I would like to give my thanks to John for his work on my Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista M3 amp , John’s level of knowledge and customer service is second to non. I would recommend you give him a call if you are considering moving on and not sure weather to upgrade, I decided that I would go for the full package of upgrades that are currently available with replacement of speaker terminals.
Now that I have 100 Hrs + burn in I am completely blown away, there have been vast improvements in every area the treble is dramatically cleaner, clearer and sweeter, with voices now in the room with you rather than trapped in a narrow field between the speakers. The mid-range now has clarity at all times the bass weight and extension is now nothing short of remarkable the soundstage is vast and realistic ,truly remarkable: if you are thinking or in the position to have the upgrade work done then you really should go for it I highly recommend it . Thanks again John.
Musical Fidelity M250
I would like to give my thanks to John for his very quick repair of my M250 mono block power amplifier, i delivered the amp to him on the friday afternoon and had a phone call on sunday morning saying it was repaired, and at a reasonable cost.
What more can you ask for?
Well done John.
Although I had found the site quite some time ago, I first contacted John in October last year regarding the possibility of repairing my Tri-Vista SACD player, which would no longer switch on. Unfortunately I was told that it wasn’t repairable. Anyway about a week later I filled out the Quotation Request form to have my KW500 amplifier upgraded. When John rang to discuss the various options I was very impressed not only by his knowledge but felt that he had a true passion for the equipment and upgrades that he carries out.I decided that I would go for the full package of upgrades that were currently available for the KW500. This involved changes to both the main amp and the PSU, an upgraded set of umbilical cables, replacement speaker terminals on the main amp plus a set of WBT Speaker banana plugs being supplied.
Well when the I received the equipment back in early January I was completely blown away. As John had promised there have been vast improvements in every area. The treble is dramatically cleaner, clearer and sweeter, with voices now in the room with you rather than trapped in a narrow field between the speakers. The mid-range now has clarity at all times, no longer is it lost during complex passages or muddied in any way. The bass weight and extension is now nothing short of remarkable. It is the first time in almost 24 years of owning them that my Bowers & Wilkins CM2 Concept 90 speakers have truly come to life. Also the soundstage is vast and realistic, only governed by the listening environment and not by equipment limitations. Again truly remarkable!
It has been said here many times already but if you are in a position to have the upgrade work done then you really should
complete the Upgrade Request form and then await John’s phone call. The only thing missing from John’s alchemy is that he didn’t add his name in someway to the amp and psu cases. They are now Musical Fidelity +++.
Hey I am so delighted I found your blog page, I really found you by mistake, while I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a remarkable post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the fantastic work
Well its been a while since John upgraded my A 3.2cr Amp and Pre Amp. Firstly John’s level of knowledge and customer service is second to non. I would recommend you give him a call if you are considering moving on and not sure weather to upgrade or buy new. Please see my comments below
The upgraded amps are warmer in the midrange with more body. They are clearly more musical. Treble response is more extended and refined. Images have far better seperation on large scale musical passages. The amp is more natural sounding with more depth as well as better dynamics.They sound faster w/ better bass definition, low frequency extension and weight. Micro level detail is increased across the frequency band from bass to treble.Transparency, the ability to see into the soundstage is increased and the unit now also has and a wider and deeper soundstage. Thanks John Regards Ashley
Tri-vista Integrated Amp Upgrade
I recently had my MF Trivista Amplifier upgraded by John. What a difference!The overall return on the cost of the upgrade is easily quantified. Better seperation of instuments, better bass, better soundstage. Better everything. A no brainer for the price.
In addition a level of service that you hear about, but seems to be the exception rather than the norm these days. Highly recommended.
looking to see best route for moving forwrd with older and affordable mf amplification (preferably biampable).
ML390s CD Player
Repair for a Mark Levinson ML390s cd player:John’s knowledge and skill was instantly apparent from our initial phone call when he was the first person to say that the Philips CD-Pro transport can be repaired.
John fixed the player in under 24 hours by replacing the laser which he carries in stock.
It’s good to see true workmanship, experience and honesty in time when there are other people in the business that have a and culture of just replacing the cd transport as a complete unit and are blatantly doing it for a quick quid.
I can assure this reader John will endeavour only to replace parts when required and repairing where possible.
A true engineer in my eyes.
Looking forward to popping in with my Moscode 402au power amp for upgrades.
Nuvista M3 amp
I Hope you are well.I was thinking of hving my Nuvista M3 upgraded in the middle of the year sometime.I am emailing you to ask the cost of a full upgrade so i can get saving.
ps..i read that its possible to have the binding posts changed also to WBT ones.Much improvement doing this?.or any other extras worth considering?.
Musical Fidelity KW DM25 DAC & Transport & KW550 Amp
It,s been about 6 months now since John upgraded my KW550 amp & DM25 dac & transport and thought it about time I left some feed back regarding Johns upgrades.I won,t go into the technical side of the modifications because i,m only interested in the end result really,the sound.
Make no mistake John,s modifications have improved the sound quality of my system on every level by a big margin,whilst enjoying my Musical Fidelity Equipment I always felt there was room for improvement & I,m glad to say John has now allowed me to fully appreciate my systems musical ability.The kw550 now has much more control with an effortless presentation,bass is deeper but always controlled without sounding bloated. There is no trace of the harsh or shouty mid range & straining treble that it showed before, even when played at only moderate listening levels.
The soundstage now has real depth & width with levels of detail that were just were not audible before.
My dac & transport have undergone similar improvements in every department, i.e much better detail,timing,clarity,depth,seperation the lot!.To sum things up, if you are thinking about using John to upgrade your equipment I can honestly say you really owe it to yourself to do so because the improvements are that good you will be smiling for a very long time.Thanks again John.
NU-VISTA 3D CD Player / NU-VISTA M3 Integrated Amp, X-LPS Phono Stage
This is the second upgrade to the M3 amp – the first upgrade was such a dramatic improvement that I couldn’t resist John’s recommendation for a few more tweaks. This would be done at the same time as a long awaited upgrade to the cd player and phone stage. I’ve now been living with the modified kit for about 3 months – it’s everything John said it would be – and more! The improvement to the soundstage is remarkable – the musicians really do sound like they are in the room with me -it’s that good! Deeper bass, clearer top end etc – all much improved.
If you are wondering whether or not to go ahead and upgrade I would strongly recommend going for it – the qualities of the MF kit are still there – the musicality – it’s just that it all gets better.
Thanks John – you’ve done an excellent job.
Musical Fidelity A1000, A200 and an a3 pre amp
The A1000, A200 and an a3 pre amp, all 1990 models have been totally upgraded. The advice John gave me was very helpful as he has extensive knowledge on HiFi. The quality of the work is first class and it has been a very worthwhile exercise, the sound quality has improved noticeably. I would strongly recommend anyone with these amps to have this work done.
Musical Fidelity X10v3 Tube Buffer
John yet again another exceptional job you’ve managed to do. The sound is absolutely awesome and the bespoke power supply you’ve made up is great build and quality, a real bargain. Thanks again.Roy.
X-Ray- Nu-Vista Pre Amp & 2 x X-A200
John upgraded CD player, Pre Amp and my 2 mono amps. Although they have not been fully run in by any means there is a vast improvement over what were probably some tired units. There is much more detail, clarity and depth of bass, making listening to my collection all the more interesting. I look forward to passing the hours soaking up the sound as it improves over the coming months.
It was nice meeting you and thank you John for your oourtesy and patienceIan Hunt
A3 24 DAC
I’ve had the DAC back about 1 month since John upgraded it. I use it with my sqeezebox and onyko Ipod dock playing through JS Audio upgraded KW 500 amp. Another fantastic job by John. Sound is top notch and has really made a BIG difference to the quality of the mp3, internet radio etc coming from the 2 sources mentioned above. As many here have already written…. anybody with MF gear should upgrade with John…..the difference in sound quality is astonishing.
Musical Fidelity A308 Integrated Amp and A308 CD Player
After many months of saving I managed to get my hands on a Musical Fidelity A308 integrated Amp and the matching CD player and a pair of B&W 804S speakers.
I’ve had stereo equipment upgraded in the past so I know what results can be achieved especially in the right hands and with John’s vast Musical Fidelity expertise there was no doubt of who would be carrying out the upgrades, so off they went for the full treatment.The reason for acquiring the A308 units is that a good friend of mine has a Musical Fidelity Nu Vista Cd player and a Tri Vista Integrated Amp and the sound through his B&W 804 speakers was just what I wanted myself, unfortunately my budget could not extend to the Nu and Tri Vista set up but after speaking to John he assured me that the A308′s once upgraded would be at least on par with my friends Nu/Tri Vista.
After a couple of weeks both units arrived back as promised and were immediately setup for my first demo. The sound was clear, clean, smooth and defined but it was not until I listened to my friends setup that I really noticed the difference and how amazing mine sounded to his.
My now fully upgraded A308′s completely outperformed the standard Nu/Tri Vista setup in every area, depth, clarity, soundstage, smoothness and an effortless delivery, it was far better than I had been expecting and kept improving over the last 10 months.
John’s work is exceptional as is his advice and his honesty, he’s a true gent and I now have a setup that would probably cost me 4-5 times as much to replace and even more to better if I was to buy new.
Needless to say once my friend had compared his Nu/Tri Vista setup to mine he has now had the full upgrade to both units by John and the sound of his is the best I have ever heard, it is in my opinion amazing in every way.
I first came to know about JS Audio when I bought an A5 integrated that John had fully reworked from someone I know through car audio. It replaced an Arcam A85 / P85 combo and the difference was nothing short of profound. When I picked up a Trivsta DAC I was in no doubt that at some point it would be making it’s way down south to get the JS Audio treatment.When I finally took the plunge the returned item was a little underwhelming, however after a couple of days to burn in the end result is amazing. The bass is stunning, the imaging incredible, it’s a totally different piece of hifi.
If you own any MF equipment you really need to give John a call and let him transform your listening experience.
Thanks for everything John.
Musical Fidelity KW500
Hi JohnI’m very happy with the kW500 upgrade. I must admit my first impressions were disappointing because the sound was quite harsh and metallic to begin with but within 48hr the sound really sweetened up, the soundstage opened right out and for the first time there was tangible depth to the soundstage. In all honesty I had preferred the overall character of the Trivista 300 I owned previously, accepting the loss of fine detail for the sake of a more euphonic character. The original kW500 had a bright beaming treble that was fatiguing but this has now gone and I can listen for as long as I like and as loud as I want without feeling that my ears are being syringed. Voices are clearer, bass notes carry more spatial information and music phrasing seems better preserved. So thanks for this, the upgrade is well worth it and I can’t think of any other way the same degree of improvement could have been achieved by spending the same amount of money elsewhere in my system.
kw 550 amplifier
I’ve had my kw 550 for a couple of years now and although I was very happy with the sound i decided to have it upgraded after reading various reviews. John said it would take about 300 hours of use before sounding it’s best. As soon as I switched it on I noticed a big difference, much more detailed and clearer sounding. The bass is also much deeper and more realistic sounding. The original amp tended to sound a bit bright/harsh sometimes to my ears, but that has all gone with the upgrade. I’ve had the upgraded amp back for about a month now and the sound is still improving. Well worth the money spent.
Thanks to John, I now have Musical Fidelity amplification to die for driving my 801Ds, comprising an A370 on bass, a P270.2 on mid/treble duties, fed by an MVT pre-amp into which a custom phono-stage has been fitted. The gear has all been heavily upgraded and modded by John and the results are simply stunning, just out-of-this world. I took a big leap of faith when binning my Krell for this little lot and I am very glad I did because, I have to say, vintage MF gear of this calibre just blows clean away, right into the weeds, any of the newfangled contraptions I have ever heard.Every time, whatever your mood, they are chameleons, these JS Audio amps. If you want to be animal, they are animal; if you are mellow, their silkiness and beauty will caress you. Clean, tight, grip, slam, majestic, just unflappable, it’s all there.
John, you are a star and a huge great big massive thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me over the last few months construct a system that is now truly and utterly stupendous. More, you are a gentlemen, clear in your thoughts, and a man of your word. It has been a pleasure doing business with you … until the next set of upgrades elsewhere in the system we have talked about!
My advice for anyone out there reading this who is thinking about buying a new amp, or wondering what to do about the next upgrade? Buy an old MF 180, 270 or 370 and hand it over to John so he can breathe on them and work his magic. It could be a wonderful voyage of discovery, you will find a friendly and charming ally in your pursuit of perfection, and it will undoubtedly save you a great deal of money in the process.
Power and umbilical cables
i have received your Parcel yesterday.
I have looked at the set of Power and Umbilical cables.. they really look impressive.
Everything about them shines of High quality.
I am sure, that now my MF KW 500 is more complete than ever.It is a real Monster
Thank you for all your efforts and Knowledge you have invested.
Kw500 amplifier repair/upgrade
I had my amp power supply upgraded by John 2 years ago and the difference was phenomenal. At the same time he told me about another upgrade to the amp itself. This whetted my appetite but I had to wait to save the funds. As luck would have it, a valve went ( they don’t seem to be as reliable as claimed), and I arranged to send the amp to John for repair and at the same time have it upgraded. I’ve had the amp back for a month now and it’s had plenty of time to burn in. Well: the improvements are as big as John said they would be and it’s still improving. The difference is greater than that of the power supply upgrade! There is much more of everything, detail, dynamics. silence between notes, smoothness, in fact everything positive. Before going off like a demented reviewer, (John made me roar with laughter describing them as mad as hatters)I’ll just say that the already great amp is even better. Many thanks John and my apologies for being such a nuisance.
kW500, kW25 DAC
It’s now 6 months since my kW500 was upgraded & a good time for another post.
As I stated before, my amp and DAC have been fully upgraded.(My DAC has also been repaired at minimal cost).The ability of the system to conjure up a believable soundscape is the quality I
find most astonishing.Instruments & voices are locked into a seemingly tangible space & details far back in the
recording can be heard.There is real solidity & stability.
Well recorded drums tempt you to turn up
the volume to experience the sheer welly
of the sound – it has real scale and power.
The sound gets to you emotionally – one finds oneself welling-up with watery eyes on occasion!
Pitch definition has no ambiguity – you’re able to discern exactly the note played. This might seem an odd thing to comment but is clear when heard!
The usual caveat applies – recordings need to be good.
(There are actually quite a lot of good recordings around).Credit must also go to the ATC SCM40 speakers I have.They gel in this system.
There is something magical about the mid-range dome in these speakers.
I must also mention use of a Vertex AQ Super Kinabalu platform under the transport.
I can’t imagine how a significantly better sound could be had for less than
a few 10′s of K pounds – unless John comes up with further upgrades that is!
KW550u/g TriVista 21 u/g
I’ve been using MF amplification for some time and eventually acquired a kW550 anticipating that it would be better than the 308 pre/doubled-up 3.2 CR bi-amp combination that it superseded. Was I wrong! Nowhere near as agile and a one-dimensional soundstage. I ended up bi-amping with one of the 3.2s but eventually replaced it with a pair of MF550K superchargers which seemd to fix the problem.
I encountered John Sampson for the first time when the RH channel on my TriVista went AWOL. The TV21 repair/upgrade was a revelation, giving me CD replay that rivals my vinyl set-up (Funk Vector LP12/Ittok/Lyra Argo) for perceived realism.
John’s description of the kW550 upgrade was pretty tempting as improving the power supply has provided me with cost effective upgrades on a number of components.
However I was reasonably satisfied with the Superchargers and needed to re-stock the piggy bank.
A year on I’ve had it done, including the pre-amp valve upgrade.
Right from switch-on the stand-alone upgraded amp has been a major improvement on the previous bi-amped set-up. There’s much better detail retrieval (or rather more now gets through!), the soundstage is wider and taller and transient response is much sharper. As a result the mid-range is better defined and the bass is more tuneful. To make the most of it I’m now auditioning new speakers with Pioneer S1-EXs (suggested by John whose advice is on a par with his bench work) the current favourites.
Given the level of improvement over the original MF product John would be well justified in putting his own badge on the upgraded kit; it is that good.
A couple of years ago, when I first purchased a MF Tri-Vista DAC, I was fortunate enough, via one of the hi-fi talk lists, to come across John’s name as someone who could make modification improvements to hi-fi kit. So impressed was I with the improvements he made to my DAC that I decided to take John’s advice and purchase a KW550 to go with it. Before even getting it out of the box I sent it to John so that he could work his magic.I have been delighted with this combination and together with modifications John also made to my CD36 transport, these pieces of kit have been the cornerstones to a system that I have continued to improve by adding PMC OB1i speakers, Kimber Select cabling throughout, dedicated mains, Qauntum Q4, custom racks and a dedicated listening room with various acoustic treatments.
A month ago the DAC failed and it was sent the next day to John for a speedy repair. When collecting it a few days later I explained to John the improvements I had made and mentioned that I would be very grateful if he could ‘in any way’ make further improvements to my already upgraded kit.
Within a week the kit was sent back to John for further improvements. John was at pains to point out that this was a serious upgrade and that the improvements would be dramatic. Being a cautious person, and not wishing to get overly excited, I was quite happy to settle for something that simply sounded ‘better’.
I expected the kit to take a period of time to burn in and during this period I would begin to hear subtle improvements. On firing it up I was genuinely shocked at the sheer scale of the immediate improvements. Bass is much tighter – and it certainly wasn’t sloppy before. The soundstage is vastly wider and on complex tracks, where certain passages of notes sounded slightly muddled, these are now so clear and precise. As a lover of vocals, for me, the greatest improvement is the new found ability to convey extended emotion.
Thank you John you are a gentleman and a pleasure to deal with, you are also a genius.
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