Myryad MI 120 Integrated Amplifier: Sugg. Retail: $1495 (CAN)
Myryad MC 100 Cd Player: Sugg. Retail: $1795 (CAN)
Myryad MT 100 FM Tuner: Sugg. Retail: $1295 (CAN)
Distributor: Artech Electronics Ltd.,
42 Lindsay Ave., Dorval, Que. H9P 2T8
(514) 631-6448 FAX (514) 631-1212
(Reprinted from the Winter 99 Issue)
Myryad Systems came together in the partnership of Chris Short, former owner and managing director of Mordaunt-Short, Chris Evans, a founder and director of Arcam, and David Evans, a veteran of NAD. The M Series components are their upscale line, and handsome they are, as well as very competitively priced for what they are.
The MI 120 integrated amplifier offers 60 wpc rms with inputs for CD, Video, Tuner, Aux, and a pair of tape inputs (with outs for both), as well as an upgrade preamp-out and amp-in pair of RCAs for potential bi-amping; there is a power amplifier, the MA 120 ($1195), also 60 wpc, that can be added to the system.
The MT 100 FM tuner has 19 presets and is very easy to use, with a front-panel tuning knob that allows fast access to stations or presets. There are readouts for frequency and station strength, which is shown numerically, as are preset numbers.
The MC 100 CD player was a 1-bit type until the company found it could buy the better DACs found in the $2695 MC 500 in quantity for the same pricee or less. So now both players use a 24-bit Crystal delta-sigma converter, though the more expensive player has more and better power supplies and two toroidal transformers instead of one. A British review in HiFi News & Record Review notes that the transport is a Sony CDM14.
The system remote (there are also separate remotes for tuner and CD player) provides for control of all three components’ basic functions, with numeric buttons that can select either CD tracks or FM presets depending on which input is selected. The remote also has a 3-stage Dim button, that, curiously, operates only the tuner display, the CD one remaining a bright blue. In and out RCA jacks on each component’s rear panel marked MY connect the units for otherwise full control, including simultaneous powering up and down.
I plugged these three components together, and connected them to the Enigma Oremus speakers via Kimber 8TC cables. First to be checked out was the MT 100 tuner. Connected to our listening room outdoor yagi antenna it brought in 43 stations, most of these in good stereo, with notably excellent selectivity; these stations stayed in their correct frequency allocations, and weaker signals could be tuned nearby. Sonically, the tuner was excellent, though not quite in the league of our reference Fanfare FT-1. I’d say it’s a real value at its price.
The MC 100 CD player turned out to be a remarkable tracker of discs, able to play the Verany test CD’s single dropouts to track 35 (2.4mm), the narrow gauge errors to 42 (2mm), and the double glitches through 49 (2 x 2.4mm). Few players in our experience have even come close to this tracking ability, which was further confirmed by its perfect play of the CD CHECK disc through 3 of the 5 levels of error, with moderate ticking on 4.
In our random error disc it played through the track almost perfectly, hiccuping just after the 2-minute mark, but then playing perfectly the rest of the way through. The partially transparentCD we use to check for tolerance of manufacturing defects was not so well handled, the first 2 tracks ticking audibly. Though the MC 100 will track virtually all dirty and damaged discs easily with powerful error correction and interpolation, it reads insufficiently aluminized CDs less well.
The sound of this player was very analog-like, with an easy quality that combined good rhythmic drive with very clean, articulate sound. While not an Arcam Alpha 9, it certainly came close, with a warmth that minimized listening fatigue.
But I guess I’m begging the question of how each component sounds by not describing the system sound, which was all of what has been already said. This is a very good sounding system, more refined and a little more dynamic than, say, the Linn Classik, which sets a standard for its price point. Here we’re talking quite a few more dollars, of course, close to $5000 even without speakers. And the Enigma Oremus speakers, an excellent choice with this amplifier, are another couple of thousand.
I also like the look of the Myryad M Series components: not too many buttons or knobs, and an understated elegance that inspires confidence. Its sound is silky and detailed, with plenty of power, the amplifier’s power supply obviously well designed and up to the task of providing a real 60 watts. Remote control quirks aside, these are very well engineered components. If I were Arcam CEO John Dawson, I’d be keeping a close watch on ex-partner, Chris Evans, and Myryad.