Home Entertainment

McIntosh turns on the retro charm with stunning CD player

McIntosh turns on the retro ch...
The MCD85 is aimed at music lovers who want their gear to stand out from the crowd, not hide away in the corner of the living room
The MCD85 is aimed at music lovers who want their gear to stand out from the crowd, not hide away in the corner of the living room
View 5 Images
The MCD85 (second from left) takes its place well among McIntosh's retro-cool home audio lineup
1/5
The MCD85 (second from left) takes its place well among McIntosh's retro-cool home audio lineup
The MCD85 converts digital data to analog for playback via a 32-bit/192-kHz Digital-to-Analog Converter that dedicates four channels for audio to the left and four more for the right
2/5
The MCD85 converts digital data to analog for playback via a quad-balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit/192-kHz Digital-to-Analog Converter
The MCD85 has two coax and two optical inputs for PCM content at up to 192 kHz, and both balanced and unbalanced connections for cabling up to an integrated amp or pre-amp/power amp hi-fi setup
3/5
The MCD85 has two coax and two optical inputs for PCM content at up to 192 kHz, and both balanced and unbalanced connections for cabling up to an integrated amp or pre-amp/power amp hi-fi setup
The MCD85 is aimed at music lovers who want their gear to stand out from the crowd, not hide away in the corner of the living room
4/5
The MCD85 is aimed at music lovers who want their gear to stand out from the crowd, not hide away in the corner of the living room
In case there is any doubt that the MCD85 is a McIntosh build, a die-cast name badge is mounted on each side
5/5
In case there is any doubt that the MCD85 is a McIntosh build, a die-cast name badge is mounted on each side
View gallery - 5 images

Much of today's music consumption is digital, and most of that is streamed. And though vinyl sales recently surpassed CDs for the first time since 1986, the format is not quite dead yet. Boutique hi-fi brand McIntosh Labs has today launched a retro-cool player for those who want to rock the house with the help of spinning plastic discs.

McIntosh says that its MCD85 SACD/CD player is designed to be distinctive, to be on display and to say to anyone looking that "a serious music lover lives here." It's certainly a stunner, featuring a black glass front panel with direct LED backlighting, silver trim, an illuminated logo, a die-cast aluminum name badge to each side, and rotary control knobs.

The MCD85 (second from left) takes its place well among McIntosh's retro-cool home audio lineup
The MCD85 (second from left) takes its place well among McIntosh's retro-cool home audio lineup

The design puts it in good company, boasting a similar vibe to the company's MC275 and MC1502 vacuum tube amplifiers, the MA252 and MA352 integrated amps, the MC830 solid state amp the C8 vacuum tube pre-amp, and even the MHA200 headphone amp.

As a store-bought CD or SACD, recordable CD or DVD data disc spins at 2x speed, a twin laser optical pickup reads the data on the disc and moves the information to the buffer for better tracking and error correction. The unit supports playback of multiple formats, including MP3, FLAC, DSD (up to DSD128) and WAV, and it features a USB Audio input that can handle up to DSD256 and DXD 384 kHz. The USB port can also be used to stream music from a computer. There are four digital inputs (two coax and two optical) too, for PCM content up to 192 kHz.

The MCD85 converts digital data to analog for playback via a 32-bit/192-kHz Digital-to-Analog Converter that dedicates four channels for audio to the left and four more for the right
The MCD85 converts digital data to analog for playback via a quad-balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit/192-kHz Digital-to-Analog Converter

Whatever your digital music poison, the music will be converted to analog for playback via a quad-balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit/192-kHz DAC.

Balanced and unbalanced connections allow for connection to an integrated amp or pre-amp, and naturally there are power control and data ports for integration with McIntosh home audio gear.

The MCD85 can be ordered now for US$4,500 – this is a McIntosh after all. Shipping is expected to start later this month.

Product page: MCD85

View gallery - 5 images
4 comments
WB
kind of mind blowing how they can make this thing so big and expensive. All you need is cheap ass CD player with optical digital out - any CD player all they do is read 0s and 1s.. there is no errors reading those (despite all the claims you hear sometimes) ... keep your money and rather spend it on a proper amplifier with optical digital in. Way more bang for the buck. If you buy this abominations all you are telling the world is that you have no clue about audio. All show no substance. Just test listen the difference.
Ronald Barkey
At least the price is not retro.
Jinpa
Selling conspicuous consumption. What would be interesting would be a feedback function, with a test CD, to tell a prospective buyer if s/he could discern the frequencies in the typical range of hearing loss for the buyer's age and occupation, with or without the wearer's hearing aids.
Signguy
Back in '86 or so, I bought my first C.D. player; a cheaper brand, but made by PHILIPS. An article in a stereo magazine had a chip set available to upgrade; it was $28., so I went for it. A friend worked at Pacific Stereo and changed them out, then we auditioned it against a MacIntosh they had there. The result was it sounded as good or better than the Mac. The depth and width of the Soundstage was astounding! So the interior electronics are most important. Names, and fancy transports, etc. don't make that much difference.