Musical Fidelity X-Can v3

Average User Rating:
  1. bracko
    "The best bang for the buck"
    Pros - Airy and detailed, good bass, addictive midrange, tube-rolling, discrete components, moddable, price
    Cons - Discontinued
    Buying a used MF X-Can V3 is one of the best deals I have ever done. This is high quality stuff easily compared to headphone amps costing three or four times the price I paid. The amplifier is using exclusively discrete components. It works very nice driving my Sennheiser HD650 and even AKG k701 and k501. The rated power output is 1 W so I guess this amp would even manage to drive a pair of sensitive speakers. The amp I own is modded with some new Panasonic capacitors and a pair of  Russian NOS tubes. I cannot speak of any differences in SQ between the modded vs unmodded X-Can but only the fact that anyone with modest soldering skills can change some vital components in this piece of equipment is a big pro to me. The moddability of this amplifier makes it a great second-hand value. Highly recommended!
  2. Eating Pie
    "Great Amp... Still!!"
    Pros - Quiet, Inexpensive, Musical Fidelity Quality, Solid Enclosure but Easy to Tube Roll
    Cons - No Longer Available New
    I'm going to start by disagreeing with the two previous reviews.
    You DO NOT need to tube roll this amp.  The original Jan Philips 6922 are considered a premium version of the 6DJ8.  With the Sennheiser HD-600/HD-650s, you get what I'd call a more mild tube sound.  It's detailed enough to hear the page turns and periodic shuffling during some symphonic/chamber performance.   It's smooth, but not excessively, and has the punch you'd get with an SS amp.  Of course, you're probably buying this used at this point, so you may want to swap warn tubes for that reason alone; but there's no need to go nuts and buy break-your-budget NOS replacements -- feel free to just replace with the stock JP 6922s.
    That said, I purchased a set of Amperex 7308s as recommended by the first reviewer.  And boy do they sound amazing!  Extremely smooth and detailed.  They cost in the high $100s, so they are near the value of the amp.  But boy!
    In terms of comparison to modern amps, I don't have anything to refer to.  But the quality of the V3 is absolutely supreme, and you really aren't going to go wrong by any means in terms of "bang for buck."  Especially in the current used market.  You also get a solid case that completely encloses the internals including the tubes, so you don't have to worry about little ones accidentally touching them.
    I love the company name "Musical Fidelity," because that really describes what you hear with this amp.
    hauntingtheholy and rocksteady65 like this.
  3. 9pintube
    "Workin' Class HD Amp"
    Pros - Cheap, well built and Easy to "Hot Rod"
    Cons - Needs the out-board power supply/ upgraded tubes
    I knew the quality of the MF gear for the money and had heard the X-can V-3 yrs ago, I just wasn't into headphones back a few years. So in 2009 I bought a perfect used X-can V3 off of Audiogon and was somewhat pleased with the sound that it produced with my Sen.-HD650s....right out of the box, but knew that the stock (crap)6922 tubes had to go. I installed a NOS pr of my Amperex 7308 SQ grade tubes and was smiling with the improved sound right away.. These tubes make the V3 so much more detailed and really is the 1st step in any upgrades that "one" should do if they purchase a MF Xcan V3 or V8 for that matter...Next I found a "Demo" X-PSU V8 power supply,  what a find... And that took the V3  to a whole new performance level.....A must if you can find a power supply on sale, I don't think I'd give full retail for one, just keep looking for demos or used.......  All in all for a store bought headphone amp I don't think you can go wrong for the performance you receive .....JMO...PS Yeah, I know about the sound you get with changing Caps, that will be a winter project.......
    rocksteady65 likes this.
  4. superaudio
    "musical fidelity v3"
    Pros - good with sennys
    Cons - needs better valves
    i bought this headphone amp as i owend other m-f hifi
    a dac and mono power amps that would drive my rogers ls3/5a loudspekers
    with ease, so the sennys hd 650 and 600 i own nedded a dedicated head phone amp to get the best sound from them as the build in headphone amp on my computer and i pod where not good
    at all, so i bought the v3 amp this was a big improvement i kept this for about 3 months then i found out
    about a upgrade and bought some russian millitary spec valves and this was the best upgrade i could have done and so cheap it was too, the headphone
    amp now was a tuneful all singing all dancing piece of hifi at such a cheap price
    so if you own
    a m-f headphone amp do yourself a big favour
    and upgrade the built in valves.
  5. khaos974
    "An old classic"
    Pros - Quite lush and warm. A dynamic amp with nice bass. Numerous tweaks possible.
    Cons - Could be a little faster. Is now shadowed by newer amps
    When I first bought it, the market for headamps was still quite slow, it made a very interesting offer.
    It pairs quite well with the HD 600/650 reinforcing the lushness and the relaxed nature of both cans.
    As I later acquired an AKG K701, the added warmth and its generous bass compensated the AKG's dryness. The music always seems to flow effortlessly with the x-can.
    All in all it's a very competent amp, never lacking in power and dynamism. A little more details and speed would have made this amp perfect.
    Today, with many new amps, its value is not what it used to but if you can buy it second hand, why not?