the technical performance. You need good quality, state-of-the-art equipment to measure the results of any changes you’ve made. This equipment is only possessed by manufacturers it’s too expensive for anybody else really. So if you’ve had your DAC or CD player tinkered with by one of these self-appointed experts, it may sound different but that’s because its technical performance has been degraded. Our modifications and upgrades do not change the original excellent technical performance. Caveat emptor (buyer beware!).

Amplifiers

Again, we have seen a few examples of these and without exception their stability margins are greatly reduced. This means that the amplifier is likely to be oscillating and unstable into the loudspeakers. Damage to the loudspeakers and the amplifier are likely. If you’re going to modify amplifiers you need to know what you’re doing and understand the full technical ramifications of any modifications you make. MF’s upgrades do not affect the stability margins or any other technical parameter.

Want to know more?

Why not read some testimonials sent in by previous Fine Tuning customers? Testimonials