Musical Fidelity M6-500i vs Kw - 500

Hello guys
I was browsing around the web today and stumbled across
the latest Super Integrated from Musical Fidelity .
This is a 500wpc into 8ohm beast similar in power to the limited edition Kw -500 , Some changes are evident between these models , The older Kw -500 has an external power supply and MM phono stage and single ended inputs only
along with 6112 milspec valves in the pre -amp section.
The Kw -500 was made in England.
The M6 - 500i has line level inputs only with 1 set of balanced inputs no valves appear to be in this unit making it solid state , The power supply of the M6-500 is onboard . The m6 -500i is made in Taiwan.
Has anyone else compared these two units ? Seems they each have advantages depending on your system setup.
I wonder if the new M6-500i would be much better ?
Go with the anthem integrated 225

For $1499/- you'll save a ton of money and get equal or better sound.
Have not had experience with Anthem products
I'm sure they are very good
Judging from my experence with the NuVista M3 I have I would go with the 500. You will get nowhere near its performance for $1495 from anyone; mine has outperformed amp/pre combinations costing over $10K.
Hi Stanwal
Yes i had Musical fidelity M-250 monoblocks around 4 years ago
i have always found M/F to be a very good piece of kit , they remind me of a up market Rotel in the context of balanced design ( Quality sound , well designed ) . To be honest i have not been in the game of judging a product based on its re-sale value for which i see a lot of the sledging directed at M/F
I only sold the M-250's as i moved to another state and had to down size a lot of my kit. Prior to to that i had a M/F A3cr pre-power 120wpc set , again great sound and lovely
I've had extensive experience with both models. The M6500i is the clear winner between the two.

The KW500 was an incredible integrated, and listening to it gave you the impression that there simply wasn't much more you could ask for. The M6500i somehow improves upon great. The bass in particular is so well-controlled, real and palpable, but not overemphasized, that it feels like your hearing the music for the first time. Notes start and stop exactly as they should, and you realize you haven't heard that aspect of system really done right before.

Most of these impressions were done using 802D's, but I've also listened to the M6500i on Paradigm S-8's and 803D's.

I've also used the Anthem 225 quite a bit. It's an un-sung hero in the audio world at its price-point, just silly- good for its price actually....but's not even close to being in the same class as either the KW500 or the M6500i.
Thanks Amigo
What i find amazing is they can extract the same power with a
on-board power supply when the Kw -500 used an 18kg external power supply, and the M6500i weighs 28kg ! The M6500i has to now be the worlds most powerful 1 box integrated amplifier ? i can't think of hand of another 1 box integrated that rates 500 wpc int 8ohm . When will the matching Phono stage for the M6500i
become available ? .
Try a Yamaha of the very best bargains the market right now !...
Yes the Yamaha is a retro looking piece
when i first saw it i thought it was a mint example of a 70s piece , Very good reviews on this integrated . A nice looking unit . 100wpc i think ?
I have decided to purchase a traded in KW - 500 from my local hifi dealer , its in mint unmarked condition . I'm stoked : ))
Have been after one for a long time and they don't show up very often here in Australia , i guess there were only a small amount of the stock imported . Always lusted after one as it was out of my price range when they were released.
I think you will really like it. A couple of things I have found from experience with mine; the manual says to not open the case under penalty of voiding the warranty but the MM/MC switch is on the inside on mine. Also the pre and amp sections on mine are connected by an internal jumper and can be used separately if you ever had occasion to do so. I once substituted my Kw line stage for the built in one; it was better as it should have been as it cost as much as the entire M3 but the difference was not dramatic.
Have no experience with the kW amps, but based on my experiences with the kW linestage I also think that you will be pleased with the kW line (if the syntergy with your other components is there, of course).
Hi Stanwal
Thanks for the input , i believe the Kw - 500 has a mm phonostage only , i have a Rega P3 with Ortofon M2 Black mm cartridge . I may look for a Trivista Dac used at a later
time , have always liked it for sound and looks . I have a Marantz SA11-S1 sacd player at this time so the Trivista Dac would be more for a collectors piece :)). 5703 valves on the Trivista are a bit scarce but you can find them on the web if you look long and hard.
surprisedThat is what I was told also, the MC is not even mentioned in the manual. But it is actually there, I only found out about it through an old review. It would be worth looking for as it might be set to MC if there is one there, it is quite small and I didn't notice it at first. Or they could have taken it off, I like MF but they treat info like it was a state secret sometimes.
Thanks Stanwal
Thats great info on the mc part of the phonostage section
I don't think i will need a mc at this stage and i have a external phono stage spare that has mc to plug into the
Kw -500 Aux input but will ask my dealer about internal mc , this is a dream amplifier for me
i would help out on weekends at the dealers shop so had quit a bit of experience listening to it when they had a demo there.
Due to my financial position i have never really had the means to go out and just purchase a brand new component of this class . Musical Fidelity have always had great reviews infact a cant think of a bad product based on there sound quality .
Hi Stanwal
I found a review of the Kw -500 in TAS magazine feb/march 2005
where they mention it having both mm/mc phonostage , my unit should arrive in the next couple of days , i will look forward to reading reviews of the M6500i as they become available , as far as i know the M6500i is not a limited edition unit of only 500 pcs . As i mentioned earlier it is not easy to get a
Kw-500 here in Australia , i live in a rural location and
hi-end retailers are on the mainland in Melbourne , i'm in Tasmania the southern island state of Australia.

Congratulation on the new KW-500 amp Stem3642!

I believe you did the right thing choosing the KW-500 over the M6500i. IMO buying new MF products is a rip-off. On the other hand, 2nd hand MF units are probably the best bargains in hi-fi.

What speakers are you using with this monster?
Hi Nvp
I am using Duntech Viscount large stand mount monitors
I have a Marantz Sa11-s1 sacd player ,Rega P3 with Ortofon
M2 Black cartridge . Next week i intend to buy a Pair of
M.J. Acoustics Pro 50mk2 subs to give the bottom end a boost .
The Kw-500 is just a remarkable amplifier 510wpc including
MM/MC phono-stage and valve pre-amp . Beautiful powerful and transparent , Plus there is the pride of ownership that there are only 500 worldwide. My advice to anyone looking for a superior amplifier to look no further . One last thing please do not be deterred by the availability of the 6112 valve as they are available , In-fact i picked up spares for $9.00 each NOS Jan Philips just last week on e.bay. Cheers.
To also add , As far as second hand products i believe that the limited edition and higher end amps are the ones to look at with M/Fidelity , Kw series amplifiers , the Trivista 300 integrated along with the Trivista Dac 21 , the Nu-Vista Integrated M3 and the 308 series come to mind . Any of these are wonderful bargains on the used market , also these models tend to have been owned by audiophile listwners and have been very well cared for and serviced.

Hi Steam3642,

Maybe I should clarify my previous statements.

I will start by saying that I like very much the MF KW500 and Nuvista M3 integratded and most likely when I will have the space for a second (large) system, I will buy one of these two integrated together with a pair of B&W 802D/8000D speakers. Having said that, I believe that it is important (especially for the new comers to this hobby) to know how Musical Fidelity (MF) actually "operates". I know I might be opening a can of worms ... :)

In the following I will tell you my experience with MF, but from what I have read over the last 7 years or so on forums, it seems that my story is a pretty common one.

About 4 years ago, I bought from a MF authorized dealer an MF A5 combo (integrated amp and CD player) with full warranty for 2500 euros (the normal retail price was 4500 euros). This was a few months after MF has release of the A5.5 series, i.e. the successor of A5 series. The units I got were not even demo units - the dealer unsealed the boxes in front of me and he had another A5 combo on display - his demo units (probably he had a few more new units in the back :) ). The same dealer also had an A308 integrated, also new with full warranty. The A308 was a bit more expensive than the A5, i.e. around 1500 euros, as initially it was more expensive than the A5. (I have compared the two integrated, A308 vs. A5, for a few hours and the differences between the two units, if any, were insignificant. I bought the A4 units because I wanted the cd player to visually much the amp - the dealer did not have a A308 cd player. Later I have also compared the A5 with A5.5 and again no real improvement.)

It should be clear to anyone that back then at 2500 euros the A5 combo (with or without warranty) had absolutely no competition. This is probably still the case today. I was externally happy with the deal I got (I still think it was a very very good deal). However, I would have really hated to be in the shoes of somebody who paid full retail price, i.e. 4500 euros, for the A5 combo. That is because in the next months the prices dropped even more. Firstly, because my dealer was not the only one practicing those prices, the prices of the A5 combo on the 2nd hand market dropped even more (e.g. around 2000 euros for the combo), and secondly, because after a year or so MF has decided to discontinues all its lines (A5.5, A1008, KW, A1 and the superchargers). To some extent, or at least for a while, they gave me the impression that they have changed also their philosophy, i.e. they were not talking about hundreds of watts anymore but about low power class A integrated and suddenly also started to believe in balanced inputs. After this, I have completely lost my respect for the company (but not for their amplifiers).

I conclude by saying that because of the facts I have stated above most of MF amplifiers are very good bargains on the 2nd hand market. (I would stay away form their CD players.) Because MF is releasing new and "better" products (every year or so) at the same time discontinuing entire line, it is not worth paying full retail price for MF products. Chances are that in a year or so you will get the same product from the same dealer with full warranty at almost half the initial price (at least this is the case here in The Netherlands).

Regarding the integrated you have mentioned (KW500, Trivista 300 and Nuvista M3), they tend to have fair prices on the 2nd hand market, i.e. not as good a bargain compared the rest of MF 2nd hand amps. This is mostly because they are very good amps, but probably also because Michaelson has advertised these units as being 1) among the best 5 integrated in the world regardless of price, and 2 ) limited editions. However, al least in case of MF, I tend to believe that Seindfeld (the comedian) is right when he says that "limited edition" means "limited to the number they can sell". I am saying this because about a year ago, there were 5 different MF Nuvista M3 integrated for sell at the same time on the 2nd hand adds in the Netherlands (on and How is that possible, if there were only 500 made? I am a bit sorry I did not take a screen shot back then :).

Finally I would like to make clear the fact that my feeling towards the MF company are related to their lack of respect for their costumers. They really have nothing to do with my experience with the A5 MF integrated which was a very good one. For the price I have paid for the A5 combo, their only weakness was Michaelson or maybe I should say their name, i.e. Musical Fidelity. Moreover, after approximately 1.5 years after buying it, I have traded in the A5 combo to a dealer for a bit more than 2000 euros (I got that much because I have bought the quite expensive top of the Accuphase integrated and CD player). These days, one can simply not ask more from a hi-fi set.
Hi Nvp
Congratulations on your Accuphase purchase , this is one audio company that has some of the finest products available
A friend of mine here is the distributor for Accuphase in Australia. Trading up from an A5 combo to top line Accuphase
is really moving to top level . I did spend some time listening to the A308 100wpc integrated and appreciated the
internal design and layout , no birds nest of wires , kind of reminds me of a Rolls Royce. My experience with M/Fidelity has been that i have not looked to upgrade or change out my amps on a regular basis so there latest new model a year later does not affect me from a trade up point , i also tend to collect my equipment rather than move it on unless i simply cant keep it ( moving interstate forced me to depart with my pair of M250s ), that being said many in the hobby are on a quest to try out as much gear as possible and pay the $ price for it. For me the top flight M/Fidelity
amps are a great option , yes they are more expensive but thats understandable as there are limited numbers available.
Once again congrats on the Accuphase purchase . Cheers.
Just wondering if anyone knows if the Musical Fidelity kW500 can be upgraded to have balanced-XLR inputs?
The M6-500i is amazing. I have it paired with Thiel 3.7s. I have not listened to the Kw-500.
Just like Steam3642 I have just purchased a pristine one-owner Kw-500. The cost came to about half the cost of a new M6 500i. Looking at the specs I can only see one area where the M6 500i has the edge: peak-to-peak current of 200 amps vs. 160 for the Kw-500. The point where it seems like the Kw-500 should be superior is in having the external power supply. I wonder why MF did not do this for the 500i, was it just a cost issue?
Interestingly, the 200A peak current is the same as the Kw-550. According to the manuals that I downloaded from MF, the Kw-500 has a MM phono input only while the Kw-550 has MM and MC.
Hi Mate The Manual says mm only but if you remove the top plate cover and look inside to the rear there is indeed a mm/mc switch , have no reason to explain the non info in the manual.
except that M/F go to lengths to demand you not open the unit as warranty will be void , i believe they would expect you to take it to a technician to perform this simple task
Just a thought : ) enjoy your unit they are indeed wonderful.
I really Doubt that you can upgrade the KW500 to have balanced imputs. Anyway, why the trouble? Unless you will use 20' plus inteconnects ther is really no advantage in going balanced. I have played with a Threshold T2 and a Mark Levinson 360 Preamp and never managed to hear a difference between balanced and regular inputs. This in MHO of course.
Phatbos does the mf 6 500i play big enough in your room with the thiel
I just put in an offer for the KW-500 and I am stoked! Great deal on a 10 year High end amp. I will post comments once I get the thing.
Hi I have been sitting on one of these units for a while now finally picking up speakers that need the power. Curious about what carts are being used with mm or mc. 

Good to read about MF being a sonic match w/ Thiel speakers.
Additionally, another + vote for Anthem 225 integrated amp being a sonic match w/ Thiel loudspeakers.

Which cables/cords are you guys using w/ your MF products?
Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
I just saw one posted on Audiomart, anything under 3K for this unit is a steal, especially if in good shape. I have one and I have put a ton of other products up against it, and it win's out every time. Shear raw clean detailed power is amazing, and these things where built to last. 
I still have my kw 500 although it is sitting in reserve now waiting until I can assemble it into a second system. After 10 years I finally replaced it with the new Nu Vista 800.   The KW 500 is truly an outstanding amplifier. While the Nu Vista 800 is indeed better, if you can pick up a well cared for kw500 for a good price I would jump at the chance.  Transparent audio cabling has worked beautifully for me with my musical fidelity products.   One thing I would suggest is not to leave it powered on all the time. Although those tubes will last a long time they will do better if you shut the unit down when you're done listening. 
arsh: Good point, I just recently heard the Nu Vista and I was thinking of upgrading but not home enough to justify the cost. Another Int. Amp I like is the new Hegel H360 on par with it and sonically a improvement but not in sure raw power that is for sure. 
Never heard the Hegel amps, but have read good things about them. However, I do live my MuFi Amps!:)  The NuVista is fantastic!
I mean love, not live.
I bought a KW500 a few months ago. I would like some advice about what dac you would recommend for it. I have though tabout a Tri-vista 21, but that's somewhat old now. I'm currently using an Auralic Aries streamer and also an idsd Micro as DAC, to feed the KW.

My question would be: is the Tri-vista DAC still a good buy, or newer mid-cost DACs (e.g. Schiit Gungnir multibit) are much better?

I'm looking for a DAC with a vynil-like sound that would significantly improve over an idsd micro.

The speakers I use are italian Diapason Adamantes (I) with updated drivers (similar to Sonus faber).

Maybe you can look into the Monarchy Audio NM24 DAC
I've owned a kW500 since MF first released the amp in 2004 and in May 2016 had it 'fine tuned' by MF. Considering that I've had 12 years of amazing performance, to spend 20% of the original price and have the amp overhauled would have been good, but the sound of the fine tune is superlative, and apart from Quad can't recall another manufacturer that offers anything similar at a reasonable price.

In terms of a vinyl sounding DAC - having had a TriVista 21 I would have to say that the kW25 transport and DAC combination are a very hard act to beat.

You can tell how highly this kit is regarded by the lack of units for sale, I for one wouldn't part with mine, and god knows over the past 40 years I've bought and sold more than I care to admit!

Get a good front end and a great pair of speakers and you're  made up! 
Just a little to add since I own a MF Tri-Vista 300. Yes, it is very sweet and powerful. I upgraded the umbilical cord and the [neutrix/powercon] power cords going from the power supply to the main unit - both were improvements. And a good power cord from the wall to the power supply was a noticeable improvement as well. I have had mine for about 2 years and left it on 24/7 for about a year. Well, after that time, I did burn out one or two of the small signal tubes. Also, the RCA jacks on the back failed (I assume due to the constant heat). Both were fairly easy fixes, and I’m back in business (although my tech said that the RCA jacks were kinda difficult to solder because of how they connected to the board). Anyway.. yes, this unit has surprised me with its musicality and dimensionality. Very tube like with no glare until the volume is *really* high. Good stuff, and it has pretty lights and blue feet too. :D

As above-

it is impressive to read about the MF M6- 500i mated w/ Thiel CS 3.7 loudspeakers!

Keith, what did you upgrade the power cords with?

@fatboyriding - sorry about the delayed response.

I upgraded the power cords to Acrolink 7N-P2040 on the main power supply, and upgraded the umbilical cords to Acrolink 7N-P2030II. The stock cables were only 2 1/2 feet long, so it was difficult to put the main unit any distance away from the power supply. I also upgraded the umbilical from the power supply to the preamp section with a 7 pin Revelation Audio Labs cord. Finally, I upgraded the fuses in the power supply to HiFi Tuning. All made nice improvements. I think there are some interconnect(ions) inside the main unit-that if I remember are just the standard shielded factory variety.  May have another mod opportunity there. :)