Munich HIGH END Show Report 2017
Made right here is the USA, yet with a keen ear for music lovers worldwide, is McIntosh. For well over 65 years they keep the blue light going strong. At HIGH END 2017 in Munich McIntosh showcased their MA8900 integrated amplifier ($7500) and MCD350 SACD/CD player ($4500). Each product combines the company's best-in-class audio performance of the legendary McIntosh Reference System with the latest in technological development.
Their MA8900 integrated amplifier produces 200 Watts per channel stereo and combines many new features including being the first product to feature McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks. They are made from high quality materials with excellent thermal conductivity properties and are so efficient at dissipating heat that they warrant bearing the McIntosh 'Mc' logo. Besides helping the MA8900 run cool, they'll also help it look cool too. They are connected to advanced high current output transistors that eliminate thermal equilibrium lag time so that the first musical note played sounds just as good as songs played later in the listening session.
All digital inputs are housed in McIntosh's new DA1 Digital Audio Module. The DA1 can be replaced by future modules to easily keep the MA8900 current with all the latest digital audio formats and technologies. The DA1 comes with an upgraded 8-channel, 32-bit DAC used in Quad Balanced mode and has six digital inputs. The USB input accepts signals up to 32-bit/384kHz and supports up to DSD256 and DXD 384kHz. Analog stereo inputs include one pair XLR balanced and six pairs RCA unbalanced plus one each of Moving Coil and Moving Magnet phono stage. All inputs can be given custom names for user-friendly system control and configuration.
McIntosh's classic and modern features and technologies included within the MA8900 are their renowned Autoformers; Power Guard, Sentry Monitor, Home Theater PassThru, High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD), five-band analog tone controls, and gold-plated speaker binding posts. The entire unit is wrapped in the timeless McIntosh aesthetic with beautiful blue watt meters, a black glass front panel, control knobs, illuminated logo, aluminum end caps and a beautiful polished stainless steel chassis.
Next us is McIntosh's MCD350 SACD/CD player that features a balanced two-channel, 32-bit/192kHz DAC. Fixed analog stereo outputs are available in both XLR balanced and RCA unbalanced. Digital outputs include S/PDIF coax and TosLink optical. All analog outputs plus the digital S/PDIF coax outputs are gold plated or superior corrosion resistance.
McIntosh's MCD350 features 2x read speed so that all discs placed in its rigid aluminum die-cast tray are read at higher speeds, allowing their data to be stored in a buffer memory for a better error correction and tracking. A twin laser optical pickup uses a single objective lens with two laser units each employing different wavelengths that are optimized for SACD and CD playback. The classic McIntosh black glass front panel with an illuminated logo and aluminum end caps complete the unit. Enjoy the Music.com reviewed the McIntosh MC75 monoblock tube amplifier and C22 tube preamplifier and we also reviewed the McIntosh C2600 vacuum tube stereo preamplifier with DAC, phono stage and headphone amplifier.