The Musical Fidelity flagship is a superlative performer behind the headline grabbing numbers
Leading from the top of this amplifier’s trump card specifi cation sheet is the £20,000 price tag, followed closely by the two-box design and claimed delivery of 1kW into an 8ohm load. Reading the spec-sheet alone does little to prepare you for the sheer size, weight and physical presence of the two-box Titan. It is massive, with a combined weight over 110kg, each unit boasting a footprint the size of a small chest of drawers.
Sitting side-by-side you have two enormous works of art in milled aluminium – low, wide and deep. Along with the fi ns that run the full length of all four cheeks, the styling aids cooling through a half dozen grilled ports in the top of each case.
The Titan is a pure dual-mono design in two cases, but rather than go down the route of two self-contained monoblocks, one of the Titan cases houses two discrete power supplies of epic proportion. The amplifier box is about two-thirds the weight of the power supply and contains four power stages configured in discrete bridged pairs. It is equally extravagantly fi nished with balanced XLR and RCA inputs and dual locking speaker terminals that are beefy enough to tether a small ship. Everything is massive, solid and feels like it would last a lifetime of abuse, perhaps even two or three.
Connected to a Sony SCD1 player via a balanced input we were hooked from the first notes. ‘Blood Red River’ from Beth Orton’s Central Reservation CD was etched into the room with breathtaking clarity, neatly crafting the subtle string-bass lines in a way that few other amplifiers manage. The Titan immediately presented itself as nimble, incisive and blessed with a top end of remarkable sweetness and resolution. Ms Orton’s quite ragged vocal was portrayed as rich with emotion, caressing with an enticing and deeply sexual quality.
The pivotal moment in this relationship was playing Antimatter’s recent live CD Live @ An Club. This intense recording of acoustic guitar and Mike Moss’ intriguing vocal has an amazing rawness and vitality that fl ies against the trend for dynamic compression on modern recordings. Playing this CD through the Titan was an instantaneous transportation to the time and place. We were there in the crowd.
Such is the Titan’s lucidity and separation of instruments through the midband, we were overcome with a strange urge to reconnect and set-up a favourite hi-fi ornament, a 1988 vintage Michell Gyrodek. The black disc’s charms and top-end dynamic were so well presented by the Titan we found ourselves scheduling vinyl evenings into the diary before the amp’s inevitable return to MF.
Whitesnake’s bluesy rifts on the live album of In The Heart Of The City were carved into the room with sweeping scale, the Titan neatly recreating all the atmosphere of a packed Hammersmith Odeon. As the track played out on its epic solo, any diehard rock fan would have to sit on his hands not to pick up an air guitar and squeeze out those last few chords. Never have we heard a traditional amp which does everything quite so well. From the tightest of bottom-end notes right up into its extended top-end.
Sophisticated and technically accomplished, this amp has every right to revel in the cliché of being an open window on the music. Stunning midrange lucidity and a potent yet always sprightly balance make for wonderful musicality and hi-fi magic of the highest order.
Originally published in the Yearbook 2010
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