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Musical Fidelity’s Flagship Nu-Vista Series Goes Back to The Future

The Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PRE, PAS, and, PAM represent the latest high-end audio components that use vacuum tubes. 

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PRE Black Front

Musical Fidelity has created some rather innovative products over the past 3 decades including some unique power amplifiers that delivered excellent sonic performance with a wide range of loudspeakers.

The brand experienced some rather lean years but all of that changed when Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmBH, which is owned by Heinz Lichtenegger, the hi-fi visionary who founded Pro-Ject Audio Systems, purchased Musical Fidelity in 2018. Audio Tuning Vertriebs distributed Musical Fidelity in Austria for over 20 years prior to the acquisition and was uniquely positioned to add the acclaimed British manufacturer to its award-winning family of high-end brands.

The Nu-Vista flagship series of components have been completely redesigned and the asking prices for all 3 components will certainly make one flinch.

  • PRE Two-channel Pre-amplifier
  • PAS 2-Channel Power Amplifier
  • PAM Monolock Power Amplifier

Antony Michaelson, the founder of Musical Fidelity and professional musician, has always pushed for the making of audio systems that have the warmth of vacuum tube and class-A amps. After a 1 million Euro investment and 3 years of development, the Nu-Vista series is seen as the first step toward the realization of that goal. 

Nuvistor Vacuum Tubes

Nuvistor Tube Installation

All of these components incorporate Nuvistor vacuum tubes, based on Musical Fidelity’s Nu-Vista 800 circuit

Nuvistor tubes were invented in the 1950s to solve the many shortcomings of conventional tubes. Nuvistors offered high reliability, low microphony, low noise, consistency from batch to batch, small size, and relatively low power consumption.

Nuvistor Tube

Unfortunately, just as uses for Nuvistor tubes were being checked out, the transistor was invented and Nuvistors fell by the wayside. 

However, about 15 years ago (already well into the digital age) Musical Fidelity saw the potential to use Nuvistors in high-end audio components; the first Nu-Vista series was introduced and incorporated Nuvistor technology. This series has been well-received due to its sound and build quality, as well as reliability. 

The Nu-Vista PRE, PAS, and PAM feature 6S51N nuvistors in a discrete class A amplifier buffer.

External Power Supply

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PRE PSU
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PRE PSU

The Nu-Vista PRE, PAS, and PAM each come with a dedicated external power supply (aka PSU). This reduces unwanted noise and related interference from the PRE’s audio circuitry.

The power supply has On/Standby LEDs and is controlled from the main unit front panel. If total mains isolation is required, the power supply also has a rear-mounted mechanical rocker switch for full power off.

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Build Quality

The PRE, PAS, and PAM Front panel and side panels are milled from extruded aluminum profiles and are extremely massive, making these components sturdy (and heavy).

The PRE

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PRE Black Front
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PRE

The PRE is a two-channel preamp that is designed to provide central connection and switching for a Nu-Vista system. It provides all of the source input connections as well as output connections for compatible power amplifiers.

Volume Control: The Nu-Vista PRE uses a balanced configuration circuit and balanced precision-matched stepped attenuator for its front panel volume control. This means even at low volume levels, as well as higher, stereo imaging will be precise and accurate.

Mini Power Amplifiers: The PRE includes two mini power amplifiers (equivalent to 50W)  for the output stages. They run in Class A for preamp purposes, giving the best in-line driving capability, and dynamic range, as well as reduced noise and distortion.

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista Pre Remote Control

Remote Control: A wireless remote control is also provided. Unlike most remotes provided with audio components, PRE’s remote is solid, with the same feel as the PRE’sfront panel.

PRE Specifications

  • Component Type: Two-Channel Preamp
  • Discrete Inputs: 6x RCA & 6x XLR
  • Pre Output (Variable): 1x RCA & 1x XLR
  • Pre Output (Fixed): 1x RCA & 1x XLR
  • Trigger ( input/output): 3.5mm mono jack socket
  • Channel Separation: >100dB from 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Frequency response: + 0, –1dB, 5Hz to 100 kHz
  • THD+N: < 0.002 % typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz
  • Signal/Noise Ratio (SNR): >120dB, 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Gain: 2.15x (normal): 4.3x (+6dB enabled); volume maximum

Dimensions (WHD)

  • PRE: 483 x 187.5 x 491 mm/19.02 x 7.38 x 19.33 inches
  • PRE PSU: 483 x 187.5 x 475 mm/19.02 x 7.38 x 14.76 inches

Weight

  • PRE: 22kg/48.5 lbs
  • PRE PSU: 25kg/55 lbs

The PAS

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PAS Front Open
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PAS

The PAS is a two-channel power amplifier that provides the power and connection needed to operate speakers for Nu-Vista system.

The PAS has a balanced configuration circuit and balanced input high power, low distortion output amplifier stage. The power stage has 5 pairs of high-power thermally compensated output devices for reliable and stable operation.

The PAS incorporates 8 6S51N Nuvistor tubes on the input stage. 

Based on the Titan 1000W stage, it has separate capacitors for bulk supply, and one each for output devices reducing output impedance and improving dynamics. 

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Chokes are added for further improved supply ripple and pulse current spike reduction Bias is set for over 5W of initial class A operation thereafter the stage slides into class B operation at a point where the now much lower discontinuity is easier dealt with than “standard” crossover distortion.

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PAS Rear
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PAS

PAS Specifications

  • Component Type: Two-Channel Power Amplifier
  • Power Output: 300W into 8 ohms, 500W into 4 ohms, 1000W peaks into 2 ohms
  • Output Voltage: 49 Volts RMS
  • Output Current: 130 Amps peak to peak
  • Damping factor: 200
  • Output devices: 5 pairs per channel
  • Gain: 16x (23.5 dB)
  • THD+N: < 0.003 % typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz
  • Signal/Noise Ratio (SNR): >108dB ‘A’-weighted
  • Channel Separation: >96dB
  • Frequency Response: + 0, –1dB, 5Hz to 50 kHz
  • Discrete Inputs:: 2x RCA & 2x XLR
  • Loop Through Outputs: 1x RCA & 1x XLR
  • Speaker Terminals: 2 pairs of 4mm banana plug/binding posts
  • Trigger Input/Output: 3.5mm mono jack socket

Dimensions (WHD)

  • PAS: 483 x 187.5 x 475 mm/19.02 x 7.38 x 14.76 inches
  • PAS PSU: 483 x 187.5 x 475 mm/19.02 x 7.38 x 14.76 inches

Weight

  • PAS: 27kg/59.5 lbs
  • PAS PSU: 40kg/88 lbs 

The PAM

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PAM Front
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PAM

The PAM is a single-channel (aka monoblock) power amplifier that provides the power and connection needed to operate a speaker for a Nu-Vista system. 

The PAM incorporates a balanced configuration circuit and balanced input high power, low distortion “bridged” output amplifier stage. The power stages have 2x 5 pairs of high-power thermally compensated output devices for reliable and stable operation.

The PAS incorporates 4 6S51N Nuvistor tubes on the input stage. 

Just like the PAS, the PAM is based on the Titan 1000W stage. It has separate capacitors for bulk supply, and one each for the output device, reducing output impedance and improving dynamics. Chokes are added for further improved supply ripple and pulse current spike reduction. Bias is set for over 5W of initial class A operation thereafter the stage slides into class B operation at a point where the now much lower discontinuity is easier dealt with than “standard” crossover distortion

Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PAM Rear
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista PAM

PAM Specifications

  • Component Type: Monoblock (single channel) Power Amplifier
  • Power Output: 600W into 8 ohms, 1000W into 4 ohms, 1500W peaks into 2 ohms
  • Output Voltage: 69 Volts RMS
  • Output Current: 150 Amps peak to peak
  • Damping factor: 180
  • Output Devices: 5+5 pairs per channel
  • Gain: 16x (23.5 dB)
  • THD+N: < 0.003 % typical, 20Hz to 20 kHz
  • Signal/Noise Ratio (SNR): >108dB ‘A’-weighted
  • Frequency Response: + 0, –1dB, 5Hz to 50 kHz
  • Discrete Inputs: 2x RCA & 2x XLR
  • Loop Through Outputs: 1x RCA & 1x XLR
  • Speaker Outputs: 2 pairs of 4mm banana plug/binding posts
  • Trigger Input/Output: 3.5mm mono jack socket

Dimensions (WHD)

  • PAM: 483 x 187.5 x 475 mm/19.02 x 7.38 x 14.76 inches
  • PAM PSU: 483 x 187.5 x 475 mm/19.02 x 7.38 x 14.76 inches

Weight

  • PAM: 27kg/59.5 lbs
  • Weight PAM PSU: 40kg/88 lbs

Pricing and Availability

Musical Fidelity Hi-Fi components are available through Authorized Dealers at the following prices:

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ORT

    June 22, 2023 at 12:44 am

    Hey Musical Fidelity?!

    If I can not see the tubes, then they might as well not be there at all. You may “feel” otherwise but that is what happens when you only feel instead of “think” about what you are feelin. And why.

    In other world news, today the Lourve announced it is going to throw a dirty dish towel over the Mona Lisa. They said it’ll still be there but you’ll just have to use your imagination.

    Not.

    LeonORTo Da Vinci

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