Face Off: The Best Turntable on a Budget Page 2

Music Hall

Key Features
$449-$499 www.musichallaudio.com
• Two-speed belt drive
• Non-magnetic alloy platter
• Adjustable-height tonearm
• Leveling feet
• Comes with Music Hall Tracker moving magnet phono cartridge


Next to older names like Rega and Technics, Music Hall is the new kid on the block, so I was surprised to discover that it’s now been 12 years since the company’s first turntable appeared. The mmf 2.2, Music Hall’s most affordable model, comes in three basic flavors. The standard version has a classy-looking high-gloss black finish, while for an extra $50 you can get it in high-gloss white or the striking Ferrari Red of my review sample. (Sharp-eyed S+V readers will notice a family resemblance to the Pro-Ject Debut III turntable that I reviewed for the magazine back in July 2007. And while they are not exactly clones, both models are assembled in the same Czech factory and share similar DNA.)

All three mmf 2.2 versions are identical under the hood, and each comes with a pre-installed Tracker cartridge made for Music Hall by Goldring. Features and setup are roughly similar to the Rega P1, although the mmf 2.2 requires that you remove a couple of transit screws for the decoupled motor. Where the Music Hall differs from the Rega is that its arm can be adjusted for height. It also has adjustable feet — a handy feature if your supporting surface is less than perfectly level.