The Absolute Sound reviews Music Hall’s MMF 7.3.

It turned out to be as much a review of three cartridges as a turntable review. But back to the 7.3

The MMF 7.3 retail price is $1395 without cartridge: add $200 to get Ortofon’s $440 2M Bronze cartridge. Call for my price.

The 7.3 improvements over the 7.1:

  • a new quieter DC motor with electronic speed control comparable to using a separate $300 speed box.
  • pushbutton change from 33 to 45.
  • an upper model carbon fiber arm,
  • better platter bearing
  • Ortofon 2M Bronze cartridge

It retains the following:

  • acrylic platter
  • screw-on record clamp
  • RCA output jacks for cable upgrades
  • two-plinth base with sorbothane isolation
  • Completely isolated motor contacting the table only with the belt.
  • and other features you can find at the link following this summary

The reviewer’s personal reference table is the Kuzma Stabi-S ($2156 without cartridge) which is a TAS GoldenEar Award winner. While he liked the 7.3 enough to say that in its price range it would be “…at the top of his list”, but he still preferred his Kuzma, so while the 7.3 is tops at its price it does not kill the best of its higher priced competitors. I wonder how the MMF 9.3 ($2195 without cartridge) would compare to the $2156 Kuzma?

Now about cartridges, because he tried three models in the 7.3:

He was not pleased by the $440 Ortofon 2M Bronze that came on his table. OK, we know cartridges have individual personalities, but since the general consensus of reviewers is that the 2M Ortofon cartridges are excellent we have to consider that he has a distinct taste.

Then he installed the $995 Goldring Elite and sure enough he found that $995 beats $440. He preferred the additional detail, ambiance, spaciousness, etc. of the Goldring.

Then he installed his personal cartridge, the Denon DL103, which he liked best. He described it as “…warm-blooded, almost intuitive…” compared to the Goldring’s “…triumphant resolution…”.. Not so much detail, but he preferred it. It almost read like a tube vs, transistor review. Remember – it’s his cartridge.

BUT WAIT – he then tried putting the 7.3 on a 2″ Mapleshade Platform ($75 unfinished) and reported major improvements in “bass heft and textural gravitas”, plus “…calming the overabundance of air”.

I like that he said that he said “The MMF 7.3 revealed the character of each cartridge with decided neutrality.” That’s a very high recommendation. You can’t ask more than that – to allow each cartridge to sound its best.

Here are links:

The Stereophile review
Music Hall’s web page about the 7.3

Happy listening,

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