McIntosh Laboratory @ HIGH END 2019
As many of you know from reading my previous review of the MC611 amplifier, my Muse / wife Heather loves McIntosh Labs. A much better formal review of McIntosh's MC611 monoblock amplifier is by our Senior Editor Tom Lyle so read that one instead of mine imho. For me, is the incredibly high sound quality combined with a truly incredible 50+ year lifespan these overbuild products easily reach. For Heather, it is those mesmerizing blue meters (and sound quality). In fact during AXPONA 2019 I dared someone to turn off the blue lights, and since they knew Heather would get angry they didn't, yet I did turn them off because, well, sometimes we love to see human reaction.
Be forewarned, never, ever, under any circumstance turn off the blue meter lights if Heather is around.
Truth and humor aside, here at HIGH END 2019 McIntosh was in full-force with what appeared to be each and every product they produce. Usually there's something new, such as the C49 stereo preamplifier, yet that was launched after HIGH END and so it appears within this month's Industry News page.
McIntosh's latest release pre-C49 is their MPC500 Power Controller ($2500) that features cascaded surge protection in a multi-outlet package. As we audiophiles know, inconsistency in power quality can cause costly damage to electronic devices (read: high-end audio equipment). McIntosh's MPC500 delivers full-mode AC power line surge protection, such as from a lightning strike, as well as protecting low voltage devices against secondary surges and spikes that can occur after the initial event.
AC power line protection is accomplished with the use of three thermally protected metal-oxide varistors (TPMOVs) – which are far safer than traditional MOVs – that provide Line to Neutral, Line to Ground and Neutral to Ground protection. For secondary surge events, the MPC500 provides protection for Ethernet, coaxial, and other low voltage devices via Gas Discharge Tubes (GDT), Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) thermistors and Transient Voltage Suppression (TVS) components.
Also included in the MPC500 is electromagnetic interference (EMI) filtering of the AC line and over/under voltage protection, which will switch off the rear receptacles to keep connected devices safe from trying to operate at undesired voltage levels. McIntosh's MPC500 includes either eight Type B1 (a.k.a. NEMA 5-15R) or four Type F1 (a.k.a. CEE 7/3 or Schuko) receptacles.
And yes, the front panel display can list input voltage, the amount of current being drawn through the receptacles, or total (apparent) power. Regardless of receptacle type, all versions of the MPC500 feature the timeless McIntosh black glass front panel, illuminated logo, control knobs, and aluminum end caps.
To learn more about the not seen at HIGH END, yet just-announced, McIntosh C49 stereo preamplifier ($5000, above pic) see our May 2019 Industry News page for more on that.
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