Oi M8! Need an integrated amplifier that’ll properly power almost any loudspeaker on the planet but without diverting to Class D’s greater power efficiency and smaller form factor? Musical Fidelity and its dealer network would like to pull on your coat about their M8xi.
The new model threatens 550wpc into 8 Ohms (870wpc into 4 Ohms) via a ‘bridged-monoblocked’ pair of amplifier modules whose output devices are “high-stability, thermally-compensated Darlington [transistor] pairs”. Each amplifier module enjoys its own dedicated power supply behind which sit “generously specified transformers”.
Fronting the M8xi’s dual-mono amplifier is an internal Class A pre-amplifier that also enjoys a dedicated power supply feed. Low-noise op-amps are specified throughout the circuit and the volume control promises “a precision-matched position attenuator with maximum 0.2dB mismatch at lower volume levels”.
Feeding the pre-amplifier, we note single-ended and balanced XLR inputs and a single-ended HT input that couples directly to the power amplifier stage.
For streaming, we hook a third party device into one of five digital inputs: USB, 2 x TOSLINK and 2 x coaxial. The M8xi’s internal D/A converter is built around TI’s PCM5242 DAC chip (up to 24bit/192kHz PCM) and is supported by an upsampler and a re-clocker.
And like the Music Fidelity integrated’s internal dual-monoblocks and pre-amplifier, the DAC board also takes its power independently from a dedicated supply.
All four ‘components’ are wrapped in an industrial chassis that features an anodised aluminium front panel and large heatsinks running along each side.
The M8xi is designed in the UK/Europe, manufactured in Taiwan and will sell for £5649 when it goes on sale in the Spring of 2020.
Further information: Musical Fidelity