Music Space Time MUSIC-88.3WE Integrated Tube Amplifier
The Jiaxing Music Space Time Tube Amplifier Manufacturing Corporation is one of active high class audio equipments company recently. Last year they introduced the 6th year anniversary edtion of MUSIC-300.3WE to the market. The history of the company is not too long, but if counting from their preparation first to this year is for ten years already. Looking back the HI-FI history, we could find that many most famous hi-end corporation¡¯s classic products were born in their first ten years.(e.g. all the classic products of Marantz were born in the first ten years.) Though we still don¡¯t know the MST series whether be a future classic, the way of taking the output transformer as their technological breach really let me think back to McIntosh and Luxman.
Out of the Destiny of ¡°Tube Machine, Transistor Sound¡±
This time the MST company sent two amplifiers to the magazine. One is this star of MUSIC-88.3WE, the other is MUSIC-300B.3WE. We all know the 300b tube could make sound better easily, moreover the special edition that used so many high grade components. But using KT88 to build an amplifier is not so easy. It¡¯s said that if the design or the making process has a little unsuitable, KT88 amplifier would fall into the destiny of ¡°Tube Machine, Transistor sound.¡± Some national tube amplifiers I¡¯ve heard have this kind of tendency. So I¡¯m really interested in this MUSIC-88.3we, I wanted to see if it could be out of the destiny. Because the owner said that they had been throughing so many years of modification in this model. I chose Ho¡¯s LS 3/5a add passive subwoofer as the speaker. Source was Linn Majik DS. First I listened so called mother tape quality, the Linn sample music, ¡°Super Audio Surround Cellection VOL.3¡±. The 15th track was ¡°Sonata Graz (No.3) for Violin & Continuo in D¡±. The bass part was a harpsichord whose tone color had a deep taste of metal. If the playing had a little wrong, the harsh sound would be out easily. The main role was violin which was paid specially attention to by audiophiles. Though it was a simple four instruments tune, reperforming was not so easy. Playing this kind of tune was the advantage of 300B, but might be a hell for KT88. Acturally I wanted to test the powerful KT88 amplifier if could playing such a smooth tune this time.
When the sound went into my ears, I involuntarily took a deep breath. The sound was so clear, vivid and smooth. I thought this model was successful.
In this composition there was only a bass instrument, cello, but I couldn¡¯t find any trace of top-heavy. All the frequency part kept a kind of balance of restraint. No doubt the violin and the harpsichord were the two roles caught the eye, but the cello would always in suitable opportunies to control the two main roles not to be too excited tendency. This kind of balance was not like the piramid, but a moving one of walking on the steel wire. It was dangerous and exciting from start to end, but not callapsed. The musical expression was vivid especially the violin performing joyfully and swiftly gave me the deep impression.
By playing the only track, it had proved the MUSIC-88.3WE had been out of the national KT88 destiny of ¡°Tube Machine, Transistor Sound.¡±
Material Selecting Particulary, Making Precisely
Go back to see its technology characteristic.
Their output transformer has a very high specification, frequency respones 20Hz~100kHz (-1dB). It¡¯s so high that no one can be compare to in China I believe. The reeling detail of output transformer is a business secret for every company, of course I don¡¯t know. All I know but they adopted Nippon Steel Corperation Z10 audio selenium steel sheet, OFC insulated wires, and self-owned reeling technology. The other information keeps secret. That they focus on the output transformer as the breakthrough is more like Japan Luxman in old daies.
All the transformers are covered by circle metal material. But in fact the internal is still using tradional Ei model transformer not O model. The AC power transformer uses O shape model which is low internal resistance, low magnetic leakage, and high efficiency.
The MUSIC-88.3WE is the third generation of the MTS series. The original design used volume controling high gain power integration. The input class uses HF reception pentode EF80. This is a seldom design in national KT88 products. We can see the designer¡¯s unique train of thought from this. The paraphase class in old models used 12AU7 double triode. The third model changed to Russia 6H1¦°. The output power tube uses America and Russia united development Svetlana KT88. This is the reforming model from the original one. The specification of S/N, distortion, and frequency response is better than KT88.
All the machine uses selected high class imported audio grade components. For example, there are NKNP resistances and multi-layer silver foil capacities. Signal amplifying and pushing adopt European new antique tubes. All the using tubes had been throughing aging and selecting to make the stablization in working. The other difference from the DIY products is they adopt thick copper foil PWB but not trellis-work. They said this is the balance of quality and stablization.
The covers used pure aluminium instructure is 10mm thick. Spilit joint handled arch shape. The cover also through drawbench and oxidize handling. Though low-profile, it looks noble.
Rustic, Smooth, Grand and Maganificent
The MUSIC-88.3WE is a powerful amplifier, if using it to push bookshelf speaker, we cannot know its ability entirely. So I took the floorstand speaker, Germany Audio Physic Scorpio ¢ò, as the listening speaker.
Basically, this amplifier had a kind of characteritic of stablization and calming. The internal power was strong but not a showy manner. This characteristic was more like McIntosh. Playing RCA Reiner The Arabian Nights, in the theme of the King Shahryar, it added a bearing of majesty. But the part of brass was warm and deep, obviously it let the sternness to be mitigated a lot. In the theme of Sindbad, the speed of the melody from calming and silence to the climax of the mountainous waves couldn¡¯t be called very fast, but the control was still called strong. The ability of the LF was expressed outspokenly. The timpani was struck continuously and heavily. When the ship loaded Sinbad knocked up against the rock, the scene gave me the soul stirring feeling.
In the third track of ¡°Super Audio Surround Collection Vol. 3¡±, the voice of Barb Jungr had a? rustic and smooth charm. The internal power was firm and calm. It showed the amplifier had a better MF, detail and micro dynamic performing.
In ¡°Mustonen Plays Sibelius¡±(Odine Record), the Finland young pianist Olli Mustonen¡¯s playing was not won by powerfully but swiftly and activly, the tune colour had a crystal clear and sharp. Through Music-88.3WE playing the melody, I found the sharp was reduced a little. But the transparent and the bounce was kept well. All the tune was full and had a lingering charm.
In chinese audio products market, the brand of Musi Space Time whatever its history, company size, products range, and reputation cannot be compared to the first class brand, but in the part of technology and quality, they are not bad. This time after I listened to the two samples, I found the brand had set up an own characteristic which might be agreed by many audiophiles. This maybe a sign of mature of the brand.
Digested from¡¶HI-FI&HomeTheater¡·2009.5 Writer: Zhao Cong