The M3i integrated amplifier takes the Musical Fidelity peerless premium-amp experience and applies it to a more affordable price point. It boasts trickle-down technology from the mighty Titan flagship, plus other high-end touches such as solid metal controls.
The M3i delivers 76 watts per channel into 8ohms and 137 watts into 4ohms. This means the M3i will can drive a wide range of speakers, even power-hungry models. Further flexibility is provided by the M3i's excellent connectivity, which includes six line-level inputs and switchable home-theatre throughput.
It features a Class A preamp stage with its own, independent power supply, coupled with a discrete pair of power amps. In effect, this means the M3i offers the performance benefits of a pre/power configuration with the compact convenience of a one-box design.
The final word goes to The Absolute Sound, whose review of the M3i stated: "Its performance is rock-solid, it's sonically well-rounded and it's comfortable with a wide array of speakers. And it's all served up in an elegant, no-nonsense package".
M3i - Design and Build
The M3i takes core design and technology cues from its sibling amplifiers higher up the Musical Fidelity range. It is similarly styled to the M6 range, using a slimmer chassis but keeping premium touches such as a solid metal volume control and front-fascia buttons. It's a perfect visual and technical match for the M3CD player; both components can even be controlled from a single remote handset.
Inside the M3i you will find a driver circuit that was first developed for the flagship Titan power amplifier. This configuration both the circuit design and the printed circuit board layout is the critical part of any amp; if the drive circuitry is sub-optimal, no spec of output stage or power supply can compensate.
Using the best-possible circuitry gives the M3i the perfect foundation, to which Musical Fidelity applied further performance-boosting engineering. The pre-amp and power-amp sections have their own independent power supplies, with separate transformer windings. In effect, they're acting like an advanced pre/power amp pairing within one box.
Musical Fidelity has designed the M3i to be as smooth and seamless to use as possible. For example, it has ultra-low-noise switching, perfect volume-control matching even at low listening levels and outstanding power-amp stability margins. Distortion rates are impressively low, as is the signal-to-noise ratio.
These are all qualities typically found in far pricier products, and help the M3i deliver a convincing, detailed sound with plenty of dynamic range. There is the power and flexibility on offer to drive even demanding speakers.
It all adds up to an integrated amplifier that Hi-Fi Choice described in its review as "a very strong performer at the price point".
M3i - Specifications
- Power output: 76 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (19dBW)
- THD(+ noise): <0.014 % typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz
- Signal to Noise Ratio: >96dB A-weighted
- Frequency Response: +0, 0.1dB, 10Hz to 20 kHz
- 6x Line Level RCA / Phono
- Dimensions - WxHxD (mm): 440 x 100 x 400
- Weight (unpacked / packed): 9.2 kg/ 13 kg