McIntosh turns on the retro charm with stunning CD player
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 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.
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