McIntosh starts 70th birthday party early with commemorative system
2019 marks 70 years in the high-end audio business for McIntosh Labs, and the New York firm is rolling out a limited edition commemorative system to celebrate. But you don't have to wait until next year to jump in and grab your anniversary edition tube amplifier and preamp, the order books are open now.
For its 50th birthday, McIntosh released a special edition MC275 power amp, but the 70th anniversary system is made up of two products: a MC2152 tube amplifier and a C70 tube preamp. The production run will be limited to just 70 systems, which will come with a special book entitled "...for the love of music..." that contains a certificate of authentication.
The price tag is high, at US$22,000, but $1,000 from every sale will be donated to a charity that will celebrate its centenary in 2019 – Save the Children. So, apart from what's sure to be a collector's item and the warm fuzzy feeling of giving something back, what will buyers get for that rather exclusive price tag?
The MC2152 70th Anniversary Vacuum Tube Amplifier – to use its full name – is a 150 watts per channel stereo amp in matte black that makes use of the company's Unity Coupled Circuit output technology which is claimed capable of delivering "the full 150 watts can be delivered to almost any pair of speakers regardless if they have 2, 4 or 8 Ohm impedance."
It features eight KT88 tubes, four 12AX7A tubes and four 12AT7 tubes, with half of each batch assigned to each audio channel. The LEDs under the small tubes in the front row can be set to glow amber, green or blue.
There are balanced and unbalanced inputs to the rear, together with eight speaker binding posts sat behind the power transformer inbetween two output transformers. The MC2152 is rated for 20 Hz to 20 kHz, with a total harmonic distortion figure of 0.5 percent and SNR of 112 dB.
The C70 70th Anniversary Vacuum Tube Preamplifier rocks a glass front panel and boxy look that hark back to hi-fi designs of yesteryear. The vacuum tubes in the C70 shape up as one 12AT7 and five 12AX7A flavors. There are two balanced inputs, three unbalanced and once each for the MC and MM phono inputs, four ports are available to power connected McIntosh components on or off, such as CD players or turntables, and data ports can be used to control basic functions.
Shipping for the 70th Anniversary Commemorative System starts this month for folks in the US, early next year for customers elsewhere.
Source: McIntosh Labs