Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225
Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225
Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225

Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225: CD Player and network streamer combined

The amplifier in the Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225 is borrowed from the Musical Fidelity M6si and combined with a DAC, network streamer, CD copying complex (disc drive and 2 TB hard drive for expandable recording storage) and a music server. Network capabilities and management are implemented on a 2-core 64-bit Intel processor. Digital-to-analog converter – 32-bit/384 kHz, capable of receiving signals with a resolution of up to 24-bit/192 kHz on all digital inputs (including asynchronous USB).

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Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225 supports broadcasting of the most popular streaming services, in particular Tidal, and also works with most Internet radio stations. The M6 ​​Encore 225 has 3 analog inputs, 2 optical, 2 coaxial, and 5 USB: 3 version 2.0 type A, one version 3.0 type A and one version 3.0 type B. Outputs available: fixed line, adjustable line, headphones, optical and coaxial. The device also works with wireless speakers via Wi-Fi, including Sonos. You can control the new product using either the included remote control or an application for iOS/Android.

When purchasing separate components, we are not particularly worried about the fact that over time any of them may become outdated. At the very least, we’ll change the source or DAC, and that’ll be the end of it. Small, but still an expense. Modern technology can save the owner from problems with updating the system. Somehow, the term “convergence”, which literally filled the headlines in audio magazines just five years ago, fell out of use. Today we take it for granted that computer technology and home entertainment technology have become one. With the disappearance of physical media, the quality of music reproduction no longer depends so much on the hardware as on the “brains,” and this provides truly limitless opportunities for further development.

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Musical Fidelity specialists took full advantage of this when creating the Encore 225 – a device that replaces a CD player/recorder, USB DAC, streamer, Internet radio receiver, hard drive and integrated amplifier. The new product is positioned not as a rigidly configured device, but as a platform on the basis of which transformations and expansions necessary in the future can be made. Therefore, “hardware”, i.e. The design of the Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225 is solid and reliable, designed for many years of use, and the software of the control processor (2-core 64-bit Intel chip with 1 GB of memory), on the contrary, is extremely flexible, with the possibility of regular updates. Which, by the way, is carried out automatically via the Internet, without the participation of the owner, and is completely free. Actually, this concept was the main one when creating the first model in the advanced Encore line.

The built-in 2 TB hard drive can hold the equivalent of 2,500 CDs of uncompressed audio files. But this is not the limit – if necessary, you can install a 2-terabyte disk, and no preliminary preparation is required, because initialization is registered in the device chip.

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The switching capabilities are built in with reserve; there are only five USB ports: 3.0 type “A”, 3.0 type “B” (service) and three 2.0 type “A” interfaces. Ethernet 10/100/1000 Base-T network interfaces with speeds up to 1 Gb/s are supported, as well as Wi-Fi, which is useful in a system with wireless speakers. All digital inputs, including SPDIF, accept signals up to 24-bit/192 kHz, and the same resolution is supported on all outputs. The digital-to-analog converter operates with data in 32-bit/384 kHz format. The streaming client supports broadcasting of the most popular services, for example, Tidal. Reception of Internet radio stations is provided, as well as connection of three analogue sources.

The device is assembled in a case of solid dimensions with ribbed side walls, which serve as heat sinks for the output transistors. The front panel is emphatically symmetrical. In the center is a large color display, which displays setup menus and a lot of other graphics, including album covers and other metadata that the device downloads from the Internet. Below it is a slot for loading a CD. The left knob is responsible for selecting inputs, modes, folders and tracks, and the right knob controls the volume. Buttons located vertically on the sides of the display control playback – both CD transport and network player. This can also be done from the remote control or through applications for iOS and Android devices, which can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.

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The slot loader is not noisy, but the mechanics respond somewhat sluggishly to commands. The manufacturer, as I was told, is aware and is ready to fix this bug. Everything else is practically beyond criticism. Here you can feel the deep bass energy, the filigree resolution in the upper range, and a lot of details in the middle. The main thing is that the sound does not have the roughness and mechanicalness inherent in many modern devices when playing 44/16 low-cuts.

Any music stored on a NAS server or home network computer will first be copied to disk. Copying is carried out using an application on a smartphone or computer with Google Chrome; to do this they must be on the same network as Encore. This procedure is a simple drag-and-drop process, but can take a long time for a library with a large number of files. Surprisingly, the system does not support Bluetooth. This protocol has already become a universal way to connect portable devices to various types of amplifiers, and its absence looks very annoying for such an equipped design.

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The Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225 has a very large and powerful sound. The smooth and full-blooded character is complemented by enough edge to please Eminem fans and Stravinsky lovers alike. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring confirms this. Musical Fidelity creates a grandiose sound canvas, distinguished by persuasiveness and drive. Enviable power ensures tight control over large-scale dynamics changes. Accurate stereo panorama is combined with spaciousness and breadth of the sound stage. The tools are carefully separated and neatly assembled into a single unit. The high precision of sound is emphasized by the multi-layered orchestral parts. The character of the Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225 remains the same regardless of the format, whether it’s The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack in high definition at 24-bit/192 kHz or Solange Knowles’ Cranes In Th e Sky streaming from Tidal.

The optical and coaxial inputs are also quite good. In terms of transparency, they are inferior to linear ones – the sound slightly loses density and sophistication, but overall remains pleasant. We also liked the headphone output. The sound from it is the same as from the speaker outputs, combining scale, openness and persuasiveness. The performance is characterized by high detail and rare expressiveness of dynamics. Most manufacturers don’t pay too much attention to headphone outputs; Fortunately, the developers of Musical Fidelity take a different approach.

Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225 Specifications

Output Power: 225 W per channel into 8 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio: >107 dB
Frequency Response: +0, –0.1 dB, 10 Hz to 20 kHz

Inputs: 3 x Line, 2 x optical S/PDIF 24-bit inputs up to 192 kHz, 2 x coaxial S/PDIF 24-bit inputs up to 192 kHz, 1 x USB 3.0 type “A” connector, 1 x USB 3.0 type “B” connector (for future expansion), 3 x USB2.0 type A’ connector (1 front, 2 rear), 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet connector

Outputs: 1x line output, 1x PREAMP line output, 1x optical S/PDIF 24-bit output up to 192 kHz , 1x coaxial S/PDIF 24-bit output up to 192 kHz, Headphone output suitable for headphones impedance 8 ohms up to ∞. (Headphone output has independent volume control)

Internal memory 2.5 ”2 TB SATA II hard drive
Dimensions – WxHxD (mm): 440 x 125 x 400
Weight (without packaging / with packaging): 16.6 kg / 21.3 kg

Resurface CMP