Armed with philosophical information in my head and practical loudspeakers on my hands, I proceeded to do some preliminary setup atop my regular Charisma stands with IsoAcoustic mounts. These put the drivers a fair bit above ear level. Although I did encounter minor frequency anomalies, it also produced a disarmingly huge soundstage; and I mean Magnepan Tympani huge. While this was fun for a bite, it was assuredly neither an intended nor representative setup. After my initial fling with the MayFly doing a rather accomplished impersonation of a panel speaker, I proceeded to stick closer to the designer's recommended stand height of 5 – 14 inches.

Mr. May normally includes a pair of matching stands to seamlessly extend the speakers into svelte floorstanders but they were unavailable just then. That necessitated a little improvisation. Although I had no suitable stand that matched the height requirements, I did have some hefty oak lumber left from other woodworking projects. After sketching a few options, I quickly built some adjustable stands that both matched the prescription plus incorporated my IsoAcoustics isolation mounts. Problem solved.

To see how the MF201A would perform across a broad range of combinations, I assembled two separate systems. One was a Wyred4Sound music server and DAC 2 front end with an Audio Zone D2 amp to represent those who prefer a refined speed demon that's clean, quick, powerful and dynamically charged. The second was a marriage of Auralic Altair with SOtM sPA1000 amplifier to stand in for those who don't believe there's music in the room unless there's the warm glow of tubes. True, nary an actual tube was in sight but the Auralic is voiced anything but clinical and the SOtM exudes midrange with equivalent warmth and does tangible presence with a vengeance so worthily served my purposes. Cabling rotated to select s best match. The Audio Art SC-5 e2 cryo-treated speaker cable eventually served both systems. It provided a Goldilocks blend of power, warmth and detail that complemented the MayFly, surprisingly winning over pricier more exotic options. For interconnects I chose to go balanced for both setups, with an Audio Art Cable IC-3 e2 Cryo for the Wyred/Audio Zone, an Audio Sensibility Impact SE on the Auralic/SOtM.

First setup on stands that were too tall.

For music, I selected a cornucopia of material to satisfy diverse musical tastes. To keep the game interesting, I avoided most traditional chestnuts to showcase newer material. Female vocals represented styles both old and new. From defiled is my (middle) name by I Furiosi, "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye (traditional Irish)" and "Lauda Criso e Nato" get the nod for accomplished female performance, sparse yet electrifying Baroque accompaniment and a gloriously vast soundstage. Engineering here is noteworthy with superb image placement, venue acoustic and incredible dynamic range.