What We Like
- Impressive exterior design and aesthetics.
- Solid choice of hardware and design features.
- A performance that punches decently above its weight class.
What We Don’t Like
- Lack of versatility in terms of controls.
Music Hall MMF 2.2 is by far one of the most interesting turntables you can get under $500. They have combined simple design with great performance in a segment where these things are rare.
By most aesthetic standards, Music Hall MMF 2.2 is a work of art. Music Hall has drawn appealing aesthetics from pure simplicity, thus bringing us a turntable that is basic yet captivating. The base is a single piece of MDF that is treated with piano black lacquer. This gives it a high gloss finish, which is arguably a huge part of its aesthetic appeal. Speaking of finishes, you can get Music Hall MMF 2.2 in a couple of versions including a cherry red.
The only things that break up the top surface are the tonearm and the power switch. There are no other features up there bar the platter. Music Hall ships the MMF 2.2 with a dustcover, but it is fairly obvious that this turntable looks far better without one installed.
In terms of build quality, things are pretty solid. Even though it is quite compact compared to other designs on the market, Music Hall MMF 2.2 still has that healthy weight to it.
What Music Hall has essentially achieved with MMF 2.2 is a perfect balance of good hardware, solid engineering solutions, and looks. Considering its price, that is quite a feat. The core of this turntable is in its manual belt drive that features low noise and high accuracy.
The platter is a more basic alloy unit, but one that serves the purpose just fine. Most of the smoothness can be attributed to the high precision bearing assembly made of stainless steel and bronze. The tone arm is a one piece alloy type that features a removable stylus and generally solid construction. Then we have the gold plated RCA connectors and finally the rather effective insulating feet.
Some things that Music Hall MMF 2.2 does miss are all of the advanced controls. However, we can’t really fault Music Hall too much for not including them. After all, this is still a fairly affordable turntable.
Performance wise, Music Hall MMF 2.2 delivers a tight and enjoyable experience. Count on spending about half an hour setting the turntable up. That includes balancing the tonearm and messing with the anti-skate mechanism. Once that is done, flip that On switch and let Music Hall MMF 2.2 do its thing. Performance you’ll get may not be true audiophile level, but it is pretty darn close to it.
Clarity is pristine while the soundstage comes across as wide and saturated. Playing records at both speeds turns up similar results. Naturally, this is where we have to count on the type of amplifier you are using. Pair Music Hall MMF 2.2 with a good one and you will definitely get a pleasant surprise from a budget turntable.
With that said, the sole fact that you don’t get much control over the function of the turntable means that you won’t be able to affect the performance all too much.
Music Hall MMF 2.2 has shown to be a real contender in its price range. They have managed to find that golden balance between looks and performance, thus giving us a solid turntable on the cheap.