Nine months ago Antony Michaelson, the founder of Musical Fidelity, sold the company to Audio Tuning, the Austrian company that owns Pro-ject turntables.
In preparation for the sale Antony wound down his stock offerings to a limited number of core models. Audio Tuning have now re-released, admittedly after some fine tuning, many of the previously deleted models. The result is a very robust range of products starting from their earlier M2 amp and CD player release through to the sublime Nu Vista series.
A couple of models had only recently ceased production, notably the NuVista 600 and 800 integrated amplifiers, along with their matching CD player. Other models had been missing from the range for some time, and we are enjoying their return to our shelves.
These models include:
This is a beast of an integrated amplifier. Rated at 500 watts/channel into 8 Ohms. The internal construction is two mono-block power amplifiers with a separate pre-amp. It has 4 line inputs (including a high quality MM/MC phono stage), plus 1 balanced. $6,895.
The M8Pre has a wide array of inputs including a low noise MM/MC phono stage, 2 balanced inputs (1 with home theatre bypass option), 3 line inputs (one with home theatre bypass option) and a fully configured tape in/out loop. $6,995
M8S 500 stereo power amplifier
Rated at 500 watts/channel. Both balanced and unbalanced inputs. $6,995.
M8S 700m mono-block power amplifier
Now you know you are serious about your Hi-Fi. These are rated at 700 watts/channel and will drive the most difficult of loudspeakers. They have huge power reserves, producing 1,300 watts into 4 Ohms, and delivering massive dynamics. $5,995.
When released the original Roundtable sold for $1,299. It was a very good turntable, and its performance
reflected the price. However, there were two drawbacks. The cartridge supplied really was not up to the calibre of the turntable itself, so to realise its full potential it required a cartridge upgrade. It also did not have a cover, which was a big negative for many people. We have just received the new version of the Roundtable. The arm has been tweaked, it comes with a cover and the cartridge supplied is an Ortofon 2MRed, valued at $169. The best news is that it sells for $1,199.
Available in Black, White and Red.
The M8 story
The design philosophy behind the M8 range was to produce audiophile product at relatively affordable prices. This is achieved in part by paying attention to areas that can be expensive but contribute nothing to the performance – mainly the front panel, heatsinks and metalwork. We believe that Musical Fidelity have summed this up perfectly on their web-site, and we quote:
We at Musical Fidelity fervently believe that the reason the M8 Series exists is to offer top quality, state of the art performance at an intelligent price. To achieve this, the metalwork, front panels and heatsinks are purely functional.
- The front panels are nicely finished custom made extrusions. There is nothing excessive. They are simply well made, functional, attractive front panels at minimum cost.
- The heatsinks are custom made Musical Fidelity extrusions. They are nicely finished but with no excessive design nor any costly surface finishes. They are purely functional.
- AS with the front panels and heatsinks, the metalwork is designed for functionality with no excess.
- The M8s are almost Puritan in their dedication to delivering performance in a straightforward, nicely finished, honest package.
If you like fancy looking Hi-Fi, machined front panels, peak meters, heatsinks machined from exotic materials and all the other vocabulary of high-end excess, then the M8 Series is not for you. Sorry, that’s the way it is.
At the same time do not think that Musical Fidelity have cut corners when it comes to build quality. While their approach may be, as they say ‘puritan’, the build quality is first class – in fact there are not many amplifiers on the market built to this exacting level.