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Musical Fidelity M1 CDT Transport Review Print E-mail
Friday, 26 July 2013
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Musical Fidelity M1 CDT Transport Review

I left a CD on repeat for a few days to give the CDT a bit of break in, then began some serious listening. I was immediately struck with the CDT's neutral, robust presentation. The first disc I spun was some amazingly raw blues by Charles Caldwell's Remember Me album, on the Fat Possum label. The CDT got all the grit and grime on this recording right, and locked into the snake like rhythms in a way I had not experienced before. Impressive start, to say the least.

The CDT was equally impressive with denser, polyrhythmic music like Senegalese star Chiekh Lo’s Lamp Fall. It's a well-recorded and incredibly infectious mix of traditional and Western styles. The CDT handled the propulsive bass lines, soaring melodies, and African percussion beautifully, providing coherence and focus. It was truly wonderful to hear the layers of this recording in a fresh way.

I made it a point to play various classical CDs from my collection as diverse offerings from the Telarc, Naxos, and Harmonia Mundi labels. The CDT did an excellent job recreating the recording spaces, and the scale of the orchestra. The CDT accurately streams the bits on the disc to your DAC as they were mean to be heard.

In the several months I had the CDT in my system, it worked without flaw, and proved to be very reliable. Loading and ejecting discs inspired confidence; slot loading CD transports have been known to have issues in years past, but that has not been my experience in recent times. The CDT is clearly well engineered and nicely built. 

Musical Fidelity M1CDT

Musical Fidelity offers nicely made, great sounding products for audiophiles at all price points. The M1 series may be the sweetheart of the line, as one can assemble a complete system of electronics, minus speakers for under $2000. Hats off to Musical Fidelity for making this possible. The M1 CDT offers sound that, in my opinion, is clearly competitive at double its price point and beyond.

As stated earlier, on the surface, a Redbook CD-only transport may be a tough sell as a concept, but in practical use, it is very much the real deal. The CDT allows you to match it to the DAC of your choice, and is engineered to do one task: retrieve the data from the bits on the CD. I’m impressed enough that going forward it will be a permanent addition to my system. Recommended for audition.


Musical Fidelity M1 CDT: $999

●    1x line level RCA
●    1x RCA coaxial connector (Digital SPDIF)
●    1x Toslink optical connector (Digital SPDIF)
●    1x XLR AES/EBU balanced digital connector

●    Dimensions - WxHxD (mm): 220 x 100 x 300
●    Weight (unpacked / packed): 3.5 kg / 4 kg

Review System 1

CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT
Server: Squeezebox Touch w/ CIA VDC-SB power supply
via Ethernet to MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate
external drives.
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box II
Headphones: Grado SR60
Preamp: Audio Research SP16, Belles Soloist 3
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Bob Carver Black Magic
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4, Bogdan Audio Creations Art Deco
Cables:  Stager Silver Solids,  Darwin Ascension (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC) Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs TosLink, DH Labs AES/EBU, Audioquest, Forest, WireWorld Ultraviolet, DH Labs USB(USB) DH Labs (USB)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner,Salamander rack

Review System 2

CD Player: Onkyo C7000R
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch via Ethernet to
MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate external drives.
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, MyTek Stereo 192 DAC
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600, NuForce DDA-100
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3, MAD 1920S
Cables: Darwin Cables Silver IC, Kimber Hero HB,  DH Labs White Lightning (IC),QED Transparent MusicWave (Speaker),PS Audio (AC), Mojo Audio (AC), DH Labs TosLink, Audioquest Forest USB, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold, KECES XPS

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