Here is another MMF turntable on my desk in a new Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review.
Music Hall thoroughly refreshed the range of turntables. The latest models can be identified by the reference number “.3”. MMF-2.3 is the cheapest of them. It is available in a basic version and three more sophisticated varieties bearing the “special” markings LE, SE, and WH.
- 1 Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review – Intro
- 2 Music Hall MMF-2.3 Specifications
- 3 Music Hall MMF-2.3 Features
- 4 Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review – Construction and Design
- 5 Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review – Assembly
- 6 Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review – Cartridge
- 7 Sound Test
- 8 Music Hall MMF-2.3 Video Review
- 9 Final Verdict
Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review – Intro
Looking at most Music Hall turntables, it’s hard to resist the impression that we already know this style from somewhere. The associations lead to the USA factory, from which Pro-Ject turntables have also been manufactured for years. Music Hall develops its own designs, however, and there is no duplication here, although even some of the accessories found in the package are the same.
The design is simple and classic, which also translates into a universal look. The plinth is quite thick, made of high-gloss black lacquered MDF. The Music Hall MMF- 2.3 stands on three fairly high feet, allowing for convenient adjustment and easy leveling of the turntable.
Music Hall MMF-2.3 Specifications
- Power supply: 15V/0-0.8mA DC universal power supply
- Power connection: 100-240 Volt, 50-60 Hz
- Standby power consumption: 1 W
- Speeds: 33 1/3 rpm(manual change to 45 rpm)
- Wow and flutter: ± 0.10 %
- Speed deviation: ± 0.80%
- Rumble max: 68 dB
- Effective tonearm length: 8.6 in. (218.5 mm)
- Effective arm mass: 7.0 g
- Overhang: 18.5 mm
- Product dimensions: w17” x d13” x h4.5”
- Weight: 17 lbs. pkg.
Music Hall MMF-2.3 Features
- Gorgeous high gloss piano black lacquer finish
- Special vibration damping adjustable feet
- Top tier 8.6” carbon fiber tonearm with aluminum headshell
- Tonearm features a 4-point gimbal bearing assembly using ultra-precision ABEC bearings
- Tonearm is fully adjustable for VTA and azimuth
- Low noise fully manual belt-drive design
- Separately isolated DC synchronous motor for superior speed stability
- Two-speed stepped motor pulley for 33 1/3 and 45 rpm
- Music hall Spirit moving-magnet cartridge with a replaceable elliptical stylus ($100 value)
- The cartridge supplied is properly aligned and mounted
- High-precision stainless steel and bronze bearing assembly for quiet, fluid operation
- High-quality gold RCA connectors with a detachable phono cable
- Full-size alloy platter and felt mat
- Excellent instruction manual
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Dust cover and 45 rpm adaptor
You can download the manual here->Music Hall MMF-2.3 Manual
Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review – Construction and Design
The entire drive system is hidden under the metal plate; DC synchronous motor, insulated from the plinth, the flat drive belt transmits the rotation to a small plastic sub-platter mounted on a steel and bronze bearing. Turn on the rotation with the button installed in the lower left corner of the plinth.
The tonearm is very similar to that of the Pro-Ject. The main tube is made of carbon fibers, with an aluminum head (permanently) mounted at its end. The tonearm has an effective length of 8.6 inches (so it is slightly shorter than the standard 9-inch ones).
At the rear, the turntable rests on a single foot. It is possible to conveniently adjust the VTA, which is not common in turntables in this price range.
The tracking force is adjusted very typically – by turning the counterweight ring equipped with a precise scale. The anti-skating system is traditional, with a weight and a line, the set even includes a special “fishing rod” that allows you to attach the line to the appropriate spindle basin.
Both the motor power module and the audio output connectors have been inserted under the plinth, so connecting the cables is not very convenient, but you don’t do it every now and then.
The set includes several useful accessories, including an adapter for singles (45 rpm), although changing the rotational speed requires disassembling the platter and moving the belt to another motor drive pulley. The plate is made of aluminum with a felt mat applied.
Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review – Assembly
Although the assembly and preparation of the turntable for operation do not (rather) require the assistance of a dealer, it is a bit more complicated in the Music Hall MMF-2.3 turntable than in the case of its competitors. During transport, the platter, counterweight, and elements of the anti-skating system (counterweight) were removed.
Fortunately, the cartridge was screwed to the headshell, although the instruction manual (and the calibration template included in the set) encourages you to pay attention to this element. On the other hand, in the general “catalog” descriptions of Music Hall, the cartridge is precisely positioned; in the end, the delivered unit had everything (without the apparent need to correct the position of the cartridge in the headshell).
It is, of course, the art of compromise, and an advanced user can modify something, set it in his own way, adjusting it to his own preferences. There is no such thing as the perfect setting.
However, you can talk about it in the case of the cartridge azimuth, here it was not perfect, although for adjustment it is enough to loosen the screw locking the tonearm tube in the suspension bushing; azimuth belongs to the group of the most advanced settings and the manufacturer should take care of it. However, you can rely on the factory calibration of the VTA parameter, no corrections were needed here.
Music Hall MMF-2.3 Review – Cartridge
The cartridges that appear with Music Hall turntables are models from around the world, prepared by companies such as Ortofon, Goldring, or Audio-Technica.
The latter provided a cartridge installed at the factory in the Music Hall MMF-2.3 turntable; the model called Spirit (Music Hall nomenclature) is a MM construction with an elliptical cut needle (the needle itself can also be purchased as a spare part – someday it will be needed), the output voltage is 3.5 mV.
The turntable also comes with a dust cover, and the hinges work with a noticeable resistance – this is a characteristic sign of the Pro-Ject’s construction, but it ensures that the cover will be held in almost any position.
Music Hall ran through most of the album – easy, free, although not always with full engagement, and never with nervousness and effort. Evaluating it from the perspective of this test, it sits between Audio-Technica and Rega, and perhaps even combines their most important strengths, extracting lightness and openness from the AT-LP5, and musicality and culture from the Planar 2.
There is a lot of differentiation and at the same time consistency, but everything is based on a basic, yet always important trait – good balance and neutrality.
Every sound that comes from this record player is at least good, such reliability is hard to ignore, after all, there is no point in recalling the titles of the following albums and confirming that everything was in its place.
The bass reaches low, and in the upper range, it is hard enough, again without any exaggeration, to a degree that allows you to follow the playing, and not give the whole sound too strong character. Control and rhythm are set in a servant role, not an overriding one. Bass smoothly blends with the midrange but does not thicken it.
The vocals are well-saturated. You can see some oily and warmth, which does not degrade readability, however. The “analog” element is obvious, but not dominant, the high tones are soft, and at the same time airy and shiny, far from both sharpness and stickiness.
The quality of the playback of songs leaves nothing to be desired. The Music Hall MMF 2.3 can certainly cope with the higher-quality competition. The well-matched components and the individual damping parts ensure clear sound reproduction. The record player can definitely keep up with the more expensive competition. The bass can also be seen and heard. This is clear and occurs in exactly the right places. Nothing to complain about here.
Music Hall MMF-2.3 Video Review
Overall, there really isn’t much to complain about. There are certainly better products for a higher price, but the differences are marginal. For the money, the device gets a clear BUY. In my opinion, you won’t find better value for money anywhere in the turntable segment. I am absolutely satisfied with it and it now adorns my living room as a visual eye-catcher. I can only recommend the device.
Music Hall MMF 2.3 Pro & Cons
- Good speed stability
- Low mass tonearm
- Quiet operation
- VTA adjustment
- Included cartridge is not so good
- Cheap looking and screechy cover
- Slightly chintzy anti-skate and cue mechanisms