To Hans Wetzel,
I have read your review about Musical Fidelity's M6 500i integrated amplifier [on SoundStage! Hi-Fi] and it sounds really good to me. Would you recommend this amp to go with Spendor's A9 loudspeaker? Also, what CD player would be good to partner with the Musical Fidelity?
Thank you for your time.
I very much enjoyed my time with the M6 500i. Its build quality is terrific, and its sound is as revealing as it is sweet. Its huge power reserves mean that you can push the Spendor A9s -- a speaker I've not had the pleasure to hear before -- to very high SPLs without distortion. I can't imagine the Musical Fidelity being a bad match for any speaker, really. One thing to note, however, is that the M6 500i is not dead neutral. It has a slight warmth and relaxed quality about its sound that I happen to really appreciate. It's not quite as colored as a vacuum tube amp would be, but it’s along the same lines.
If you wanted something that's more neutral, check out Hegel's H300 integrated, which is perhaps slightly more resolving, while also costing less, and includes a built-in digital-to-analog converter. But you cannot go wrong with the Musical Fidelity. I seriously considered purchasing my review sample, and I think it'll be a classic.
As for your question about CD players, there are plenty of good ones available for reasonable money. I'm not sure what your budget is, but I would start my search with Oppo. Their BDP-95 looks to be a great value at around $1000, as it would allow you to use your CD collection with a top-quality Sabre 9018 Reference DAC. . . . Hans Wetzel