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Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800
integrated amplifer
Experience Review 2020

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800

Click 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 slightly clinical…

“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)?

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800

The 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 yet!

Conclusion

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800 remote control unit

One 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
Amplifier
• Power output: 330 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms
• THD (+ noise): <0.005 % typical 20Hz - 20 kHz
• Signal to Noise Ratio: >107dB ‘A’ - weighted
• Frequency Response: +0, –0.1dB, 10Hz to 30 kHz

Inputs
• 4x Line Level RCA / Phono
• 1x Line Level XLR Balanced

Outputs
• 1 pair line level RCA connectors, constant level Line outputs
• 1 pair line level RCA connectors, preamp outputs for e.g. bi-amping

General
• Dimensions - WxHxD (mm): 483 x 187* x 510
• *212mm on included optional pointed feet
• Weight (unpacked / packed): 39 kg/ 47 kg


Complete system details:

Turntable
AMG Viella V12 turntable with AMG Teatro MC & AMG reference tonearm cable
Phono stage & interconnect cables. Whest PS.40RDT Special Edition phono stage
We used the following XLR cables between the phono stage and Nu-Vista 800
Cambridge Audio 300 Series, Kimber Hero & Kimber select KS-1116 XLR interconnects cables

CD player
Musical Fidelity A3 CD player (internally upgraded). Van Den Hul The Second Analogue Interconnect cables

Speakers
MartinLogan Scenario hybrid electrostatic speakers
Russ Andrews 12TC speaker cable & Chord Legend speaker cable
REL S3 SHO subwoofer (experience review conducted with & without subwoofer connected)

Table
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 & subwoofer

Robin Francis
© Michael Valentine Studio
August 2020

Further
Recommended
Viewing

Use the links below to read the Musical Fidelity M8s 700m monobloc power amplifier Experience Review 1,
or the Henley Audio & Musical Fidelity M8 500s power amplifier test conculsion, July 2020,
or the Musical Fidelity M6 PRX power amplifer Experience Review,
or, MartinLogan Owner Experience 2,
or The System Upgrade 2015...

Musical Fidelity M8s 700m monobloc power amplifier Experience Review 1 (click to go to this page) MartinLogan Scenario Owner Experience 2 (click to go to this page) MartinLogan Scenario Owner Experience 2 (click to go to this page) MartinLogan Owner Experience 2 (click to go to this page) The System Upgrade 2015 (click to go to this page)

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