Musical Fidelity M3XDAC, Digital-Audio-Converter

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RRP 1.499,00 €

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Musical Fidelity M3XDAC, Digital-Audio-Converter

M3xDAC – Overview

After the global success of the new M6xiDAC, MUSICAL FIDELITY now also presents a state-of-the-art digital/analog converter in the affordable M3 series. In addition to the highly valued siblings M3si and the M3sCD as well as the equally brand new phono preamplifier M3xVINYL, the M3 series now also offers all the functional units for the highest audiophile performance!

Almost everything could be taken over from the big brother and the two are like twins, especially when it comes to the sound-relevant components, such as the extremely complex power supply. After years of an extensive range of streaming devices, the range is increasingly consolidating on extremely clever small streaming receivers, whose flexible connectivity and user-friendliness open up many possibilities for us as digital players. The MUSICAL FIDELITY M3xDAC is now the perfect partner for audiophile music enjoyment, so that not a single bit of emotional music enjoyment is lost.

Of course, your Smart TV and your CD player, which may be a little old, also benefit from the fact that the latest converter technology leaves nothing to chance when it comes to 0s and 1s.

The characteristics.
  • 5 digital inputs:
  • 2x optical (Toslink), 2x coaxial (S/P-Diff), 1x USB-B
  • High resolution up to 32 bit / 192 kHz or DSD 256
  • Roon-tested (under review*)
  • balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA)
  • Analog outputs
  • 4 digital filters switchable
  • elegant and solid case

The M3xDAC impresses with extensive connection and setting options as well as a high level of ease of use. The M3xDAC can receive signals from no fewer than 5 digital sources and optimally translate them back into analogue. You have the option of selecting the optimal filter setting for each source separately, which the M3xDAC remembers after switching back to this source.

All of this can also be conveniently managed using the system remote control. The included remote control not only controls the M3xDAC but also operates the M3si and the M3sCD. This means that the operating concept remains slim and clear despite all its scope.

The connections.

On the input side you have 2 coaxial and optical as well as a USB-B input. This means that the M3xDAC also has a more extensive range of digital devices under control with confidence, style and sound. Smart TV, digital reception box, streaming box, CD player, PC/MAC - everything can be connected and remain connected at the same time. Finally no more annoying replugging!

The analog outputs are available both symmetrically and asymmetrically. Amplifiers with an XLR or Cinch/RCA input can be connected to the M3xDAC.
Thanks to MUSICAL FIDELITY's decades of experience and its origins in classic amplifier construction, these outputs are able to effortlessly drive even very long cable routes.

Since both outputs each have their own buffer level, they can also be used at the same time. Practical for a double installation of a classic hi-fi system on the one hand and an extensive home cinema setup or a multi-room installation on the other.

Technical background.

For MUSICAL FIDELITY, reclocking and upsampling the incoming digital signals was always the best way to achieve excellent sound results. This is especially true in view of the fact that many digital signal suppliers do not always deliver a 100% perfect signal - be it TV, mini-disc or other sources that are not optimized for the highest sound quality.

The incoming signal first passes through a stage that re-clocks the incoming signal. This enables the subsequent circuits to carry out clean calculations, as the “0s” and “1s” can now be clearly identified as such. The signal is then extrapolated to the internal calculation size of 192 kHz using the BurrBrown SRC4392 sampling rate converter. The following converter PCM1795 from Texas Instruments processes PCM rates of up to 32 bits and 192 kHz as well as DSD in its native and DoP forms with a data rate of up to 256 (approx. 11.3 MHz of individual information). With its computing capacity, the M3xDAC is ideally equipped for many years in advance.

The power supply.

The development of the Super Silent Power Transformer, presented a few years ago at MUSICAL FIDELITY, continues consistently in the M3xDAC. An EMI filter and a DC blocker at the power input provide the perfect current to the subsequent power supply components and the toroidal transformer optimized for digital audio applications.

The design and layout of the circuit boards meet the highest standards and have been continually optimized after long series of measurements and listening tests. The result: dynamic attack and flowing musical enjoyment.

The digital filters.

The M3xDAC enables fine tuning of the audio experience. Depending on the input signal (PCM or DSD), it is equipped with two reconstruction filters. This adaptability of the M3xDAC allows you to adjust the acoustic result of the digital/analog conversion individually according to your preferences.

PCM signals in particular react very subtly to the digital filter. Older recordings made at the beginning of the digital era in the 80s and 90s are often affected by an unnatural harshness, especially in the treble range - even though the underlying recording material, i.e. what left the mixing console in analog form, was often of the highest quality. The reconstruction filter 2 addresses this fact with perfect time behavior and a slightly falling frequency response. This not only makes such recordings enjoyable again, but also shines in a completely new musical dimension.

The digital filters.


Filter 1:
Digital sharp roll-off filter - The cutoff frequency starts at around 0.45 x fs (which is 0.45 times the sampling rate) and the stop band is at 0.54 x fs at -98 dB (which means this filter at half the sampling rate the signal is reduced by 96 dB). Most complete frequency response, avoids aliasing and ensures clear, clean highs. Ideal for new digital recordings.

Filter 2:
Digital slow roll-off filter – Cutoff frequency starts at about 0.21 x fs and stop band at 0.73 x fs at -80 dB (this filter operates at about 75% of the sample rate and reduces the signal by 80 dB). Less pre- and post-frequency than the sharp roll-off filter, resulting in more precise and accurate reproduction of sound details, with a slightly falling frequency response.
Ideal for recordings from the early digital era or digital sources whose sound is not beyond reproach.DSD-Filter

Filter 1: Analog FIR-3 (odd, symmetrical) - cutoff frequency at 85kHz.
Filter 2: 2. Analog FIR-1 (straight, balanced) - cutoff frequency at 185kHz.

The housing.

Like all MUSICAL FIDELITY devices, the M3xDAC presents itself with timeless elegance and solid workmanship. The front panel is milled from an extruded aluminum profile and is available in either a black or silver finish. All devices in the M-series from MUSICAL FIDELITY can therefore be freely combined with one another, both technically and visually. The front panel together with the heavy steel housing protects the circuitry of the M3xDAC from external electromagnetic fields. All connections are of the best conductivity and extreme solidity. This guarantees decades of flawless music enjoyment.

The sound.

MUSICAL FIDELITY builds on a long tradition of outstanding sounding devices in all categories. It's not just the legendary amplifiers that have a reputation like thunder.
MUSICAL FIDELITY has always shown itself to be an innovative pioneer on the digital level too. The advantages of upsampling were recognized early on and consistently implemented in all digital components.

This is also the case with the M3xDAC. For the first time in the M3 series, it gives you the opportunity to let your digital signal suppliers benefit from real MUSICAL FIDELITY know-how.
The sonic DNA can therefore be heard immediately. Simon Quarry, audio designer at MUSICAL FIDELITY for three decades, recently said it completely correctly: we don't do high fidelity - it should actually be called: MUSICAL FIDELITY. Behind the pride in the brand, the philosophy of the traditional company clearly shines through in this sentence: the love of music. It is not just a series of tones at different volumes. Music is emotion.

Digital components in particular often have difficulty dealing with this fact. Building impressive walls of sound is nothing special on a digital level. But not only hinting at the depth of despair of the hero tenor in a serious interpretation of the “Nessun Dorma”, but also transporting it into your living room in a highly emotional way, actually a domain of analogue records, that is the true art of engineering.

Here the M3xDAC stands out far from its competitors. It can be dynamic and fast anyway. Slow, solemn, long arcs of suspense, the second movements of symphonies. This makes the M3xDAC an experience that is as close to the concert as you have ever experienced from CD or streamed files.

  • D/A converter: Texas Instruments PCM1795 DAC
  • jitters; total: <48 picoseconds peak to peak
  • Linearity: < ± 0.2 dB down to -100 dB
  • Frequency response: -0.2 dB at 20 Hz; 0.1dB at 20kHz;
  • 1.5dB at 70kHz
  • Channel separation: > 115 dB at 10 kHz @ 0 dBFS
  • Signal distance: > 107 dB/A at 1 kHz @ 0 dBFS
  • THD (distortion): < 0.004% at 1 kHz @ 0 dBFS
  • Output level (digital 0dB): RCA output 2V RMS; XLR output 4V RMS
  • Output impedance: <50 ohms
  • digital inputs:
  • 2x coax / S/P diff
  • (up to 24 bit / 192 kHz - stereo PCM)
  • 2x Optical / Toslink
  • (up to 24 bit / 192 kHz - stereo PCM)
  • 1x USB Audio Class 2.0, ‘USB B’
  • (up to 32 bit / 192 kHz - stereo PCM)
  • DSD 64, 128, 256 (stereo DoP and native)
  • analog outputs:
  • 1 pair of RCA / Cinch asymmetrical, fixed
  • 1 pair of XLR balanced, fixed
  • Power supply: 115/230 volts AC 50/60hz (preset)
  • Power consumption: < 0.5 watts standby, 15 watts max.
  • Dimensions W x H x D (mm): 440 x 100 x 390 (including connections)
  • Weight: 6.8 kg (10.8 kg gross)
  • Finishes: Silver or Black
  • * Roon-Tested: Under review - as of July 18, 2023

PDF-Product information

You receive a 2 year warranty from the date of purchase for all of our high quality hifi-products.

If you observe any problem while using the product, you have the possibility to contact our friendly service team.

You can also easily manage your guarantee concern – without being obliged to – under the section My Account.