Musical Fidelity News and new products
This January Musical Fidelity will release the first two products in the MX Series and here we look at them in some depth. We don’t have images for the DAC yet but we do know it will occupy the same chassis as the Headphone amp above.
What is particularly exciting about this new MX range is the price points. They offer a lot of performance and facilities for a sensible price!
Perhaps the most exciting of these is the new MX DAC; which promises to be a tremendous performer. As usual (for Musical Fidelity that is) it offers superlative technical performance with ultra low distortion and very low noise. Needless to say frequency response is ruler flat.
Musical Fidelity was one of the first hi-fi companies in the world to make a DAC and they have long produced high quality units that have often stayed ahead of the competition. We think the MSX-DAC not only does that but does it extremely affordable and we think this might well be something of a steal.
Before you read the technostuff this DAC will basically play any kind of audio file from MP3 upwards and up to and including the highest resolution HD files currently dreamed of by record producers.
The new MX DAC is a tremendous performer. It has ultra low distortion, very wide bandwidth and low noise. The technical performance of the MX-DAC is on a par with any other DAC at any price. Jitter is about 12pps, s/n ratio is -116dB (‘A’ weighted), linearity is +0.2dB at -116dB, stereo separation is -104dB at 1kHz, frequency response is ruler flat and distortion is 0.00025% at 1kHz and 0.0003% at 20kHz.
These technical figures are state-of-the-art. They demonstrate that our implementation is almost perfect. This ensures completely neutral and accurate digital-to-analogue conversion of any digital input.
The MX DAC has inputs for: 2 x optical (up to 24 bit 96 kHz), 2 x COAX (up to 24 bit 192 kHz) and USB up to 24 bit 192 kHz asynchronous. Importantly, it also has inputs for DSD 64 kHz and 128 kHz.
Even more importantly all inputs whether from optical, COAX or USB are processed in the DSD domain. This desirable feature gives a warmth and humanity to the sound that simple digital conversion doesn’t achieve.
The MX DAC has both single ended and balanced outputs.
The new MX range has beautiful aesthetics and wonderful build quality. The front panel and housing are both from exclusive custom made extrusions using Mil-spec aluminium. We think that at £599 UK retail, the MX DAC represents truly outstanding value for money. Its combination of superlative technical performance, technical innovation, build quality and value should prove a compelling commercial proposition as well.
MX-HPA - Overview
The incredible studio reference MX HPA fully balanced headphone amp has been a labour of love for everybody at Musical Fidelity. As some of you may have noticed we have been making headphones for some time and have always been great headphone fans. Although the M1 HPA is very good we wanted to make something which was incredible.
The MX HPA fully balanced headphone amp is the result of decades of experience of making high quality headphone amplifiers. Relatively, the MX HPA has about the same performance into headphones as the incredible Titan has into loudspeakers. That is; awe inspiring, incredible, limitless and any other hyperbole you can imagine. It is really incredible. The unit will cost £599.
MX-HPA – Design and Build
The MX HPA’s technical performance is stunning. Typically distortion from 20 Hz to 40 kHz is less than 0.005%. This is serious stuff. Signal noise ratio is better than 120dB (‘A’ weighted). Needless to say frequency response is ruler flat from 10 Hz to 20 kHz (-0.1dB).
It is capable of a short term peak of 10 watts (for one cycle). It has 2 gain positions; 18dB (8X) and 24dB (15X). Inputs are either balanced or single ended. It willautomatically convert single ended inputs to balanced. The MX HPA is genuinely fully balanced from beginning to end.
MX-HPA – Specifications
- Power 1.8 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (27dBW)
- Maximum output voltage 19 Volts RMS, 20Hz to 20 kHz
- Onset of clipping (54 Volts peak-to-peak) balanced
- THD+N >0.005% typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz
- Signal / noise ratio >120dB ‘A’-weighted
- Input impedance 50k Ohms
- Frequency response +0, –0.1dB, 10Hz to 20 kHz
- Gain, LO position (volume max) 18db (8x)
- Gain, HI position (volume max) 24dB (15x)
Line level inputs
- 1 pair line level XLR (balanced) connectors
- 1 pairs line level RCA connectors
- 1 pair 3-pin XLR/¼” stereo Jack combined sockets
- Mains voltages 90-250VAC 50-60Hz universal worldwide supply
- Consumption >0.25 Watts standby (Orange LED lit)
- 15 Watts maximum (Blue LED lit, full power output)
- Unit only, unboxed 2.2 kg (5 lbs) In shipping carton 3.7 kg (8¼ lbs)
- Width 220 mm (8⅔”)
- Height (including feet) 53 mm (2”)
- Depth (front to back) inc. terminals 240 mm (9½”)