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McIntosh goes hybrid for MA252 integrated amplifier

McIntosh goes hybrid for MA252...
The MA252 is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh
The MA252 is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh
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The MA252 is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh
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The MA252 is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh
McIntosh promises immediate operation readiness thanks to the inclusion of heatsinks connected to high current output transistors, designed to reduce power-on tube amp warm up time
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McIntosh promises immediate operation readiness thanks to the inclusion of heatsinks connected to high current output transistors, designed to reduce power-on tube amp warm up time
The MA252's 12AX7a and 12AT7 vacuum tubes are protected by cages to the top of the stainless steel chassis
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The MA252's 12AX7a and 12AT7 vacuum tubes are protected by cages to the top of the stainless steel chassis
The MA252 outputs 100 watts per channel into 8 ohm speakers or 160 W into 4 ohm speakers
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The MA252 outputs 100 watts per channel into 8 ohm speakers or 160 W into 4 ohm speakers
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New York's high-end audio company McIntosh has announced its first hybrid integrated amplifier, the MA252. The all analog amp's retro looks are a design nod to the company's iconic MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier, but only the preamp stage uses tubes – the output stage rocks solid-state circuitry.

The MA252 has a similar chassis design to the MC275, but the two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 tubes housed in cages up top are confined to the preamplifier stage only. The direct coupled, two channel output stage of the circuit is all solid state, delivering 100 watts per channel into 8 ohm speakers or 160 W into 4 ohm speakers.

Despite having tubes in the mix, McIntosh promises immediate operation readiness thanks to the inclusion of heatsinks connected to high current output transistors, designed to reduce power-on tube amp warm up time.

The all analog architecture offers two unbalanced inputs, one balanced input and a Moving Magnet phono input for direct connection to a turntable. The speaker outputs benefit from gold-plated binding posts, and there's also a separate subwoofer output for cabling in a powered low end thrower into the hi-fi equation.

The MA252's 12AX7a and 12AT7 vacuum tubes are protected by cages to the top of the stainless steel chassis
The MA252's 12AX7a and 12AT7 vacuum tubes are protected by cages to the top of the stainless steel chassis

The hybrid circuit design has allowed McIntosh to include Power Guard technology, which monitors and adjusts input and output in real time to prevent clipping harshness. Tubes flash orange when signs of overdriven signal are detected, returning to a steady green glow when clipping has been dealt with.

Elsewhere, the MA252 features an OLED display to the front that shows settings and input selection. There's bass and treble EQ control, a tone bypass for reference listening, and a built-in headphone amp, too.

Shipping is expected to start later this month, the 12 x 7.6 x 18 in (30.5 x 19.4 x 45.7 cm), 28 lb (12.7 kg) MA252 carries a suggested retail price of US$3,500. The video below outlines the main feature set.

Product page: MA252 Integrated Amplifier

MA252 Integrated Amplifier

View gallery - 4 images
2 comments
JimFox
Love tube sound- wonder if the headphone amp is purely tube-driven? Kudos to McIntosh, hope it sounds as good as it looks.
JimFox
Pricing and Availability Orders for the MA252 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in November. Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $3,500 USD OUCH!!!!!