What Hi Fi Sound and Vision
Wed, 23 May 2007, 3:00pm
Musical Fidelity X-T100/Triple-X PSU
- Fine build
- intriguing configuration
- poised, detailed and considered performance
- Lacks drive and low-frequency assertion
Banish the power supply from the main body of your amplification and you'll reap sonic benefits.
Musical Fidelity has always had faith in this dictum, but the X-T100 with Triple-X power supply is the least expensive stereo ampification we've seen designed in this way for a good while.
So, how does it work?
The X-T100 looks after input selection (there are three pairs of RCA inputs, as well as a 3.5mm input on the fascia), amplification and volume control. A hardwired umbilical joins the X-T100 to the Triple-X power supply – the PSU can also power Musical Fidelity's matching X-Plora v8 DAB tuner and X-Ray v8 CD player.
The Musical Fidelity pairing feels well built (it's certainly better screwed together than the X-Ray v8 and X-DAC v8 CD player/DAC we tested last month) and looks the money's-worth on the shelf.
This same impression of hefty good taste is apparent when the X-T100 / Triple-X combo do their thing. Given a sweet, well-produced recording like Eric Bibb's Where the Green Grass Grows, the Musical Fidelity impresses with its clean, communicative midrange and excellent vocal detailing.
Instrumental strands are separated clearly, low frequencies enjoy reasonable weight and the overall picture is effortlessly musical.
A quick disc-change to the altogether more feisty sound of The Streets' Fit But You Know It reveals a few shortcomings in the Musical Fidelity's presentation, though. It's an amplifier of rare self-possession, but brawling and boozing are demonstrably beneath it.
There's a lack of attack to the X-T100, an unwillingness to drive a rhythm along and an almost tangible distain for compressed, distorted or bass orientated material.
The unrepentantly grown-up sound delivered by this Musical Fidelity combo will undoubtedly be perfect for many a listener but, for our money, an amplifier must be prepared to slum it every now and then.
Rivals, such as amps from Cyrus and Myryad, have just that extra, all-round element.