Musical Fidelity M3si Amplifier

One of the most famous of English names in hi-fi industry Musical Fidelity has launched two new integrated amplifier implemented with D/A converters. Alongside the M6si was presented and accessible M3si.

Beginnings Musical Fidelity reaching up back in 1982 and already two years later the legendary amplifier A1, which was designed by the renowned Tim de Paravicini. Model A1 was produced a decade to 2008, he presented his modern successor. Nineteen years Musical Fidelity has marked its products cylindrical shape, the so-called X series. Thus, there has been a trend that in this company wants to be innovative, original and modern. Therefore, the installation of D/A converters to integrated amplifiers quite logical step. Preceded M3i got a lot of good reviews and the press, but also the audience. Let's look at what can a new amplifier that does for you.


M3si touch the housing with metal front 10 millimeters of thickness, which is at the top and bottom of the bit skew. On the left side is drawn nameplate model, which makes the Musical Fidelity devices easily recognizable. In the middle is a large, metal circular command light gray color, which controls volume, while the lower part are tiny buttons and control LEDs. The keys behind have micro-switches, but they should not be too much pressure. Infrared receiver remote control goods disrupts the harmony of the front panel. The front panel has a display which would interfere with you if you have a habit to watch constantly. The amplifier is standing on four legs good quality, but they are quite low, but should pay attention to timely drawing fingers when lowering the amplifier to the ground.

Rated power amplifier is 85 watts per channel into eight ohms, with a very low measured distortion. The back panel reveals a lot more, but we immediately noticed that this device is made in Taiwan. Connections for speaker cables are very robust and quality, and next to them is a USB port type B for connection to a computer that supports formats up to 24 bits and 96 kHz. There is also a phono input for MM cartridges with a grounded plug. From the liner connections present are four inputs and two outputs. Line inputs are labeled as CD, tuner and AUX 1/HT and AUX2. The above-mentioned AUX 1/HT can be configured in two ways by using the small switch on the back panel. When the switch is in the HT (Home Theater) position, then the volume is set to M3si will not affect playback, but will take an external volume control processor for the home theater. Outputs include a line and one pre-out, so that M3si be used as a preamplifier with another power amplifier. Trigger ports for simultaneous control of multiple devices are a logical addition to a whole set of options that is Musical Fidelity offered in a compact body.


View of the interior of the amplifier tells us that the project had serious engineers. The overall layout of components seems perfect. If we start from a power connection, electricity first through filtration to get to solid torus transformer dimensions (about four inches wide and four height). The amplifier uses two pairs of Sanken transistors with labels STD03P and STD03N. These transistors operate as a Darlington pair, which means that the current of the first transistor further enhances the other transistor. Hence the high power of 85 watts per channel. Another very important feature of the mentioned transistors is that they have installed a temperature sensor to protect. These four transistors are mounted on ribbed radiator, which covers almost the entire depth of the device and the housing is open above and below the refrigerator.

With USB ports observe Texas Instruments PCM1781 digital-to-analog converter and a USB audio interface TAS1020B from the same company. It is interesting to us is that the analog volume control is done via a digital chip PGA2320 from Burr-Brown. All in all, a very nice package of features and quality parts that promise good sound.


The advantages of the new model not only in adding D/A converter. For example, the speaker terminals are now far better, while the section filtering the input voltage more advanced. The interior also notice that M3si has four capacitors, while the older brother had only two. Therefore, be sure that the new model is better prepared and that the difference in price of ten percent more than justified, and even to forget the DAC. Unfortunately, the value of the British pound rose sharply, but the difference in our market somewhat higher. Nevertheless, M3si offers really a lot to quite adequate price, and it is very competitive.

The only thing we did not like, but it is not a surprise, is remote. Its design is reminiscent of the eighties of the last century, but the good news is that the control system, so it can control the CD player Musical Fidelity. We have not mentioned that the package gets the power cord, as well as cloth to wipe the device, or the elegant white gloves so as not to leave marks on the case.


The amplifier we connect a USB cable AudioQuest Cinnamon with a laptop and music immediately could begin. Limitation of 24/96 is not particularly bother us, because the market and can not find an amplifier with a built-in D/A converter that supports a higher resolution via a USB port. The enormous power that has this amplifier gives him the ability to easily pair with your speakers. We connected it to the bookshelf model KEF R300, which is in a similar price range as well as M3si. We emphasize that M3si can work in the home theater system, so that the choice of speakers that you can connect in practice very wide.

When you turn on the amplifier, you have to wait five to six seconds to become functional because the engineers have built protection. We started listening to us well-known songs that we constantly have in your computer and play worked very lively, with a lot of details. Speakers showed once again that they have a good response in the bass, and the Musical Fidelity has managed well to control them. Soon we increased the volume on the position of 12 hours on the potentiometer and immediately heard that M3si has pretty forces, and more than you need at home or in the living rooms of 20 square meters. Reproduction was rich in detail with the dosed amount of heat, it was neither too much nor too little. Sound files are excellent traced, and in particular we liked the sound of stringed instruments. We listened to the famous version of Eleanor Rigby from the Beatles and we were once again a pleasure to sing it only with strings. And at loud levels of the balancing of the entire frequency spectrum has been successfully reserved, while the sound natural and appealing. Listen and complex classical works with major orchestras and Musical Fidelity will be played without problems. Also, we have completed several tracks with brilliant performances on the bass guitar with the tapping and amplifier has shown how much can be a quick and uverljvo. After several hours of listening, we felt relaxed, we just enjoy the music without a pressing need to listen to every detail. We could not find any videos or type of music that we sounded crisp and unlikable to M3si.


This amplifier can be considered cheap tickets in the world of hi-end because the reproduction quality and workmanship is really a great product. DAC is not just a cheap additive, it is very useful in practice. Also, if you do not already have a higher quality source like a superior CD player, integrated DAC may represent more than a temporary solution. In short, integrated amplifier M3si has everything you might need: a lot of power, phono preamplifier, DAC and can be used in home theater systems. So, it's a versatile solution which resolves the issue of the amplifier for an extended period.

Musical Fidelity M3si Amplifier photo