Musical Fidelity has ventured into the world of source devices with the introduction of the Nu-Vista DAC and the Nu-Vista Vinyl 2.
Both devices benefit from the other advancements already made in the development of the new Nu-Vista by Musical Fidelity series, including their aluminium housing and clear front-mounted control screens.
The Nu-Vista DAC (£9,999.00 SRP) is a high-end DAC with balanced, Class A nuvistor tube output stage, and the Nu-Vista Vinyl 2 (£9,999.00 SRP) is a true flagship phono stage with balanced, discrete circuitry and a Class A nuvistor tube stage.
The Nu-Vista DAC represents the pinnacle of digital-to-analogue conversion, says the manufacturer. Built-around ESS 32-bit HyperStream II DAC architecture, the input and output options of this device means users can accommodate a whole world of digital audio with the highest possible sound quality.
The Nu-Vista DAC offers inputs for up to three optical sources: one coaxial device, one USB device, a single AES/EBU source and an I2S input for a future Nu-Vista CD player (TBA).
The extensive-yet-intuitive control interface gives access to multiple customisation options, and the included remote control brings further flexibility and convenience. The balanced and unbalanced, and fixed and variable, output options also make the Nu-Vista DAC a simple addition to any listening system, whether as a dedicated source device or as a pre-amplifier.
Building on Musical Fidelity’s knowledge and experience with ESS Sabre DACs, the Nu-Vista DAC uses two ES9038Q2M chips in dual differential mode for a true dual-mono design. Thanks to these converters, the Nu-Vista DAC supports up to 768kHz audio files in PCM formats, DSD256 via DoP, and native DSD512 via USB, covering basically any digital file type you can buy or stream. The S/PDIF inputs are also improved over regular DACs with their support for MQA (up to 384kHz) and DSD (DoP 64).
Musical Fidelity makes use of an extremely low-noise, low-dropout ‘dual-regulator’ architecture in the Nu-Vista DAC, designed specifically for high-performance audio systems. The inclusion of a Time Domain Jitter Eliminator further results in what the manufacturer calls “superb technical measurements”, including jitter rates below 100 femto-seconds. Other advances in the DAC section include optional upsampling and re-clocking settings and an oversampling bypass mode.
The 16-core XMOS and CPLD MAX II Altera processors ensure there is always enough computational headroom for all the in-device operations and facilitate the extensive filter options and built-in MQA processing, while never compromising on quality.
For ultra-high-res audio handling, with sample rates of 705.6kHz and 768kHz, the Nu-Vista DAC switches into oversampling bypass mode, where the digital signal enters the DAC block directly for a totally pure conversion with no change to the original signal quality.
In the Nu-Vista DAC, the digital section is connected directly to a high-performance, fully differential analogue stage with technical and sonic characteristics. Each channel has its own fully balanced nuvistor output stage, with the tubes running in a fully discrete Class A configuration.
The Nu-Vista DAC represents Musical Fidelity’s enduring commitment to Super Silent Power Transformers. Industrial grade power sockets with EMI filter and DC blocker stop interferences and eliminate transformer hum. The encapsulated toroidal transformer with low core saturation is ideal for audio applications and especially perfect for digital audio due to its extremely low electromagnetic radiation.
The power supply for digital and analogue circuitry is carefully separated to provide immunity and isolation of the analogue amp and buffer stages from any possible digital HF interference. For further enhancement, the Nu-Vista DAC can also be upgraded with the external Nu-Vista Uni PSU power supply, which is coming soon.
Meanwhile, the Nu-Vista Vinyl 2 is a true flagship phono stage, offering impressive build quality, class-leading sound and extensive adjustability to suit almost any record or cartridge. Boasting a fully balanced and discrete electrical design behind its imposing façade, this is a must-experience product for any high-end listener, says the brand.
The Nu-Vista Vinyl 2 is a highly accurate phono stage for both MM and MC cartridge systems. Featuring two balanced XLR and two unbalanced RCA inputs, as well as balanced and unbalanced outputs, it is easy to accommodate into any system. The extensive setting adjustments include options for gain, capacitance, impedance, and equalisation, as well as a two-step subsonic filter.
The phono pre-amplification of the Nu-Vista Vinyl 2 contains three gain stages powered by Class A discrete transistor circuitry. The decision to utilise a discrete electrical layout, as opposed to a more common layout making use of “Integrated Circuits”, was reached after countless listening tests due to the flexibility of choice of separate (i.e., discrete) components afforded.
As well as being fully discrete, the Nu-Vista Vinyl 2 is also fully balanced. This is an expensive and complex undertaking, but it works to ensure that the signal integrity is as strong and clear as possible throughout the phono stage, and results in minimal noise and distortion – allowing your music to remain true to the original reproduction.
The EQ stage is another area that leaves nothing to chance. Completely passive and in two separate stages (split-passive), the Nu-Vista Vinyl 2 ensures the most accurate representation of the ideal EQ curve with little deviation, for better impedance matching. In addition to the standard RIAA curve, Musical Fidelity have also implemented DECCA and COLOMBIA curves, to suit different records or musical tastes.
The audio signals from the phono preamplifier go to a separate board for each channel, with a fully balanced discrete Class A nuvistor tube stage. The clean PCB layout and purpose-driven design guarantee lowest possible noise and distortion with low output impedance and ensure a rich sound quality that is utterly engaging and true to the original pressing.
The Nu-Vista Vinyl 2 represents Musical Fidelity’s enduring commitment to Super Silent Power Transformers. Industrial grade power sockets with EMI filter and DC blocker stop interferences and eliminate transformer hum. The encapsulated toroidal transformer with low core saturation is ideal for audio applications and especially suited to phono signals thanks to its extremely low electromagnetic radiation.
Each discrete stage has a DC servo ensuring optimal DC mode. The preamplifier is powered by two high-quality symmetrical low-noise power supplies, one for each channel. All the fully balanced Nuvistor PSUs are passively filtered and regulated. The result is silent and efficient power delivery for optimal performance.
For further enhancement, the Nu-Vista Vinyl 2 can also be upgraded with the external Nu-Vista Uni PSU power supply, which is coming soon.
The Nu-Vista source devices are shipping December 2023 in black or silver finish and are distributed by Henley Audio in the UK.