M9 Phono (Signature)
The M Series
Since we introduced the original M3 pre-amplifier in 1996, based on circuitry developed 1994/95. The M3 and its derivatives have proved quite a success, year on year they have consistently won “Pre-Amplifier of the Year” by Hi-Fi Review in HK starting in 2001 and pretty much every year since then.
The M pre-amplifier family are technically the most advanced (and strangely enough, at the same time quite backward looking) line of high quality pre-amplifier available, with its dual mono double choke valve rectified power supplies, optimised output transformers and powerful high gain line stage, it will remain the standard in pre-amplifier topology for years to come and as a result is already widely copied, but our quest for improvement does not stand still, and when our research and development reached its current pinnacle with the patented M10 Galahad power supply, it was time to seek to improve the M3 – M8 pre-amplifier’s power supply in line with what we had learned from developing the M10, so in very late 2003 (actually product only really shipped in January 2004) the “Mini”-Galahad supply was born and implemented into the M3, M5, M6 and M8 pre-amplifiers and development work on the M9 started.
The new M3 – M8 supply incorporates what is essentially a simplified M10 configuration where we rather than using the old input choke arrangement, which has now proven to be somewhat dynamically restricting we have a feed-forward supply with a rectifier (the usual trusty 6X5), regulator (ECL82/6BM8) and a voltage stabilizer (OB2) an arrangement that needs much less filtering capacitance and results in a supply that traces the signal stages requirements far more closely than anything else, the result is quite spectacular!
The M9 is unusual in most respects, as the M9 Phono stage uses a new concept, that of the “Virtual Component”. Real reactive components, whether inductors or capacitors exhibit losses due to DC resistance, hysteresis and other energy storage effects such as dielectric absorption. The M9 Phono stage uses a specially designed “RIAA Transformer”, where the usually unwanted leakage inductance between primary and secondary is utilised as a component in the RIAA equalisation.
The main feature of the M10 is it Galahad power supplies. These patent applied for units provide the circuit with “ better than battery” quality voltage and current. The M10 is a stereo control center with two MEISHU size boxes for the line stage alone. Component quality? The best components we currently offer, except silver wired chokes and mains transformers, otherwise C-core power supply transformers where possible.
Line + Phono
Being major record collectors, we have always felt the need for a top flight phono-stages, focussed on getting the absolutely best from the LP, whether mono or stereo. All our pre-amps are available as 'Phono' version designed as a proper record collector’s control centre and feature a stereo – mono switch and the most direct and cleanest signal path possible, with no tape input or loop. They are really designed to maximise the quality of all LPs made with the RIAA curve, whether mono or stereo.
Separate RIAA stages
The M1 - M8 preamplifiers come as a 'RIAA' only version for those who use integrated amplifiers or have a line only pre-amp.
The M2 - M8 also come as a 'Balanced' version to which in addition to the three RCA inputs, a pair of XLR / Balanced inputs are provided, for the connection of CD players or DACs with the appropriate XLR / Balanced outputs. These sockets are connected to a pair of extremely high quality Audio Note Balanced input transformers, which offer the best possible connection for correctly designed Balanced equipment.
100k Ohms Line Level 47K Ohms Phono
126mV for 1V Output, Lone Level
GAIN at 1KHz
18dB Line Level 63dB Phono
OUTPUT NOISE (RMS)
<0.08mV unweighted, Line Level <15mV unweighted, Phono
1 x 6463 1 x 6189 1 x EF80 1 x E80CC 2 x 6X5 2 x 5651 2 x ECL82
1A anti-surge (110 / 120V supply) 500mA anti-surge (220 / 240V supply)
MAX. POWER CONSUMPTION
30 KG (two units)
TOTAL SHIPPING WEIGHT (ORIGINAL PACKAGING)
40 KG (two cartons)
140mm (h) x 440mm (w) x 410mm (d) 140mm (h) x 440mm (w) x 410mm (d)
235mm (h) x 540mm (w) x 510mm (d)