MICHI 8 Amp(s)


Michi 8 Amp(s) Review

For reference, previous to the Michi 8 I owned Bob Carver M 350, Pass Labs X350.8.350.5, Atmosphere M60-3.3, Krell amps and several others.

I was interested in these amps after reading Michael Fremer’s review in which he compared these to his $ 170,000 darTZeel NHB-468 amps. Rotel Michi M8 monoblock power amplifier | Stereophile.com

Now, I know due to the extreme cost difference’s they cannot be a one-on-one exchange, but this review definitely got my attention. I mean these amps output almost 2000 watts per channel @ 4 ohms!

So, I ordered a pair, with a 60-day money back guarantee!

Once I received them, some of the things I noticed:

First off, man are these amps heavy! About 140 lbs. each! And the build quality, though not necessarily jewelry like were mighty fine looking (to this ole’ audiophile anyway).

So, I connected them up with my previous speaker cables and fired them up, they sounded pretty good, but I was wondering if they could sound better. So as any self-described audiophile would do I set out to experiment.

What I found was these amps need heavy gauge speaker cables, I mean after all they can produce 1800 watts per channel! So, I bought 2 pairs (bi-wire) of Goertz M-3 Divinity cables. These cables are 7 gauge each. And oh, ah, much better, so, no wimpy thin cables need apply.

And long breakin is required. Out of the box (s), they sounded ok, but they didn’t produce the sound or bass that I thought amps of this power rating should. After 200 hours they were better, but 400 hours were much better. I guess when you consider the massive power supplies used in the design, they needed time to develop. Today, after many hours on them, I am convinced these amps are awesome. Thus, my review.

The soundstage is very wide, deep, dynamic, and inviting. I am again enjoying my audio music collection. Beit cd’s, files or streaming, everything sounds so different and lively.

The Michi name is part of the Rotel family and that in its self made me first think of mi-fi quality. But boy have I been impressed.

These amps must be the best bang for the bucks this century.

ozzy

128x128ozzy

Has anyone else tried these amps? It is truly surprising. Especially for the cost.

ozzy

I haven't tried them but congrats on your purchase! What a relief that the sound improved over time. Packing up those behemoths to return...

I heard Michi amps at a dealer recently and was very favorably impressed.

First off, Happy New Year to all!

It’s funny, about 10+ years ago I thought I should start downsizing the weight of my equipment for possible future age-related limitations. I started using tube amp(s) and monitor/sub speakers.

Fast forward to today, I now own 250lb speakers, and 140lb amps! I guess these may be for my last hooray? The speaker flight cases could be used to bury me in.

The Michi 8 amps are really unbelievable in the sound quality and for the cost of admission.

ozzy

 

Congratulations @ozzy on the new amps that are keeping you busy!

Out of curiosity - have the fans ever come ON? Those amps look robust.

Thanks!

You know if the fans have come on, I have never heard them. The unit runs pretty cool to the touch. One of the front screen menus on the unit is a temperature reading. Once it warms up and has played for some time the temperature reaches about 100 degrees and pretty much stays at the reading.

ozzy

I had listened to Michi driving Avant Garde Trio at Seoul, Korea.

 

It sounds decent but with occasional hard edge which bother me.

 

I am not sure it is due to horn or pre amp.

 

Thomas

 

Dac was MSB Select II which does sounds rather natural.

Thanks.

I suppose with all equipment it depends upon the other pieces within the system. Horn type speakers can be tough.

ozzy

Hey Ozzy, mind telling us more about how they compare to your past amps? Going from atma-sphere and pass to michi has me curious.

j-wall,

I will do my best. Remember though, this is with my equipment, my room, my choice of music and my ears.

The Pass Labs amps were ok but to me sounded a little too closed in, especially on the top end. The Atmasphere amps were ok but lacked the amp power for the dynamics I enjoy. I could have lived with the Bob Carver Ravens, but I thought the Michi 8 with its enormous power would work better with my new speakers.

But the Michi 8 really opened everything up. However, they really required a lengthy break in to fully develop.

ozzy

The other day I had a speaker cable short and instead of the Michi 8 blowing the fuse, the Michi 8 shut down. After the culprit was removed the unit came back online.

Marvelous protection circuitry!

ozzy

Yes, evidently one did. Visually you cannot detect anything amiss. The problem must be internal. 

When you look at these cables the positive (Red) is at one end and directly at the other end is the ground wire (black). So, these cables internally do a crisscross and perhaps they have been compromised. But I dunno.

I contacted Bridgeport Magnetics Group Inc. who are the manufactures of these cables, and they will check them out (for a charge-whatever that means).

ozzy

So, I need to apologize to Goertz cabling. It was not the Goertz cable that caused the amp to shut down, it was a subwoofer cable using a Speakon (Rel) type connection that I was running off the Michi amp to an Iso-Max transformer to the sub.

ozzy

@shkong78 109db sensitive AG Trios and Class AB SS 1000 watt Michis. Could there be a more ridiculous counter intuitive pairing?

Has anyone else purchased or at least heard these amps?

They are great with my Clarisys (planar) speakers.

ozzy

I have own  MICHI P5 preamp and it was distortion and noise house after 3 different returns I will never buy anything MICHI again 

Wow, that is surprising. I never owned or tried the Michi preamp, but it did get many rave reviews.

ozzy

I love my michi m8 they run my focal utopia and sound great.read the reviews.enjoy the music stay healthy

mark200mph,

Thank you for the comments. I really do think these amps are remarkable, and affordable!

ozzy

mark200mph, or to whomever can answer:

Question:

Do you know how to take the top cover off? I like to take pictures of the inside of my equipment, but there does not seem to be any external fasteners.

ozzy

I also own a pair of M8 monoblocks and they are mighty impressive.

My experiences are similar to Ozzy’s.

They drive my MBL 101E mk2s, known for needing high current and the amps do not even break a sweat by pushing them to beyond concert levels.

I also have 4 Parasound JC5s, which I used in bridged mode to drive the MBLs and these also served the speakers justice but were not so musical and sounded thinner/brighter than the Michis.

(The Parasounds are spectecular for the bass only, when they are bridged)

The sound is drop-dead gorgous with the Michis -- sweet with holographic imaging (major characterictic of MBL but if driven with subpar electronics, can sound bright and metallic).

None of the harshness and brightness heard at the shows on many a system--just a sweet, musical presentation.

Call me crazy but I have a second pair of MBL101s for a smaller listening room  and the Michi S5 (stereo version) and this can drive the MBLs alone without any problems but the speakers do benefit from biamping (bass is more robust with 2 Michi monos).

The Michis are a great alternative to, and compete with most of the mega-priced amps, often seen at shows. I am curious to hear more opinions and experiences about Michis!

Zoltan

I find the reviews on the Michi amps to be very informative and accurate.

Interestingly, I have found the matching P5 preamp underwhelming.

It has a smooth, velvety sound but is not as dynamic as the Parasound JC2 (which is a little grainy and bright, though).

I heard that the P5 may be a passive preamp, which may explain the lack of dynamics.

I also did not care for the built-in DAC in the P5.

I have experimented with several preamps and the Italian Goldnote P1000 Mk2 is the best I ever heard and a fantastic match with the Michi monos--extremely dynamic, detailed, yet supremely musical without grain. The Luxman c-900U has similar qualities, although a little bit more laid-back. I currently own both.

Anybody knows how much class A power do the Michi amps produce?  I know they are class AB but they sound like full class A to my ears.  There is no disclosure about this on their website or in the reviews.

Zoltan

I can't comment on the P5 preamp, however, someone else on this thread also commented displeasure with the P5.

At this point, I am no longer using a preamp. With my Lumin X1 the signal goes straight to the Michi 8's.

ozzy

That's great if you can get by with the server only. I need the preamp between the server and the amps because my MBL speakers need the extra drive, otherwise the system lacks the dynamics.

I can see that you may be using electrostatic speakers?   Are they high enough sensitivity that they sound better without an active preamp?

Zoltan

zmocsary,

Update:

The Michi 8 amps built in VU meters show that even at playing music at high volume levels the needles barely move (maybe 1/6 of the way) driving my Clarisys Speakers.

And they do sound better (purer) without a preamp with the signal straight from the Lumin X1.

ozzy