Musical Fidelity MX-HPA
Musical Fidelity MX-HPA
Musical Fidelity MX-HPA

Musical Fidelity MX-HPA: A headphone amplifier and nothing more

Most headphone amplifiers currently produced have extra capabilities: a built-in DAC or, at a minimum, basic functionality with additional inputs, switching and line output. There is a feeling that deep down the developers still doubt the feasibility of “pure” telephone amplifiers, are not confident in their success with the public and therefore are trying to make them more attractive through “gifts”. Meanwhile, these bonuses increase the cost or, worse, drag it onto themselves to the detriment of those components that affect the sound.

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In this sense, the Musical Fidelity MX-HPA is completely atypical: it is a headphone amplifier and nothing more. Need a DAC? It is in a related family – Musical Fidelity MX-DAC . And he knows how to switch digital sources. And the modern and quality-demanding music lover does not need others.

The manufacturer itself reports extremely sparingly about the internal structure of the device: the circuit is completely balanced, works in class A. No information about components and “unique proprietary technologies”. Is this information necessary? Yes, it’s unlikely, because our many years of experience suggest that beautiful words and real sound most often exist in parallel realities and never intersect.

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However, if you really want to, you can still find some information on the Internet. In particular, the power supply of the Musical Fidelity MX-HPA is switching. Although this could be guessed from the supply voltage range of 90 – 250 V. Some “experts” will certainly wrinkle their noses about this, because in audiophile practice this is not comme il faut. But we know that pulsed power supply has been used for quite a long time and very successfully in the highest class audio equipment. Naturally, we are talking about schemes specially developed for this purpose. You just need to know how to cook them. Musical Fidelity definitely knows how to do this – we’ll be able to see that a little later.

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Note that the stated technical characteristics are impressive. Especially the signal-to-noise ratio (not worse than 120 dB) and THD (<0.005%). However, these spectacular indicators can be interpreted in different ways – bad if they are achieved through deep negative feedback.

Musical Fidelity MX-HPA Specifications

Maximum Output Voltage (RMS, 20 Hz – 20 kHz): 19 V
Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (20 Hz – 20 kHz): < 0.005%
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted): > 120 dB
Frequency range (-0.1 dB): 10 Hz – 20 kHz
Gain (LO/HI): 18/24 dB
Inputs: balanced (XLR), asymmetrical (2 x RCA)
Outputs: headphone x2 (3-pin XLR combined with ¼” connector
Power: 90 – 250 V (50-60 Hz)
Power consumption (operating/standby modes): 15/0.25 W
Dimensions (WxHxD): 220 x 53 x 240 mm
Weight: 2.2 kg