Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 600: Still a solid Integrated amplifier
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 600
The Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 600 hybrid amplifier is based on the same technologies as the flagship Nu-Vista 800 and Titan models, but due to its lower cost, the space inside is used more efficiently. The device is equipped with the most popular input interfaces: two balanced XLR and four RCA (CD, Tuner, AUX pair). There are two types of line outputs (fixed and variable), as well as a special input directly to the power amplifier (Home Theater bypass).
The Nu-Vista 600 integrated amplifier is built on the almost forgotten Nuvistors. We are talking about electric vacuum devices: they have all the advantages of lamps, but have the dimensions of transistors and exceed lamps in reliability and resistance to harmful environmental conditions (including vibration, shock and even penetrating radiation). Nuvistors continue to be used in aerospace, military applications and other applications where reliability, stability, robustness and superior performance are required.
When developing the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 600 amplifier, the designers decided to create a more affordable model based on Nuvistors than the previously released Nu-Vista 800 integrated amplifier., but equal in sound quality (albeit designed to work in smaller rooms). By limiting the output power by 30% to 200 W per channel, the developers were able to reduce the size of the power supply and the weight of the device by 5 kg compared to the Nu-Vista 800. Moreover, the amplifier produces 200 W per channel with a load of 8 ohms: on the more common 4-ohm it will be twice as large.
The final stages, according to the developers, easily control even the most difficult acoustics. To ensure the best stability, they are effectively decoupled from the input circuits. The right and left channels are also completely separated in a “dual mono” architecture. Musical Fidelity says that in terms of design and workmanship, the new amplifier is in no way inferior to the older model Nu-Vista 800. It just has a slightly lower weight, output power and price.
Equipment made in the likeness of a solid, uncompromising design that has already become a thing of the past has always aroused increased interest in me. However, today we have before us an even more worthy candidate, who, I think, would be simply stupid not to meet. Nu-Vista 600 arouses curiosity because it is offered at a real, and not some exorbitant price, and in addition embodies two legends at once.
One of them was created in the Musical Fidelity laboratory. I’m talking about the unique two-block Titan terminal, of which the British company produced a limited number (the circulation amounted to several dozen). Circuit solutions perfected on this exclusive were later transferred to the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800 – the current flagship integrated device of the company. And in parallel, “Titan” also had a second successor – an even more affordable and not so heavy amplifier for those who are ready to be content with a power of two to four hundred watts per channel (depending on the load).
Another legend was born long before the emergence of Musical Fidelity itself. We are talking about Nuvistors – miniature metal-ceramic lamps created by RCA in the late 50s. These radio elements were distinguished by their high reliability, vibration resistance, low noise level and operating frequency band up to tens of MHz, which earned them the respect of developers of military, space and analogue television/video equipment. Their characteristics were far superior to transistors of that time, and few modern ones can boast the same linearity and short harmonic spectrum. Unfortunately, the technology was not widely used due to unprofitable production, losing ground to semiconductor electronics. But she managed to leave her mark on history.
The first components of the “nuvistor” line, released by Musical Fidelity a quarter of a century ago, were warmly received in audiophile circles even by those who were not too fond of hybrid circuitry. The amplifiers were clearly superior to the competition in tonal and microdynamic accuracy.
Musical Fidelity also uses similar radio elements from its own “gold reserves” in the top line of Nu-Vista components (in addition to amplifiers, let me remind you, the catalog also contains other hybrids – a CD player and a phono preamplifier).
In the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 600, four Nuvistors are responsible for pre-amplification – they are clearly visible through a slot in the massive top casing at the rear panel. They were brought here not so that we could admire them, but because in this place the electromagnetic background from two power transformers was completely neutralized. For additional protection from vibrations, the board with nuvistors is mounted on a powerful metal crossbar. True, this arrangement automatically implies that it is better not to place other components on top of the amplifier.
The body of the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 600 is almost identical to the flagship Nu-Vista 800 : the front panel has a recognizable LCD display and two encoders, and the bottom and side parts are made in exactly the same dimensions and with the same thoroughness. There are only two differences. There are no side ventilation slots in the top plate, since external radiators are sufficient to remove heat from the smaller number of output transistors (here there are four in each channel). The insert in the rear panel, on which all the sockets and terminals are attached, also looks different – it is devoid of copper coating.
However, the most significant impact on the price of the amplifier was the “deforcing” of the output stages. Reducing the power allowed the engineers to use a pair of much smaller toroidal transformers in the power supply (the “six hundredth” was built using a dual mono circuit), due to which the device itself lost 5 kilograms. But in functional terms, you won’t find any simplification: there remains a balanced input, four linear inputs (one can be switched to Power-In mode) and a recording and Pre Out output. The terminals for the speaker cable are made double to simplify by-wiring connections with different cables. Inside there are symmetrical separate boards with a computer-optimized network of tracks. Control – microprocessor.