Muse Electronics Polyhymnia Multiple CD Players

Muse Electronics Polyhymnia Multiple CD Players 


Multi format digital source component


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[Apr 01, 2007]
Dilshad Feroze


As stated above



Over the past nineteen years or so, I have had the luxury of being exposed to some of the finest play back systems money can buy, across continents, albeit that most of it was beyond my means. Along the way –some five years or so ago- I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Muse Electronics. A name that fits in with a handful of others that have the capacity to leave their mark on ones life and change general perceptions that tend to surround the hi-fi world, digital playback in particular. Since discovering Muse Electronics, I have never had reason to look elsewhere except when making direct comparisons –with some highly exalted names in the business- thus reaffirming my belief that this is a company that produces spectacular hi-fi. Unfortunately, I have always lamented the fact that Muse Electronics is highly under-exposed and wish it were given more global recognition. I am unable to understand why the press have overlooked such a prolific and dedicated manufacturer and instead continue to offer the public the arcane and dreary diet of Mark Levinson, Krell, Naim and Musical Fidelity.

I recently had the luxury of becoming the proud owner of Muse’s latest offering. The Polyhymnia. Upon opening the packing, it is immediately evident that the ‘less is more’ ethos has ruled the design philosophy. In fact, Muse Electronics have always maintained simplicity of design and focused their attention on where it really matters, the sound. At a time –pardon the elitist tone of the statement- of nouveau riche garishness, where most things revolve around vulgar displays of excessiveness, the Polyhymnia is refreshingly understated and oozes elegance and class. The build quality is substantial with an unusually solid faceplate. One almost instinctively picks up that this is no plane Jane but rather, lurking underneath that subtle fascia is something spectacular. Muse offers a choice of remote controls. Both are made out of machined aluminum and are monolithic in their construction, carrying on the sense of quality from the main unit. Setting it up is a breeze.

Once powered and switched on, it doesn’t take more than a bar or two for the Polyhymnia to weave its magic and have the listener enthralled. Here is a sound that is generally not associated with digital playback. The sound stage is deep and broad with warmth and richness, sparkling treble, transparency and texture. It does not have the usual digital glare that so often afflicts lesser digital source components. Voices are handled with genuine panache where textural differences from singer to singer are retained. My musical preference varies from Jazz to classical, R&B to acoustic recordings. I fed the Polyhymnia a number of titles from Telarc, Concord and Chesky productions (comprising CD/SACD/DVDA) including a bunch of great if conventional CD’s such as Jennifer Warne’s ‘Hunted’, Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole collections to name a few. No matter what one might throw at the Polyhymnia, it will present it with aplomb. The sound is rich and warm, polished and sophisticated in its tonality, resolution and fine detail. Very un-CD like. The texture and the power of voices such as BB King or Oleta Adams are maintained consistently. Load ‘The Ray Brown’ trio’s ‘Soular Energy’ SACD and you will be left breathless. The definition and subtlety evades all but the very best players, at extraterrestrial price points. The higher resolution formats on the Polyhymnia has a tangibility that all but transcends the physical medium. It really is as if nothing is in the way.

The Polyhymnia is an amazing box of tricks that can confidently be placed amongst such exalted names as Accuphase, Nagra, AudioEuro, Lamm and Spectral. The deference being that it is less expensive and is a ‘Jack-of-all-trades and master of them all. Muse has given us the whole deal in one elegant package. No more debating on ‘shall I/shall I not’ and if yes, which one shall it be. You get it all here and at a really earthly price considering the competition. The thing with Muse is that when you do make the investment you are left with a sense of finality. I say this with the utmost conviction. When I first wanted to up-grade my Model 9 signature to the model 10, I received an e-mail of advise from Muse’s CEO Kevin Halverson, informing me that I should perhaps hold on a bit longer as they were on the verge of introducing their latest Model 11 and therefore I may want to save myself the shipping cost and inconvenience. In today’s business World of ‘dog eats dog’, I challenge anyone to name a single brand that would demonstrate such high business ethics. Since then, I have discovered that what we have here, with Muse, is the single-minded pursuit of excellence in customer service, product quality, dedication to sound reproduction, value for money, integrity and most importantly, a solid, future proof investment. The Polyhymnia is nothing short of a stunning achievement. ‘Muse Polyhymnia’ is a mythical being from Greek and Roman mythology. One may momentarily think that the sound of the Polyhymnia is merely mythical, but the knowledge that it is for real will set your heart a fluttering.

PS: And by the way, I have been told by a Vidiophile that the DVD quality is up with the best.

Similar Products Used:

Audio Euro Prestige
Accuphase DP 75

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