Magnum Dynalab MD-209/309?

cmalak -- Mon, 12/14/2009 - 10:45

Anybody had a chance to listen to the new hybrid integrated amps from Magnum Dynalab? Please share your thoughts on main sonic attributes, what system you heard/auditioned/own the MD-209/309s in? To the extent that you can compare it with other integrated amps (or even separates) that you are familiar with, that may be helpful in giving folks more context. Thx

Cabiner (not verified) -- Mon, 12/14/2009 - 18:34

cmalak, as you are aware, I recently purchased the MD309.  Did not get a chance to compare it with the MD209 but, according to the 'boys' from Magnum, their sonic signatures were identical but, Jim thought the 309 was faster and Larry felt it was a bit like having a V12 under the hood so that when you needed to pass (go loud or have demading speakers), nothing changes.  Not needing the tuner in the 209, and although they were willing to produce a 209 sans tuner, I decided to go with the 309. 
At present my speakers are the Spendor's S5e and I'm considering upgrading to the S8e because of the dealer's trade-up program.  Not sure why, because I truly love the S5e.  Before making the BIG decision (part of my retirement gift to myself), I listen to the Moon I7 and a variety of NAIM components starting with the Supernait and ending with the combination of 282 pre, power supply (necessary) and the famous 250.2.
In regards to its sonic and musical aspects, how to be objective and describe something that meets all of my musical preferences and is able to move me in both heart and mind!?  Simply put, its a very musical amp -detailed yet not thin, sharp or agressive and brings out whatever bass your speakers can offer. Very fast and dynamic with just the right amount of air and atmosphere.  A real beneif is that the tonal balance stays virtually the same regardless of listening level -this is a real benefit and one that I found rarely available.  Furthermore, one need not sit with one's head in a vice-like grip. Overall, I couldn't think of what more to ask for (a first for me) and a wonderful combination of tubes and solid state.  And, its beautiful!
I've had other electronics along the way (Linn, Naim, Bryston) but, my last five years I was using Magnum Dynalab's MD308.  The BIG difference boiled down to the fact that I found that the Magnum units sounded more like live acoustic music (specifically, their's was more like an upright bass and the others were like electric bass -Fender or otherwise). 
The new MD 309 was a BIG step above their previous 308.  More life like.  Bob

IMR (not verified) -- Tue, 12/29/2009 - 23:43

Hi Bob,
How did you find the 308 with rock music? Does it tend to be on the leaner or warmer side? Also, Do you know the difference between the 208 and 308?

Cabiner (not verified) -- Wed, 12/30/2009 - 22:47

IMR, are you referring to the 308 and not the 309? If it is the 308, I would then place it on the warm side of neutral. The 208 is a receiver and, as such, contains a tuner. Having owned both I felt the 308 was slighly more transparent. It really is a very good integrated punching much above its price category. Hope this helps, Bob

cmalak -- Tue, 12/15/2009 - 12:49

Bob...that was an excellent post and thank you very much for sharing your experience and listening impressions. Very helpful. Enjoy your new setup and your retirement. Sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun with this unit. Take care.

Robert Harley -- Tue, 12/15/2009 - 21:03

Neil Gader's review of the Magnum-Dynalab will appear in Issue 202 (April/May cover date, with a mail date of February 26).

cmalak -- Tue, 12/15/2009 - 21:28

Thx Robert. Looking forward to it. Looks like very nice gear.

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