Musical Fidelity M2si Review in 2021

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For those looking for the most advanced features in an amp, take Musical Fidelity’s M2si off your list. However, the lack of advanced features should not be a reason to dismiss it just yet.

This musical fidelity m2si integrated amplifier is one of the most stripped back devices of this generation I have ever seen at this price range. It comes with remote control, six line-level inputs, a tape loop, and an option for home cinema bypass. There is nothing else more to it. In this musical fidelity m2si review, we’ll be covering all about this fidelity amp including the build, features, sound and even power supply.

About the Musical Fidelity M2si

The world of amplifiers has advanced immensely. There is always something new manufacturers and consumers are looking for. But Musical Fidelity seems to have taken a step back on all this crazy technology spiral. The M2si is not for you if you search for a phono stage, headphone, or digital output. There are even better purist rivals like Rega Elex-R or the Brio, which are less expensive. Yet, they have included a functional phone module. Also, Audiolab’s 6000A does an even better job in terms of features. So why does the M2Si even matter? With so little features, you would think it will be tough for it to compete in the modern world. But it turns out they are doing better than many others.

Antony Michaelson sold this company a few years ago to the Austrian Heinz Lichtenegger, completing a shift of generations. Also, the owner of Pro-Ject, Lichteneger, has the same thought as Englishman Michaelson. They both want to offer people access to quality music and high quality in affordable products. Many manufacturers seem to be too focused on features that they lose the essential musical message. When there is a new product, we all want to rush and look at what new features it comes with, but the little emphasis may be placed on the quality of sound that comes with it. This is not what the new Musical Fidelity has in mind.

Consider the amplifier’s five-millimeter-thick aluminum panel, for instance. It demonstrates just how thorough the manufacturer is in terms of quality products. I have never been a fan of Musical Fidelity, yet interestingly, it was among the first to feature on my list when I was looking for a simple gift for my nephew. This is where the interest to review their M2si came from.

I have seen other simple best stereo amplifier before, but this one struck me as the winner. I looked at the comfortable firm knob that controls the volume, and it’s the perfect size, and location won me over. This is a feature I have searched for in vain, even in the most expensive options. Hence, I believe Musical Fidelity is going far with this device.

The buttons for on, off, and input selection are also clear and easy to use. They are made of metal and react well to pressure. There is nothing rubber or plastic on this amp, which makes it very firm and sturdy. You can carry it anywhere, and it is durable enough to last you a very long time. I looked at the six high-level inputs, including one that is switchable for home cinema operation, and they all matched my expectation. They are in the right place and are designed from durable materials.

In addition to this, two sturdy speaker terminals take banana plugs. You also get preamp input for connecting another amp. With this feature, you can always easily create the audio setup you desire without much hustle. It is all about finding the right components. This amp is ready for the so-called “bi-amping.” In other words, you can operate a loudspeaker with two power supply amplifiers. This is a feature you will not find in even some of the most extravagant audio equipment. 

Build

I cannot emphasize enough just how simple this musical fidelity m2si integrated amplifier is. Also, looking at the sound input quality, one can quickly tell that it offers everything you will need for an audio setup. In terms of features, there is nothing much to look out for. Its setup is simple and easy to understand. The inputs are also primary and easy-to-use. The first thing you will notice right from the box is the volume control knob on a sleek surface. I believe this is one feature you will never go wrong on. It comes with a more luxurious feeling than most of its rivals I have mentioned above. The company knows what to do when it comes to delivering quality devices. Each material that goes into their products has been carefully selected to offer unbeatable functionality. 

The use of metal for controls instead of plastic makes it look more visually appealing .vIt’s overall finish got my attention. I like its clean-cut and straightforward appearance. The real action happens under the lid. This is why I said we should not judge it just yet from the simple outside appearance. There is a reason why it features higher than the ‘more advanced’ amplifiers at this price range.

You will find a preamp selection that works in Class A mode, offering lower distortions. I have reviewed many amplifiers in this range, and they use lower classes. And this is why the M2si can be an excellent option for high-end amps if you are running low on budget. Apart from this, it enjoys a separate power feed. This feature ensures improved performance and reduces any unwanted interactions with the power amplifier.

In terms of power output, the M2si is quite unique too. There is enough muscle for delivery of 76 watts per channel into eight ohms. That is not all; you get a healthy increase to 137 watts per channel into four ohms. There is nothing much you won’t do with these amplifiers. Most speakers we use at home don’t require too much power, which makes this musical fidelity m2si integrated amplifier a perfect fit. Generally, this is an impressive set of features. They suggest just how capable the amp is in producing high sound levels from all ranges of speakers.

Apart from this, it enjoys a separate power feed. This feature ensures improved performance and reduces any unwanted interactions with the power amplifier. The M2si is well built, feeling more luxurious than any of the rivals mentioned above. Neat touches such as using solid metal for the controls rather than plastic really lifts the impression. The overall finish is impressive and we like the simple and clean-cut appearance.

Features

Musical Fidelity m2si  is more about affordable sound quality than fancy bells and whistles. Nevertheless, the M2si comes with enough features to offer an incredible impression. First, the M2s range includes an integrated amplifier and CD player. In this case, the M2si musical fidelity amplifiers delivers more advanced functionality than the previous versions. It offers a simple no-frills analog amplifier that delivers natural sounds from any speaker impedance. If you are expecting too many digital inputs or a phono stage, you will find none.

You will not get any flashing displays. It has only the minimal selection of LEDs to display the status of their functions. However, there is much more this amplifier offers than just features. For the price, you get six line-levels, one of which is a home theater bypass function, a preamp, and line-level tape-outs. A remote control handset is also included just to ensure you have an easy time using this product. Considering these limited features, it may not sound like much, especially since the competition is more alluring. Nonetheless, I have been using the amplifier for long, and I know most of the cost is not in the electronic components. Instead, it is the casework, cooling heatsinks, and the power transformer that eats the dollar. Musical fidelity amplifier has sacrificed all the extra modern features and invested in a more robust chassis. There are very few in this price range that compares to this sturdy construction.

Besides this, it is driven by a large toroidal transformer that pumps a linear pier supply with separate supplies. Hence, the pre and power amplification stages all work nicely without interrupting each other. The result is a seamless production of clean sound. This feature also allows a comfortable delivery of rated 60 watts per channel into 18dBW from class-AB amplifiers. There is a substantial amount of current delivery that ensures the best low from a wide range of speakers.

There’s no shortage of muscle here with the M2si delivering 76W per channel into 8 ohms and giving a healthy increase to 137W per channel as impedance halves. That impressive set of figures strongly suggests that this amplifier should be able to produce high sound levels with any price appropriate speaker.  Under the lid, you’ll find a preamp section that works in Class A mode for lower distortion. It also enjoys a separate power feed to improve performance and reduce any unwanted interaction with the power amplifier.

Having a DAC or phono stage into your integrated amplifier is not wrong. But chances are, they will be made better by an offboard unit. For this reason, I believe it is better to invest in parts that you will use.The only missing feature is their lack of headphones. It could be forgiven easily if there were no dedicated amp. However, a headphone from the power amp with several dropping resistors doesn’t cost much, and they would have improved the entire system.

Sound

Powering up the M2si is noticeably low end. It comes with a relatively small damping of 36, which means it does not have the bottom end control we see in some rivals. To make up for this, the M2si puts a hefty supply of current in use.

I liked the deep and authoritative low-end sounding. This is a character that defines musical Fidelity as they always produce large muscle amps. The M2si may not possess the grunt of its bigger brother, but it comes with a recommendable air of confidence around it. You will notice relatively high gains on tap, but it will only take a little touch on the volume knob to get the speakers shaking. The M2si delivers plenty loud without much load demands or showing signs of distortions.

Musical fidelity tonal balance isn’t as great as the Audiolab, but it is even handed and where it diverges, it does so in a wholly sympathetic way – the top end is sweet while the mid and bass have just a touch of added richness. This flavoring is slight but it is enough to make the amplifier less fussy about partnering equipment and recording quality than most rivals. This stereo has a damping factor to really cancel outside noise.

Dynamic expression is a strong point. The M2si manages the sweep from quiet to loud superbly and is as happy rendering low-level subtleties as it is sledgehammer crescendos.

Pros

  • Exceptional sound
  • Admirable dynamics
  • Muscular performance from an elegant build
  • Simplistic design 
  • Affordable price
  • Low noise ratio with damping factor and onset of clipping
  • Incredible bass
  • Musical fidelity is a reputable brand
  • Easy to use remote control

Cons

  • No headphone out
  • Line level unit only

Summary

I played a wide range of pieces to understand how far the M2si would go, and I was impressed. This musical fidelity m2si integrated amplifier cn play some of the best orchestra productions to perfection like the Tracy Chapman works or John Williams. Musical Fidelity understands the needs of modern consumers in terms of sound quality and affordability. The M2si is a worthwhile alternative for Rega amplifiers. It’s fantastic all around musical amplifier at under a thousand dollars. If you have no issue with limited features, I would highly recommend it. We hope that our musical fidelity m2si reviews have helped you decide whether or not to purchase.

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