Musical Fidelity is launching a brand new turntable, taking inspiration from its M1 record player from 2002. We can say from first-hand experience that the new M8xTT is quite the beast to behold (see photo above), and it combines modern-day materials, technologies and know-how with the engineering DNA that went into making the original M1.
To do this, Musical Fidelity has given the new M8xTT an overhaul inside and out to up the ante in terms of performance and reliability. Its 10-inch tonearm is a completely new model developed especially for the M8xTT, while an ultra-low resonance design utilises a conical aluminium tonearm tube and a transparent acrylic bearing ring for an ultra-low resonance design.
That tonearm is fully adjustable and comes equipped with two damped counterweights, whereas the spinner's drive motor is connected to the platter via a silicon drive belt. The motor features automatic speed changing between 33.3 and 45rpm, with Musical Fidelity promising a turntable that "is capable of exceptional rotational stability" for your records. That's quite a claim for a belt-drive design.
This new monster spinner combines high-mass and isolation design principles, too, which Musical Fidelity claims produces an improved sound and technical performance.
The M8xTT’s dual-layer plinth is constructed from low-resonance acrylic and mounted on four height-adjustable magnetic feet, while the top layer houses the main bearing spindle and the tonearm mount for complete isolation from the stand-alone drive motor. The aim is for a turntable that eliminates the transfer of resonances from the surrounding environment and from within itself, once again offering better performance and enhanced sonic stability. You get both balanced XLR and standard RCA phono line level outputs, too.
What's inescapable about the M8xTT is how visually striking the 31.5kg player is to behold. We were treated to an initial look at the weighty, industrial-looking monster at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023 earlier this year, and we can attest that it really is a sight to witness. Sporting that acrylic chassis alongside those gleaming aluminium pucks and tonearm, it's certainly the sort of audio centrepiece that makes a pretty bold statement.
The Musical Fidelity M8xTT will be available in late 2023 at a price of £8,249 / $9,999 / AU$18,000 (further prices pending). There's no cartridge included, but the tonearm will support cartridges ranging from 6 – 20g tracking weight. You can also purchase the turntable without the pre-mounted tonearm.
That pricing puts it right up against another high-end turntable, the Rega Naia, which costs even higher at £9,999 without a cartridge. We'd be keen to see (and hear) how these two hi-fi heavyweights perform once we get review samples into our dedicated listening tooms.
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