The year was 2005. I had just sold my first "real" audio system as I moved into an apartment before beginning law school. My Nelson Pass designed Adcom GFP-750, GFA-5802 and GCD-750 and B&W Nautilus 802 loudspeakers were of little use to me with neighbors inches away on all sides. Needing to scratch the audiophile itch I purchased a Lexicon RT-10 universal disc player, Musical Fidelity X-CAN v3
and X-PSU v3
, Sennheiser HD600s, and Grado RS-1 headphones. This small relatively inexpensive system was my first introduction to United Kingdom based Musical Fidelity. I enjoyed the whole system tremendously until I replaced it with a MacBook Pro and Benchmark DAC1 USB a couple years later. Near the end of 2010 the new Musical Fidelity North American distributor reintroduced me to the brand and sent the M1DAC, M1HPA, and V-Link here for review. These two M Series components combined with the V-Link asynchronous USB to S/PDIF converter are far better than my original X-v3
Series system and in the same league as the one-piece powerhouses from Benchmark, Grace Design, and Lavry Engineering. A great feature of the Musical Fidelity system, that none of the aforementioned single units offer, is its modular approach separating the DAC, headphone pre/amplifier, and the asynchronous USB to S/PDIF converter. This flexibility combined with very good sound at a reasonable price should place these components on many reader's audition lists.