"Reviewers' Choice" Award Winner 2012 - SoundStage!
"Like Getting A Ferrari For The Price Of A Fiat"
The M6 500i is the latest in Musical Fidelity's line of critically acclaimed integrated amplifiers, building on the sustained success of hugely popular models like the A1000 and kw500. The M6 500I offers best-in-breed performance from a technology-packed, rock-solid build plus a dual-mono design derived from the circuit of Musical Fidelity’s $20,000 Titan power amplifier.
"Musical Fidelity’s M6 500i is a gentleman thug of an integrated amplifier blessed with equal helpings of brawn and delicacy," reports Hans Wetzel in his August 15, 2012 review for SoundStage!. "These seemingly opposing strengths will attract different types of listeners, but this model is worthy of universal respect."
Providing a highly formidable 500 watts-per-channel of prodigious power, the M6 500i is an amplifier that uses its brawn wisely. It can easily drive any pair of speakers without distortion or strain. It features five inputs, one of which is balanced, and the AUX/HT auxiliary/home theater input can be switched to allow the amp to seamlessly integrate into music or movie set-ups.
"It Can Make You Jump Out Of Your Skin"
"So here we have it. A big bruiser of an integrated amplifier, but with delicacy and detail, too. It offers immense power and control, allied to an unflappability which means it's never an unimpressive listen… The crescendi and diminuendi are lightning-fast and can make you jump out of your skin," raves England's Hi-fi World magazine in its September 2011 issue. "A fine 'last' amplifier, this new Musical Fidelity offers a combination of style, sonics, and substance that's hard to beat at the price."
Inside the high-quality chassis you'll find impressive engineering. The M6 500i is effectively a top-class preamp and a separate set of monoblock power amps within one box. From its technical measurements to its jaw-dropping sound, the M6 500i acts like an amp costing many times the money. As Scandinavia's leading hi-fi journal, Lyd & Bilde, put it when reviewing the M6 500i, "With 500W, this is like getting a Ferrari for the price of a Fiat."
"Lays The Music Bare for You to Hear"
"The Musical Fidelity kind of lays the music bare for you to hear, every layer, every pick against guitar string. Stunning," marvels Mark Groom in his November 23, 2011 post for the DivineAudio blog. "Even though this amp is a monster and really, really powerful, it’s somehow ‘gentle’ with the music, if you’re listening to a soft passage of music, the sound just washed over you and is not forced in any way."
More Than Mere Muscle
The M6 500i has a high-quality metal build that gives it both distinctive style and a solid performance platform. One glance, and you know that this is no wimpy mainstream amp, but a true superhero instead. The M6 500i looks exactly like the powerhouse that it is. The front panel is a bespoke, fine-line extrusion of military-grade aluminum, while the heatsinks are also custom-made for outstanding dissipation. The heatsinks also offer a fine finished look to the chassis.
The M6 500i offers huge amounts of power for any application, from top-of-the-line hi-fi to a no-holds-barred, all-out home theater system. Its 500-watts-per-channel power delivery into 8 ohms should easily satisfy the most demanding audiophile and fill the largest room with sound. But there's so much more to the M6500i than mere muscle. If you're a power freak who cries out for even more brawn, at 4 ohms the M6 500i will throttle you with an amazing, roof-raising 850-watts-per-channel. (We don't recommend this approach if you live in an apartment house.)
Genuine Dual Mono Design
For maximum sonic purity, optimum channel separation, and spectacular imaging with a mile-deep soundstage, Musical Fidelity engineered the M6 500i as a genuine dual-mono design. Each power amp section has its own heat sink and separate transformer, while the preamp has its own power-supply winding.
Musical Fidelity gives you plenty of connections to put this beast to work in your system – and the five input jacks are connected directly to the main preamp circuit board, instead of using wire connections. This ultra-short signal path ensures ultra-low impedance from the instant that any sources feed into the M6 500i.
Meanwhile, each channel has 12 big bipolar transistors. A full 200 amps peak-to-peak performance is readily available for unflinchingly accurate resolution of complex orchestral passages or an explosive burst of movie soundtrack special effects. But remember, this brute also excels at delicacy when the situation demands it. A precision digital volume control using premium laser-trimmed substrate resistors ensures perfect tracking right down to very low listening levels.
Stellar Technical Performance
Like all Musical Fidelity components, the M6 500i offers bliss backed by scientific measurement. Its meticulous attention to detail delivers stellar technical performance. For example, distortion levels are remarkably low. They hover around a rock bottom 0.008% at 1 kHz and 0.015% at 20 kHz, and only marginally rise to a mere 0.02% at ultra-high frequencies of 30-50kHz. Signal-to-noise ratio is also minimal.
The M6 500i has remarkable linearity and consistency, enabling it to drive any speaker with ample power reserves. It sounds effortless, fluid and dynamic: the way the very best amplifiers should.
"It was a pleasure to make the acquaintance of this latest and greatest in Musical Fidelity’s line of British specials," concludes Hans Wetzel in SoundStage! as he bids adieu to his review sample. "I will be sad to see it depart."