Lyngdorf MXA-8400 multichannel amplifier review

Danish brand's immersive audio processors finally find their equal in this stunning eight-channel power amp, says Martin Dew

The launch of the eight-channel MXA-8400 amplifier in September 2023 filled a yawning gap in Lyngdorf's range. Until then, its customers had to stack multiples of its two-channel SDA-2400 amps to drive a home cinema speaker array. A model with more built-in channels was needed to get in line with competitors.

The result is the MXA-8400, first teased in 2020 when company founder Peter Lyngdorf showed off a glass-topped prototype at ISE in Amsterdam. Then Covid took hold, supply chains of source components dwindled, and the project went into hiatus. It wasn't until recently that the amplifier started to roll off the production line.

Lyngdorf, headquartered in Skive in Denmark, produces a small selection of electronics components, spearheaded by its MP line of AV surround processors. The company still manufactures the two-channel SDA-2400 Class D-based amplifier, along with integrated stereo amps and various compact and full-range loudspeakers.

Standing apart
The MXA-8400, priced £8,499, uses eight Class D-based, high-spec Purifi Eigentakt amplifier modules, rather than opting for a conventional Class A/B design. But note that no other amps in Lyngdorf's range at the moment support the Purifi technology. If you are in the market for monoblock, stereo or three-channel varieties, you might have to wait a bit longer.

The Purifi modules sit alongside four layers of circuit boards and power supply wizardry, all nestled inside a sleek grey exterior housing that makes a decent match for Lyngdorf's MP-60 and MP-40 AV processors. Of course, the MXA amplifier doesn't need to pair with Lyngdorf processors, but one assumes many customers will choose to go down that route. A slim acrylic strip runs through the centre line of the front fascia, in a slight nod to the clear panels of the MP models.


Inputs are on balanced XLR only – there's no RCA option

Eight balanced XLR inputs and the same number of Speakon ports for speaker wires populate the rear panel; Lyngdorf provides Neutrik Speakon connectors inside the box (these low-mass, low-resistance, lock-turning connectors are usually found in pro audio environments where durability is a concern). An output voltage switch ensures better matching to your preamp/processor and there are trigger in/out ports for auto-turn on/off procedures initiated by other components.

Power of good
While the MXA-8400 claims 8 x 200W into 8 ohms, that figure doubles to 8 x 400W into 4 ohms (hence the 8400 numerical naming of the product). Furthermore, when patching into 8-ohm loudspeakers, you can bridge amp channel pairs to produce a claimed 4 x 800W.

There are two crucial parts of the MXA-8400's makeup. The first comprises the aforementioned Eigentakt Class D modules from Purifi (of which Peter Lyngdorf is a co-founder). An evolution of the Hypex/nCore designs of audio engineer Bruno Putzeys, these promise to outgun all other Class D types in terms of stability, linearity, dynamic range and distortion (the latter here given as 0.001% THD, at 200W/8ohm, across the full 20Hz-20kHz audio band). They're also incredibly efficient, which is both good for your electricity bill and means the MXA-8400 runs relatively cool to the touch – certainly in contrast to much less efficient Class A/B or Class A amps.

In pursuit of a premium performance, the Purifi Eigentakt amp sections must combine with the second part of Lyngdorf's magic sauce, namely its 'PowerPerfect' architecture. PowerPerfect describes the various technologies embedded in the power supply's internal workings. Nearly 50 per cent of the real estate inside the MXA's steel frame makes up the power supply, which itself is decoupled from the mains. The message the Danish brand wants to get across is that the sonic footprint should come from your loudspeakers, and not from the amplifier. The latter's job is simply to carry the least contaminated signal possible to those enclosures.

Lyngdorf provided us with two MXA-8400 amplifiers, so I could evaluate performance with a 7.3.6 speaker layout. After some time spent getting to grips with wiring the Neutrik Speakon connectors, it was time to connect 13 XLR cables from a Lyngdorf MP-50 processor to the power amps. Lyngdorf's RoomPerfect calibration system, run via the MP-50, was deployed before listening tests began.


The eight Purifi Eigentakt modules are fed by Lyngdorf's PowerPerfect power supply tech

What became apparent even with casual two-channel Spotify music listening is how different the MXA-8400 amplifiers sounded when compared to my Parasound HCA-1205A (Class A/B) stalwarts. There was a precision and accuracy which the bold-sounding Parasound hardware (rated at 140W per channel) couldn't quite muster, but nor was there any sense that the Lyngdorf amps were running short on warmth and musicality. In Pink Floyd's 'One Slip' from A Momentary Lapse of Reason (2019 remaster, Spotify), the imaging of electronic effects during the opening was handled to perfection. When the rhythm guitar and synthesized drums entered, my loudspeakers disappeared as the vertical and horizontal plains of the soundstage extended beyond the perimeters of the room. Every instrument was fully fleshed out, with lower midrange harmonics seamlessly flirting with the subwoofers.

The voices of Elena Mosuc and Piotr Beczala in Act III, scene III of Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto, recorded at the Zurich Opera house (Blu-ray, 7.1) were pure and naturalistic with seemingly nothing impeding the source. The feeling was akin to sitting in the venue as the orchestra underscored vocals with whooshing crescendos, then, in the next moment, wonderful delicacy.

Finely tuned
When Tom Cruise takes his first flight to Normandy in Edge of Tomorrow (4K Blu-ray), the rumbling aircraft engines filled every speaker in the array. When the burning side of the fuselage tears open, the MXA-8400 amps created an extraordinarily realistic envelope as directional effects moved seamlessly around the room, with force. Metallic high-frequency clatters were isolated and distinguishable against the mayhem, while the mid-frequencies thumped and pounded relentlessly.

Throughout there was a feeling of unburstable power, of the amplifiers not being put under strain. Even during the famous freeway car brawl in Deadpool (4K Blu-ray), Ryan Reynolds' voice was startlingly clear and nuanced without struggling to compete with the loud and multi-layered mix. These Lyngdorf amps somehow managed to take the multichannel experience up a notch. No longer was I listening to a mere 'home cinema'. This was more like being in a finely tuned, immersive large format auditorium.

The MXA-8400 offers a leg-up, if you like, from 'residential' to 'pro'. Lyngdorf's MP-50 processor creates a beautifully smooth sonic character all by itself, and the new power amp simply doubles down on that always velvety texture. But perhaps I'm using the wrong words. There is no texture. What we get here is how movies and music are supposed to sound.

Cinéma vérité
Not everyone will rush out to spend £8,500 on an eight-channel amplifier (let alone £17,000 on a pair), and an expansion of the MXA range would be welcome, maybe with stereo/three-channel options, for more system flexibility. But the performance here is second-to-none.

The MXA-8400 creates soundscapes that are achingly beautiful and vivid, will comfortably drive power-hungry loudspeakers, and leaves you with a sense that nothing is standing between your ears and the source. One of Lyngdorf's MP processors will make an obvious partner, but if your processor does comes from a different stable, don't overlook this unassuming grey box from Scandinavia. This is one devastatingly accurate, immensely powerful and gorgeous-sounding amplifier.

I'll take two, please.

HCC Verdict: 5/5

Lyngdorf MXA-8400
Price: £8,499

We say: Lyngdorf's debut Purifi Eigentakt power amplifier is thrillingly powerful and seductively transparent – and a must-audition if you're building a premium system.


POWER OUTPUT (CLAIMED): 8 x 200W (8 ohm); 8 x 400W (4 ohm); 4 x 800W (8 ohm, bridged) CONNECTIONS: 8 x balanced XLR inputs; 8 x Speakon speaker cable connectors; trigger input; trigger output DIMENSIONS: 450(w) x 349(d) x 145(h)mm WEIGHT: 10.3kg

FEATURES: Supplied with 8 x Neutrik Speakon connectors; steel rack mount; switchable between 2V input sensitivity (high-sensitivity mode) and 6V (low-sensitivity mode); PowerPerfect power supply technology; Purifi Class D amplifier technology