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Musical Fidelity announces M8xi integrated amp

Latest Super Integrated amp promises power, sonics and convenience

by Andy Bassett

Described by the company as a Super Integrated amplifier, Musical Fidelity’s newly announced M8xi will be on full show at this year’s Bristol Hi-Fi Show.

Having seen the light of day at various international shows during 2019, the M8xi integrated amplifier has now been officially announced by Musical Fidelity and will be making a full UK appearance at the Bristol Hi-Fi SHow from 21st - 23rd Feb.

Incorporating three elements, namely a separate DAC, pre-amplifier and two monobloc power amplifiers housed within one large chassis, each section was designed independently so each is capable of performing to an exceptional standard.

Based on previous Musical Fidelity designs, the signal path uses a low-feedback configuration. However, new changes have resulted in higher power, lower distortion and better overall sound quality and the whole driver stage has been designed to operate in pure Class A. The company says the result of this combination is a wide sound stage that allows both micro and macro dynamics to have an impact . 

The design enables a power oputput of 550W into 8Ω (870W into 4Ω and Peak 1.6kW into 2Ω) which can drive almost any speaker available on the commercial market today regardless of bigger and/or insensitive designs. The true dual-mono power amplifier has a separate power supply for each channel to maintain signal integrity and the output devices themselves are high-stability, thermally compensated Darlington pairs.

The M8xi sports a five input DAC based around the extensively used Texas Instruments PCM5242 low-distortion, low-noise DAC chip and is powered from its own dedicated power supply. The two coaxial and an asynchronous USB Type-B inputs are capable of supporting Hi-Res audio streams up-to 24-bit / 192kHz, while the additional two optical inputs can handle up to 24-bit / 96kHz. All data streams are up-sampled and re-clocked by an internal converter to reduce jitter and remove unwanted artefacts. 

The pre-amplifier section operates largely as Class A, runs off its own independent power supply, has XLR and RCA inputs and employs low-noise op-amps in all sections for maximum signal integrity. 

Musical Fidelity M8xi integrated amp - rear view

In order to guarantee precise imaging and soundstage integrity the volume control has a precision-matched position attenuator with maximum 0.2dB mismatch at lower volume levels.

As with other Musical Fidelity amplifiers, the M8xi features a switchable Home Theatre (HT) input so a suitably specified AV processor can control the home cinema volume levels while benefiting from the sonic character of the Musical Fidelity. 

And for wider applications, the M8xi features XLR and RCA balanced outputs along with variable outputs for connecting to additional external amplifiers. There’s also an RCA fixed stereo output for analogue recording or connecting an external headphone amplifier. 

Finished in an industrial chassis with an anodised aluminium front panel and large side-mounted heatsink, the Musical Fidelity M8xi will arrive in the UK during Spring 2020 at an SRP of £5,649.00. 

Source: Press release
Image Source: Musical Fidelity

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