M203 replaces M202 - More fins for cooler operation - Bigger transformers for better sound - User replaceable power module for better reliability!
“MSB's Platinum is, quite simply, the best amplifier we've ever heard.”
Paul Messenger, HI-FI CHOICE August 2009
Editors Choice, 5 stars and on the cover!
MSB does it once again! This 200 watt monaural Amplifier uses the MSB strategy of design simplicity with a totally new architecture. There is not another AMP in the world like it.
Built out of Desperation
Designing the Platinum DACs we found that there was not an amplifier available that could let us hear everything that our DAC is capable of. Some amplifiers would hold an image together well with multiple instruments playing but were not capable of fully resolving the individual instruments. Other amplifiers would simply sound wonderful until more than two or three things started happening at once! We even listened to a few amplifiers that were completely missing notes in low frequencies! The M-200 amplifier was designed from the ground up to be full of resolution, dynamics, to hold a solid image for each instrument no matter how many are going at once, with out being harsh or edgy. We needed a Reference Amplifier, and that is what we built! Next we listened the suggestions of our customers and added some more features and the M202 was launched. Now with another year of experience we have further refined the AMP. The M203 is a little bigger, with lots more heat sink area so it runs cooler, and with bigger transformers so it sounds even better. Finally, in the M203 we have consolidated all the AC power components into a user replaceable module.
As you've probably noticed, the M203 Amplifiers are
round! This design allows us to keep the signal paths as short as
possible for the best possible performance.
Truly Balanced Architecture
Both the inputs and the outputs of this Amplifier are completely Balanced. There is no funny business going on here! The M-203 also offers a single-ended input, that is treated separately from the balanced input. A simple switch located near the input jacks allows you to switch the Amplifier between Single-Ended operation, Balanced (high gain, + 6dB) and Balanced (low gain).
(per Mono AMP)
True Balanced (XLR)
Input Impedance 36kOhm
Input Impedance 18kOhm
4.34 Vpp @ 200W
(High Gain +28db)
8.68 Vpp @ 200W
(Low Gain +22db)
Common Mode Range:
+/- 20 V
Max. Linear Input Range:
Max. Input Voltage:
0 Negative Local Feedback
0 Negative Global Feedback
Signal to Noise Ratio:
>200 Watts at 8 Ohms
Capable of driving
a 1 Ohm load
Static Power Consumption:
Dual 600W Toroidal Transformers.
Switch for Balanced or Single-ended operation.
Lighted switch for On-Standby-Off
Switch for High and Low Bias Modes.
Jack for remote power on and off.
Based on customer requests, the M203 has both a total power on / off and standby mode all selected by the lighted toggle on top and via a remote jack on the back. It also has a high/low Bias switch allowing the Amplifier to run in a cool mode for hot environments, and at normal temperature for the very best sound possible.
The M203 offers some very significant advantages over most amplifiers in the long term. Having made amplifiers for many years we have found the importance of making the amplifier not only reliable buy easy to repair. Amplifiers are high power devices and sometimes mistakes are made or AC power is erratic. We have put all the power sensitive devices on a simple drawer in the back that can be easily replaced by the user. So if you have a horrible power brown out some time and an amplifier is damaged, you just slide out the power drawer and plug in a new one.
The amplifier structure is also easy to change. The heatsinks in most amplifiers are a part of the basic chassis and cannot be changed. The M203 heat sinks can be removed and replaced in the field. This allows us to offer the M203 in many colors to fit every system. Check it out.
This truly balanced design offers single-ended and two balanced modes.
The M203 is offered in may color options. Satin Black is the most popular but Matt White and Champagne are impressive. We can also custom match your system.
The heart of the MSB M203 Amp is our MSB designed current mirrors.
This approach is expensive but allows amazing accuracy. With such great
accuracy we can even operate with zero feedback, greatly improving our phase response.
Negative feedback is a trick used by most amp designers to improve linearity
but its cost is in degraded phase performance. Our use of zero feedback is
significant breakthrough and indicates the care taken in our design.
Other improvements include the use of toroidal transformers keep noise levels low as does the dense packaging. High quality connectors are used on the back of the unit with both balanced and single ended inputs.
How good are these amps?
Good enough that TAD picked them to use at the 2007 Stereophile show in NY when they could have any amp they wanted.