an image to enlarge.
Second time around…
It was five years ago that we first lifted the
Nu-Vista 800 (47kg boxed) over the modest threshold of my home.
Back then I concluded;
…The Nu-Vista 800 is worthy of the
high praise given. This beautifully engineered integrated amplifier
not only looks stunning, it delivers a warm inviting sound combined
with clarity and controlled punch that will please those who have
the feel for all-round relaxed ‘long listening session.’
Audio-video installation engineer (ex-sound engineer) Andy Griffith
fell in love with this unit; however, I found the overall presentation
“Why am I revisiting
the Nu-Vista 800?”
After further consultation with Henley Audio &
Musical Fidelity regarding possible suspect compatibility issues
using the M8 500s power amplifier (and I have to place
emphasis on the word ‘suspect’) with my MartinLogan
Scenario ESL’s. After further investigation and advice from
Henley Audio and other audio engineers, two Musical Fidelity amplifiers
were mentioned as possible replacements. The Nu-Vista 800 and
the M8 700M Monobloc power amplifier.
As my system as a whole has had various upgrades
(balanced mains units / interconnects and speaker cable). I wanted
to give the Nu-Vista 800 another chance to impress me (or not)?
Nu-Vista 800 certainly allows the listener to get right to
the heart of the mix revealing the good, the bad and the ugly!
As with any revered high end component, the Nu-Vista 800 will
also reveal other weaknesses (or strengths) within your system
such as cables and interconnects. We used three different
XLR balanced interconnect cables between the Whest PS40RDT
special edition phono stage and the Nu-Vista 800 balanced
inputs (full system and interconnect list at the end of this
experience review) revealing vast differences in presentation
between all three interconnect cables. At one point I even
swapped interconnect cables without the listener knowing (blind
A-B test) and invited the discerning listener to occupy the
listening chair. He noticed and questioned the change in instrument
tonality and overall presentation immediately!
Five years on and I still note the Nu-Vista 800’s warm
presentation. After all this is a valve integrated amplifier
right? (All be it a hybrid valve integrated amplifier). Instrumentation
seems to be wrapped in a velvet warm blanket. Such a trait
should (or could) lend well for long and relaxing listening
sessions, but on this occasion my listening sessions were
shortened with the Nu-Vista 800. This time around, I was less
concerned with a potential clinical presentation, I was more
concerned that the warm presentation interfered with instrument
timbre or tonality (especially percussion instruments). I
am aware there are many valve amplifier lovers out there.
I have heard various valve amplifiers, preamplifiers and phono
stages over many years. I do understand the attraction, but
I am yet to fall in love with anything valve (hi-fi) related
thing that is clear, with further improvements to my system
over the last few years and with greater personal experience,my
overall expectation from hi-fi has not changed. The Nu-Vista
800 integrated amplifier still represents amazing quality
in every respect. But this amplifier is just not for me.
At least I did revel in the superb control, stunningly
deep and precise soundstage, which perhaps the improvements
to my system now emphasised. WOW! And I still love the
solidly built and reliable remote control unit!
Listening tests were undertaken
using both vinyl & CD.
Nu-Vista 800 - Specifications
• Power output: 330 Watts per channel into
• THD (+ noise): <0.005 % typical 20Hz - 20 kHz
• Signal to Noise Ratio: >107dB ‘A’
• Frequency Response: +0, –0.1dB, 10Hz to 30
• 4x Line Level RCA / Phono
• 1x Line Level XLR Balanced
• 1 pair line level RCA connectors, constant level Line
• 1 pair line level RCA connectors, preamp outputs for e.g.
• Dimensions - WxHxD (mm): 483 x 187* x 510
• *212mm on included optional pointed feet
• Weight (unpacked / packed): 39 kg/ 47 kg
Complete system details:
AMG Viella V12 turntable with AMG Teatro MC & AMG reference
Phono stage & interconnect cables. Whest PS.40RDT Special
Edition phono stage.
We used the following XLR cables between the phono stage and Nu-Vista
Cambridge Audio 300 Series, Kimber Hero & Kimber select KS-1116
XLR interconnects cables.
Musical Fidelity A3 CD player (internally upgraded). Van Den Hul
The Second Analogue Interconnect cables.
MartinLogan Scenario hybrid electrostatic speakers
Russ Andrews 12TC speaker cable & Chord Legend speaker cable.
REL S3 SHO subwoofer (experience review conducted with & without
Quadraspire Q4 EVO turntable wall bracket. Quadraspire Q4 EVO
4 tier shelf.
Power & mains cables
Russ Andrews BMU 3000, Michael Valentine Studio Silver Gold Special
Edition BMU for Rel S3 SHO subwoofer,
Powerkord 300 mains cables for BMU, amplifier, preamplifier &
© Michael Valentine
Use the links below to read the Henley Audio & Musical Fidelity
M8 500s power amplifier test conculsion, July 2020,
or the Musical Fidelity M6 PRX power amplifer Experience Review,
MartinLogan Owner Experience 2,
or The System Upgrade 2015...