Nu-Vista Vinyl – Overview
The Nu-Vista Vinyl was a labour of love for MF. We love phono, we adore tubes, we are passionate about Nuvistors. We relished, revelled and basked in the pure joy of designing a product of our dreams.
One quick look at the Nu-Vista Vinyl’s wonderful visuals confirms our feelings.
We set out to make a phono stage without any practical limits. Essentially, in real life, you cannot overload the input stage or find any practical limitations in the output driving capacity. Single ended or balanced.
It has five inputs, each can be set for either MM/MC and exact loading. It will remember those settings.
The true point of any electronic, actually any audio component, is that you don’t know it is there. You completely forget its existence.
By that criteria the Nu-Vista Vinyl is almost perfect. It has no practical audible noise, it doesn’t really have distortion, you cannot overload its input or output, you can load your cartridge perfectly.
It exists to serve, serve the music. To bring the artists intent, emotions and passion to your ears and heart.
Yeah, we can talk about bass (deep, deep, deep), imaging (tactile, holographic), high frequency clarity with no sibilence….and on and on. Yeah, It does all those things…..but the big thing it does, the thing that matters ….is that it eases your soul by getting you to the heart of the music.
The Nu-Vista Vinyl has a very sophisticated power supply configuration. A total of about ten PSUs.
- Separate PSUs for each channel and each stage.
- Fully balanced PSUs with perfect star grounding.
- All the Nuvistor PSUs are passively filtered and regulated.
For those unfamiliar with Nuvistor tubes…please let me explain. In the 1950s the shortcomings of standard tubes were becoming ever more tedious and intolerable, specially with the expectation of in-car audio. The weaknesses were many:
- Used gobs of power
- Inconsistent batch to batch
- Relatively short life
- And many, many more
To try to solve, or at least mitigate, these problems it was decided to design a new tube, but from the beginning and using state-of-the-art 1950’s technology. The result was a triumph…the Nuvistor. The best triode tube ever made.
- Medium temperature
- Low power
- Dramatically improved microphony
- Very reliable
- Absolutely consistent
- Long life
In a word….WOWZA!!!
Unfortunately Bell Labs had been quietly working away at semi-conductors and at the moment of the Nuvistors triumph it all turned to dust. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to have been on the Nuvistor design team? The mind boggles.
So the brilliant Nuvistor tube never really went anywhere in audio……until the early 1990’s when a small company named Musical Fidelity, located to the west of London in an artisan hamlet named Wembley started making amplifiers with Nuvistors. They were made in limited editions and sold out almost immediately. To this day these icons of audio individualism are still highly valued.
- The mains has a special 100mHz filter stage which gives 40dB attenuation of spurious RF.
- There are two mains transformers….the Nuvistors have their own dedicated unshared PSUs
The SMD PCB layout achieves outstanding inter-channel and inter-stage isolation.
Everything has been designed to allow the sound to sing….no noise, no distortion, no layout anomalies…..nothing gets in the way of the Nu-Vista Vinyl’s reason for existence……the music.
Okay, so lots of technical guff, but the proof is in the real numbers.
- Extremely low distortion: less than 0.008% across the band.
- It’s S/N ration is really good; -96db (MM), and -86dB (MC)… reference 2V
- Overload margin is better than 31dB……woof woof!!
- RIAA accuracy is +/- 0.25dB. And it has an additional post RIAA filter that retains substantial accuracy up to beyond 80kHz.
- Maximum output is 10V RMS, 20V Balanced.
Also the Vinyl has a +6db setting for very low output cartridges and the IEC/RIAA modification facility.
- Input resistance values (8):
- 10R, 25R, 50R, 100R, 400R, 800R, 1k2, 47k
- Capacitance values (80:
- 50pf, 100pf, 150pf, 200pf, 250pf, 300pf, 350pf, 400pf