The M3x ViNYL is a phono stage, designed to be without any practical limits. Connectivity is straight forward. You have an input and an output. Neither of them can be overloaded at the input or limited in the output driving capacity. It can be set for either MM or MC and exact loading. It offers state-of-the art technical and sonic performance just like the M6x ViNYL, but at a cheaper entry level to the epitome of the true spirit of high-end audio.
The M3x ViNYL has been switched, just like in its bigger brother the M6x ViNYL, to an entirely discrete circuitry, which results in better technical measurements and better sound. It is equipped with one single-ended input and output. But the important question is: what is so special about discrete circuits?
Although it is Musical Fidelity’s lowest price amplifier, it embodies our hallmark values of uncoloured, stress-free sound, outstanding technical performance and great value for money.
A discrete circuit is composed of electronic components which are disparate, individual devices, also called discrete components. These can be “passive” components, like resistors, capacitors and inductors, as well as “active” components, which in our case are transistors. The opposite to this would be an integrated circuit, which uses operational amplifiers (Op-Amps) in the signal chain. In our industry we employ specialised Op-Amps built for audio applications, which allow us to produce very small and efficient electronics, as well as saving the time of design engineers. However, countless hours of listening tests and years of experience have shown us that even the very best Op-Amps do not tend to be so neutral, natural, dynamic or vivid – all of which are characteristics of the Musical Fidelity “sound”. For that reason, we’re rediscovering our passion for traditional, discrete designs. Where standard phono pre-amplifiers with integrated circuits have a few tens or hundreds of components, discrete designs will employ hundreds or thousands of components by comparison. That makes for an extended design process, but in our opinion results in the best sound for your money.
The special audio transformer with low core saturation decreases the level of electromagnetic radiation, which is essential because otherwise any phono amplifier will never be able to work correctly. Together with the distance between transformer and amplification section and the electromagnetic shielding, we are creating an incredibly high signal to noise ratio. If we are working with the few hundreds of microvolts from a phono cartridge, everything is playing its role; every decibel of signal to noise ratio is crucially important. For the first time, we have implemented our new proprietary power supply solution that has zero standby power consumption. Absolutely zero! It is a super green product and we are sure, there isn’t any other product in existence with an ecological standby function like this.
Many other phono stages are using a single equalization network in a feedback loop. By means of an EQ network, the amplified signal from the output of the phono preamp is brought back to the input of the phono preamp. This is the before mentioned feedback loop, and the results, as you can imagine, are not in accordance with the high standards in Musical Fidelity design philosophy. The M3x ViNYL uses split passive equalization in separate amplification stages without feedback loops for both of its RIAA and DECCA curves. This is more costly to design and implement but ensures the most accurate representation of the ideal EQ curve. Split passive equalization allows for better impedance matching and lower deviation from the ideal RIAA or DECCA curve.
M3x ViNYL has a steel chassis and a thick, heavy aluminium frontplate, which brings outstanding rigidity to the entire system and at the same time splendid isolation against outside interference. Key factor in keeping signal to noise ratios on the highest possible leveld is the huge distance between power transformer and amplifier section. The quality of the outside chassis finish, which is beyond beautiful, as well as the electronics inside - all wired by hand - is maintained by the highest manufacturing standards which we now achieve by fully switching the production to be entirely Made in the EU!