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  1. #1
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    M.F X-RAY V8 & XXX PSU has arrived...

    Both units received about one hour ago, each double boxed, and only the box with the PSU showing a little bit of Fedex tough love. Both units are in working order (have power) and the flyer in the V8 cautions to turn unit on for one hour before using to allow for any humidity and moisture to evaporate before playing any music through it. The very nicely done and fancy user's binder emphasized the same so I am taking the mfg word and letting it warm up.

    Interestingly, each unit comes with the same version of remote control. The PSU does not need a remote control so I guess I have a spare remote for the V8..cool.

    I will post my thoughts about the initial musical presentation later...

    LeRoy

  2. #2
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Yeah, I got mine yesterday. Ive been listening for a while and man what mids this thing has. From the looks you would not think it has such a large sound as it does. Mine came double boxed with two remotes as well. I've got mine paired with the Rotel 200 watt per channel RB 1080 and Rotel 1090 Control amp. The speakers are Canton 430 book shelves on Sanus Stands. The Musical Fidelity has good synergy with this set up. The tray does remind me of a CD tray on a computer. And the display is really small. I've read reviews saying that you dont need breakin time with the MF player. So I had two identical cds...I compaired the MF to the Rotel RCC 1055 CDP which is not a bad player at all. I sat in my easy chair with the remote and switch the two same cds back and forth and I could not tell the difference in the sound the two CDP's. where producing. But after playing it for hours yesterday and today, the MF began to do what it was engineered to do.... it became deeper, wider and clearer than the Rotel CDP. The MF also is more transparent and has a great mid reproduction. The bass sounds deeper and the highs are better as well. The overall presentation of the MF is smoother. Its seems to present more detail. I've been playing Charles Lloyed's CD, The water is wide. If you know anything about Lloyd and his sax, you know he did some stuff with John Coltrain and pretty much sounds just like him. When Cannonball Adderley was not recording with Train back in the day, he got Lloyd because he sounded so much like Train. Well Lloyd is still with us today and still going strong in his late 70's or early 80's. On this particular cd, "The water is wide", he has the great Billy Higgins on drums. Now I've played this CD on my Rotel CDP many times, but it never moved me like it does on the MF CDP. Billy Higgins just came alive on this CD. His cymbal work is so smooth and yet soft at the same time. And Charles Lloyds sax playing is real breathy. I can hear his breath blowing over the reed as he blows air into his sax. These are things I never noticed with the Rotel, but right off the bat noticed with the Musical Fidelity X-Ray. I only wish they would have packaged it in a more attractive case.

  3. #3
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    Congrats Frenchmon. Helluva great player isn't it?!

    Okay, here is more info on the units before I get into my posting of the first listen with the M.F.

    The XXX PSU connections consist of a 6-pin connector for the XT-100 amplifier, a 5-pin connector for the X-Ray V8 player, and a 4-pin connector for the X-Plora V8 tuner.

    The 5-pin power connection cord from the X-ray does not detach from the player and I measured the length of the cord to be 39" from the back of the CDP to the tip of the 5-pin connector. Aligning the pin connector to the PSU simply requires that you align the connector to the middle connection port of the PSU and insert it and cord will simply will click into place. To remove the CDP connector cord from the PSU you have to depress a plastic t-style (shaped like the letter "T") depressor on the PSU then you can gently
    remove the 5-pin cord.

    ** Note ** neither user manual instructs on how to remove the cord, makes no mention of the depressor, and the diagram only shows it's there above each of the pin connector ports on the PSU. ***

    The remote control is segmented. The top section of the remote is dedicated to working the M.F. DAB Tuner. The middle section of the remote is dedicated to M.F. amps. The rest of the remote controls the functions of the V8.

    The remote is plastic, measures approx 2.5" wide, and 8" in length. The unit was very responsive to any input from a distance up to 15' which is the distance I was sitting while listening to the music. One tap on the display key dimmed the brightness of the players
    display to about 50% and one more tap on the display unit dimmed the display completely making it appear like it's not even on. The stop button on the remote also functions as an eject button. Depressing the stop button while a CD is playing simply stops the CD player and one more press of the button ejects the CD.

    With regard to the CDP in operation...I did not hear any mechanical noise from the player while it was spinning the disk and together with the PSU form a dark background from which the music emerges.

    ** Note 2-- In turning on the PSU the CDP player comes on and of course starts looking for a disc to read. The display will show "Reading ......" As the unit tries to read starting after about 2 seconds the unit makes an "clicking sound" while reading until it finishes. This has been the only mechanical sound the CDP makes and I don't think it's a big deal butI will check with M.F. to see if this is normal operation. Music playback was not affected at all so it's probably standard operating procedure.

    I did listen to 3 CD's tonight: The Ray Brown Trio, CD Soular Energy, featuring Gene Harris. Flamenco Lounge, CD#2, from a 3 CD collection of Essential Flamenco Moods. Kem, Album 2.

    I am going to listen the the same CD's tomorrow evening after work as I want to confirm my initial findings and take notes this time..

    TTYL, have a nice day/evening.

    LeRoy

  4. #4
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    Impressions.....

    One last detail about the CDP output connectivity..there is one digital optical, one digital coaxial,and one RCA left/right audio outputs.

    I am using only the left/right audio output from the M.F.connected to the Belles Soloist 3 pre-amp, and the IC is Chord Cobra 3. The pre-amp does not have digital inputs.The pre-amp is connected to the Belles Soloist 5 amp, 65 wpc, and the IC is too old school red/white barrel plugs. (Yikes, I know I need to get some more IC's).

    The speakers are Mordaunt-Short Avant 902i monitors, 11.4 x 6.5 x 10.4 (HWD), 5.25" aluminum CPC mid/bass driver, 1" aluminum dome tweeter, crossover is 1st order
    with DVP HF, freq response 55Hz-22 kHz, 4-8 ohms, 11 lbs each, sensitivity rated at 89db, recommended power amplification is 15-100 watts. The M.S are rear ported, and I have the back's of the speakers 17.5" from the front wall, 27" from side walls, and tweeters are 4" above ear level. Speaker toe-in is angled aiming for my outside shoulders.
    Speakers received on 09/22/2009 and were broken in with HD radio only.

    Speaker's rest on Atacama speaker stands, 39.5" from floor to the stand's speaker plate. Speaker wire is 4-conductor Chord Carnival Silver Screen, 8'. Listening room is rectangular, 19'(L) x 12' (w), ceiling is sloped (L to R) with the max height of 8' 4" and the min height 7' 8.5".

    My normal listening position is 12' to 15' from the front wall. I used Blue Maxx CD cleaner last night on the disks, and I have let the system warm up for 1 hour 20 min before throwing in a disc. All listening done with speaker grills off and volume setting at 12:00.

    Now on to the musica....fist up is The Ray Brown Trio.

    Overall impressions are the same as last night's first listen..Pacing of the player is outstanding, no smearing of bass notes, and each instrument is articulated with ease. Detail without brightness, brushes on snares are easily discerned, cymbal taps reveal the changes in location where the cymbals are hit, and the piano sounds like one. Throughout the listening session the "decay" of the ending/trailing note was the best I have had in a system to date.The soundstage is wide and spans the width of my room, and sound is filled in between the speakers though the M.S.don't exactly perform a disappearing act.

    Specifics...track3 caught my attention due to the different speeds the pianist was playing...the piano riff/lead was fast while the piano rhythm keeps slow pace with the bassist and drummer. There was not a single moment in that piece where I could detect a misstep in change in tone, pace, or articulation of the instruments--even as the musicians
    themselves change the pace of the rhythm.

    In tracks 2 & 5, Mr. Brown likes to throw down some bass harmonics and the player reveals the harmonics in a way that I can only describe as sounding natural--and then throw in the decay...

    Comparing the M.S. to the memory of the Usher S-520's, the Usher's bass has more weight and depth but articulation is a better with the M.S.On the other hand, the Ushers were never in this system config.

    I have heard this CD plenty of times before and the bass should have more body and weight than what I heard again this evening. This weekend I plan to put the Nola Mini's on the system and listen for any changes and will be posting those comments as well.

    Thanks for checking in on this thread and hope you find the info useful.

    LeRoy

  5. #5
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    The terribly sad thing is that I've been out of the equipment game for so long that I though this was a SPAM/porn post...great review from both you gents.

    Gracias...
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  6. #6
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    more impressions...

    Thank you Bobsticks.

    More impressions.. Next up is Flamenco Lounge, CD#2.

    This music on this CD is not any style of Flamenco I had ever heard before I bought this 3 CD collection. The music on CD#2 features musical instruments such as synthesizers, electric bass, cello, acoustic guitars, trumpet, and a variety of percussion instruments.
    Of course, there is plenty of classical flamenco guitar but not necessarily played in a traditional way.

    Any doubts as to whether the M.S. could produce enough bass were laid to rest immediately on the first track. Bass was not only present but the little M.S. were giving it all they had to offer. More on this later.

    My prior M.F. impressions regarding the pace, detail, wide soundstage remains unchanged. What surprised me was how precise the whole system sounded. The guitar work is first rate and the intensity of how the guitar strings were being strummed or picked had a vibrancy that was palpable in the room.

    Specifics...

    Track#2 features 2 guitars and the pitch definition of each guitar is easily heard. Though I have heard this CD numerous times I had not heard the scale being played near the end of the track being layed to where I could discern not only the notes but also how long the guitarist was holding the note before moving on to the next. What also got my attention was the difference in energy/intensity of each note being played during the scale while the rest of the music is keeping the tempo. The M.F. does not miss a thing!

    Track#3 features a cello to accompany one guitar and this is my favorite track on this CD. The vibrancy just jumps out into the room and I could simply feel it. However, on this track I think I am coming to better understand the limits of the M.S. as I felt the cello
    should have more body/texture.

    Track# 6...my notes read precision/precision/precision...that's it!

    Track#7..No congestion...this track has a whole lotta instruments and is uptempo. All instruments have their own space and the tone of each instrument is preserved and each of their tempo's is maintained from start to finish.

    Now moving on to the CD, Kem 2.

    This dude is one singing music machine! The only way I can describe his music is "singing love poetry". Your wife and girlfriends are sure to like this music. The music is basically a fusion of Motown R&B with smooth Jazz. It's a really great recording too.

    The triangle, chimes, electric piano, wah-wah guitar, bass, vocals, flute, cymbals, and snappy drumming are all presented on time and in their own space. My feet got to tapping along with the rhythm on tracks 8 & 11.

    Specifics.....This music is all about vocals.

    On track#3 Kem begins the scatting on a high octave and then goes down the scale to baritone. Tonightslisten was the first time I was able to distinguish the start/stop of the baritone in his voice with each vocalization. I had never heard those baritone inflections before. However, on this track I did note the "SSSh sibalant" a couple of times.

    On track# 4,5, and 7 my notes advise of the sax needing more body. While there is no doubt the brass being played is a sax I think it lacks some brass bite/body/ and I think this is a feature of the M.S. and not the M.F.

    Track# 10 features the harmonica played by Stevie Wonder and again the individual notes are easily discerned and heard all the way to the end of the slow fade out on the recording. Very, very nicely done.

    That's it for now....manana I will put on the Nola Mini's and see if I can get some body into the cello, sax, and stand up bass...stay tuned...

    Have a nice day.

    LeRoy

  7. #7
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Hey LeRoy...I've notice Musical Fidelity has a new website with some new product. Nice looking stuff. I know the Titan amp cost about 30 grand. But the M6 series is more affordable and not to Far out of reach. Cant wait to read some reviews. I've noticed also that they upgraded everything in the X series but the CDP and the X-DAC. I'm wondering if they are going to continue to push the current X-Ray and X-DAC or come out later with an upgrade? Interesting.

    I did have a Dmagic DAC for my laptop and it sounded pretty good. About the same as my Rotel CDP. Its the same dac thats in the Cambridge 740. I did send it back. I thought the $450 was a little to much just to run for my computer. I was planing to get the MF V-DAC but they have come out with an upgraded one. Might as well get it instead. The old one cost about $300 so the new upgrade cant be too much more IF it is, im sure the old ones might be discounted.

    frenchmon

  8. #8
    Forum Regular luvtolisten's Avatar
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    Hi Frenchmon,
    If you do buy the MF V-DAC , I hope you'll post, I'd like to hear your thoughts comparing it to the DAC Magic,

  9. #9
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Ok....will do.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info....

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    Hey LeRoy...I've notice Musical Fidelity has a new website with some new product. Nice looking stuff. I know the Titan amp cost about 30 grand. But the M6 series is more affordable and not to Far out of reach. Cant wait to read some reviews. I've noticed also that they upgraded everything in the X series but the CDP and the X-DAC. I'm wondering if they are going to continue to push the current X-Ray and X-DAC or come out later with an upgrade? Interesting.

    I did have a Dmagic DAC for my laptop and it sounded pretty good. About the same as my Rotel CDP. Its the same dac thats in the Cambridge 740. I did send it back. I thought the $450 was a little to much just to run for my computer. I was planing to get the MF V-DAC but they have come out with an upgraded one. Might as well get it instead. The old one cost about $300 so the new upgrade cant be too much more IF it is, im sure the old ones might be discounted.

    frenchmon
    Ya, it would be interesting to see what MF does with their DACS. I like enjoy the player so much that my thinking is I should stick to the MF brand with regard to any DAC/player upgrades. I will have to look at the MF site again and check out what you are seeing there.

    LeRoy

  11. #11
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy
    Ya, it would be interesting to see what MF does with their DACS. I like enjoy the player so much that my thinking is I should stick to the MF brand with regard to any DAC/player upgrades. I will have to look at the MF site again and check out what you are seeing there.

    LeRoy
    I think I was wrong...I think there are only a few products on the site that are new...The M6 series and the AMS 35i , The Primo

    frenchmon
    Last edited by frenchmon; 10-07-2009 at 04:01 PM.

  12. #12
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    I think I was wrong...I think there are only a few products on the site that are new...The M6 series and the AMS 35i , The Primo

    frenchmon
    Yep... only the AMS and M6 Series are new...

  13. #13
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    Speaker swap and new impressions

    Changing out the speakers to compare changes in presentation...

    I swapped out the Mordaunt-Short 902i's for a couple hours and used the Nola Mini's in their place. What I gained was more body in the mids and bass and a sweeter sound from the tweeter. The Mini's are a larger cabinet,15" x 8 " x 11.5" (HWD), larger mid/bass driver 6.5" and have a silk dome tweeter. The Nola's were more relaxed in their overall delivery of the music and I have never heard them sound any better. A very balanced sound
    from top to bottom with the Belles and X-Ray.

    What I lost was a minute bit of inner detail as the M.S. tweeter has the ability to reveal information deeper into the recording. Also the M.S. is lively in their delivery and the one constant descriptive I keep coming up with is "frivolity with composure".

    Thinking maybe I was being too hard on the MS as I only had them for about 1 1/2 weeks before getting the X-Ray.. I went ahead and connected them on the system again and
    put on another disc, Rickie Lee Jones' Pop Pop. In contrast to my earlier listening sessions...the lack of body with the stand up bass that I had previously complained about was no longer an issue--I have all the natural sound of the bass presented with control
    and gusto--but of course within the limits of the speaker design. I then put on another disc, David Benoit's Letter to Evan, and the cello on this recording was presented with body as well. So, either the MS just so happened to break in some more or the system is just playing what's on the disc.

    Either way, it's all good now. Very pleased with the system overall and have discovered 2 new manufacturers, Mordaunt-Short and Musical Fidelity, that I think I will be brand loyal to.

    Thanks for checking in.

    Have a nice day.

    LeRoy

  14. #14
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy
    Changing out the speakers to compare changes in presentation...

    I swapped out the Mordaunt-Short 902i's for a couple hours and used the Nola Mini's in their place. What I gained was more body in the mids and bass and a sweeter sound from the tweeter. The Mini's are a larger cabinet,15" x 8 " x 11.5" (HWD), larger mid/bass driver 6.5" and have a silk dome tweeter. The Nola's were more relaxed in their overall delivery of the music and I have never heard them sound any better. A very balanced sound
    from top to bottom with the Belles and X-Ray.

    What I lost was a minute bit of inner detail as the M.S. tweeter has the ability to reveal information deeper into the recording. Also the M.S. is lively in their delivery and the one constant descriptive I keep coming up with is "frivolity with composure".

    Thinking maybe I was being too hard on the MS as I only had them for about 1 1/2 weeks before getting the X-Ray.. I went ahead and connected them on the system again and
    put on another disc, Rickie Lee Jones' Pop Pop. In contrast to my earlier listening sessions...the lack of body with the stand up bass that I had previously complained about was no longer an issue--I have all the natural sound of the bass presented with control
    and gusto--but of course within the limits of the speaker design. I then put on another disc, David Benoit's Letter to Evan, and the cello on this recording was presented with body as well. So, either the MS just so happened to break in some more or the system is just playing what's on the disc.

    Either way, it's all good now. Very pleased with the system overall and have discovered 2 new manufacturers, Mordaunt-Short and Musical Fidelity, that I think I will be brand loyal to.

    Thanks for checking in.

    Have a nice day.

    LeRoy

    Nice to hear you are enjoying your new gear.

    AT.

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    Thanks A.T.

    I sure am....and sure you are enjoying the X-Ray addition too.

    Take care,

    LeRoy

  16. #16
    nightflier
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    The PSU is smaller, right? I know this is just speculative, but do you think that the outboard PSU is a significant factor? (I had a Threshold preamp, and it certainly seemed to make a difference).

    P.S. Was the A1-CD ever a consideration?

  17. #17
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    The PSU is smaller, right? I know this is just speculative, but do you think that the outboard PSU is a significant factor? (I had a Threshold preamp, and it certainly seemed to make a difference).

    P.S. Was the A1-CD ever a consideration?
    Yes the PSU is smaller and yes,,,Musical Fidelity claims the outboard PSU helps being in its own box. I never considered the A1 but I did consider a used A5.5. The MF have great synergy in the mids with a smooth warm sound...almost like tubes.

    frenchmon

    I guess I should add that the PSU is only not as long as the CDP. The other stats are the same but dont let the shorter frame scare you...This unit has just as big a sound and thrust as bigger players. I witnessed it with my own eyes as it competed with the larger T+A. The XRAY is a expensive player discounted at $799 its a great bargan for a player at this price point.
    Last edited by frenchmon; 10-12-2009 at 03:38 PM.

  18. #18
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    Correct, yes, and no.

    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    The PSU is smaller, right? I know this is just speculative, but do you think that the outboard PSU is a significant factor? (I had a Threshold preamp, and it certainly seemed to make a difference).

    P.S. Was the A1-CD ever a consideration?
    The XXX PSU is the smaller of the two that MF made to go with the X-Ray products. MF advises the larger PSU increased the watts in the matching integrated amp.

    Since I have never owned a CDP of this caliber before and have never had a system of the SQ that I am currently enjoying I would have to say, yes, the PSU is a factor.

    No, I did not consider any other CDP due to budget constraints though all the other CDP from M.F that A.A is selling sure did get my attention.

    LeRoy

  19. #19
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    The PSU is smaller, right? I know this is just speculative, but do you think that the outboard PSU is a significant factor? (I had a Threshold preamp, and it certainly seemed to make a difference).

    P.S. Was the A1-CD ever a consideration?
    Heres a picture of the power supply and the CDP of the X-Ray you can see the size difference of the two. But its a great player. Warm, and smooth. Just click the image




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