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Musical Fidelity M8xi Integrated Amp/DAC

MF_M8xi_2

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.

 

MF_M8xi_1

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.

 

MF_M8xi_3

 

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.

 

MF_M8xi_4

 

Distortion

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.

Precision Volume Control

The M8xi has a precision volume control. This ensures perfect tracking right down to a very low level. 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!

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
Inputs (analogue)
4 pairs line level RCA connectors
2 pairs line level XLR (balanced) connectors
Inputs (digital)
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
Outputs (analogue)
1 pair line level RCA fixed
1 pair pre-out RCA variable
1 pair line level XLR variable
Outputs (digital)
1x Coax S/PDIF up to 24 bit 192kHz
1x Optical S/PDIF up to 24 bit 96kHz
General
Dimensions (WxHxD): 485 x 185 x 510mm
Max. Consumption: 2000Watts

 

info : www.musicalfidelity.com

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