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Musical Fidelity M3X Vinyl Phono Stage
M3x Vinyl – Overview
The M3x ViNYL is a phono stage, designed to be without any practical limits. Connectivity is straight forward. You have an input and an output. Neither of them can be overloaded at the input or limited in the output driving capacity. It can be set for either MM or MC and exact loading. It offers state-of-the art technical and sonic performance just like the M6x ViNYL, but at a cheaper entry level to the epitome of the true spirit of high-end audio.
The M3x ViNYL has been switched, just like in its bigger brother the M6x ViNYL, to an entirely discrete circuitry, which results in better technical measurements and better sound. It is equipped with one single-ended input and output. But the important question is: what is so special about discrete circuits?
Although it is Musical Fidelity’s lowest price amplifier, it embodies our hallmark values of uncoloured, stress-free sound, outstanding technical performance and great value for money.
The Advantage of Discrete Circuits
A discrete circuit is composed of electronic components which are disparate, individual devices, also called discrete components. These can be “passive” components, like resistors, capacitors and inductors, as well as “active” components, which in our case are transistors. The opposite to this would be an integrated circuit, which uses operational amplifiers (Op-Amps) in the signal chain. In our industry we employ specialised Op-Amps built for audio applications, which allow us to produce very small and efficient electronics, as well as saving the time of design engineers. However, countless hours of listening tests and years of experience have shown us that even the very best Op-Amps do not tend to be so neutral, natural, dynamic or vivid – all of which are characteristics of the Musical Fidelity “sound”. For that reason, we’re rediscovering our passion for traditional, discrete designs. Where standard phono pre-amplifiers with integrated circuits have a few tens or hundreds of components, discrete designs will employ hundreds or thousands of components by comparison. That makes for an extended design process, but in our opinion results in the best sound for your money.
Toroidal Power Transformer
The special audio transformer with low core saturation decreases the level of electromagnetic radiation, which is essential because otherwise any phono amplifier will never be able to work correctly. Together with the distance between transformer and amplification section and the electromagnetic shielding, we are creating an incredibly high signal to noise ratio. If we are working with the few hundreds of microvolts from a phono cartridge, everything is playing its role; every decibel of signal to noise ratio is crucially important. For the first time, we have implemented our new proprietary power supply solution that has zero standby power consumption. Absolutely zero! It is a super green product and we are sure, there isn’t any other product in existence with an ecological standby function like this.
Split Passive EQ
Many other phono stages are using a single equalization network in a global feedback loop. By means of an EQ network, the amplified signal from the output of the phono preamp is brought back to the input of the phono preamp. This is the before mentioned feedback loop, and the results, as you can imagine, are not in accordance with the high standards in Musical Fidelity design philosophy. The M3x ViNYL uses split passive equalization in separate amplification stages without global negative feedback loops for its RIAA curve. This is more costly to design and implement but ensures the most accurate representation of the ideal EQ curve. Split passive equalization allows for better impedance matching and lower deviation from the ideal RIAA curve.
High-Tech Mechanical and Electrical Engineering – Hand Made in the EU
M3x ViNYL has a steel chassis and a thick, heavy aluminium frontplate, which brings outstanding rigidity to the entire system and at the same time splendid isolation against outside interference. Key factor in keeping signal to noise ratios on the highest possible leveld is the huge distance between power transformer and amplifier section. The quality of the outside chassis finish, which is beyond beautiful, as well as the electronics inside – all wired by hand – is maintained by the highest manufacturing standards which we now achieve by fully switching the production to be entirely Made in the EU!
M3si In Brief
- MM and MC input
- Exact loading options for any cartridge
- Fully discrete circuit board design
- Special low core saturation toroidal transformer custom designed for phono stage requirements
- Environmental friendly – absolutely zero standby power consumption
- Split Passive RIAA and DECCA EQ
- Heavy aluminium frontplate with steel chassis
- Minimal electromagnetic interference from power supply to phono preamp
- Big chassis design enables huge distance between power transformer and amplifier section
- Made in the EU
- Frequency response: RIAA or RIAA/IEC ±0 .2dB
- Input sensitivity: 5mV in for 500mV out (at 1 kHz)
- Input impedance: 47KΩ
- Input capacitance: 50-400pF selectable
- Gain: 40 or 46dB with +6dB function
- THD+N: <0.028%
- Signal to noise ratio: 95dB
- Crosstalk: better than 100dB
- Frequency response: RIAA or RIAA/IEC ±0.3dB
- Input sensitivity: 500μV in for 500mV out (at 1 kHz)
- Input impedance: 25Ω to 1,2KΩ selectable
- Gain: 60 or 66dB with +6dB function
- THD+N: <0.28%
- Signal to noise ratio: 80dB
- Crosstalk: better than 90dB
- 1 pair RCA: left and right 500mV nom 10V max
- 1 pair RCA
- Mains voltages: 230V/115V; AC 50/60Hz
- Consumption: 20 Watts maximum. 0W in standby)
Weight and Dimensions
- Unit only, unboxed: 6.59 kg
- In shipping carton & inc . accessories: 10.15 kg
- W x H(incl. feet) x D(incl. terminals): 440 x 105 x 390mm
- Mains lead: 10 Amp IEC