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Product Review - Myryad MI-240 Stereo Integrated Amplifier - July, 2001

John E. Johnson, Jr.


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Specifications:

Power: 120 Watts RMS per Channel into 8 Ohms, 180 Watts RMS per Channel into 4 Ohms

MFR: 20 Hz - 96 kHz (+0.1 dB/-1dB)

THD: 0.05%

Size: 5 1/4" H x 17 1/4" W x 14 3/4" D

Weight: 34 Pounds

MSRP:   $2,595  USA


Myryad Systems Ltd., 2 Pipers Wood, Waterberry Drive, Waterlooville, Hants, P07 7XU, UK; Phone 44-23-9226-5508; Fax 44-23-9223-1407; E-Mail tech@myryad.co.uk; Web http://www.myryad.co.uk.  US/Canada distributor: Artech Electronics; E-Mail info@artech-electronics.com; Web  http://www.artech-electronics.com

Introduction

Myryad is a well established UK hi-fi manufacturer and is rapidly becoming famous in North America for their fine products. The MI-240 is a new stereo (two-channel) integrated amplifier, with simple controls, and 120 watts rms per channel output into 8 Ohm loads.

The Design

The front panel of the MI-240 is minimalist in appearance, but with the distinctive Myryad rotary volume control with a finger indent. In other words, you don't grasp the control, you move it with a single finger. This makes it very easy to change volume whether the amplifier is up high on a shelf, mid-level, or down low. On the left is the standby button (the main on/off toggle is on the rear panel), which keeps a trickle current flowing. Then comes the vacuum fluorescent display, which registers the input and volume in 0.5 dB increments. To the right of the volume control are source select buttons, tape REC out activator button, Line Direct (for bypassing much of the circuitry), and an ear phone jack.

The rear panel has a full array of inputs (see photos below), including Phono, DVD, TV, Tuner, and CD (all analog, no digital inputs). Then come the CD-R and Tape, for recording and playing from a CD-R recorder and tape cassette recorder, respectively. There is a set of bi-amp output jacks should you wish to use a second stereo amplifier for bi-amping a set of speakers. A set of MyLink jacks is there for connecting the 240 to other Myryad products. Speaker terminals are solid metal and gold plated.

The inside of the chassis (photo below) illustrates the large toroidal transformer and four output devices per channel, mounted on large heat sinks. There are 40,000 F of power supply capacitance, with 57 Volts on the power supply capacitors, for a total of 65 Joules of energy storage.

In series with the hot conductor of the output is an inductor (photo below left, yellow arrow). This prevents the amplifier from oscillating at high frequencies if connected to a capacitive load (electrostatic speakers for example). I expected this to restrict the bandwidth considerably, but my tests indicated a - 3 dB response at 163 kHz, which is excellent. The 10 kHz, 10 Volt square wave test showed a crisp waveform (photo below, right), with no overshoot or ringing.

The chassis and PCB quality appear to be very high. The 240 is built in the UK rather than outsourced to other countries. Frankly, I am surprised that it is only $2,595 US.

The remote control is a Home Theater Master SL-9000 that has been programmed, and monogrammed, specifically for the MI-240 (see photo below). I am pleased to see a hi-fi manufacturer taking this approach, rather than supplying their own specific design that might or might not be easy to use. The SL-9000 is an accepted standard in remote controls, and a lot of effort was put into its layout. If you don't have a universal remote, this is a good one, and it can control everything in your audio system and home theater.

The Sound

For my listening tests, I connected the 240 to a Sony carousel CD player and Krix Esoterix I Mark II floor-standing speakers (8 Ohms). Cables were Nordost.

After having listened to some very high end, very expensive power amplifiers ($8,000) recently, I was quite surprised to hear how well the MI-240 measured up in comparison, especially since it is an integrated product, with preamplifier and power amplifier combined. The amount of depth in voice/music test CDs, such as Celine Dion and Tony Bennett was shocking.

After hearing all that detail in singing voices, I put on some chamber music, including Chopin's Preludes (Philips) and Bach Lute Suites (Paul Galbraithe). Other music I found delightful to listen to with the Myryad were Andrea Bocelli ("Sogno"), Meav's "Hearts O' Space", Eve Cassidy "Songbird", and one of my favorite discs of all time, Enya's "Watermark".

In all cases, the amount of delicate detail that came through was nothing short of amazing, and it was all very clean, The 240 is truly a fine product.

Conclusion

We pride ourselves here in North America for the quality of our audio products, but the European companies are very strong competitors too, and the Myryad 240 is exemplary in this arena. It meets all the standards of Secrets: It looks great, sounds terrific, is built well, easy to set up and use, and it has strong value for the dollar. Listen to one even if you are not in the market. You will be as impressed as I was.

 

- John E. Johnson, Jr. - 

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Copyright 2001 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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