Musical Fidelity M3x DAC
The Musical Fidelity M3x DAC from Musical Fidelity is the latest in affordable high-end DACs.
This DAC is above the rest with its technical prowess, excellent technical performance, carefully thought-out PCB design in Musical Fidelity tradition, meticulous power supply layout and superb build quality.
The M3x DAC is truly an outstanding offering in modern high-end DAC designs.
Employing an upsampling DAC design with the SRC4392, a high-end sample rate converter from Burr Brown, tasked to re-clock all PCM signals and convert them into 24 bits and 192 kHz, the Musical Fidelity M3x DAC elevates your digital music playback tenfold by reaching the lowest distortion levels.
The PCM1795 DAC handles PCM rates of up to 24 bits / 192kHz and native DoP DSD of up to DSD256. DSD files are not up-sampled but played in their original format.
The single ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs have been given their own output buffers, and both output stages deliver outstanding audio quality, large output voltage swing and high current drive.
Distortion is exceptionally low in this unit thanks to the excellent gain bandwidth and quick slew rate.
The M3x DAC continues to amaze many by displaying continued development in Musical Fidelity’s super silent power transformers.
The use of industrial graded power sockets with EMI filter and DC blocker stops any interferences and eliminates transformer hum.
Additionally, the toroidal transformer with low core saturation is perfect for audio applications and especially ideal in digital audio due to its extremely low electromagnetic radiation.
PCB Design and Layout
Design challenges are always presented when digital to analogue converters are involved.
However, Musical Fidelity have always held circuit board design and layout up to the highest of standards.
The boards created by them are custom-tailored to each and every individual application, overcoming the inherent design challenges associated with PCB design.
Musical Fidelity will only ever call a job complete if a board measures well and sounds as envisioned.
The M3x DAC is a tremendous performer.
Close attention to detail has been paid to the mechanical construction.
The front panel is milled from an extruded aluminium profile and the body is made from heavy steel, providing only the best protection for the internals against any outer electromagnetic fields, and in the same way, protect the rest of your HiFi equipment against these electromagnetic fields.
Musical Fidelity M3x DAC – Specifications
- DAC Chip: PCM1795
- Sample rate converter: SRC4392
- Total correlated jitter: < 48 picoseconds peak to peak
- Linearity: < 0,2dB down to -100dB
- Frequency response: -0,2dB at 20Hz, 0,1dB at 20kHz; 1,5dB at 70kHz
- Channel separation: < -115dB 10kHz @ 0dBFS
- Signal to noise: >107dB “A”- wtd 1kHz @ 0dBFS
- Total harmonic distortion: < 0,005% at 1kHz @ 0dBFS
- 2x Coax, up to 24bit 192kHz (stereo PCM)
- 2x Optical, up to 24bit 192kHz (stereo PCM)
- 1x USB Audio Class 2.0, ‘USB B’; up to 32 bit 192kHz (stereo PCM), DSD 256 (stereo DoP and native)
- 1 pair line level RCA fix/var @ 2V RMS at 0dBFS
- 1 pair line level XLR fix/var @ 4V RMS at 0dBFS
- Output impedance: < 50 ohms
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 440 x 100 x 363mm
- Main voltages: 230V/115V Internally set or 100V optional
- Max. Consumption: 15W, <0.5W in standby
- Weight: 6.8kg
Musical Fidelity has been designing and manufacturing Hi-Fi electronics for over thirty years and are proud to have become one of the best-known brands in the Hi-Fi industry.
They are driven by a passion for wonderful music and the challenge of world-class engineering.
They approached each new design by looking for the absolute best solution to a given challenge and embrace new technologies in our designs as well as developing more traditional methods for even greater performance.
Their first product - The Preamp – launched to rave reviews. Followed by shoebox-style Dr Thomas power amp.
Launch of A1 integrated amp, ‘the most important development so far in the renaissance of the UK hi-fi scene’ (Hi-Fi Answers).
New A370 Power Amp proclaimed ‘the best power amp I’ve ever heard’ (Hi-Fi Answers).
World’s first high-end DAC- Digilog – makes debut
Another world first: MVX preamp, combining tube circuit topology with transistors.
SA470 launched: 86Kg power amp running 99% in Class A
A1000 integrated released, featuring pure Class A power amp section
Classic valve-driven Tubalog DAC goes on sale
X Series launches with X-10D Class A triode line stage: ‘the most dramatic sonic enhancement you’re likely to hear!’ (F1).
Nu-Vista Preamp launched, using miniature, metal-cased nuvistor tubes. All 500 units sold within three months.
X Series expands with X-ACT DAC, praised for 'smooth, easy-going sound' (What Hi-Fi?)
X-24K upsampling DAC released: ‘capable of getting sound to die for’ (Stereophile).
X-Ray CD player launched. Described as ‘the sort of object you just want to fondle’ (Hi-Fi News) ‘a thrilling, substantial and satisfying listen’ (What Hi-Fi?) and ‘Hi-Fi meets nuclear warhead’ (T3).
Futuristic CD-PRE 24 arrives, combining a high-quality CD transport, DAC and preamp. On Hi-Fi says it ‘represents a combination of features, functional performance and affordability that seems an audiophile dream come true’.
Debut of Nu-Vista M3 pre/power amp, including discrete Nu-Vista power amp modules with choke regulation. ‘This is what hi-fi should be all about’ (Gramophone).
X-DAC V3 released, offering ‘stunningly good measured performance’ (Stereophile).
World’s first audio application of trivistor tubes in new Tri-Vista series, including legendary Tri-Vista 21 ‘Super DAC’.
Flagship kW pre-amp and kW power amp launched: ‘the very finest amps you can buy...the MFs redefine audio standards’ (What Hi-Fi?)
Next up: kW 500 super integrated amp with twin-triode tubes. Hi-Fi News said, ‘For one rare reviewing occasion I could not find a thing to fault about the musical presentation of an amp’.
Limited-edition M1 turntable released. Considered one of the best-engineered decks ever, it’s now a collector’s item, fetching above its original price.
Supercharged X-DAC V8 introduced, with switchable tube buffer and extra-heavy-duty power supply. ‘For its superb performance as a detailed, sweet-sounding DAC, the X-DAC V8 stands on its own’ (Stereophile).
X-150 wins European Stereo Amplifier of the Year, EISA Awards 2004-2005.
Debut of kW250S one-box wonder, packing in dual 250-watt monobloc amps, tube hybrid preamp, phono stage, 24-bit 192K upsampling CD player, FM/DAB tuner and iPod input.
Meet the mighty TITAN: 1kW per channel dual monobloc design with external power supply. Hi-Fi News was ‘Smitten… The Titan is the best power amplifier I’ve used’.
Reference-standard Primo pre-amplifier released; pure Class A with 14 hand-picked ECC81
New M1 CLiC unites analogue and digital sources under universal control. Wins European Network Music Player, EISA Awards 2011-2012.
Line-up expands to meet every hi-fi need and budget. Highlights include the AMS CD/DAC – our finest digital product yet - and AMS100, the world’s most advanced pure Class A amp