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Musical Fidelity M6i Integrated Amplifier Review

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
5
18,895
After listening to M3i for 2 weeks, I believe it has fully run in based on over 300 hrs of continuous driving the ProAc and I cant hear anymore big difference in the music. My ears are now acustomed to the M3i sound that I think I would not be able to hear any different runing the M6i. Boy, was I wrong !!!! The M6i came in a similar package as M3i except for the black velvet bag. Dont know why is that. Although this is an open box unit as the dealer gave me the demo set. Taking it out of the box needs a bit of effort as it is a heavy unit, built like a tanker. The sides part is of grilled design for better heat dissapation I suppose. The fascia is similar to M3i but the height is bigger than M3i. I set it up similar to how I set up M3i but I just placed it on the top shelf. Some ppl say that amplifier sounds better when placed at bottom shelf but I could not squeeze that extra energy at 2 am to do that. Went in French Kiss OST with Kevin Kline on La Mer. Hhhhhhmmmm this is what surprised me. I can instantly hear the difference. The song sound more 'airy', vocal was livelier and the musical instruments seems to be more upfront. NOTE: this is a run in unit. The CD was played via the M1 DAC, For my normal listening level (10 o'clock on the knob), it seems louder than M3i. I reduced it to be at 9 o'clock. All this however was before I went to bed at 3 am. That would be my first impression of the amp but not truely an 'out of the box' review as the unit has been run in. Will report more over the weekend.
 

Helmut80

New member
Jan 8, 2011
27
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only just spotted the toys on the floor! I expect this is what my living room will look like soon!
 

Helmut80

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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idc:The big question, is the sound difference worth the price difference?

i.e. 2.5 times as good. :)
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
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18,895
idc:The big question, is the sound difference worth the price difference?

Thats exactly what i am contemplating now. I am also curious how the sound would be if I use the balanced xlr connection from M1 DAC to the M6i. Unfortunately, I cant get a hold of such IC on loan.
 

audioaffair

New member
Feb 21, 2009
100
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Nice set-up you have there! The M6i is steps ahead of the M3i, but the big question is - what do you think after your weekend listening?

Nice to see such a nice cassette deck still in use as well
 

sometimesuk

New member
Sep 25, 2008
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After upgrading my amplifier from a MF A3 Intergrated to MF A1 FBP pre amp and 2 x 550k monoblocks, I know that a change in amplifier can make a huge difference........having said that, I do feel that no mater how good the MF M1 DAC is, the front end is letting you down.

Do you plan to upgrade the front end later on?

Personally, I would go for the best amp I could afford, safe in the knowledge that it would have the transparency and power to do any future upgrade justice.

Its what I did, ugrade my amp, about 1.5 years ago, ish, and about a month ago, bought a naim dac.
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
5
18,895
OK here goes the review of my weekend bliss.

I have used the following to enjoy the M6i:

1. CD player via M1 DAC
2. MD player via M1 DAC
3. MP3 and M4A files streamed through AE and via M1 DAC
4, Internet radio from iPhone 4 streamed through AE and via M1 DAC

For CD player, I played the French Kiss OST, Andrea Bocelli and Janet Seidl for vocal test and Foo Fighters for heavier test on guitar riffs and drums. I 'cheated' a bit compared to my test on the M3i. I repositioned the speakers to be further distant from each other, toe in about 20 deg and pulled forward.



For vocals in the like of Andrea and Janet, it sounded truly transparent. Its like a clear phone call on a good day. The ukulele playing along Janet sounded very detailed and each plucking or strumming of the instrument can be clearly heard. The orchestra behind Andrea sounded very warm and uplifting. Again all these at only about 9 o'clock on the volume knob.

Then comes in Foo Fighters - My Hero track. hhhhhhmmmm the amp can really rock out my speakers. The drums on this track is one of the heaviest bass drums from Foo Fighters. It basically gave me a very controlled and refined bass drums. Not overwhelming but naturally balanced with the growling of Dave's vocal and his guitar.

I then switched to MD, playing Poison - Unskinny Bob and also The Gypsy Kings. Listening to an old album such as Poison usually does not kick the adrenalin in me but this time around, it made me turn on my drums and start drumming along. That kind of effect. When I put on Gypsy Kings, thats when the amp truly shine. The sound of several guitars on this albums was very detailed of each of the guitars. The amp can realy cope with the demanding strumming from this band.

The biggest surprise is when I was streaming music from my iMac and also internet radio from iPhone to the AE and feed through M1 DAC. Put on Diana Krall Live in Paris. really realy nice. The atmosphere of her songs can be felt in the room, thanks to this amp delivering enough power. Internet radio (mainly was playing US based jazz station). Very crisp. Even the lisps on the station DJ can be heard. Unfortunately, eventhough I have high res music on my imac, the AE an only deliver at 44.1 kHz.

Overall, YES M6i outclasses the M3i. But is it really worth the additional GBP 1700? To me, YES, well worth it. Will I purchase M6i? Need another week to think about it. I was planning to get the A3CR Power amp to bi amp my speakers again. So we shall see.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
So...any progress with a decision?

I have had the M6i for a few months now, it complements my CM9s really well. I also have the M1 DAC, I use it for playing my ipod from my Onkyo dock using balanced cable to the M6i. There will always be "slight" doubts with parts of my setup, but I find it hard to believe that my amp will ever be one of them.

Let us know when you've decided........
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
5
18,895
Catlike,

Not yet. Have not decided. Budget wise that is. SQ wise of course the M6i is my choice.

The reason that I have not part with both amps is because I am on one of my travels again. The dealer is cool abt me keeping the units for longer time.

And lucky enough for me, on my travel this time, I managed to listen to a M6 pre and PRX power amp driving and ELAC speakers. It just made my life easier to choose the M6i :)
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
5
18,895
Aaaaaaannnddd I took the plunge today. A brand new M6i amp is in my hifi room, running in. I returned both the M3i and M6i on loan this morning. I came back with not only an M6i amp but, while waiting for the dealer to bring in the M6 PRX power amp, he loaned me the A3CR power amp so that I can go back biamping my speakers. Also he loaned me 2 models of VDH XLR balanced IC.

Unfortunately, I am on one of my travels again. Just managed to unbox the new amp (oh the M6i does come with a black velvet bag as well), hook it up to the system and put on the CDP on repeat. Everything is in working order. Had a listen for 10 mins and I went off to the airport.

Till my next review.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
:) hi El Hefe

did you enjoy your plunge? how did the m6i do after break in?

adam
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
5
18,895
The M6i is definitely one of the highlights of my hifi venture this year. No fuss at all with any type of music that I play through it. Even playing my old cassettes, the amp shines through. I don't have any equipment matching issues as most of my kit are MF products. A keeper it is for many years to come. I didn't match with the A3CR power amp. Aiming for M6 PRX next year.p
 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
5
18,545
Thanks,

I can't wait to hear the m6i tomorow. No doubt it will be a huge improvement against my 356 NAD

Only problem reading this tread now Iwantto buy the m1 dac too....there goe's the budget for my Clearaudio Concept Tuntable....
 

toyota man

New member
Apr 22, 2009
79
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0
Hi could you tell me if your m6i transformer was noisy I can hear mine about 3 meters away I have spoken to mf and today I took it back to my dealers who told me this was normal for this amp. I agree that in all other area this is a fantastic amp but I am not sure I can put up with the noisy transformer
 

Diamond Joe

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2008
88
6
18,545
toyota man said:
Hi could you tell me if your m6i transformer was noisy I can hear mine about 3 meters away I have spoken to mf and today I took it back to my dealers who told me this was normal for this amp. I agree that in all other area this is a fantastic amp but I am not sure I can put up with the noisy transformer
Hi toyota man, I auditioned one of these a few weeks ago, superb amp, built like a battleship, great sound, and I can't recall any noise from the transformer at all. Did your dealer power up another M6i to demonstrate that the buzzing noise was normal? Because frankly I don't think any amp should make that much noise.
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
5
18,895
Its quite the opposite actually....been using this amp for nearly a year.....its very silent actually...agree with diamond joe...get your dealer to compare it with another M6i unit...
 

toyota man

New member
Apr 22, 2009
79
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0
Hi thanks for your replys I phoned my dealer today asking if I could listen to another m6i to compare the noise if any they have said that they will exchange my amp for the 2nd unit which they have in stock if I should wish although my noise has all but gone I hope that given another couple of days it might disapear . I think that this is a realy fantastic amp and It will be hard to find one that I love so much . Once again thanks for your advice
 

CustomCable

New member
Apr 19, 2010
53
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0
Excellent review El Hefe, Couldn't agree more with the findings. I know you love your MF and I used to have an M1 DAC but are you likely to upgrade that in the future at all?

Regards

Phil
 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
5
18,545
Hey El Hefe,

Just out of curiosity what would you gain adding the M6prx to your M6i?

I also wanted to ask you Since you have the M1 clic.

I want to buy it, An plan to use it as DAC. So I guess there is really no point buying the M1 dac aswel or is it really better in your opinion?

Thank's
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
5
18,895
CustomCable said:
Excellent review El Hefe, Couldn't agree more with the findings. I know you love your MF and I used to have an M1 DAC but are you likely to upgrade that in the future at all?

Regards

Phil
Thnaks Phil. I am satisfied with the M1 DAC at the moment but I am actually aiming for a Zodiac Antelope Gold DAC either this year or 2013. But this year, the definite target is to add an M6 PRX power amp.
 

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