Stereocheck Reviews:

Musical Fidelity M8 700m: Premium mono power amplifier

The Musical Fidelity M8 700m mono power amplifier was designed in accordance with the company’s philosophy of distributing production costs in proportion to their impact on the final...

Musical Fidelity M8 700m
Musical Fidelity M8 700m

The Musical Fidelity M8 700m mono power amplifier was designed in accordance with the company’s philosophy of distributing production costs in proportion to their impact on the final result. According to the company’s specialists, in luxury high-end “designer” equipment, metal work can account for up to 98% of the project cost, although it has very little to do with sound quality. In contrast, when designing the M8 components, heavy investments were made in the most important components for sound: electronic components (transistors, capacitors, resistors, etc.), printed circuit boards and power transformers.

Moreover, even premium-level components for wholesale purchases do not greatly affect the final price of the product. The design as such here is subject to the principle of reasonable sufficiency: a welded steel chassis, powerful heat sinks made of a standard profile, thick front panels without any decorative elements. The only thing the designers allowed themselves was manual grinding of the front surface and stylish nameplates made of medical stainless steel. And with such strict minimalism, the m8 models look solid and convincing.

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Inside each of the Musical Fidelity M8700m amplifiers there is a pair of amplification sections connected via a bridge circuit, as well as two independent power supplies; a special balanced converter ensures phase matching. Monoblocks are equipped with two pairs of connectors for dual-cable speaker connection; There is also the possibility of bi-amplifier connection of speakers – there are pass-through outputs for both XLR and RCA inputs. Although the amplifiers do not reach the flagship’s power levels, 700 W is breathtaking; The housings become noticeably hot during operation, which must be taken into account when placing them.

The potential of the amplifiers is felt immediately, but they really shine after their side heat sinks become noticeably warmer. Of course, 700-watt monsters need a larger room and more impressive acoustics, but even in our rather modest surroundings they managed to demonstrate their signature style. A real avalanche of sounds falls on the listener, and even the most insignificant nuances are discernible in this stunning stream. At peak volumes, unpleasant sensations occur in the ears, but solely due to high sound pressure. The system itself does not show the slightest signs of overload – no shrillness, no harshness, extreme intelligibility in fragments with a saturated spectrum.

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The class of the  Musical Fidelity  M8Pre preamplifier is also felt  – when adjusting the level, it is not the scale of the stage that changes, but only the distance to its front flank; it either moves away or gets closer. The very location of the virtual sources, their separation in depth remains the same. In such cases they say that the stage stands like a glove. This is achieved by complete identity of the amplification channels and perfect coordination of the volume control sections. In this sense, well-designed electronic encoders have a clear advantage over the most expensive potentiometers. Another interesting point is that the spectral resolution is equally high at any volume. For example, violins sound absolutely natural, with “rosin”, both when they are barely audible and on the most powerful tutti.

The lower register is confidently controlled, the bass is not loose, on the contrary, the after-sounds seem slightly pressed. Apparently, monoblocks were designed for acoustics with large, heavy diffusers, which, due to their high inertia, require effective damping. But the drum beat is transmitted sharply, cleanly, with an instant attack. Accordingly, the reproduction is distinguished by the precision and completeness of the rhythmic pattern. And even if there are several drum kits on the recording, each blow is accurately recorded both in time and in space.

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All of the above adds up to what we are accustomed to calling musicality. Coherence of the orchestra, instant transitions from piano to forte, ease on tutti, smoothness and unhurriedness, and where necessary – rapid tempo and attack. This is the same case when quantitative engineering indicators smoothly transform into the quality of perception.

Characteristics of Musical Fidelity M8 700m

Output power (8 Ohm): 2 x 700 W
Peak output current: 350 A Frequency
bandwidth (+0/-1 dB): 10 – 80000 Hz
Distortion factor (20 Hz -20 kHz): <0.005 %
Signal-to-noise ratio: >-120 dBA
Dumping factor: 210
Input impedance: 50 kOhm
Maximum power consumption: 1500 W
Dimensions: 440 x 160 x 460 mm
Weight: 30 kg