Magnum Dynalab MD-208 Receivers

MD-208

The MD 208, a Discrete Audio RECEIVER, was designed and built for the customer who wants the highest level of music reproduction, without all the decisions about which separate components have synergies and then matching cables between these components.

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
ARCHEOL   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 23, 2008]
Strength:

I have owned separates of solid state and tube-hybrids in the past. When I was in college, I sold high-end two-channel audio. About a year ago, I decided to get back into the hobby. After some reflection upon past experiences with complex separate component systems, I decided to look for an integrated amplifier (or discrete receiver). I had read about the MD-208 and was familiar with Magnum Dynalab (I owned an FT11 in college), so I looked long and hard for a clean used unit.

The MD-208 has a very sophisticated high quality look and build. It is rock solid and the wood trim is exquisite. I have the black faceplate with gold-plated tuning and volume knobs.

The sound is exceptional! It sounds better than past systems I have owned including Belles and Counterpoint separates. It has plenty of punch, excellent imaging capabilities when paired with the correct speakers, and lots of current to drive the most demanding loads.

Its design is clearly audiophile inspired. There are no tone controls and only one set of speaker outputs. This is not comparable to pre-home-theater era receivers. It is much, much better in sound and build-quality than other receiver or integrated amplifier I have seen or heard in the less than 5K range.

I am using the MD-208 with a Sony ES CD player, Talon Raven C speakers, and an ACI Titan IILE powered sub. I also have the Magnum MD-10 virtual Dolby Surround Sound Processor that produces a very convincing HT experience when playing DVDs.

The tuner section is also first rate! It makes FM a viable source for listening pleasure. However, there are no station presets (again, audiophile inspired minimalist design).

Overall, this is the best all-in-one solution you can buy! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Weakness:

audiophile inspired minimalist design with few controls and options


Overall, this is the best all-in-one solution you can buy! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Customer Service

Magnum Dynalab has excellent customer service. I have e-mailed MD on several occasions and have always received a prompt response, often from the president himself.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Has2be   AudioPhile [Jan 10, 2007]
Strength:

High quality preamp , amplification and sweet tuner . Detailed , wide soundstage with depth and articulate detail , buttery midrange vocals . Really excells on strings and piano . Very well made and very attractive astetics with alot of value versus cost here and customer service that actually exsists in more than mere words! Made in Canada ! Prooving we in North America can build hi quality products here without the need for sending jobs off shore to be returned as throw away products .

Weakness:

None for me , but in this world of remote control some may want a fuction to remotely tune the radio stations and even that can be added as an upgrade for the older units .

Like most of us here , we all had systems we loved and listened and enjoyed on a daily basis . The odd tweak here and there maybe upgrade your cartridge , your cd player or new speakers a cable or two and results were heard immediatly . Then along comes " HOME THEATER" . With it more speakers that cost more together than that ultimate I want set of stereo speakers or fronts as they call them now you never could justify buying . Processors , cables upon cable , enough fine grade copper to go down the block , amplifiers ....well you get it . If all this isn,t frustrating enough manufacturers that make it so you have to sleep in the show room to stay current with the changes and even they can,t agree with a standard version . I was sitting in my living room listening to straight stereo through about 11,000 dollars worth of home theater gear and realized how poor a job it did on stereo for all that money . Made no sense that the basic stereo sound should be so inferior to gear from 30 years ago with all the advancements claimed in manufacturing now . Stereo should be put at the forefront and never an afterthought . Think about it ... how many people know what it sounds like to have a truck crash through a house , or long tirades of gunfire or explosions and so on ? Anyone that does either isn,t here to tell or would rather forget about it . After some research and listening I bought a Magnum Dynalab MD 208 . This is an incredible peice of equipment . Few things in audio do everything they claim and fewer still do everything they are capable of well, let alone outstanding. This receiver is as good as it gets and as good as the claims and reveiws it receives . Inside one very attractive case you get hi end dead quiet pre amplification , high current and outstanding amplification, and a world class tuner with broadcast quality sound . What ever music I through at it it excelled from rock to blues, jazz classical you name it . If you love strings and piano this will make the hairs on your neck stand up . The highs are sweet n natural and not harsh the midrange is like buttah ! Natural as a voice should ,and does, sound without color . The bass also really amazed me as it is musical ,quick and detailed without that over emphasized slam that overwhelms the soundstage . Depth , wide soundstage , speed , control , and delicate detail with dead quiet background . This one box unit makes my demanding NHT 2.9 speakers dissappear and reveals music in a pure and pleasing way that could only be bettered by a hi end preamp and hi end amplifier at twice the cost . But then you would of spent twice the money would need more cabling costs and would lack a tuner that can make you have to check if you have a CD playing when its the FM tuner . A long time ago I was told by an Audio store owner to never be fooled by how good something sounds loud , it must or should sound complete at low levels with all frquencies audible and clear . I never forgot that and this MD 208 does it with detail and delicacy from the highest high to the lowest low and the very important mids . I really think this will be one of those classics in thirty years that our grandchildren will be buying up like the marantz of the seventies that our kids are chasing now . A definate KEEPER !

Customer Service

Excellant , you won,t find better. Ask someone who has a tuner 15 years old and as the original owner any service never costs more than 100 dollars plus shipping period .

Similar Products Used: A to Z and back again
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jaylopez   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 17, 2005]
Strength:

-HiFi quality sound that average people like me can afford -New remote -Customer Service -Magnum Dynalab Tuner!

Weakness:

-Manual needs improvement -A seek function on the remote would be great

I really like the MD 208. It’s a unique product. Besides having a very good amp and preamp section, it also has a superb FM tuner. I never enjoyed listening to FM until I got this receiver.In some station, the sound is so amazing you'll think your listening to a CD. As an added bonus, you get a top notch customer service from the people at Magnum. They genuinely value their customers. Way to go Magnum...We need more Companies like you!

Similar Products Used: Nakamichi AV 1s
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Nibrels   AudioPhile [Jul 15, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent build quality. Sound quality that makes your speakers disappear. The folks at Magnum Dynalab are very helpful on the phone and stand behind their product.

Weakness:

No Tuner presets. No remote control of the tuner.

I do not usually write reviews but this Magnum Dynalab MD 208 is an impressive piece of Audio gear. To my surprise it has a great depth of sound stage. It is open & airy. The tonal balance is fantastic. There is excellent bass presence at low or high volume levels. This receiver approaches the sound of much more expensive McIntosh separates. It performs very well with PSB Stratus Gold i's and is refined enough to drive Dunlavy SC-IVA's. The build quality is superb. One could compare this to your sleeper Hot Rod. If more folks find out how good this unit is, it may hurt the sales of more expensive gear. This unit is a keeper.

Similar Products Used: McIntosh Separates. Denon AVR-5800 & Denon DRA-685.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rg   AudioPhile [May 10, 2003]
Strength:

one box convenience good build quality

Weakness:

cant switch inputs directly back n forth, - need to cycle thru all the inputs when switching from say CD back to tuner

Evaluating audio gear is not only subjective, but often quite biased depending upon ones own personal taste. Having said that, I simply wish to join the ranks of those who have previously made comments regarding the merits of the MD 208. I rarely will take the time to add my $.02 to reviews, especially when something has already been raved about, but this fantastic piece of gear certainly deserves the praise. Admittedly, at first I was skeptical, - a do everything receiver with true audiophile quality? Well, this thing is major league folks. And with the convenience of one box, remote, and an excellent tuner. On a pair of ProAc 1SC mini monitors with sub, the sound can be so intoxicating that I find myself playing my main system (which took A LOT of time, and major bucks to assemble) much less frequently. I have compared the MD 208 directly to a few different similarly priced all tube integrateds, and while there was occasionally a trade off in vocals, I always ended up favoring the MD. This is extremely smooth solid state, and it will deliver the goods in dynamics and detail. At this particular price point, I challenge anyone to partner amps, a tuner, and interconnects that will sound significantly better.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
lpquick   AudioPhile [Oct 26, 2002]
Strength:

Tuner section is beyond approach, the amp is super clean, clear and detailed, with plenty of punch.

Weakness:

You try to find one, I couldn't.

You can stop looking, this is the finest receiver you can buy. It blows away separates costing much, much more. I own a late model Etude and the tuner section of the MD 208 is better, cleaner with weak signals, goes deeper into the bass and sounds warmer and more musical. It's simple to operate and looks as good as it sounds. The remote is bullet proof and heavy like a hand gun. I have no amp, preamp, tuner interconnects, which save me more money. It's built to last forever. Great bang for the buck, a winner!

Similar Products Used: Marantz, Sony, Yamaha, H & K, Luxman.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
FatJer   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 19, 2002]
Strength:

Best sound reporduction I've owned, and I've been in this crazy hobby since 1964.

Weakness:

None

I purchased this receiver in early 2000, and it sounded better than anything I had owned prior. Being a dumb "Gearhead" I sold it to follow after the latest "In" amplification product, and guess what? I'm in the market to replace the one I sold. The sound is terrific, no matter what the source, it is a pleasure to behold, it is user friendly, and oh yes, did I mention it sounds better than anything you will probably own in your lifetime. I'm serious, this "Receiver" is the answer.

Similar Products Used: You name it, I've probably owned it, traded for it or heard it.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
eds   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 2002]
Strength:

performance for overall price FM tuner is topnotch power to drive any speaker load made in canada, those boys know how to rock

Weakness:

long burn in time

I had recently gone through the whole 5.1 channel b.s., bought a few different AV receivers and auditioned many more. The same basic problem kept creeping up, the stereo sound was not adequate, and since movie soundtracks are so limited I decided to bag the whole "experiment". After some research I decided to buy the MD208,since it offers tremendous value, flexibility and performance. You essentially get a topnotch MD tuner (similar spects to the etude,102) as well as a simaudio preamp/amp combination, in one sweet looking package and with increased dual channel wattage, 100 per channel. This unit is really sharp looking, with an uncluttered face, curved rosewood stained panels and stylish heat sinks, it has the look of a piece of furniture with very high WAF (wife acceptance factor). The performance is truly amazing, there are times when you actualy can forget that you are listening to FM, and makes you realize that it is FM is really one the best free outlets available to us. CD sound is fantastic, with wonderful depth , imaging and a wide soundstage. This unit especially shines with acoustic music, the performers are in your space. Another important feature is that with nearly any speaker low level listening is very detailed and nothing is lost, so for late night listeners this is agreat feature. This is a unit that I could literally live the rest of my life with, and not feel the need to change, unusual for a so-called audio person to admit.

Similar Products Used: transcendent sound preamp audio stratos odyssey amp Marantz sr7000 denon avr 3802 outlaw audio 1050
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bubba Hacker   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 09, 2002]
Strength:

Stereo Imaging, Sound Stage, Power & Damping Factor!

Weakness:

Absolutely None!

I got all caught up in the Home Theater craze, but my wife did not like the center channnels and rears so we were just using two B&W CDM7NT''s. I have now owned Marantzs Best, A/V receiver, and NADS, and Yamaha RXV-1. They all sounded great for movies, but movies are psychoacoustic so its hard to really tell. I felt short changed on the stereo end even though all the A/V receivers say they have great stereo, I found myself not listening to my incredible CD collection anymore. In any event my theater like many others is in my living room anyway, so I saw a review of the Magnum Dynalab and wanted to hear it. With all the money I''ve blown so far how could it hurt. Well I''m here to tell you this is the real deal. My wife and I are listening to our CD collection again, and it has the most beautiful sound ever. It really is staggering how well this thing sounds. You don''t want to quit listening. I thought my B&W speakers had no bass until this receiver. I got their MD-10virtual surround sound processor and its basically what I was doing before. It sound great! I''m in love with stereo again. The FM on this thing sounds great also! If your like me and really enjoy stereo and can''t really do a full blown theater in your living area give this thing a try. WARNING! It takes about a month to burn in, but its not terrible

Similar Products Used: Yamaha RXV-1, Marantz SR8000, NAD T760
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David   Audiophile [Jun 10, 2001]
Strength:

Harmonic balance, sweetness, dynamic range, stereo imaging . . .

Weakness:

Takes a long time to warm up

Wake up and smell the roses. This thing is butter. A very well designed and implemented piece, with no real sonic drawl backs. Compares favorably to the Mark Levinson 383 intergrated ( but this one come with a kick ass tuner also). If I were an audio manufacturer I would hope not to many find out about this piece.
Compared this at home with the adcom/rotel combo. Tell you what some might actually prefeer the adcom/rotel duo for its pristine and concise sound, never bloated . . .
But, hooked up the Magnum . . . the speakers dissapeared, the sound stage widened. The sound . . . its at the beach at sunset, or sitting by a fire. God it was beauitful almost staggering in the presentation a small detail with-in a whole sound. Layering was outstanding. Not tube-like but better because of the tight tuneful base comming from the B&W 805 speakers. So much so I got up to make sure the subwoofer was off!
You would have to spend at least 8-10,000 to better the transparency but you still would not get the sound. It is like noting else I have ever heard. Bravo!
I can not think of the last time I was this excited about a piece of equipment . . . oh yeah, my B&W 805's.
If you are reading this and are think of laying down more than 3000 for an amp and preamp, don't. Buy this and put the rest of the money into a CD player, cables, and or speakers. For about 10.000 you will have a system audiophiles dream about and endup spending three time more and still not have such good sound. Classical, Jazz, Rock, whatever, it was for me like discovering my CD collection all over once more. This comming from a skeptic.
The Magnum Dynalab 208 has come!!!!!

Similar Products Used: compared directly to adcom 750 pre with rotel amp, and yamaha 995 reciever
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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