Musical Fidelity M8xi Super Integrated Amp Takes Out Top Award
The EISA Awards are emerging as an industry standard and the benchmark by which all products are judged each year. Musical Fidelity is celebrating this week after its M8xi Super Integrated came out shining, above all others.
Announced early this year, Musical Fidelity's M8xi is a DAC, pre-amplifier, and two mono power amplifies all housed within one chassis. The entire signal path employs a low-feedback configuration, as with previous Musical Fidelity designs.
The new M8xi has undergone design improvements, however, resulting in higher power output, lower distortion and by all reports, better overall sound quality. The high power output is rated at a generous 550W into 8-ohms, 870W into 4-ohms, and peak 1600W into 2-ohms. This versatility will allow MF's super integrated to drive almost any speaker on the market.
The pre-amplifier is powered by its own independent power supply, largely operating in Class A. It features both XLR and RCA inputs. It employs low-noise op-amps in all sections for maximum signal integrity. The laser-trimmed volume control is said to feature “a precision-matched position attenuator with maximum 0.2dB mismatch at lower volume levels, which guarantees precise imaging and soundstage integrity, whether being played quiet or loud.”
The DAC component is based around the Texas Instruments PCM5242 low-distortion and low-noise DAC chip, also powered from its own dedicated power supply. The M8xi has two coaxial (S/PDIF), two optical (S/PDIF) and one asynchronous USB Type-B input. 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.
Finally, there are both XLR and RCA balanced outputs for wider system applications. There are variable outputs for connecting to additional external amplifiers, as well as an RCA fixed stereo output for analogue recording or alternative applications, such as connecting an external headphone amplifier.
In awarding the Musical Fidelity M8xi “Best Product 2020-2021” in the High End Integrated Amplifier category, EISA judges said:
The M8xi sounds effortless, and fluid. Large scale music has depth and width paired with an incredible dynamic presentation. It sounds like a superb small Class A amplifier but with limitless headroom. Perfection!
The Musical Fidelity M8xi is available in Black or Silver now and sells for AUD $12,000 RRP.