McIntosh’s most powerful integrated amplifier in 70 years
McIntosh Laboratory has launched the most powerful integrated amplifier in its 70-year history, the MA12000. The new 350-watt powerhouse is a next-generation amplifier, benefitting from uncompromising engineering, expert craftsmanship and enough power to drive any loudspeaker. It also packs all the features a modern music lover could ever need.
A real best of both worlds proposition, the MA12000 is a hybrid design, with a luxurious valve preamp section (powered by four 12AX7A valves, two per audio channel), combined with a high-performance 350-watt solid-state power amplifier employing McIntosh’s Autoformer™ technology, which guarantees the full 350 watts is always delivered, regardless of speaker.
Feature-rich, the MA12000 boasts state-of-the-art digital capabilities with enough connectivity for virtually any home audio system. It comes with McIntosh’s DA2 Digital Audio Module factory-installed, which includes seven digital audio inputs: two coaxial; two optical; one USB; one proprietary MCT (for McIntosh’s SACD/CD transports); plus, one audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) for the ultimate movie and TV sound with compatible HDMI screens.
The DA2 features an advanced, Quad Balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit DAC. This audiophile-grade device, which can be replaced as digital technologies progress, features improved dynamic range and improved total harmonic distortion. The DA2 supports Hi-Res Audio, too: its USB input supports DSD 512 and DXD up to 384 kHz, while the coaxial and optical inputs rise to 24 bit/192 kHz; the DA2 has also received Roon Tested designation.
Turntables can be directly connected thanks to the MA12000’s Moving Coil and Moving Magnet inputs, both of which feature adjustable loading for fine-tuning. In total there are ten analogue inputs: two balanced and six unbalanced, plus the MM and MC connections. The MA120000 also has a balanced and unbalanced output to connect to an additional amplifier if needed.
The MA120000 benefits from some key industrial design elements: the autoformers and power transformer are contained in a new glass-topped enclosure, capped by a glass nameplate encircled with a decorative trim ring. Key performance specifications and a detailed block diagram are printed on five glass panels.
The entire unit is wrapped in the classic McIntosh aesthetic, with a pair of ‘McIntosh Blue’ watt meters, a black glass front panel, rotary control knobs, illuminated logo, aluminium end-caps with built-in handles and a beautiful stainless steel chassis, polished to a mirror finish.
Additional McIntosh proprietary technologies in the MA12000
Power Guard®: monitors the output signal for over driving and makes real-time micro adjustments to the input signal to prevent harsh-sounding clipping.
McIntosh’s fuse-less short-circuit protection circuit Sentry Monitor™, disengages the output stage.
A pair of peak-responding, trademarked ‘McIntosh Blue’ watt meters indicate the real time power output of each audio channel
McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks™: connected to advanced high-current output transistors that minimise thermal equilibrium lag (or warm-up) time and help with cool running
Home Theater PassThru: allows for seamless integration into a home theatre system
McIntosh’s patented Solid Cinch™ speaker binding posts: easily (but securely) attach the speaker cables to prevent them from coming loose and possibly causing a short; the binding posts are also gold-plated to prevent corrosion and ensure a good-quality signal output
A discrete, eight-band tone control allows for advanced manual analogue adjustment
High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) brings an added dimension to headphone listening
Power Control: sends power on/off signals to connected McIntosh components
Doubling of filter capacity compared to McIntosh’s other integrated amplifiers for even better low frequency performance
Powerful control microprocessors to improve overall system operation
Easy operation via front panel controls or the included comprehensive remote control
Pricing and availability
The MA12000 can be ordered now from Authorized McIntosh dealers. UK shipping expected to begin in November 2020; US October. Pricing £16,500.