Alternatives to Musical Fidelity M3 Nuvista


I recently have upgraded to a Nuvista integrated and although it is very clear it becomes bright and wearing, there is loads of slam and energy.

The rest of my system is Esoteric SA-10, Dynaudio Focus 220 which are both known for being smooth. Im looking for a really detailed musical but smooth amplifier, also maintaining the slam and scale for orchestral and rock. I was thinking of one of the Marantz PM-15S1 or maybe the NAD M3

Any thoughts or alternative amps


What cabling are you using for speakers/interconnect?
I improved the sound of mine by getting a better power cord and umbilical cables from Sweetcome in Hong Kong. But I never found it bright. I am using Van den Hul The First interconnects and Cardas Golden Reference speaker cable. I have used others of both and several speakers, Spendor, Mini Utopia, and Apogee among others and have never found them unpleasant with any of them. I don't thing either of the amps you mention are likely to be an improvement. I would work with the M3, you can get more out of it.
You might tame it with ICs depending on what you are using currently.

DNM Reson ICs are not expensive to try and what I have used to take the edge off a system while retaining most else when needed.

Im using a Sonoran IC, its an older one but very highly regarded at the time. Im using Vampire II speaker cable, i moved to this from my previous Synergistic Research Quad which was even brighter. For power im just using a stock 20 amp power cord.

I have a Tri-Vista 300 and NHT 3.3 speakers. I had very good results with upgrading the power chord with a Virtual Dynamics and for inter connects I use harmonic technolgy and their speaker cables 9+. All three moves improved it that much more. Speaker cables and power chord made the biggest differance. Have to agree with Stanwal their is a lot more to get out of what you have versus the ones you mentioned. I made my own umbilical chords from the power supply. The stock ones have hardly any sheilding to speak of.
I'd have to agree with a number of the other posters in that I think you can extract better from the Nuvista. On the occasions I've heard this amp (admittedly a while ago), it was certainly not bright. Transparent yes, but not bright.

I think the Marantz amplifiers are very smooth, but I think you'd need to go further up their pecking order to get to the M3 quality level - perhaps the PM-11 integrated. IMHO the NAD amp is not in the same class as the M3.
I agree with all of the above, if you read the on-line Stereophile review, they mention your problem was solved by upgrading the power cord and cabling from the power center to the amps. I did that with mine and am very satisfied. Have it matched with the Nuvista 3D CD, and have not hear a demo of anything I could afford (and I could not have paid retail for these) that even comes close. In fact many of my wanderings through "if I only have an unlimited budget" have not moved me to replace these units. I am definitely staying with mine and as soon as I win the lottery will get some ridiculously expensive speakers which I believe the MF will pair with nicely,
My Nuvista M3 is anything but bright. I would look at your source components first and then your speakers. The M3 is the best amp I have heard yet, by far.
My experience is that MF pairs very well with Dynaudio (out-of-the-box). Also, like many here, I never heard a MF amp sounding bright. While changing cable might help, you should realize that M3 is not a young amp anymore. Re-cap-ing it might have a much more significant effect.

Regarding the original question, while MF M3 is a very good amp it is certainly possible to better it. Accuphase is the first brand that comes to my mind (e.g. E-408 or E-450), but there are quite a few other brands you can consider, e.g. Simaudio, Octave, ASR, Bryston+ a tube pre, etc. All these brands pair very well with Dynaudio speakers. What is your budget?

Finally, regarding the NAD M3 integrated, as already mentioned it is not in the same league with the MF M3 integrated. A few years ago I have compared a NAD M3 integrated with a MF A5 in the same room driving a pair for Dynaudio Contour S1.4. The A5 literally moped the floor with the NAD. With less demanding speakers the NAD probably had the edge when it came to detail retreaval, but the NAD was not able to provide the juice required by the Dyns.