McIntosh lets monstrous MA12000 hybrid integrated amp off the leash
Reckoned to be the most powerful integrated amplifier to come out of McIntosh Labs, the MA12000 pushes out 350 watts per channel, that's 50 W more than the company's previous contender for power champion, 2017's solid-state MA9000.
For this model, McIntosh has elected to combine the warmth of a vacuum tube pre-amplifier with the power of a solid-state amplifier. The former rocks two 12AX7A tubes per channel, while the company's Autoformer technology is promised to ensure that the power amp section delivers all 350 watts to the speakers, whether they have 2, 4 or 8-ohms impedance.
The McIntosh nameplate up top is surrounded by a striking ceramic ring that sits above the home of the power transformer and Autoformers, and the glow of the vacuum tubes can be seen between the blue watt meters out front. The front face is also home to eight knobs for precise tone control, along with an input selector, volume control and a two-line status display.
Around back of this beast are 10 analog inputs, with the roll call sounding off two balanced and six unbalanced, one MC (Moving Coil) and one MM (Moving Magnet) phono inputs. Those turntable connections each come with adjustable loading for precise adjustment to specific turntables. Seven digital inputs are also available, comprising two coaxial, two optical, one USB, one audio-only HDMI ARC (for cabling up the amp to a compatible television) and one MCT connection (to be used with the company's MCT series SACD/CD transports).
The DA2 Digital Audio Module first seen in the C53 pre-amplifier, and subsequently made available as an upgrade kit for McIntosh gear, comes factory installed in the MA12000. This module features an eight-channel, 32-bit audiophile-grade digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for 24-bit/192-kHz digital music decoding, native DSD512 and DXD up to 384 kHz.
The unit comes with a high-drive headphone amplifier for private listening, and if you want to cable up to an extra amplifier located elsewhere in your home, there's one balanced and one unbalanced output to help you along.
The 17.5 x 9.4 x 22-inch (44.5 x 24 x 55.88-cm), 108-lb (48.9-kg) MA12000 is available from authorized dealers from this month for US$14,000.
Product page: MA12000