To get a complete system with all the functionality that is in demand in our time, it is enough to connect speakers to this device. Whether you want to play your music from vinyl, CD, flash drive, local server, FM broadcast or online service, the new Magnat MC 400 offers you every choice.
Over the past few years, Magnat Audio-Produkte GmbH has significantly expanded its range of electronic components and now offers a variety of options for the widest range of music lovers. The company does not pursue the record power of amplifiers or the super resolution of DACs, scrupulously respecting the correspondence between the price and quality of its products in German. With regard to our current test CD-receiver MC 400, the company’s credo can be formulated as “all in one and nothing more.” But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Interest in devices that can replace an entire rack of components is growing for a reason: there have been more and more people who want to save space and cut costs lately. And the very thesis about the advantages of separate Hi-Fi has lost its relevance: modern technologies and components make it possible to create tightly packed equipment with minimal influence of its individual parts on each other. And the benefits are obvious – less space, fewer cables and remote controls. And the most important thing, in my opinion, is less financial costs. What, in fact, we see on the example of the new CD-receiver Magnat MC 400.
Indeed, this model is designed to play music from different media, both physical and virtual. First of all, I would like to note the presence of a built-in MM phono stage with separate Phono inputs on the rear panel. Care for older music lovers is also evident in the integration of a slot-loader CD drive capable of playing CD-Audio, CD-R, CD-RW, mp3 and WMA discs.
In turn, the file player supports mp3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, APE and WAV with resolutions up to 24/192, but DSD playback is not provided. The contents of flash media are read by the USB 2.0 port, and only in the FAT system. The MC 400 can also receive content via the DLNA protocol, incl. wireless via Wi-Fi (WLAN). Setting up is easy thanks to the proprietary Network Wizard assistant, which is called through the menu.
Of course, there is also a Bluetooth module (fixed on the rear panel), and not just any, but advanced from Qualcomm version 5.0 with support for aptX HD.
The built-in DAC can also be fed through coaxial and optical inputs, as well as through the HDMI ARC port. So the MC 400 will also come in handy for improving the quality of the soundtrack for TV shows.
And, finally, we note an FM tuner with RDS data output on the display, as well as a DAB receiver, which is not useful in our country. But you can listen to Internet radio through the Tuneln service.
The analog section consists of a pre-amplifier with three line inputs (one for a 3.5 mm jack on the front panel) and a volume control. Additional settings are possible through the menu and from the remote control: tone correction for bass and treble, loudness and stereo balance setting.
There are two analog outputs: adjustable for connecting an active subwoofer and linear for recording. Jack 6.3 mm for headphones – on the front panel.
Working with the MC 400 and all manipulations with the settings is conveniently controlled on a 2.8-inch multi-line display. With a resolution of 320 x 240, it displays both text and graphics clearly, including album art.
The final amplifier, built on powerful bipolar transistors, in class AB produces 2 x 60 W (4 ohms) and up to 100 W peak. The power supply is linear, with a solid toroidal transformer.
Five Approaches to Music
To test the CD receiver, a system was built, and exclusively from Magnat components. The popular MTT990 turntable with a Goldring G1042 head was used as an alternative source, and the sound quality was evaluated with the connection of Signature 909 floorstanding speakers . prefix “super”, works up to 55 kHz. So we will have all the features of the MC 400 sound path in full view.
It is also worth noting here how the power amplifier controls the impressive Signature 909 cones: on Boris Blank’s “Convergence” record, the bass notes are clearly embossed, the beats are fast, and the subharmonics go into the infrasonic region. The dynamics in general are very impressive, the amplifier shows sharp contrasts convincingly, the lack of power is not felt on the beats.
Let’s go to CDs. The difference is predictable: the picture becomes sharper, the tonal balance is lighter, depth and volume disappear from the lower band, although objectively the tonal balance is aligned to perfect linearity. In addition, the CD has more information in the upper band, the timbres are literally polished, but in terms of emotionality, the sound is noticeably inferior to well-recorded vinyl. This is normal, in general, the DAC of the MC 400 under test does not give rise to criticism. And he builds space in a classical way: in accordance with the sound engineer’s plan, the speakers either disappear from subjective perception or participate in the formation of a wide foreground.
Hi-cuts from flash drives are very good. You can feel the volume of space, the scope of the stage, and the transparent, literally washed-out upper range. There is a little less energy than a CD, but this is more than compensated by an abundance of small nuances that create a rich sound spectrum. Micro-contrasts are surprisingly distinct.
Now – Tidal on the local network. The scene is slightly simplified, it has less depth, but it is interesting to listen: the timbres retain their naturalness, the bass really hits the body. Serious compromises in the sound are not noticeable either in the overall dynamics or in the naturalness of the sound of the instruments. There is a feeling of some convention when playing symphonic classics, but only very advanced and expensive streamers can get rid of it.
The final of the tests was the broadcasting of music from a smartphone via Bluetooth. This is where the MC 400 really surprised: in terms of such indicators as the amount of space, the filling of the lower register and the purity of the upper register, this playback method even surpassed Tidal. The reverb tails on some recordings were slightly shortened, which made the sound a little dry, but of all the digital options described above, I would choose the wireless one. The phone is always at hand, the resolution is quite sufficient for any musical genre, you forget about the innate compromises of Bluetooth in five minutes.
In general, the MC 400 makes a really good impression, especially when you realize how many high-fi components it can replace. And if you look at the price tag…