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Musical Fidelity - V-CAN MKII - Headphone Amplifier

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #104 in Desktop Amps


Pros: Fluid and natural tonality, layered (3D) soundstage

Cons: 3D soundstage depth comes at expense of soundstage width and clarity in the high fequencies

I find it difficult to get used to the sound of this little amp.

In comparison with the amp I used for years, the headphones-out my old faithfull Marantz PM7200 the sound is superior in many ways.

There's more depth, a cleaner, more fluid tonality, better layering of instruments and finally no more humming/buzzing of the transformer, the main reason I got this amp.

But the sound isn't as wide. With some recordings my ears miss something, especially my left ear craves for more sound, it wants the music to fill out the left channel and beyond.

This makes for a hard listening at times, but to be honest, objectively the difference in width is really small, I am just so grown with the sound of my old amp, it is just like an old habit I need to get rid of.

Or maybe not? Time will tell.

I give this little V-Can some time to grow on me, because it has lots of good things going for it.

I'll update this review over a couple of weeks.



I will return the little amp. There's a clear channel imbalance. I tested this with my Marantz amp, when turning the balance control knob slightly to the right it gave me the same sensation I got with the V-Can, my left ear begging for a little more sound. It's a pity because the overall sound is really excellent.


So this review is no longer valid, because it is not fair to rate a faulty unit. Therefore I ask the moderator to delete this review in time.


Pros: Cheap, clean sound, basic design/user friendly


I don't know what kind of headphones they designed these for, but for my 300ohm Sennheiser HD-540 and AKG k701 I only turn up about 25%. If you wanted to use a splitter this should be able to power 3-4 pairs of nice headphones, which would be good if you wanted the band to hear during production and recording; however, I have not tested it for use of monitoring with many headphones.That said, they are nice and I can keep them low enough that I don't blow my ears out. I think it looks and feels very high quality and professional, as you'd expect from Musical Fidelity. I don't think it would be great for playing different albums off your mp3 type players in shuffle, as you might be changing the volume control very often with differently mixed albums. To play a single player or your special CD from Japan that you payed $80- for, it is very good and you will never have to worry about it not being loud enough, ever. For me, it's not hard to find the sweet spot of perfect volume when I'm listening to my SACD collection with the V-can hooked up to a Denon SACD player. This is an instant improvement from going out of almost of any stock stereo device with their stock headphone jack. You hear what you want without cranking up your stereo receiver, how nice is that? Maybe if I had weaker headphones I wouldn't need this, but I have 3 pairs that starve with in my receiver. I turn the volume on my stereo to 75% for average listening on headphones and I could handle 100% on some albums. So, if you've been through the stereo and want to go big, this is good clean sound for a great price. As far as I can see, this thing will grow with me, because as I go deaf from it, I will only need to turn it up a little to hear again (joke.) Note: since it is so loud, I tried hooking it straight up to a record player without a phono pre-amp. But it didn't get loud enough for what I like even all the way up. atsmile.gif

Musical Fidelity - V-CAN MKII - Headphone Amplifier

Musical Fidelity's V-CAN is near legendary in audiophile circles as genuine state-of-the-art headphone amplifier at an unbelievably low price. The new MkII version of the V-CAN has an improved circuit layout with refined power supply regulation, improved output impedance for better load driving, and less differences in level between driving lower and higher impedance headphones. Thanks to these upgrades, the V-CAN MkII boasts improved frequency response and lower distortion figures. Steve Guttenberg calls the original V-CAN "a neat little amp" in his July 27, 2011 review for CNET.com. "The big drums thundering away on Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest CD demonstrated the amp's ability to deliver deep bass without boom or bloat. Definition and low-end control are well above par." "One can easily be tempted to play this amp pretty loud, because it has a lively get-up-and-go to it that just encourages unrestrained rock 'n roll listening. It's good at other musical styles, too," notes England's Hi-fi Choice magazine, Issue 334.

BrandMusical Fidelity
FeatureCompact headphone amplifier Line level inputs: 1 pair line level RCAs Line level outputs: 1 pair RCA (connected to inputs as loop through) Headphone outputs: (1) 1/4" stereo jack, (1) 1/8" stereo jack
TitleMusical Fidelity - V-CAN MKII - Headphone Amplifier
Item Height1.66 inches
Item Length7 inches
Item Width3.75 inches
Package Height2.5 inches
Package Length10.5 inches
Package Weight1.65 pounds
Package Width8.8 inches
PartNumberV CAN MKII
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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