Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC
No less than a new milestone in the history of Musical Fidelity is said to have been presented for the first time at the High End 2022 with the new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC, the English hi-fi manufacturer is convinced. The fact is that this D/A converter comes with a completely newly developed architecture with Dual Differential Mode as well as Dual Mono Design and Super Silent Power Transformer.
With the new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC, Musical Fidelity is now presenting the successor to the Musical Fidelity M6s DAC for the first time at the High End 2022, and thus one of the first solutions to use the ESS 32 Bit HyperStream II DAC Architecture. This DAC architecture is also the focus of the latest generation, the Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC, but here the focus is on two DACs, an even more sophisticated circuit design and, last but not least, a particularly high-quality power supply.
Musical Fidelity calls the new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC a new milestone for Musical Fidelity, which on the one hand follows the tradition of the previous D/A converters of the Musical Fidelity M6 Series, but on the other hand raises the quality of signal processing to a new level of quality and also opens up new options in terms of versatility.
As already mentioned, the predecessor of the new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC, the Musical Fidelity M6s DAC, was one of the first of its kind to use the so-called ESS 32 Bit HyperStream II DAC architecture from the specialist ESS Technology Inc. With the Musical Fidelity M6sR DAC, Musical Fidelity had further optimised the firmware and added some more improvements to the functionality. DSD content, for example, could be used more flexibly, in addition, this D/A converter had full Roon support as Roon Tested and the inputs and outputs were also updated to keep up with the fast-moving digital audio landscape, as the manufacturer itself puts it. And another point was very important to Musical Fidelity: the Musical Fidelity M6sR DAC was entirely manufactured in the EU.
Dual Differential Mode and Dual Mono Design
The Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32-bit Dual Mono DAC has gone even further, building on the knowledge and experience gained with the ESS Sabre DAC to upgrade to the newer ESS ES9038Q2M and now use two of these in what is known as Dual Differential Mode for a pristine dual mono design.
The use of a Time Domain Jitter Eliminator ensures particularly low noise and accurate signal processing free of sound-damaging artefacts and perfect timing. Other advances in the DAC section include upsampling and re-clocking, although upsampling can of course be disabled if desired. Signal processing based on a 16-core XMOS and CPLD MAX II Altera processors ensure that there is always enough headroom for these operations, the new digital filters and MQA processing, the developers promise.
The unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs each have their own output buffer, while the balanced output stage uses a fully differential amplifier design.
According to the manufacturer, both output stages deliver excellent audio quality free of noise and minimal distortion.
Optimised PCB design and layout
According to Musical Fidelity, an essential point is the optimal layout and design of the PCB, especially for D/A converters. For this reason, the Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC has been designed with this aspect in mind in order to provide the best possible basis for the respective functional groups to work optimally.
Super Silent Power Transformers
Another special feature of the new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC is its power supply, which uses Super Silent Power Transformers. EMI filters and DC blockers prevent interference and eliminate transformer hum, and the encapsulated toroidal transformer with low core saturation is particularly well suited for use in such a delicate environment as a D/A converter due to its extremely low electromagnetic radiation.
Technical key data
The new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC offers a range of connection options. Not only are there one coaxial and two optical S/PDIF interfaces available, but also an AES/EBU. These are capable of processing signals in Linear PCM up to 24 bit and 192 kHz.
The most flexible interface of the Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC is of course its USB port, implemented as USB-B and USB Audio Class 2.0, which can process signals from a PC or Mac in Linear PCM with up to 32 Bit and 768 kHz and DSD up to and including DSD512 natively. It should be mentioned that the D/A converter with ESS 32-bit Hyperstream II technology in the form of two ESS ES9038Q2M in Dual Differential Mode can also process signals encoded in lossy MQA.
As described, upsampling is available on request, re-clocking is carried out for particularly accurate signal processing and the user can choose from seven different filter characteristics for signal conversion.
Analogue signals leave the Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC either via a pair of unbalanced RCA jacks or a pair of XLR jacks as balanced outputs.
Integrated headphone amplifier
The new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC features an integrated headphone amplifier, which can be connected directly to a wide range of headphones via the 6.3 mm stereo jack on the front panel and, according to Musical Fidelity, is always optimally controlled. After all, 1.5 watts per channel at 32 ohms are available here, as Musical Fidelity states in the data sheet of the new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC.
The new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC comes in the typical design of the Musical Fidelity M6 Series with dimensions of 440 mm in width, 390 mm in depth and 100 mm in height and weighs 6.9 kg.
Once again, it should be mentioned that the new Musical Fidelity M6x DAC 32 Bit Dual Mono DAC is manufactured entirely in the EU.