Musical Fidelity M8xi
Το 1990, η Musical Fidelity δημιούργησε τον πρώτο Super Integrated ενισχυτή: τον A1000. Έτυχε ενθουσιώδους υποδοχής και, ακόμη και σήμερα, σαν μεταχειρισμένος, πωλείται σε υψηλές τιμές. Ο A1000 ήταν ο πρώτος από μια μακρά σειρά Super Integrated ενισχυτών της Musical Fidelity. Τα παιδιά του: τα NuVista M3, Tri Vista 300, kW500, M6/500i, NuVista 800 και NuVista 600 έγιναν δεκτά με εξίσου ενθουσιασμό στον κόσμο των audiophiles. Ο M8xi είναι ο πιο πρόσφατος και ο καλύτερος της νέας σειράς.
Το M8xi είναι ουσιαστικά 3 μηχανήματα σε ένα κουτί, ξεχωριστός προενισχυτής με δύο μονομπλόκ τελικούς ενισχυτές ισχύος. Η ο προενισχυτής και οι τελικοί έχουν ο καθένας τις δικές του ψύκτρες και τον δικό τους μετασχηματιστή. Ο M8xi είναι μια καθαρή dual mono σχεδίαση. Ο προενισχυτής έχει το δικό του ξεχωριστό τροφοδοτικό και είναι τοποθετημένος κοντά στις υποδοχές εισόδου. Κατά συνέπεια, οι πλακέτες είναι πολύ μικρές και η διαδρομή του σήματος πολύ σύντομη. Αυτή η σχεδίαση διασφαλίζει ότι τα σήματα και των δύο καναλιών έχουν εξαιρετικά χαμηλή σύνθετη αντίσταση τη στιγμή που εισέρχονται στον ενισχυτή. Αυτή είναι μια σημαντική λεπτομέρεια. Κάθε κανάλι έχει δώδεκα μεγάλα bipolar τρανζίστορ – κάτι που εξασφαλίζει 200 αμπέρ ρεύμα κορυφής ανα πάσα στιγμή. Η δουλειά του κουτιού είναι υψηλής ποιότητας ενώ η πρόσοψη του M8xi είναι από αλουμίνιο milspec. Οι ψύκτρες του ενισχυτή έχουν εξαιρετικά χαρακτηριστικά απαγωγής και φινίρισμα και γενικά όλη η κατασκευή του M8xi δίνει μια αίσθηση στιβαρότητας και ποιότητας.
- General Description
The M8xi is a separate preamp with two monobloc power amps sharing a common chassis. Each has its own heat sink and separate transformer. Genuinely dual mono. The preamp has its own separate power supply and is mounted close to the input sockets. Consequently, PCB tracks are very short. This elegant idea ensures that both channels’ signals are ultra-low impedance the instant they get into the amplifier. This is a significant detail. Each channel has twelve big bipolar transistors – 200 amps peak to peak is easily available. The metalwork is high quality. The front panel is a custom made fine line extrusion of milspec aluminum. The custom made heat sinks have outstanding dissipation characteristics and finish. The M8xi construction has a feeling of solidity and quality.
- New Circuitry
Over the last 5 years our power amp circuitry has reached a high state of development. In our never-ending quest for improving performance and customer value we have been looking for ways to improve our designs. One of the prime directives was to keep the low feedback configuration unchanged .. continue with low feedback! The problem was how to improve efficiency and performance without affecting the sound quality. If I say so myself, I think we have come up with a brilliant solution. Our new M8xi power amp design gives higher power, lower distortion, and better sound quality. Incredible but true. The output stage efficiency has been increased thus yielding about 10% more power for similar power supply voltage. More importantly, the whole driver stage is pure Class A. We believe that this innovative approach has a substantial effect on the sound quality. The sound stage appears wider whilst the micro and macro dynamics have more impact. This effect is particularly noticeable on well-recorded piano. I am sure you all know the piano is a percussive instrument but in truth, this is rarely audible on most Hi-Fi systems. Using an M8xi a piano‘s percussive nature becomes instantly obvious and jumps out of the loudspeaker. lt is a surprising and satisfying improvement to the sound quality. Vocals have more subtly, detail and presence. Large scale music has depth, width, and incredibly dynamic presentation. All in all the M8xi is a consummate all-rounder. Mostly it sounds like a small Class A amplifier with huge power.
- The DAC
The M8xi also features a 5 input DAC. DACs are increasingly common in integrated amplifier designs to add convenience when connecting a variety of digital sources, so the decision was taken to build-in a DAC that would perform to a high standard, independently of the amplifier. For added integrity, the DAC features its own power supply. Based around the Texas Instruments PCM5242 TI low-distortion and low-noise DAC chip, which is also employed in many other premium products in the hi-fi industry as well as in previous Musical Fidelity products, the M8xi has 2 x coaxial (S/PDIF), 2 x optical (S/PDIF) and 1 x asynchronous USB Type-B inputs. The coaxial and the USB inputs are capable of supporting hi-res audio streams up-to 24-bit / 192kHz, and the optical input is capable of supporting up-to 24-bit / 96kHz. For maximal performance, all data streams are up-sampled and re-clocked by an internal converter to reduce jitter and remove unwanted artifacts in the sound.
- Technical Performance
The M8xi delivers 550 + 550wpc into 8 ohms. It is extremely stable and very linear. The distortion is low too; lower than 0.005% in the audible frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The M8xi has remarkable linearity and consistency. lt is unconditionally stable and will drive any loudspeaker in existence easily with ample power reserve.
- Our Approach to Technical Measurements
In our view an amplifier should be completely neutral. lt is ‚a straight wire with gain‘. Easy to say but hard and complex to do. We want to stress that we do not believe that the technical performance is an end in itself. lt is a method of validating the total amplifier system concept. The aim of our circuit/PCB designs is to have low feedback and achieve complete neutrality, transparency, and great technical performance. The proof that we are on the right track is the technical performance. We think that technical performance cannot be summed up by the distortion at 1 kHz. Our view is that an amplifier has to be able to satisfy a wide range of technical requirements before it can be neutral.
Almost all loudspeakers have complex impedance and loading curves. An amplifier must be able to maintain its voltage virtually, regardless of loading. If an amplifier cannot maintain its voltage across the spectrum, then the ultimate frequency response and distortion will be nonlinear. This is not neutrality.
The overwhelming majority of amplifier manufacturers only talk about distortion at 1 kHz. We believe that this is only a fraction of the story. From our perspective, an amplifier must have very low distortion from 20 Hz- 20 kHz and beyond. We believe that an amplifier‘s high-frequency performance proves the total performance of the circuit and PCB layout. The M8xi distortion hardly changes from 10 kHz to 50 kHz. An outstanding achievement and validation of the circuit design and PCB layout.
- Noise Ratio
Amplifiers should be quiet. If they are not, low-level detail is irretrievably lost. Also, the dynamic range is seriously compromised. Dynamic range is not just how much power an amplifier will produce, it is also how quiet it can be. Dynamic range is the total from the quietest to the loudest. The M8xi excels in this respect.
- Precision Volume Control
The M8xi has a precision volume control. This ensures perfect tracking right down to very low levels which is unattainable with standard potentiometers. This outstanding precision is achieved by laser-trimmed substrate resistors.
- Sound Quality
The M8xi is effortless, fluid, and dynamic. lt doesn‘t sound ‚loud‘. lt just sounds right. The dynamics are handled with no drama or fuss. They come and they go. There is no distortion; just pure undiluted music. lt sounds like a superb small Class A amplifier but with limitless headroom. Perfection!
- M8xi – Specifications
Power Output (20Hz – 20kHz): 550 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (870W into 4 Ohms); Peak 1.6kW into 2 Ohms
Maximum output voltage: 67 Volts RMS, 20Hz to 20 kHz; onset of clipping (190 Volts peak-to-peak)
THD+N: <0.004% typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz (XLR)
Signal/noise ratio: > 86dB ‚A‘-weighted (XLR)
Input impedance: 25KΩ (RCA), 50KΩ (XLR)
Frequency response: +0, –1dB, 10Hz to 100 kHz
Maximum peak output current: 105 Amps
Damping factor: 150
Output devices: 3+3 pairs (bridged arrangement) per channel
4 pairs line level RCA connectors
2 pairs line level XLR (balanced) connectors
2x Coax S/PDIF up to 24 bit 192kHz
2x Optical S/PDIF up to 24 bit 96kHz
1x USB B Asynchronous USB up to 24 bit 192kHz
1 pair line level RCA fixed
1 pair pre-out RCA variable
1 pair line level XLR variable
1x Coax S/PDIF up to 24 bit 192kHz
1x Optical S/PDIF up to 24 bit 96kHz
Dimensions (WxHxD): 485 x 185 x 510mm
Max. Consumption: 2000Watts
“…speed and control (aka pace and timing), great insight and sense of restrained power that came from forceful dynamics.”
Outstanding – amongst the best!
HI-FI WORLD 12/2020
“The way that all those transient details fly from the speaker with such effortless alacrity, might not be rare from an integrated at this price, but it’s certainly unexpected from one that’s this size.”
HI-FI CHOICE 8/2020
“Most striking is this amplifier’s speed as transient details fly from the speakers with fleetness that you’d perhaps not anticipate from a great lump of an amplifier. The M8xi isn’t just heavy, it’s also fast”
HI-FI NEWS 7/2020
“That volcanic power output does make itself felt though. And it’s effortless. It’s hard to get into words just how incredibly free of any sense of strain or limitation this amp is. This larger amp feels more nimble and light on its feet. It has a skill with timing that I’ve not previously encountered with any of the very high power designs.”
“I would put the performance of the the M8xi up against the likes of Mark Levinson’s Reference stack of gear, Pass Labs, Krell –I mean all the usual suspects. And yet Musical Fidelity did it not only cheaper but in a single chassis! And that is why it is our amplifier of the year.”
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RECOVERING AUDIOPHILE 12/2020
“I do not know if I have heard a finer amplifier than the M8xi in all my years of reviewing products. The M8xi is absolutely one of the finest integrated amplifiers on the market right now and arguably one of the finest ever made.”
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RECOVERING AUDIOPHILE 8/2020
“Musical Fidelity’s M8xi gets the most out of any speaker.”
AUDIO TEST 4/2023
“Enormous power,Great sound quality!”