McIntosh Unveils Most Powerful All-You-Need MA12000 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier

October 14 2020, 00:30
70 years since the company's foundation, and McIntosh continues to expand its portfolio of ultimate-quality audio solutions for today's luxury home. The company introduced the MA12000 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier, which is also McIntosh's most powerful integrated amplifier ever, delivering 350 Watts per channel of clean, high performance power that produces a breathtaking home audio experience. This fully loaded, hybrid MA12000 Integrated Amplifier is a product of uncompromising audio engineering and expert craftsmanship.

The feature rich and all-you-need MA12000 offers the best of all worlds with the warm nuances of a vacuum tube preamplifier combined with the speed and raw power of a solid state amplifier, state-of-the-art digital audio capabilities, and enough analog audio connections to support virtually any home music system.

The MA12000 is a hybrid design with the preamplifier section powered by (4) 12AX7A vacuum tubes (2 tubes per audio channel), while the 350 Watt power amplifier section employs a solid state design. McIntosh's Autoformer technology guarantees the speakers will always be capable of receiving that full 350 Watts whether they have 2, 4 or 8 Ohm impedance.

There are 10 analog inputs on the MA12000 consisting of 2 balanced and 6 unbalanced inputs, plus 1 Moving Coil and 1 Moving Magnet input. Both phono inputs feature adjustable loading for fine tuning the MA12000 to a specific turntable configuration so vinyl playback sounds just right. All the unbalanced analog connectors are constructed from premium gold-plated solid brass for superior signal handling and grounding. The MA12000 also has 1 balanced and 1 unbalanced output to connect to an additional amplifier that's used in a different part of the house.

The MA12000 can be paired with a variety of turntables, CD players, music streamers, and speakers. For digital sources, the MA12000 comes with McIntosh's DA2 Digital Audio Module factory installed. Located in the DA2 are 7 digital audio inputs: 2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB and 1 MCT (for use with the brand's MCT series of SACD/CD Transports), and 1 audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection. The DA2 is powered by a next generation, Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). This audiophile-grade DAC features improved dynamic range and improved total harmonic distortion. The DA2 supports high resolution digital audio playback, as the USB input supports native playback of up to DSD512 and DXD up to 384kHz, while the coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz.

The HDMI (ARC) input allows TVs with a compatible HDMI (ARC) output to be connected to the MA12000 to bring a new level of audio performance to TV and movie watching that TV speakers or soundbars just can't provide. The DA2 can be replaced by future modules to keep the MA12000 up to date as new digital audio formats and technologies are developed. The DA2 has also received Roon Tested designation from Roon Labs, which can be especially useful when having an extensive library of digital music. Home Theater PassThru allows for seamless integration into a home theater system.

And of course, the new MA12000 features many other technologies in common with McIntosh components, such as Power Guard to monitor the output signal for over driving and making real time micro adjustments to the input signal to prevent harsh sounding clipping that could potentially damage speakers. There's also McIntosh's fuse-less short-circuit protection circuit Sentry Monitor that disengages the output stage before current exceeds safe operating levels and then resets automatically when operating conditions return to normal.

A pair of peak responding, trademarked "McIntosh Blue" Watt meters indicate the real time power output of each audio channel in the front panel, while McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks on the sides are connected to advanced high current output transistors that minimize thermal equilibrium lag (or warm-up) time and help keep the MA12000 running cool. A discrete, eight-band tone control allows for advanced manual analog adjustment of our favorite recordings.

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 quality signal is sent over speaker cables to the speakers. For listening with headphones, the MA12000 features a High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) circuitry, which can bring an added dimension to headphone listening. And there's Power Control to send power on/off signals to connected McIntosh components for easy system power up and shutdown.

The company details the use of the latest audio-grade circuit components to deliver the best sound possible, combined with powerful control microprocessors to improve overall system operation. Doubling of filter capacity compared to McIntosh's other integrated amplifiers allows for even better low frequency performance. The top of the MA12000 is also highlighted by some updated industrial design elements. The Autoformers and power transformer are now contained in a new glass topped enclosure capped by a glass name plate encircled with a decorative trim ring. Key performance specifications and a detailed block diagram are printed on 5 glass panels.

The entire unit is wrapped in the classic McIntosh aesthetic with a pair of blue watt meters, a black glass front panel, rotary control knobs, illuminated logo, aluminum end caps with built-in handles and a beautiful stainless steel chassis polished to a mirror finish. A comprehensive remote control is included.

Orders for the MA12000 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in October 2020 to the United States and Canada, and to the rest of the world shortly thereafter. Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $14,000 USD.
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