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Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL

Phono preamplifier

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  • Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL

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  • Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL

  • Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL

  • Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL

  • Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL

  • Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL

Item #: 778M1VINLB
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL

by Dave Bar

Dial in your cartridge for fantastic sound

Your high-end phono cartridge requires careful matching with a phono preamp to extract the best possible sound from your treasured vinyl collection. Problem is, most phono preamps rely on a "one-size-fits-all" philosophy — you plug in your turntable and hope for the best. Not Musical Fidelity's M1 ViNL. This state-of-the-art preamp not only provides incredibly precise, low-distortion amplification for the delicate, low-voltage audio signals generated by your cartridge, but also gives you the tools you need to ensure you're getting all the performance you paid for.

Extraordinary input and output flexibility

No matter what kind of phono cartridge you use, the M1 ViNL's versatile design helps you achieve the maximum frequency range, lowest noise floor, and tightest bass control possible. Convenient front-panel controls give you a wide range of input settings to optimize the sound of both moving magnet and moving coil models. Selectable RIAA equalization curves let you play your vinyl with full-frequency output, or roll off extremely low frequencies to counteract the effects of turntable rumble or warped discs. Best of all, you can make adjustments on the fly as your records are playing, to listen for audible changes and improvements. RCA and balanced XLR outputs are provided for easy connection to virtually any high-quality audio system.

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Highlights:

  • compatible with moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges
  • seven capacitance and two impedance input settings for matching moving magnet cartridges
  • ten input resistance settings for matching moving coil cartridges
  • switchable RIAA/IEC equalization curves to eliminate low frequency rumble from turntable or disc imperfections
  • all settings adjustable from front panel during playback
  • RCA and balanced XLR outputs for versatile connections to virtually any system
  • 12-volt trigger input and output for custom installations
  • frequency response: RIAA or RIAA/IEC (selectable) ±0.2dB (MM and MC)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 90dB (MM), greater than 88dB (MC) A-weighted
  • THD at 1 kHz: less than 0.01% (MM and MC)
  • input sensitivity: 3mV in for 300mV out (MM), 500uV in for 300mV out (MC)
  • 8-11/16"W x 3-15/16"H x 13-7/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Phono preamp
  • 7' AC power cord
  • Instructions booklet
  • Thank You Letter (inside envelope)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL phono preamp consists of a top quality phono stage with precise RIAA or RIAA/IEC frequency response. The M1 ViNL phono preamp has a circuit design based on the legendary KW phono stage, but using the latest technology and manufacturing techniques to improve on the incredible standard. It features switchable loading options for all cartridge types and high quality buffered single ended and balanced outputs. It is designed particularly to be partnered with Musical Fidelity M1/M3/M6 series products (sold separately) or to add top quality  phono playback to any system.

MM/MC Phono Inputs: Thanks to the M1 ViNL's extraordinary input flexibility, its performance benefits can be optimally enjoyed regardless of your choice of turntable and cartridges. You can choose to connect either an MM turntable or MC turntable.

  • MM Resistance/Capacitance: For moving-magnet (MM) designs, the M1 ViNL offers two choices of resistive loading; 47k or 68k input impedance. Plus eight capacitive-loading options; 50PF, 100PF, 150PF, 200PF, 250PF, 300PF, 350PF and 400PF.
  • MC Resistance: The moving-coil (MC) stage offers 10 resistive-loading options; 10R, 18R, 25R, 50R, 100R, 200R, 400R, 800R, 1600R, and 47K.

Note: The M 1ViNL has separate MM/MC stereo RCA inputs with a shared ground terminal.

RIAA/IEC EQs: The RIAA/IEC EQ alters the normal RIAA frequency response by rolling off (reducing) the output at very low frequencies, around 20Hz and below. This can help to prevent distortion and/or overload of subsequent amplifier/speaker systems by low frequency artifacts such as record warp, surface noise or rumble. As a result, both distortion and noise are minimal. Distortion measures at less than 0.01% at 1kHz for either input, and equalization is within 0.2dB all the way up to 50kHz. Signal to noise ratio is 90dB for the MM input and an incredibly low 88dB for MC.

Front-Panel Controls: Its simple to select MM/MC type, Resistance/Capacitance, and RIAA/IEC EQ via the push-button controls on the front of the M1 ViNL. This makes it easy to experiment with different set-ups to find the perfect performance for your system, even when a record is playing.

Balanced & Unbalanced Audio Outputs: The M1 ViNL also offers output flexibility, with both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) connections on the rear-chassis.

Trigger Input/Output: The unit can be triggered to switch on/off remotely by applying a ±4.5 to ±15V DC signal to the 3.5mm Trigger Input from an external triggering device. Any further devices to be triggered on/off may be connected to the Trigger Output jack as it replicates the Trigger Input signal. This will form a chain of devices that will switch on/off together.

Detachable AC Power Cord: The M1 ViNL includes a 7' detachable 3-prong AC power cord.

 
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Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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4 out of 5

Great unit to bad it's being discontinued

Written By Skynyrd77, Mill Creek,IN on Thursday, November 07, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I think this is a very nice sounding phono pre. A little salty at 1000$. But the cartridge and curve settings are a nice feature for mm and mc .i will be sending mine back only because they have discontinued this product and if it break during warranty I don't know what I would get in replacement . And to me a grand is a big gamble. I will say this blows away the Cambridge audio phono pre.
Pros:
I like it all. Set up good housed good
Cons:
Being discontinued, and price is salty
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5 out of 5

Top quality LP sound

Written By BillG, Lancaster, PA on Saturday, August 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After reading early online reviews of this piece, I decided to try the M1ViNL even though I already have another comparable phono preamp. Both Musical Fidelity's excellent reputation and Crutchfield's considerate return policy helped with this decision. I am glad I did.

I am not using the M1 ViNL in a conventional audio system. Instead, I'm using it as the phono stage in a system dedicated to making LP to CD transfers for remastering and commercial release. Unfortunately, Crutchfield's commenting rules do not permit me to detail my system, but suffice it to say that I use a very high quality turntable/cartridge and a pro ADC, and the signal goes directly from the ADC via TosLink into my digital audio workstation. This setup allows me to analyze the phono stage's output by spectral analysis in real time and not just rely on my ears. In this system, the M1 ViNL has replaced and been a distinct improvement both analytically and sonically over another ($800 street and several years old design) well-regarded phono preamplifier with balanced outputs and adjustable gain, even though the "old" phono stage has a genuinely balanced design and the M1 ViNL does not. In my system, this may be be the result of M1 ViNL's ability to precisely set the correct capacitance level for the cartridge/interconnect combo, the effect of which is very noticeable in the spectral analysis. But it also just sounds cleaner, clearer and better balanced as well, as several of the reviewers have noted.
Pros:
The M1 ViNL should work superbly well in a conventional audio system. The unit's IEC EQ curve, which rolls off very low frequencies, may be helpful when dealing with infrasonic turntable & other noise. (BTW, frequencies lower than humans can hear are INFRAsonic, NOT "subsonic." Subsonic means "slower than the speed of sound." Ahem.) Even if one's speakers do not respond into the infra frequencies, amplifiers will, and infrasonic noise can have negative effects on an amplifier's sonic quality.
Cons:
The M1 ViNL's gain is not adjustable and may be a little low, but the low gain gives both the phono stage itself and the system it drives significant extra headroom. One can always just turn up the volume a bit. Otherwise, about the only other things that might make the M1 ViNL sound better would be if it had a separate, or battery powered, power supply. A genuinely balanced design might also be an enhancement.
12 out of 14 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_778M1VINLB/Musical-Fidelity-M1-ViNL.html ).