Reviews

Review: Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 Integrated Amplifier- A Masterpiece of Hybrid Amplification

Review: Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 Integrated Amplifier- A Masterpiece of Hybrid Amplification - Discover the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2, a hybrid amplifier blending tube warmth with solid-state precision for exceptional sound quality.

Introduction:

Musical Fidelity’s Nu-Vista 800.2 enters the arena as a pinnacle of integrated amplifier engineering, building upon the legacy of its predecessor while embracing contemporary enhancements. As the flagship of the Nu-Vista series, this amplifier embodies a harmonious fusion of classic design principles and cutting-edge technology, promising audiophiles an unparalleled sonic experience. With meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to uncompromising performance, the Nu-Vista 800.2 sets a new standard for excellence in high-fidelity audio.

Steeped in the tradition of Musical Fidelity’s renowned craftsmanship, the Nu-Vista 800.2 boasts impressive features, from its robust construction and refined aesthetics to its advanced control interface and hybrid amplification architecture. As we delve deeper into its design, connectivity options, and sonic characteristics, we uncover a masterpiece of audio engineering that transcends mere amplification to deliver a transformative musical journey.

Founded in 1982 by Antony Michaelson, Musical Fidelity has earned a distinguished reputation as a leading manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. Renowned for its unwavering dedication to sonic excellence and innovative design, the company has consistently pushed the boundaries of audio reproduction, captivating audiophiles worldwide. With a commitment to craftsmanship and a passion for music, Musical Fidelity continues to uphold its legacy of delivering audio components that inspire, enrich, and elevate the listening experience.

Specifications

Output  
Power:330 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms; 500W into 4 ohms; 1000W peaks into 2 ohms
Voltage:52 Volts RMS, 20Hz to 20 kHz; onset of clipping; 147 Volts peak to peak
Current:120 Amps peak to peak
Damping factor: 200
Output devices:5 pairs per channel
Line input  
THD+N:< 0.005 % typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz  
SNR:107dB ‘A’-weighted
Input impedance:40 k Ohms
Frequency response:+0, –0.1dB, 10Hz to 30 kHz
Connections  
Line level inputs:4 pairs line level RCA connectors; 1 pair line level balanced XLR connectors
Line level outputs:1 pair line level RCA connectors, constant level LINE outputs
Speaker outputs:2 pairs 4mm banana plug/binding posts
Power requirement  
Mains voltages:115/230VAC 50/60Hz (factory pre-set); 100VAC 50/60Hz (alternative)
Consumption:<0.5W in standby mode (orange LED lit); 130W on and idle (blue LED lit); 900 Watts maximum
General Information  
Dimensions (WxHxD):483 x 187 x 510 mm
Weight41 kg net

Design and Construction:

At the heart of the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 lies a design ethos that marries timeless elegance with modern engineering. The amplifier’s chassis, weighing a substantial 42 kg, exudes solidity and craftsmanship, reflecting Musical Fidelity’s dedication to quality. The thick front panel, accentuated by exposed radiators on the sides, not only enhances the amplifier’s aesthetic appeal but also serves as a testament to its robust construction.

The dual mono layout, a hallmark of high-end audio equipment, underscores the Nu-Vista 800.2’s commitment to uncompromising performance. With separate power transformers and output stage modules for each channel, the amplifier achieves exceptional channel separation and stability, ensuring pristine audio reproduction.

Furthermore, attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the amplifier’s design. From the layout of the internal components to the selection of premium materials, each element is meticulously crafted to enhance both form and function. The integration of nuvistor tubes in the preamplifier section not only adds a touch of vintage charm but also contributes to the amplifier’s distinctive sonic character.

In addition to its robust construction, the Nu-Vista 800.2 features thoughtful design elements that enhance user experience. The larger, more functional display and customizable backlighting options provide intuitive control and visual feedback. Meanwhile, dual low-level outputs and double speaker terminals offer flexibility in system configuration, catering to the diverse needs of audiophiles.

In essence, the design and construction of the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 embody the brand’s ethos of merging timeless craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology, resulting in an amplifier that not only delivers exceptional performance but also exudes elegance and sophistication.

Enhanced Display and Controls:

One of the standout features of the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 is its enhanced display and intuitive control interface, which seamlessly blends modern functionality with classic design elements. The amplifier’s more significant, functional display offers an attractive graphical interface that gives users transparent and concise feedback, making navigation effortless.

Customizable backlighting options add a touch of personalization, allowing users to tailor the display to their preferences. Whether opting for a light or dark mode or adjusting the intensity of the backlighting, users can create a visual ambiance that complements their listening environment.

The inclusion of two large knobs for volume and input selection harkens back to traditional amplifier controls, providing a tactile and familiar experience. Despite the amplifier’s advanced technology, these tactile controls offer a sense of nostalgia and tactile feedback, enhancing the overall user experience.

Furthermore, the display’s functionality extends beyond essential volume and input selection. Users can access various features and settings, including mode selection and visual indicators, all conveniently displayed on the graphical interface. Users have complete control, whether adjusting the display’s illumination or configuring the matrix indicators.

Overall, the enhanced display and controls of the Nu-Vista 800.2 exemplify Musical Fidelity’s commitment to combining modern convenience with timeless design. By seamlessly integrating advanced functionality with intuitive controls, the amplifier offers users a sophisticated yet user-friendly interface that enhances their listening enjoyment.

Hybrid Amplification:

At the core of the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 lies a hybrid amplification system that seamlessly blends the warmth of tube preamplification with the power and control of solid-state power amplifiers. This innovative approach combines the best of both worlds, harnessing the unique sonic characteristics of each technology to deliver a truly captivating listening experience.

The Nu-Vista 800.2’s preamplifier section features nuvistor tubes, miniature vacuum tubes renowned for their low noise and linear amplification characteristics. These tubes, meticulously implemented within the preamplification circuitry, add a touch of vintage charm while imparting a subtle yet distinct sonic signature to the audio signal. The result is a rich, lush sound with exceptional clarity and detail reminiscent of classic tube amplifiers.

Complementing the tube preamplifier is a robust solid-state power amplifier stage engineered for uncompromising performance and control. Utilizing high-quality transistors and sophisticated circuitry, the power amplifier delivers ample power and dynamic range, ensuring effortless drive and precision across the entire frequency spectrum. This solid-state amplification provides the Nu-Vista 800.2 with the ability to handle demanding audio material with finesse, delivering impactful bass, crisp highs, and a spacious soundstage.

The synergy between tube and solid-state technologies in the Nu-Vista 800.2’s hybrid amplification system results in a harmonious balance of warmth, detail, and power. The tubes add a touch of musicality and euphony, while the solid-state amplification provides stability, control, and authority. The result is a captivating sound signature that captivates listeners with its nuance, dynamics, and emotional engagement.

In essence, the Nu-Vista 800.2’s hybrid amplification represents the pinnacle of amplifier design, leveraging the strengths of both tube and solid-state technologies to create a truly extraordinary listening experience. Whether reproducing delicate acoustic passages or driving dynamic orchestral crescendos, this innovative amplification system ensures that every musical nuance is faithfully preserved and reproduced.

Versatile Connectivity:

The Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 stands out for its versatile connectivity options, catering to various audio sources and system configurations. Designed to accommodate traditional analog and modern digital sources, this amplifier offers a comprehensive array of inputs and outputs, ensuring seamless integration into any audio setup.

The four RCA inputs and one balanced XLR input are at the forefront of its connectivity features, providing ample flexibility for connecting analog sources such as CD players, turntables, or streaming devices. This allows users to enjoy their favorite music from various sources while maintaining pristine signal integrity and fidelity.

In addition to analog inputs, the Nu-Vista 800.2 also offers digital connectivity options, including a dedicated DAC converter for connecting digital sources such as media players or computers. This ensures compatibility with high-resolution audio formats, allowing users to experience their music with exceptional clarity and detail.

Furthermore, the amplifier’s integration mode allows one of the RCA inputs to be configured for multi-channel systems, providing seamless integration with home theater setups or multi-room audio systems. This versatility makes the Nu-Vista 800.2 a versatile centerpiece for any audio enthusiast’s entertainment ecosystem.

The Nu-Vista 800.2 also features dual low-level outputs (RCA) with adjustable voltage levels and double speaker outputs for bi-wiring or bi-amping configurations to complement its input options. This allows users to tailor their audio system to their preferences, whether prioritizing power, precision, or versatility.

Overall, the Nu-Vista 800.2’s versatile connectivity options ensure compatibility with a wide range of audio sources and system configurations, making it a versatile amplifier for audiophiles seeking flexibility, performance, and convenience in their listening experience.

Sound Quality:

The Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 is renowned for its exceptional sound quality, characterized by a captivating blend of power, precision, and musicality that elevates the listening experience to new heights. During extensive sound tests, this amplifier consistently impresses with its ability to faithfully reproduce music with stunning clarity, detail, and dynamics.

One of the most striking aspects of the Nu-Vista 800.2’s sound signature is its remarkable balance across the frequency spectrum. From the deepest bass notes to the highest treble frequencies, the amplifier delivers a cohesive and cohesive soundstage that envelops listeners in a rich tapestry of musical detail. Each instrument and vocal is rendered with astonishing realism and nuance, allowing listeners to rediscover their favorite music with a newfound immersion and engagement.

Moreover, the Nu-Vista 800.2’s sound signature is characterized by a remarkable sense of control and authority, even when driving demanding loudspeakers to high volume levels. The amplifier’s robust solid-state power amplification stage ensures ample headroom and dynamic range, effortlessly reproducing delicate passages and explosive crescendos with finesse and precision.

Furthermore, including nuvistor tubes in the preamplification stage adds a touch of warmth and euphony to the sound, imparting a subtle yet unmistakable analog charm to the music. This tube-driven sweetness enhances the listening experience, imbuing the music with organic richness and texture that captivates the senses.

The Nu-Vista 800.2 proves its mettle across various musical genres and recording styles during rigorous sound tests. Whether tackling intricate jazz arrangements, thunderous rock anthems, or delicate classical compositions, this amplifier shines with its ability to convey the emotion and nuance inherent in the music.

In conclusion, the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2’s exceptional sound quality delivers a mesmerizing listening experience that transcends mere audio reproduction. With unparalleled balance, control, and musicality, this amplifier sets a new standard for high-fidelity audio performance, inviting listeners to rediscover their music collection with fresh ears and renewed appreciation.

Technical Specifications and Performance:

The Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 boasts an impressive array of technical specifications underpinning its exceptional performance capabilities, making it a formidable contender in high-fidelity audio amplification. Built upon a foundation of precision engineering and meticulous attention to detail, this amplifier delivers robust power output, low distortion, and superior sonic fidelity across the entire frequency spectrum.

At the heart of the Nu-Vista 800.2 is its formidable power output, capable of delivering a staggering 330 watts per channel into 8 ohms and a remarkable 500 watts per channel into 4 ohms. This abundance of power ensures ample headroom and dynamic range, allowing the amplifier to effortlessly drive even the most demanding loudspeakers to concert-level volumes without compromise.

Moreover, the Nu-Vista 800.2’s exceptional performance is further underscored by its low distortion characteristics, with total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) figures dipping below 0.01% at higher power levels. This ensures that the amplifier faithfully reproduces the original audio signal with unparalleled accuracy and transparency, preserving the nuances and subtleties of the music with exceptional clarity and precision.

In terms of frequency response, the Nu-Vista 800.2 exhibits a wide and flat frequency response with minimal deviation across the audible spectrum. With a frequency response extending from 10 Hz to beyond 75 kHz, this amplifier is capable of faithfully reproducing both the deepest bass notes and the most delicate high-frequency details, ensuring a lifelike and immersive listening experience.

Furthermore, the Nu-Vista 800.2 excels in noise performance, boasting an impressive signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range. With a noise separation of 84 dB and a dynamic range exceeding 110 dB, this amplifier delivers a clean and quiet background, allowing the music to emerge from a silent canvas with breathtaking clarity and impact.

The Nu-Vista 800.2 demonstrates exceptional stability, reliability, and consistency during rigorous performance tests, delivering consistent performance even under demanding operating conditions. Whether reproducing complex orchestral passages or intricate solo performances, this amplifier excels with its unwavering precision, authority, and musicality, ensuring a truly immersive and captivating listening experience for even the most discerning audiophiles.

Usability and Functionality:

The Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 not only dazzles with its exceptional sound quality but also excels in usability and functionality, offering a user-friendly interface and a host of convenient features that enhance the overall listening experience.

One of the standout features of the Nu-Vista 800.2 is its intuitive and easy-to-use controls, which allow users to navigate through various settings and adjustments effortlessly. The amplifier features two large knobs for volume control and input selection, providing a tactile and responsive interface that harkens back to traditional analog amplifiers while ensuring precise and accurate adjustments.

Additionally, the Nu-Vista 800.2 boasts a sophisticated yet user-friendly display system, featuring a larger and more functional display than its predecessor. The display provides essential information such as volume level and active input and offers attractive graphical elements and customizable settings, allowing users to tailor the display to their preferences and aesthetics.

Furthermore, the amplifier’s menu system allows for convenient customization of various settings, including display brightness, illumination options, and input configurations. Users can easily adjust these settings to suit their preferences and room conditions, ensuring optimal visibility and usability.

In terms of functionality, the Nu-Vista 800.2 offers a comprehensive range of inputs and outputs, catering to a wide variety of audio sources and system configurations. This amplifier provides unparalleled versatility and flexibility for building a personalized audio system with multiple RCA inputs, a balanced XLR input, and dedicated outputs for connecting external devices such as DACs or turntables.

Moreover, the Nu-Vista 800.2 features dual low-level outputs with adjustable voltage levels and double speaker outputs for bi-wiring or bi-amping configurations, allowing users to tailor their audio setup to their preferences and room acoustics. Additionally, the amplifier’s integration mode enables seamless integration with multi-channel systems or home theater setups, further enhancing its usability and functionality.

Overall, the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 combines exceptional sound quality with intuitive usability and versatile functionality. It is a standout choice for audio enthusiasts seeking a premium amplifier that delivers sonic excellence and user-friendly convenience. Whether enjoying music in a dedicated listening room or integrating it into a multi-room audio system, the Nu-Vista 800.2 provides an immersive and enjoyable listening experience for discerning audiophiles.

Technical Excellence and Unique Features:

The Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 stands as a pinnacle of technical excellence, boasting many innovative features and cutting-edge engineering that elevate it to the forefront of high-fidelity audio amplification.

At its core, the Nu-Vista 800.2 embodies a hybrid amplification design, seamlessly blending the warmth and musicality of tube-based preamplification with the power and precision of solid-state power amplification. This unique combination produces a harmonious synergy that delivers a captivating sound signature characterized by rich tonality, exquisite detail, and exceptional dynamics.

One of the standout features of the Nu-Vista 800.2 is its utilization of nuvistor tubes in the preamplification stage. This rare and distinctive choice sets it apart from conventional amplifiers. These miniature tubes, meticulously integrated into the amplifier’s circuitry, imbue the sound with a distinctively organic and euphonic quality, adding a touch of analog warmth and texture that captivates the listener’s senses.

Furthermore, the Nu-Vista 800.2 boasts a dual-mono construction, with separate power supplies and amplification modules for each channel, ensuring optimal channel separation and stereo imaging. This meticulous attention to detail results in a spacious and immersive soundstage, with precise instrument placement and lifelike sonic imaging that transports listeners into the heart of the music.

In terms of technical specifications, the Nu-Vista 800.2 delivers impressive performance across the board. With a formidable power output of 330 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 500 watts per channel into 4 ohms, this amplifier offers ample headroom and dynamic range to faithfully reproduce even the most demanding musical passages with authority and finesse.

Moreover, the Nu-Vista 800.2 excels in signal purity and fidelity, boasting low distortion figures and exceptional signal-to-noise ratios that ensure pristine audio reproduction. Combined with its comprehensive frequency response and minimal phase shift, this amplifier preserves the integrity of the original audio signal, allowing listeners to experience music with unrivaled clarity and realism.

In addition to its technical prowess, the Nu-Vista 800.2 also offers a range of unique features designed to enhance the user experience. From its customizable display options and intuitive menu system to its versatile connectivity options and integration mode, this amplifier provides a seamless and intuitive interface that caters to the needs of modern audiophiles.

Overall, the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 represents technical excellence and innovation in high-fidelity audio amplification. With its unique blend of tube and solid-state technologies, meticulous craftsmanship, and uncompromising performance, this amplifier sets a new standard for sonic excellence and musical enjoyment, reaffirming its status as a true masterpiece of audio engineering.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 stands as a testament to the artistry and innovation of high-fidelity audio amplification. With its hybrid design, incorporating nuvistor tubes and solid-state components, this amplifier achieves a remarkable balance between musical warmth and technical precision, delivering a captivating listening experience that transcends traditional boundaries. Its technical excellence, coupled with unique features such as customizable display options and versatile connectivity, underscores its position as a pinnacle of audio engineering, offering audiophiles an unrivaled blend of sonic sophistication and user-friendly convenience. For those seeking the ultimate in sound quality and musical enjoyment, the Nu-Vista 800.2 represents a true masterpiece that continues to set the standard for excellence in the world of audio amplification.

Reasons to Buy:

  1. Exceptional Sound Quality: The Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800.2 delivers a captivating listening experience characterized by rich tonality, exquisite detail, and extraordinary dynamics. Its hybrid amplification design, blending nuvistor tubes with solid-state components, ensures a harmonious balance between warmth and precision. It is ideal for discerning audiophiles who demand the utmost in sonic excellence.
  2. Technical Excellence: Boasting impressive technical specifications and innovative features, including dual-mono construction and customizable display options, the Nu-Vista 800.2 represents the pinnacle of audio engineering. With its formidable power output, low distortion, and comprehensive frequency response, this amplifier offers unparalleled performance that faithfully reproduces the nuances of your favorite music with remarkable fidelity.

Reasons Not to Buy:

  1. High Cost: While the Nu-Vista 800.2 delivers exceptional sound quality and technical excellence, its premium price tag may be prohibitive for some buyers. As a flagship amplifier, it commands a significant investment, making it inaccessible to budget-conscious consumers or those seeking more affordable alternatives.
  2. Limited Connectivity: Despite its versatility, the Nu-Vista 800.2 may lack specific connectivity options in other amplifiers, such as built-in streaming capabilities or digital inputs. If you require extensive connectivity for digital sources or multi-room audio setups, you may find the Nu-Vista 800.2’s analog-focused design somewhat limiting.