Would This Amp Be Worth The Cost?


Opinions please.
Amp for Sonus Faber Olympica III speakers.

Looking at this amp  Musical Fidelity M8s-500S Power Amplifier
Info https://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/m8series/m8-500s

Replace my Classe Sigma Amp2.
Info

AMP2

FREQUENCY RESPONSE:

10 Hz – 20 kHz, -1dB into 4 Ohms

OUTPUT POWER:

200W rms into 8 Ohms, 400W rms into 4 Ohms

HARMONIC DISTORTION:

<0.018% @ 1 kHz Balanced Input

INTERMODULATION DISTORTION:

>80 dB below Fundamental into 8 Ohms Balanced

SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO:

-100 dB at Peak Output into 8 Ohms (AES17)

Would there be improvement? Worth the cost? 
Thanks
greywolf
Seems like there are loads of ABX listening tests (Carver Challenge, etc) which tell us there is no audible difference between any amps which deliver sound at your top listening levels within their design limits. Any particular choice of amplifier above a basic good design (about $400 seems to be enough) would be justified only if you deliberately seek some distortion type of your choice.  
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid-state/12752-blind-listening-tests-amplifiers.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Carver
Yea, about any amp above 400.00 will work. LOL That is 1990s tech, along with the flat earthers (fuse and cables make no difference crowd).

When folks quote "Blind test", Including the name "Carver", BS!!

It’s real obvious you don’t know too much about Bob Carver or you wouldn’t SAY your quoting him. That guy is his own man, and changed with the times just like everyone else, who is still in business.

Either you change, or start working for someone else.. The audiophile community would have put him out of business along with ALL the other Amp companies that have gone by the wayside.. That guy pushed a lot of cool ideas, BUT was able to tell the difference in sound quality, by changing a 50 cent part. Even Mcintosh changed the stupid policy of "Cable don’t matter" 20+ years ago.. BUT people quote from the 60-70s. KEEP UP!!!

No good treatment for cancer back then either, there sure are some good treatment now... Which articles do you read? Mustard gas treatment with radiation, or todays options.. I know what I would chose...

His idea that it doesn’t cost a fortune to voice or change the voicing of a product is his greatest asset, THAT is what Bob Carver was known for.

BTW so was Mr Nelson Pass. NEITHER were limited by folks telling them what the book says or what "THEY" can or can’t do. Brother/sisters they were and still are the Chuck Yeager’s of the Amp and Audiophile world..

Not a good idea to quote 40 year old STUFF, from a 17 year old threads..

Keep up OR enjoy your 400.00 amp... BTW I have quite a few around 400.00 class ds. Perfect for the right application..

My issue is no suggested retail price on OPs amps.

NO 20 - 40k amps or 15-20k cables either, total BS too.

Regards
I'm a big fan of Musical Fidelity's products. However you have what I think is a decent amp. There may be a change by swapping amps but the change might be very small and only at the frequency extremes. If I was looking for a change I would be looking at the pre-amp. What pre-amp and source are you using? 
op

musical fidelity are good performing, well built amps that represent good value

i have found their sonic character to be extended, lively, solid state state sound, with little harshness

other (largely more expensive) brands may present the music with somewhat more richness

older classe’s (class a/b amps that put the brand on the map years ago) would sound warmer more dimensional than modern musical fidelity’s... i have not heard the specific classe class d amps you have...
Seems like there are loads of ABX listening tests (Carver Challenge, etc) which tell us there is no audible difference between any amps which deliver sound at your top listening levels within their design limits. Any particular choice of amplifier above a basic good design (about $400 seems to be enough)

Is what they are telling you? Do you really believe that s$&t?

You should listen to what your ears are telling you. If it's not something different you might need to abandon this hobby and try needlepoint.


The Musical Fidelity represents a strong value.  They are made in Taiwan (at least for now, production seems to be migrating to Canor in Slovakia) and as a result are a lot less expensive than many made in US/UK/Germany/Japan products.  Very good sounding.  Oodles of power and although a touch forward, probably less forward than that Classe.  It should be more refined as well.  You would spend a lot more and get less power (though a touch more refinement) out of a Chord Ultima 5.  It should be an excellent fit for those speakers.  
Incidentally I am a dealer for both Chord and Musical Fidelity.  I checked and that amp is in-stock at the distributor in Black.  
"...You should listen to what your ears are telling you. If it’s not something different you might need to abandon this hobby and try needlepoint..."

The guys that believe all amps sound the same, if not driven into distortion, have either never heard a good system, or have never bought a premium amp, or believe all audiophile products are made just to extort money from the unsuspecting. Frankly I feel sorry for them because their systems must really suck.
Any particular choice of amplifier above a basic good design (about $400 seems to be enough) would be justified only if you deliberately seek some distortion type of your choice.  

Check it out: Totally admits there are differences, but only if you deliberately want them, and defines all the differences as distortion. Intellectual insanity. Pure blather. But there's loads more where this came from.  

Personally, I think we could use a few more people like this. Really high quality components are hard enough to find as it is. Their prices are high in part because so many people want them. Wait times on Tekton and Decware are in the months, to pushing half a year. The last thing we need is more talented discriminating quality-oriented listeners competing for them. The more noobs buying Bose the better. Let's hear it for 'em! 

Louder! I can't hear you! Well no actually I can. But they can't. Hard of hearing. Obviously.

So I guess it’s time to sell all of our amps and buy Chinese $400.00 amps. They don’t make a difference? Nor does anything else. Lamp cord for speakers, interconnects, power. My world just got a whole lot cheaper...

To the OP, Musical Fidelity makes some good products for the $$, best thing to do is audition... really, it’s the only thing to do. Then choose which you prefer. 
the ’all amps with the same power sound the same’ bs got a lift when alan shaw of harbeth openly pushed that line of thinking in his manufacturers’ user group, which he runs with a heavy hand and shouts down points of view contrary to his own

anyone with good ears and some experience in this pursuit knows that this is total nonsense, purely self serving from a guy who sells pricey speakers - even more hilarious to then see him admit he 'just happens to use' a hegel h360/h390 in his in-house speaker testing, listening and at hifi shows... 🤣🤣🤣
The only way to know is to plug it into your system and listen.  Specs are meaningless on a printed page
@greywolf,
Your have received some wise counsel in response to your post and I hope you give it some thought and consideration. When I first ventured into the audio world I was introduced to a magazine quite popular at that time called Stereo Review. The featured audio reviewer was the late Julian Hirsch.

I respected his background as an electrical engineer and initially gave credence to his opinions, which essentially was that most amplifiers measure well and subsequently will pretty much all sound the same. As I gained listening experience and exposure to more audio equipment I realized that Mr. Hirsch with all due respect was just plain wrong.

I could easily hear obvious and distinct differences between amplifiers and other audio components. I recognize that everyone has their unique experiences and perspective. However I strongly disagree with probably well meaning advice that 400.00 amplifiers are all that’s required and anything above and beyond is simply preferred distortion.

Go out and listen first hand for yourself to a variety of different amplifiers and see what you find. Measurements are useful to a point but will not reveal how a component or product is going to sound. You have to judge with actual listening encounters.
Best of luck to you.
Charles
Einstein’s theory of relativity is about 100 years old. So I guess it must be rubbish. Being something so old and all. HVAC
@greywolf, 

Can you tell us about the rest of your system?  What preamplifier are you using?  What are you listening habits? How loud do you like to listen?  What is it about the Classe that you like/don't like and/or reason for replacement? 

From what I can tell, that Musical Fidelity is a ~$4k-$5k amp.  Is that a good budget for you?  


Why would you buy that amplifier the Coda #8 power amplifier is the best sounding Amplifier I have heard under $10 k and retail $6200 
can be bought for $5500 delivered .it is a steal  and 3 power choices and amount of 1st watts into pure class A . match the build quality not even close and Made in USA 
for over 35 years .  Do a bit of research ,and reviews .
I just finished auditioning amps and can without a doubt tell you they sound different.  What I can also tell you is that it is like choosing your favorite ice cream.  Not sure one is “better” than another, but that you need to find the flavor that you like. 

And I can also see how after a few years it might be good to change it up a bit.
Julian Hirsch was also deaf in one ear. I spent some time with him thru the years and he truly believed that equipment which measured the same  sounded the same, well to him it did.
I've been deaf in one ear for 42 years.........and amplifiers don't sound the same to me.
I have one ear that is down 60dB in the middle and high frequencies, and I have horrible tinnitus on that side only.   My good ear still demands terribly good equipment.  

coffee-jerk
52 posts
02-28-2021 8:20pm
I have one ear that is down 60dB in the middle and high frequencies, and I have horrible tinnitus on that side only.   My good ear still demands terribly good equipment.  

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And rightly so... I'm with you..

Good mono is better than scratchy stereo. I got a buddy in the same boat. He actually plugs one ear and prefers it when listening. He has a good EAR, still. 79 years old..

Regards
@rh67,
That's an interesting fact to know. I suspect even beyond his unilateral hearing deficit he took  a philosophical stance that amplifiers by and large sound the same. It seems the electrical engineer side (So to speak) of him was very content to rely comfortably on measurements and specifications to form and justify his review conclusions.
Charles 
The first thing you should be asking yourself is "what is driving me to be considering changing amplifiers? There must be some factor that you are not totally satisfied with from a musical reproduction point of view. Naturally, every audiophile strives to own a system that brings them closer to the "live" experience. Of course the music genre you prefer could play a great part in how different electronics would sound to you. I have proven to myself over the years that there are many other system consideration that could have a more profound effect on your listening experience, than playing "spin the bottle" with amplifier changes. I believe I can safely say that any number of amps could provide a highly enjoyable listening experience, but yielding only slight differences in their sonic signature. A high quality tube based amp would most likely demonstrate a more discernible presentation in comparison to the solid state electronics you are used to. Perhaps this may be the direction you should explore before deciding on and change.
I have a Musical Fidelity M6PRX driving a pair of Magico Mini IIs using a primarily digital front end (Mytek Brooklyn+ DAC, Lumin U2 Mini network player). Previously, I was using a Peachtree Nova. The MF provides more detailed transients and a more defined soundstage, more separated from the speakers. Build quality is excellent. Aesthetics are fairly spartan. Finish is a lightly textured powder-coat. No frills. Overall, I've been very happy with the MF. The Magicos need good power and the MF seems to delver. I would agree with other posters who say it's a great value for the $. I've had the MF for about a year and have no regrets. 
Thanks for your replies. Some not so.

What I ended up with for my Sonas Faber Olympica III speakers.

NAD C 658 Preamp with HDMI module.
Classe Amp 2 amp.
Velodyne HGS 10 sub. Had this unit.
LG 65 inch TV. Had this.
Logitech 665 Remote.
Arcam DVD/CD.
Raven Audio XLR's.
Audio Quest Cinnamon 48 HDMI cables.
Audio Quest Greyhound Sub cable.
Mogami speaker wire.
Speakers are Bi-Amped. Classe amp made for this.

System is for TV and music in our living room. Over all pleased with it.
I have had various equipment in the past but never the grade of what I have now. I have owned a few amps for surround sound(back to 2 channel) but older used equipment like an Outlaw 750. 

I was thinking of changing amps to get a less forward sound was one reason. The other to just give the O'III's more power. I have experienced what more power can do.
 
From the salesman about switching amps,

Answering that really depends on your specific goals for sound quality but overall I would say that yes, this is a significant upgrade over the Classe unit. The Classe unit actually uses a class D output amplifier which are known for being very dynamic and punchy, however they aren’t quite as smooth and fluid in the midrange.

The Musical Fidelity’s biggest advantage is not actually the increase in raw power but actually the fact that it is capable pf producing much more current which will not only help control the speakers better but it will also give you a much more fluid sounding midrange. In this case the more traditional design of the MF will be a better fit for your specific speakers.

Who would agree with salesman?

I believe I will hear a difference but is it worth the cost.

IMO amps do make a difference. Arguing about it is like arguing about what oil and filter to use in your vehicle.




The ONLY way to know is to find a dealer with an M80s that is already broken in who will let you audition it in your system.

Or one that is brand new who would let you break it in for 2 or 3 weeks.
 I would consider changing pre amp first...
Interesting.  I have some lamp cords I have been selling.  OP, I am glad you are happy with your system.
When the source material is the same and the speakers are the same and the room is the same, it seems differences in what kit lies between them have a negligible effect when the listening is blind. Examples abound:

http://matrixhifi.com/contenedor_ppec_eng.htm

It’s no use saying “but I can tell”. All these guys thought that too.

You should thank these dedicated audiophile colleagues because they are saving you from spending money on what doesn’t matter (cables, amps, racks, crystals, etc) so you can spend it instead on what does matter (source material, speakers, and your room). 

You should thank these dedicated audiophile colleagues because they are saving you from spending money on what doesn’t matter (cables, amps, racks, crystals, etc) so you can spend it instead on what does matter (source material, speakers, and your room).

He should thank you for providing a very good example of what NOT to do. Ignoring quality amplification, cables, source components etc. is a sure fire way to end up with a mediocre system. If that is his goal I implore him to follow your advice.
You post your blind listening test result that show that anything other than source material, speakers and room make any audible difference.  I’ll keep posting examples of where people who were utterly convinced they could tell differences in amps, cables, racks, etc find out that they just can’t. 
Long term listening bears out differences that snippets of music in an A/B/X stress test does not. If your hobby is listening to test tones, reading measurements and doing blind tests, you might be better served with a different form of entertainment. Maybe high end audio is not for you. No need to be ashamed, it's not for everyone.
@ozzy62,
Very well stated. There are clear distinctions with longer term listening compared to short duration involving shifting from one component to another (Which isn't how people listen in a natural setting). This seems so intuitive and self evident but obviously not everyone agrees with this.
Charles 
I love the preamp.  That is very much the digital module within the M33 and is an awesome value.  There is a surprising bias against Classic series stuff from NAD.  That is a great unit.  

I would partially agree with the sales rep.  It is not the fact that your amp is a Class D, it is that particular Classe amp is a bit older and not quite as refined as some of the more recent class D units that have been produced.  The NAD C298 would have passed it by in terms of tech and sound quality.

It isn't inherently bad, there are just amps that can give you more and if you bought it recently, you probably paid less than $1500 for it and that is an awesome amp for that price.  I sold one not that long.

That MF amp is great.  Tons of current and will have control over the drivers, just as he pointed out.  There are other options, but that amps is a strong value and is well thought in terms of pairing with your speakers.  

It will sound more natural than your Classe.  It is a great product.  
Ozzy - well, that’s odd, because folks keep posting that the changes they hear when swapping cables, adding a Schumann resonator, placing a crystal on top, auditioning at their local store, etc, all reveals almost instant results!

Don’t worry about me!  I love my source material, my speakers, and my rooms. I worked with audio designers who helped me get the ideal speaker and room set up for me (and my son), and I followed their advice. As it happens I had an amp built for my son’s studio too!  All are fit for purpose.  The sound is fantastic.  The investment was where it mattered. On the designers’ express advice, nothing was wasted where it doesn’t matter. That custom amp?  Kettle chord is what the designer recommended. Standard fuse too - any way around I wanted. 
I just worry about folks getting ripped off for $1000s by merchants whose claims, under any kind of scrutiny, just don’t stand up. You see them here all the time - cries for help : “I need a cable that will give me more bass”... and there is no shortage of people saying “get these, they sound great, and only $2000 per meter!”   It’s plain wrong.  
Hi Greywolf.  At least check out the Starke A4-320 amp. Priced right, a USA company, sounds as good as the Purifi modules in the NAD M33 and the LKV power amp. Super value! 4 (bridgeable) channels for the price of 2. Linear power supply, no switching noise radiating into your other equipment. I have three of them powering 11 channels in a 5.0 system using Linkwitz LX521-4 speakers as the stereo pair (each side a 4 way with one amp per speaker - 8 channels for the stereo pair - electronic crossovers.). Excellent results powering Magnepans, too. Keep Smiling! It's music we want to hear, yes? Why spend money on cosmetics? Save your money for music and concert tickets. Enjoy!
I would expect you to see a decent improvement with the MF amp. improved dynamics makes music much more enjoyable and your speakers deserve a better amp. 

you should also look at a power conditioner called PSM156 by puritan audio. check out the comments on Audiogon.

You will hear big improvements with clarity, separation and timbre. You will hear what your current amp is really capable of and it will improve the pre amp too. 
@bluemoodriver, the DBT you posted is hysterical. Between the "high-end system" and 5 dudes in the sweet spot, you're really making quite the case. I can't believe they weren't able to tell the difference! LOL
I know! It is surprising isn’t it.
Cheap cables tossed over a chair. Basic receiver. Sounded just as good or better than the much more expensive set up under blind conditions - as long as the room and speakers and source was the same. (They didn’t all stay in the room for the listening tests of course).
Reassuring though, isn’t it.  
Musical fidelity is not the same musical fidelity, as the company was sold. Despite this, they still put out decent products. I own quite a few of their "small box" products, such as the v90 dac...good stuff...

-The respected British hi-fi manufacturer Musical Fidelity is now owned by Austrian company Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH, which also owns Pro-Ject Audio Systems, and the new owner has assured audiophiles that the future is bright for the iconic British brand.Aug 9, 2018-
Post removed 
I agree with above statement. Change the preamp first. For tubes I would go with Rouge RP5 or RP7
RP5 has phono stage
RP7 no phono but fully balanced
or
Hegel P20 or P30 for solid state. Everyone wants to change the amp but their missing the big picture. My local shop that sells both. https://holmaudio.com/
Also, 
Change you power cord on your amp from the stock to a 14 AWG or 12 AWG cable


Test still needs to be blind whether it takes minutes or weeks. Whether one agrees with bluemoon or not you have 0 evidence to support your statement just like everyone else making this claim

That's the beauty of it. I don't have to prove or disprove anything. I use my ears. And if it sounds better to me, it IS better.

You objective guys overthink this every time. It's not clinical science. It's AUDIO. You are supposed to E-N-J-O-Y this hobby. But you can't because of the stick up your butt. Relax and let the music wash over you, you'll be surprised at what you might hear.

Oz


@ozzy62

you took the bait...

...be happy, enjoy the music, and ignore the tr---...
Yeah I know better than to engage. But sometimes............
Geez, my wife (and she isn’t “into it”) can hear the differences between amps... trust me, I’ve had a few now. 
To the OP, I agree with what you were told by the sales guy. Current can make a significant difference, possibly very profound. A class D amp is going to sound very different from a class A amp, even A/B, different circuits. Just is what it is. Then you get into SET, FET, MOSFET, bipolar circuits within all of that. They all have sonic signatures. I also agree that a tube preamp into an SS amp can make huge differences. “Better” is in the ears of the beholder... I just put a Rogue Audio RP5 into my system with a Pass Labs XA25, so far the combo is great. The Rogue replace an XP12 SS pre. The tubes just sound a bit smoother, more “natural” to my ears. No listening fatigue at all. Anyway, this game is about experimenting and finding the best combo you can afford... it’s a lot of fun. Sometimes.
Thanks to all.
For now I'm going to wait.

You post your blind listening test result that show that anything other than source material, speakers and room make any audible difference.  I’ll keep posting examples of where people who were utterly convinced they could tell differences in amps, cables, racks, etc find out that they just can't.
That's funny, I bought a krell amp to replace my adcom amp, I couldn't stand the sound of the krell with my adcom preamp it was so bright, but sounded good with the adcom amp. I replaced the adcom preamp and it sounds great now

In my experience everything changes the sound..  tubes, speaker cables, interconnects, power cords and most certainly a piece of gear.  I didn't note you expressed a sonic deficiency you wanted to change.  You do understand a different amp could very easily mean different speaker cables and interconnects..  and power cords.   The better the resolution of your system the larger the changes in anything will appear.
Musical fidelity is a pretty decent brand but in your case keep your current amp