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Item: Musical Fidelity Nu Vista M3 Integrated Amplifer and Power Supply
Item Condition: Excellent
Reason for selling: Too many amps.
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal plus cots, COD Only Its 2 big boxes, would say $100 or so plus insurance to ship
Extra Info: This very rare model 120 of only 500 worldwide is built like a tank, or make that 2 with power supply, original boxes, short and long leads, and manual. Perfect amp and very rare, takes up quite a bit of space on you rack and weighs about 50 kilos all up.
Loads of reviews and information online but stereophiles here.
INTEGRATED AMP REVIEWS
Musical Fidelity M3 Nu-Vista integrated amplifier Specifications
Sidebar 1: Specifications
Description: Hybrid nuvistor/transistor integrated amplifier. Output power: 275Wpc into 8 ohms (24.4dBW). No other specifications listed.
Dimensions: Amplifier: 19.5" W by 6.5" H by 18.5" D. Weight: 65 lbs. Power supply: 14" W by 5.25" H by 10" D. Weight: 30 lbs.
Serial number of unit reviewed: None found.
Manufacturer: Musical Fidelity Ltd., 15-17 Fulton Road, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 0TF, England, UK. Tel: (44) (0)181-900-2866. US distributor: (1999) Audio Advisor. Web: www.audioadvisor.com; (2004) Signal Path Imports, 215 Lawton Road, Charlotte, NC 28216. Tel: (704) 391-9337. Fax: (704) 391-9338. Web: www.musical-fidelity.co.uk.
The old advertising jingle "Who put eight great tomatoes in that itty-bitty can?" bubbled through my head as Musical Fidelity's Antony Michaelson proudly unboxed the new $4500 M3 Nu-Vista integrated amplifier. How didthey cram it all in there?
The M3 packs improved versions of the English company's acclaimed Nu-Vista preamplifier and Nu-Vista 300 power amplifier (minus 25Wpc) into a surprisingly compact and dramatic-looking package. As with the separates, the integrated's power supply is outboard to keep transformer magnetic fields from interfering with low-level signals, but the supply, too, is smaller than the Nu-Vista 300's.
With its blue LEDs, intricate, jewelry-like knobs (each is composed of seven individual pieces), and brushed "ultra-pure HE39" faceplate heavily accented with 24k gold, you'll have to decide whether the M3 Nu-Vista's looks remind you of Cartier, or of a dumpy guy with a comb-over wearing a Star Sapphire pinky ring. And if that's you, I apologize.
Let's Get Physical
Appearance aside, there's no mistaking the M3 Nu-Vista's build quality: beefy and substantial outside, jigsaw-puzzle intricate inside, with circuit boards stacked like floors in a high-rise building and linked, in the case of the preamp board, with RCA-to-RCA interconnects. Despite the M3's compactness and complexity, its overall internal approach is impressively neat and orderly.
Both the volume and source-selector knobs are remote-controllable, while the front panel's only other control—a tape monitor button—isn't. The amplifier-sized power supply, while not nearly as dramatic-looking as the main unit, nonetheless merits visible shelf space—a good thing, as it has the M3's only On/Off switch. Like the Nu-Vista 300's power supply and amplifier, the two halves of the M3 are connected by three cables: one fitted with XLRs for the preamp power supply, the other two fitted with Neutrik power connectors for the juice.
There's a Mute button on the remote but not on the M3 itself; if you mute using the remote and then misplace it, you have to shut the amp down and power up again to un-mute. There's no front-panel "Mute" LED, so if you forget you've muted the unit and then go back to listen, you might accidentally start your source, hear nothing, and begin by turning up the volume. Once that doesn't accomplish anything, you might remember and un-mute with the volume fully up. How do I know? Guess.
You have a choice of six selectable line-level sources, one of them labeled "SACD," and there's a tape monitor. Also included is a built-in moving-magnet/moving-coil phono stage. Given the M3's price, the phono stage must be considered a rather substantial freebie. Musical Fidelity reprises the 300's dual pairs of ridiculously oversized binding posts, thus guaranteeing that no spade lugs known to man will fit around them. Speaker cables tipped with banana plugs are the order of the day. The gold-plated RCA jacks are neatly laid out, with plenty of space between them for your favorite steroid-fed interconnects.
The M3's heft, custom-machined heatsinks (watch it—they'll slice your fingers), superb fit'n'finish, luxurious control knobs, and internal layout add up to a $4500 design extravaganza and an incredible value. Nor will Musical Fidelity be making their profits from volume sales. As with the other Nu-Vista products, MuFi will make only 500 M3 Nu-Vistas; if history is any indication, they'll sell out quickly.
The M3 Nu-Vista's output stage is essentially dual-mono. Each channel is fed by its own transformer/power supply, and each has its own dedicated printed circuit board, output transistor array, and heatsink.
Both the original Nu-Vista preamplifier and power amplifier (the latter reviewed in December 1999) include tiny, metal-can nuvistor (6CW4) triode vacuum tubes in their signal paths, but the M3 concentrates both pairs of these in its preamp section. Out of production for almost a half century, the nuvistor has a life span estimated at 100,000 hours. According to MuFi's Antony Michaelson, 500 Nu-Vista preamps and almost that many amps have been sold, and not one nuvistor has failed. Nonetheless, Musical Fidelity will stock a set of replacement tubes for every one of the 500 M3s it plans to build.
While the basic Nu-Vista preamp and amp circuits have not changed, Musical Fidelity claims to have made a few improvements for their implementation in the M3. Slightly less negative feedback is used, but distortion is said to be four fifths of its separate cousins, thanks to refinements in the mechanical and electrical layouts. As in the 300 power amp, choke power-supply regulation is used, which results in a more continuous source of current to the reservoir capacitors with less spurious RF radiation. There's a new wrinkle, however: the choke regulators are mounted on the heatsinks. MuFi claims to have discovered a sonic improvement when the choke-induced "micro vibrations" are "exactly in phase with the...related circuitry."
The end result is a preamp section claimed to be quieter, with wider bandwidth, lower distortion, and better overload characteristics. Though there is one fewer pair of output transistors, which drops the power from 300W to 275W into an 8 ohm load, the net result is a drop of 0.5dB in overall dynamic range, which is essentially meaningless in most systems. With about 40 amps of peak current, the M3 should be capable of driving almost any loudspeaker out there without ever clipping or distorting. The frequency response is said to be just about "DC to light" (actually to +100kHz), as the great engineer Bill Porter, responsible for Elvis' golden age of recordings, liked to claim for his work (Nashville Studio "B" 's finest).
No Sonic Fingerprints?
The first design objective for the M3 Nu-Vista, as listed on the press release I received with my review sample, was "No sonic fingerprint." Of course, that's the goal for most designs of most designers, none of which, in my opinion, and none of whom have ever succeeded at it. Despite Musical Fidelity's best efforts, neither have they. No big surprise—every amplifier I've ever heard has a sound of its own. This is what makes the "if it measures the same, it sounds the same" crowd so annoying.
I go into this review with an admitted prejudice: after I reviewed it in December 1999 I bought a Nu-Vista 300 power amp—essentially the amplifier section of the M3—and I have no doubt that John Atkinson's measurements of the M3 Nu-Vista will be as stellar as those taken of the 300. But I have another prejudice: I auditioned the 300 with the original Nu-Vista preamp, the sound of which I didn't care for at all. This despite the rave reviews it received, and the fact that all 500 preamps were snapped up in a hurry—when you find one on the used market, expect to pay more than it cost new. So what do I know?
I auditioned the M3 in two places in my room—between the loudspeakers, where my 300 customarily sits, using digital source material, and in the space usually occupied by my preamp—so I could listen to both digital and analog. That spot necessitated a 20' run of speaker cable—hardly ideal—but overall, I noticed no fundamental sonic difference using 8' or 20' of the Analysis Plus Oval 9 copper wire sent along by Musical Fidelity's then importer, Audio Advisor. I also tried 8' runs of other, more familiar speaker cables, including MuFi's own Nu-Vista brand.
When I closed my eyes, it wasn't easy to tell that I was listening to an integrated amplifier. Despite having two less output transistors, this package shared much of the 300's power, authority, dynamics, and overall sonic grace, though it didn't have the 300's bottom-end "slam" and control. It seemed ever so slightly softer in the lower bass, especially when reproducing well-recorded kick drums. But overall, I preferred the M3 to the more expensive separates because of its richer, warmer, quieter presentation.
No matter what I threw at it or how high I turned up the gain, the M3 always sounded at ease, never stressed or strained. Whether it's the nuvistors, or the care that went into the board layout, or whatever, the dryness, etch, and two-dimensionality that frequently parch moderately priced solid-state gear has totally eliminated. (Although the M3 costs $4500, that price must be considered "modest," given the design's power, build quality, and overall performance.)
When I played the CD-Rs I'd recorded off of the Rockport System III Siriusturntable, the M3 sounded somewhat more rich and lush than the separate Nu-Vista combo, as I remember it, though I still wouldn't call the sound lush or sweet. It was more pristine, delicate, and ultra-resolving. The added quiet was an obvious benefit in revealing low-level details in most of the LPs and CDs I played. Reverberant trails extended in space and time the way they do on far more expensive separates. Spacious, atmospheric recordings like John Hiatt's "Lipstick Sunset," from Bring the Family (Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-201, LP) were reproduced with impressive width, depth, and air.
On tracks like Davey Spillane's incredibly well-recorded "Atlantic Bridge" (from Atlantic Bridge, Tara 3019), which has subterranean bass and the best recording of Bela Fleck's banjo you'll ever hear, the M3 stepped out in style, delivering plenty of bottom-end weight, midrange richness, and top-end sparkle. The banjo strings had a nicely developed metallic ring in front of the instrument's distinctive-sounding body.
The overall sound of the M3 reminded me in many ways of the top-of-the-line PS Audio preamps of the late 1980s, which had remarkable high-frequency delicacy, purity, and freedom from grain, as well as wide soundstages that I could see way into (at least on the equipment I owned at the time). They also tended to have a paucity of image body, solidity, and weight. If I were to criticize the M3 in any way, it would be for those same deficiencies, though to a far lesser degree—the M3's midrange was much richer and sweeter than the midranges of those PS preamps. And the M3 possessed an overall liquidity managed by few solid-state preamps of my experience at any price.
I also still heard some of what had bothered me most about the sound of the original Nu-Vista preamp: a mid- to high-frequency bubble of smoothness that was pleasing and refined, but that robbed instruments of their natural solidity, edge, and grit. It kept me from feeling cymbal rivets rattling as the metal rang. It also tended to reduce the sensation of blackness and definition between images. Remember, I'm comparing the M3's performance to preamplifiers that, alone, cost much more than this integrated. But in absolute terms, that smoothness diminished the sensation of musical "traction" that helps create a sense of a real musical event occurring in your room.
Getting that level of performance from low-voltage electronics always costs big bucks. That's why the Ayre K-1x preamplifier costs more than eight grand, and the Audio Research Reference Two line stage costs ten! So don't think I'm being too negative. As fantastic a product as I think the M3 is, it would be unfair to other manufacturers—and, more important, to you—to be left thinking that the M3's preamp section leveled the playing field.
If an amplifier has to err on one side or another, give me smoothness over abrasive, grainy, rough edges. The M3 tended toward the smooth, but it had the power, dynamic presentation, and finesse to rock hard and reproduce lush massed strings and female vocals with equal aplomb. The M3's presentation was of a piece, leaving no loose ends hanging out to get in the way of the music. Its ease and liquidity had me listening hour after hour without fatigue.
The switchable moving-magnet/moving-coil phono section had enough gain and low enough noise for just about any cartridge I wanted to use with it. I could run the 0.5mV Lyra Helikon into the MM section, but the bass was somewhat weak. I got deeper, tighter bass and richer mids when I switched to MC. (The switch is inside the chassis, where dangerous currents lurk; Musical Fidelity prefers that this switch be set by the dealer.) The MC section also had no trouble with the ultra-low (0.2mV) Lyra Parnassus D.C.t. Both MM and MC settings are loaded at 47k ohms.
The M3's phono section sounded like the very fine, three-can Musical Fidelity X-LP2 phono stage ($800): spacious and detailed, but a bit thin and cool in the upper midrange. I played a bunch of favorite test discs, and with Janis Ian's Breaking Silence (Analog Productions APP 027) noticed a bit of roughness in her voice that wasn't present when I ran the Audio Research Reference phono stage through one of the M3's line-level inputs.
I hear you: "What do you expect? The Reference phono stage alone costs more than the preamp/amp/phono M3!" Well, here's the problem: The M3 Nu-Vista was so good overall that it demanded to be compared to the best out there, even if it fell a bit short in some areas. Bottom line: The M3's phono section is good enough to carry you until you're ready to spend more on an outboard device.
I don't know how a relatively small company like Musical Fidelity can offer this level of power, performance, flexibility, superb build quality, and aesthetic refinement at such a reasonable price. After all, the Nu-Vista 300 power amplifier alone cost $5495. If you contemplated buying the Nu-Vista preamp/300 amp combo and missed out, here's your second chance. For a lot less money, you get what I think is, in some respects, more refined performance (though with slightly less power) in a single package.
Reviews emphasize sound quality, but there's also pride of ownership. It counts. Most audiophiles would be proud to own an M3 for its physical andsonic qualities. At this price, the specialty audio world is populated mostly by black boxes. The M3, Musical Fidelity's final amplifying device in the Nu-Vista series, is a welcome exception. With MuFi making only 500 for the entire world, if you're thinking about owning one, now's the time. If the Nu-Vista preamp is any indication, you might have to pay more if you wait to buy one used.
Item: My much loved Parasound Halo P5 has just turned 3
Location: Preston VIC 3072
Price: drop to $1300 includes donation to SNA. If shipping is required this will be at the cost of the buyer.
Item Condition: Perfect nic, includes original packaging, remote control, manual. I am the second owner and have had the P5 for around 18 months.
When I received it I unwrapped the remote from its original packaging.
Reason for selling: It is with a sad heart I am parting with this great little pre. It was my first foray into stereo. I have moved onwards and upwards and remain with Parasound.
Payment Method: prefer pickup and cash, will go down the Paypal path if needed (the purchaser incurs any overheads associated with this), COD Only
Extra Info: Features and Specs can be found here Parasound Halo P5
Pictures: The pics below are of the actual unit up for sale.
Location: Central Coast
Price: $850 25 post Aus wide (open to offers)
Item Condition: Excellent
Reason for selling: Upgrade to different design (went from ute to Troopy)
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal+fee bank dep
Audiophile Car Amplifier
2 channel 900 Watt RMS amp has bridgeable options. is one of the best stamps on the market. Fully tested and working
See details here.
$1200 - $1600
Used with Focal Speakers
Item: SONOS CONNECT AMP
Price: $500 + delivery cost
Item Condition: Near new condition, purchased in March 2017 from an authorised audio seller in Sydney.
Reason for selling: Got the approval and upgraded the system.
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Direct bank deposit, COD Only
Like New and will give you that awesome un-boxing experience.
Packed in original boxes and ready to be sent to your place within Australia.
Local pick up is preferred.