upgraded 308cr intergrated amp
My amp started sounding dull and I thought about a change when someone suggested I contact JS audio for their advice.After John completed the upgrade I fired up my amp and could not believe the differance the bass was much tighter and the imaging was so improved that I thought I was listening to different amp, I am very impressed and next I will be getting John to upgrade my Trivista DAC.
Musical Fidelity A308 Pre & Power Amp
I had my pre/power amp upgraded and the gains are that good that I am happy to hang on to my system for several years to come. The amp has so much more control over my speakers that instruments and voices seem to have there own space in the musical picture and yet if all flows together beautifully!!
So before you go buying exspensive interconnects/speaker cable and mains conditioners visit John first!!
My KW SACD player is next!
My Kw500 was also originally upgraded by John just over a year ago.
These mods improved the sound significantly in all areas & I was really very chuffed with my system.
I often look at the testimonials here
and happened to see Steve Garavan’s recent post on further Kw500 upgrades.
I eagerly sent my amp back to John
to be upgraded once more.
The Kw has been back for two weeks now
and incredibly the same trick has been done again!
The improvements brought by the first upgrade have been taken much further.
For example, the title track of Roger Waters ‘Amused to Death’ has a beautiful female voice almost as a backing,but now it sounds so much clearer.The quiet words of the female interviewer near the end can be
heard much more easily too.
On good recordings the music has depth
and space and often seems eeriely detached from the equipment reproducing it.
Vangelis’ ‘Come to me’ brought home how well the system can now reproduce depth and imaging. Stunning vocal reproduction.
The original Kw500 was lauded by all reviewers.You wonder what they would make of it now….
John’s upgrade service is something we
Kw owners are really very fortunate to have.
I reckon you’d have to spend very silly
money on other kit to beat it now!
What can I say after an endless cycle of audiophile upgrades (& dead-ends) over nearly 30 years – John is a genius. I was seriously contemplating chucking my kw550, away it was so ridiculously unbalanced, and reverting to Audio Research Ref100 / Ref 3. Budgetary considerations dictated, however, that the upgrade route was the one to follow – and I have been completely blown away by the transformation. Dynamics, control, bass, soundstage – all the usual audiophile cliches … but the most important one of them all..I actually enjoy listening to the music now, as opposed to wincing at the system..In fact I sit there with a village idiot grin on my face every evening. Add to this stupendous transformation the fact that John is the epitome of real concern and client service – as demonstrated by him braving January snows and sleet to both pick up and drop off the units. I should also mention as an aside John fixed my old Naim CD3.5 – and that sounds better than it ever has before. I am absolutely delighted with the decision to use JS. Highly, highly recommended.
KW 750 power supply & Main unit
Our current system now has the Musical Fidelity KW 500 for the mid/treble duties and the Musical Fidelity KW 750 feeding the two subwoofers in a pair of Pioneer s-1ex Speakers.
In standard trim the KWs do a good job of moving air around my room.
How ever after a full upgrade on both amplifiers I’m happy to say that we are lucky to be listening to an exceptional system.
Whilst I’m bored with and reluctant to use HiFi superlatives I will say the sound is clear detailed and effortless. Huge sound stage with a sense of a musical event in my front room. The amps run cool a good sign that they are stable.
A pleasant side effect of dealing with John is that he takes a real interest in our precious equipment and in the unlikely event that things go wrong I have a sense he would quickly put things right. That personnel touch is worth alot in my book.
Johns work and customer focus comes highly recommended.
JERRY & SARAH
Musical Fidelity A1000
JS replaced all (and uprated some of) the capacitors and transistors of my amp with audio grade versions and upgraded the transformer to a customised 1000VA audio grade version. I must say I was quite astonished with the resulting improvements in the sound
quality. Every aspect of the sound (transparency, width, depth, bass)
has been improved further and the amp now have a much better grip on the
speakers. Some slight sibilence and hardness that used to exist is now
mostly eliminated. The proverbial veil has been lifted from the
speakers (Stirling V2′s with Cicable passive crossover + AB1 ‘superspec’
version). For anyone who is thinking of upgrading their Musical
Fidelity components, I can’t recommend John Sampson highly enough.
KW 500 UPGRADE
I originally had my MF KW 500 upgraded about 12 months ago by John. Needless to say I was delighted with the results. After speaking to John recently he informed me that the main unit could be further upgraded which I had no hesitation in signing up for. I’ve had the unit back about 2 weeks now and the further improvements these upgrades have made is staggering. I’m listening to albums I haven’t dusted off in a while just to hear them through the KW 500. The music that moves me moves me more now! Thanks John
MF A5 CD
I am by no means an expert in Hi-Fi and all its nuances but I know what I like when it comes to reproduction of recorded music. My A5 CD recently stopped working (would not recognise any disc), a friend and work colleague (Chris Mitchell – see testimonial)told me about John and how impressed he was with his work. I sent my equipment off for Johns attention, I am so glad I did. Not only did he fix the problem but his attention to detail and conscientous approach to his work resulted in him incorporating a couple of upgrades for me. Having recieved the equipment back I have been utterly delighted with the new sound quality. What more can I say, as a non-audiopile lover of music deliberately avoiding any techno babble I think John is a star and would have no hesitation in using his excellent service in the future should I need it. Thankyou John.
MF X-ray V3 CD player
I have auditioned a large number of players this year in the £1000 – £1800 bracket with a view to replacing my X-Ray V3, but I needn’t have bothered. My upgraded X-ray is much better than any of them, and very much better than most of them. Compared to the original X-ray V3, I now find the sound is smoother, clearer, cleaner, with firmer bass and better timing. Words are easier to hear, and instrument timbres are more believable, and there is more space around instruments. The very subtle details that are important in conveying the intent of the performer are all obvious. Muddled music is now a thing of the past.
The worst excesses of some of my “Yes” CDs are held in check without losing the excitement of the music. Shostakovich is full of drama, whilst my recording of Dvorak’s New World is mellow and well rounded as it should be.
I am delighted with this upgrade, which cost me £400. Burning-in period was about a month before it stopped changing.
A300 cr power amp
John repaired and upgraded my A300 cr power amp.I purchased the amp second hand,which had been modifyed by the original owner.The amp developed a fault,so i contacted john.The work john has carried out,has taken the sound of the amp to an entirly new level.My wilmslow audio prestige speakers,have never sounded so good.The sound is so transparent and involving,that you just want to listen to it for hours.John is repairing a meridian 598 for me at the moment.I will also be getting john to upgrade my Kw dac and X pre v3 pre amp at a later date.I can highly recomend johns work,as it is of the very highest quality.The improvments in sound that you get are dramatic,and excellent value for money.
Nu Vista 300 power amp
I originaly came accross John’s website by accident about 18 months ago just after purchasing a second hand Nu Vista 300 amp with which I was a little disappointed. I called and arranged for an upgrade with which I was very happy. Recently it developed a fault (nothing to do with John’s upgrades) and when returning it for repair I asked John if any further improvement could be made. The answer was that since my original upgrade John had made further refinements (better quality capacitors/op amps in the input stage and bigger powersupply caps) and having had the amp back for about a couple of weeks it now sounds even better than ever and I would recommend Johns upgrades to anyone thinking of making improvemnts.
M3 Speakers/MVT pre amp
John has recently overhauled my MVT pre-amp and reworked a pair of Meridian M3 active speakers.
I was hoping for some subtle improvments, but the work John has carried out has improved the sound dramatically.
If anyone is thinking of having John look at their equipment, then don’t hesitate. I am certain you will not be dissapointed.
Nu-Vistor 3D CD
Thanks again John, for doing the CD player at a discount. After a small running in period, its sounding good. Big soundstage, and with a more forward sound making for an engaging listen and smooth and silky top end. The problem with these up-grades is they open the window so wide that the differance between poor recordings to high quality ones is made all to clear. I have to get some better CDs to play on it!… PS, Next is the amp PSU ambilical cables up-grade as the final act.
Tri-Vistor 300 intergrated Amp
I first came to know John when he was at MF, he serviced my Nu-vistor CD and Tri-vistor 300 amp. They came back sounding fantastick. I think John was an asset to that company. So I checked out his web site after reading about it in a Forum thread and after reading the testimonials I gave him a ring!
I went for the full service upgrade and later that week he came round and picked it up, turn around is normally a week or so. The week I was exspecting it back He phoned from Turkey to say sorry that there will be a delay and he offerd me a discount on the CD player when I get that done as a kind gesture. To me that was good customer service!!
THE UPGRADE!>>PSU>> The tri-vistor comes with a Power supply unit which houses 3 torridal transformers, 2 large 630va for L+R power amps and a small one for pre-amp and Aux`s. He bins the standerd made to a price 630va`s for UK CUSTOM MADE AUDIOPHILE COILS, 1000va`s per chanel, then he terminates the pre-amp feed on the smaller coil so as to leave it to run the AUX`s and then adds a third UK MADE CUSTOM COIL for the pre-amp = 4 in total and a psu 8kg heavier!
THE MAIN UNIT>>. John replaces the standerd Power supply cap`s and de-coupling cap`s for the power & pre sections with Very high quality designs from JAPAN, plus he replaces all the cap`s in the signal path with Audiophile grade type`s Too. He replaces the standerd Input op-amps with Pro op-amps from “Burr Brown” then continues with checking the transistors to match and/or replace if ness, the valves also get the works too (cost extra if replaced) all soldering done with silver solder, then checks all other coponents for wear and tear ect; and replaces if ness, he clean`s internal/external conections with contact fluid. Basicly a full service as he give a 12 month warrenty! And looks like new when you get it back!
THE SOUND>> John says that the cor sound of the amp remains as the sercuits are the same, its just that they can perform to a much higher level because they have all the power they need! All the time, every time! And boy can u tell! Its true about what`s been said in the other testsimonies “read them” The increase in GRIP, CONTROL, DRIVE, ENERGY, DYNAMICS are all sustantially increased! along with it comes a more ENGAGING, and MUSICAL performance. WHY!! HOW!! ITS ALL TRUE!!
John`s a STAR and I am glad he`s around and thank him. £800 is not a lot of money when you combine the total cost of amp+upgrade, BARGIN as you will not, how ever hard you try find this performance at anywere near the outlay. I have heard lots of High End Gear and I have never BEEN moved as I have with this TRI-VISTOR! The CD`s coming your way John and I will Have Those Upgraded PSU ambilicals also.
GIVE John a call and let him work his majic! You dont know whats hidden that Musical Fidelity amp/cd. WELCOME TO OWNING A UNIQE HI-FI PRODUCT. Tony Warby
Musical Fidelity CDT
I was so relieved to find JS audio when my CDT stopped working. Now it’s working again and better than ever with new valves fitted too. Came back very well packed and looking immaculate. I couldn’t recommed highly enough.
Musical Fidelity Kw550
Wow, I would just like to thank John for upgrading my Musical Fidelity Kw550 amplifier and taking it to a new level.
The improvement to the overall control and the sound stage are jaw dropping and I just find it hard to believe that it’s the same amplifier.
You now hear the guitar strings fading away, bass notes are clearer and deeper you can hear the breath control in vocals, the sound is now so natural and that the slight brightness that the standard KW550 had has now completely disappeared.
John upgraded my Amplifier a few months ago now and since than has also upgrade the power supply outlet cables from the power supply to the amplifier main unit this allows the upgraded power supply transformers to supply better current flow to the main units upgraded components.
I must say that I have found this additional upgrade staging and this has added the icing on the cake for me.
To think that six mouths ago I was going to spend over £10K on a new amplifier now my Kw550 out performs it hands down.
You could not ask for a better service ‘Believe me you will not be disappointed’
This guy is a great credit to JS Audio repairs and can show you what the true capabilities of your HI-Fi are.
I highly recommend John and wise him all the success for the future.
Full Service – MF BI Amplifier
I just want to express my thanks for the miracle you have performed on my humble and world-weary Musical Fidelity amplifier! What was almost a sow’s ear before is now a silk purse!
From the moment I loaded a CD into my Marantz CD 63 KI signature and heard the sounds coming out of my Kef Q10s I was spell-bound. Bass guitar lines actually sound like vibrating steel strings and not thuds, drummers brush work sounds so real, unlike the usual sand paper noises, and rim shots are so convincing I almost thought there was in invisible drummer and drum tat in the room. In addition there is an emotional quality that has transformed even what I previously considered to be just workman-like recordings. Apart from all these (and many other) improvements in detail, the improvements in depth and sound-staging are enormous.
Connected to a turntable, even one fitted with a relatively modest cartridge, the improvements are just as dramatic. Above all, the attack, and decline of instrumental notes is so convincing it actually sounds like instruments are being played in front of me.
Self deception, wishful thinking perhaps? NO, because over the years I’ve used Nains, Quads, Crimsons, DNM’s, Exposures plus many other cheaper amps, such as NAD’s etc and none have given me as much pleasure ‘per pound’.
I know I could have bought a modern, competent budget amp for the cost of the improvements to my BI, but in my opinion, your efforts have put it in a class of it’s own.
Hope all this hasn’t embarrassed you!
tri vista 300 int amplifier
I discovered John when in need of a repair man and after speaking to him and reading these testimonials I went for the £800 upgrade. I now have an amp that has been immeasurably improved in every way – in fact to me it’s the first real soundstage i’ve heard, 12′ by 5′orchestras fill my living room and thats before considering bass and treble extension and all other hifi terms and cliches which apply and i’m not qualified to comment on nor wish to as all I want to do is listen to music for hours on end. To think I was going to save up thousands for a new amp! What a lucky escape.
As soon as you speak/meet John you realise you can trust him on all matters as his honesty and knowledge are very evident. As a result i’ve taken more impartial hifi advice, saved even more thousands and have about completed a system (a sound!)I never thought i’d afford.
I’ve landed on my feet these last three months – Thanks John!
KWP Pre / KW Monoblocks
I first contacted John after I managed to damage my KW/KWP by using wrongly configured “upgraded” power umbilical leads. While having the amps repaired, I decided to push the
boat out and get John to apply his full upgrades to both pre and power amps.
In terms of specific improvements to my amps: firstly, the existing strengths of detail retrieval and spatial reproduction have improved significantly. Considering how well the
unmodified amps performed in these areas, this is a tremendous achievement. Images directly behind the speakers now have such a clearly defined sense of position, that there is
never even a hint of sounds apparently radiating directly from the speakers; if an image is set two inches inside or behind a speaker, you are aware it is two inches inside or
behind the speaker. Detail retrieval has gone from spectacular to, ermmm, beyond spectacular, while totally avoiding the pitfall of becoming too analytical. Almost uniquely in
my experience, I can concentrate totally on any given musical thread without losing a sense of the musical whole or, conversely, I can let the music flow over me while remaining
intimately aware of incredible levels of multi-layered detail.
The third area of improvement is bass reproduction. Here, not only is bass energy tighter and more controlled, it is also considerably more musically integrated. While I don’t
listen to a huge amount of overtly bass heavy material, the sheer insight into the dynamics of sounds such as the lowest plucked notes from an upright bass is quite staggering;
I am now hearing not only the slap of the string and the resonance of the instrument’s body, but also, very clearly, the notes’ interaction with the recording venue.
The most telling improvement is the hardest to define – that of musical speed and coherence. I would hesitate to say that this was a weakness with the original amps, but there
were better performers out there in this area. After John’s mods the KW / KWP are now as good as any I have heard. I would explain the improvement as the ability to
simultaneously track every nuance of multiple musical themes without any sense of blurring or haste. For me, this is one of the most important aspects of High End performance -
on one level, it reveals the difference between musical virtuosity and actual genius on an individual basis; on another, it provides incredible insight into how multiple
performers play off each other. Whether listening to a bluegrass trio or a symphony orchestra, I am constantly left in awe by the manner in which, on great performances, the sum
is so much greater than the individual parts.
The greatest overall achievement of these mods is how so many individual improvements have occurred in such a musically integrated manner. Seemingly conflicting virtues such as
weight and speed or detail and musical flow are realised to a degree that I would not previously have believed were possible. In fact, the improvements are such that you would
think that there was some serious flaw with the original components’ performance – this is absolutely not the case; they were already superb pieces of kit, but their sound
quality must now genuinely challenge the absolute state of the art at any price. Talking of price, John’s upgrades came to approximately 10% of the amps’ retail price. If I had
listened to the improved versions “blind”, and had been asked how much extra they cost over the base KW/KWP, I would have guessed a significant proportion of the original price.
That judgement is, admittedly, based on the traditionally high cost of gaining genuine improvement at this level but, cliche or not, it is a 100% genuine and heart-felt
Musical Fidelity’s philosophy of circuit design being far more important than ultimate component quality seems to consistently provide excellent performance at a given price
point. Intuitively, it also seems to make the company’s kit ideal for skillfull upgrading. John’s combination of genuinely golden ears,huge MF experience and personal commitment
to musical excellence make him a unique and priceless resource – I really cannot recommend his work too highly.
Like others here, I discovered John’s website whilst browsing for other information on the net and gave him a call to discuss the possible upgrade of my KW500. Having had numerous expensive
component upgrades on other equipment in the past with only modest results I was sceptical about the claimed improvements. However, my interest centered around the significant power supply changes including the use of much larger and higher spec transformers. Most amplifiers are built to a cost with components that are only ‘fit for purpose’ and power supplies in particular are usually specified as barely adequate. I had already experienced the difference these can make having once tried the Border Patrol outboard supplies with my Audio Innovations 2nd Audio valve amps. The difference was huge but unfortunately I didn’t like the end result which I thought unbalanced the sound of the amps. A lengthy discussion with John partially allayed my fears regarding the KW500 and I decided to go ahead with the mods which also included component upgrades in the main power amp.
Having lived with the modified amp for several weeks I can only say that the difference is amazing with improvements in all areas. In particular, dynamic range, bass extension and mid and top end clarity have all taken a significant step forward but most importantly the amp now sounds somehow more composed and seems to better preserve the emotion in the music. I now seem to be able to focus more on the musical performance rather than the equipment. It’s difficult to quantify these gains but I would estimate an
improvement of between 30 and 40 percent over the standard amp.
These mods are not cheap but for an outlay of £800 I now have an amp that can compete with or even outperform other designs costing up to £50k. As this is one of the biggest upgrades I have ever made it can be deemed money well spent especially considering I only paid £1650 for my KW500 in the first place.
John also turned the amp around in a day which included giving us a lift to the tube station and picking us up again in the evening – with a baby and a pushchair!