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The Latest Evolution of Digital Technology
The M6CD is the latest evolution of Musical Fidelity's high performance digital range – and what an evolution it is. Talk about your quantum leaps forward. The M6CD has a very high quality 24-bit, 192 kHz true upsampling DAC, which has outstanding linearity, ultra low noise, very low distortion, along with ruler flat frequency response.
But that's just the beginning of the machine's impressive capabilities. Once again, Musical Fidelity hatches an idea that is so naturally brilliant, you have to wonder why you don't see this level of functionality in competitive players. Yes, the M6CD is a CD player. But it is also useable as a top quality DAC for other digital sources.
"Basically, it’s a great DAC with a CD transport attached," notes Alan Sircom in The Absolute Sound for January 2010. "It lives up to the Musical Fidelity name, being both accurate and tuneful, and never puts a foot wrong.
It Excels As An Outboard DAC, Too
As Musical Fidelity sees it, once you have created a very high performance DAC for a CD player, it involves a relatively low cost to add three extra digital inputs so that the digital-to-analog circuitry can be used as an outboard DAC. Given a reasonable quality digital stream, the M6's DAC will make a huge measurable improvement to the performance to any source.
The M6CD features separately selectable SPDIF and optical inputs to allow other sources such as digital radio, DAT, etc, to take advantage of the top quality up-sampling digital-to-analog conversion circuits. This will free up analog inputs on the amplifier that you use with the M6CD and also allows you to obtain the absolute best in audio quality from the digital source.
Top Quality CD Loading Mechanism
The M6CD consists of a top quality CD loading mechanism with unsurpassed playability and a top quality up-sampling 24 bit digital-to-analog converter. This moves the digital artifacts to well outside the audio band, allowing easy removal without detriment to the top end of the audio band. The well-tuned filtering circuit creates immeasurably small jitter, noise, and distortion artifacts, allowing astounding imaging, detail, and transparency. It will deliver all musical types exactly as the artist originally intended.
Separately Selectable USB Input
There is also a separately selectable USB input which can be used with any USB equipped computer to create a great sounding 'multimedia jukebox' capable of many hours continuous and unrepeated playback of audio media files of any format. Because the signal is sent through the same up-sampling process as before, the sound quality is immensely improved over the poor quality output of the computer's analog circuits.
The M6's sonic quality is smooth and sweet. There is no harshness. In addition to the excellent image, you'll experience great spatial recovery and huge dynamic range.
Although the M6CD will excel when integrated into any quality hi-fi system, it is specifically designed to be partnered with present and future M6 series products. This combination yields one of the best musical playback systems available at any price.
"The CD player is a fine place to start. No great display wonders from the front panel (it’s a standard blue readout), the key elements are inside the player. Basically, it’s a great DAC with a CD transport attached. Upsampling to 24bit, 192 kHz precision (true upsampling says MF… as opposed to fake upsampling?), with coax, optical and USB inputs, digital, analogue and balanced analogue outputs, it’s possible to consider the M6CD as a digital hub as much as a standalone CD player. With the marked downturn in fortunes for CD, this represents a fine way of future-proofing the player, although a slight confusion is there is a second USB input in the preamp."
"The CD player is a fine addition to the portfolio, but I suspect those buying it will be those who want a matching CD player for their M6 products, rather than those wanting a CD solution in its own right – this is a bit of a shame, because it lives up to the Musical Fidelity name, being both accurate and tuneful, and never puts a foot wrong."
"Played as a grouping, the power chord of M6CD. M6PRE and M6PRX are hard to fault. Best used balanced from one end to the other, the trio are unobtrusive, entertaining and a satisfyingly potent combination of sweetness and meatiness. I know that sounds horrid (like lamb cooked in Pepsi) but it works from a fundamentally musical position. Almost any one of these components on its own is good enough to stand alone and act as an introduction to the joys of Musical Fidelity sound, but it’s the power amp that shines out as a true world-class product. The sum isn’t far greater than the sum of its parts, but with parts like these, it doesn’t need to be."
– Alan Sircom, The Absolute Sound, January 2010
Audio Advisor Review - Musical Fidelity M6 CD Player