Hi-fi equipment maker McIntosh Labs has been on something of a roll of late, releasing a slew of new products including a hybrid integrated amplifier, portable media player and floorstanding speakers. It was only a matter of time before the company got around to adding a new turntable to its expanding catalog, and that time is now with the entry level MT2 – well entry level for a McIntosh system – Precision Turntable.
McIntosh already makes a couple of high-end turntables, the flagship MT10 with trademark VU meter front and center and the MT5, which has attracted top marks from a number of industry publications. Both are expensive pieces of audiophile kit – the former flying above US$9,000 and the latter landing for somewhere around $6,500. The new MT2 rocks a more refined look and cheaper price point.
The firm's latest Precision Turntable has a typically dark aesthetic with menacing green glow, from lighting under the platter and around the upper edging of the compressed wood plinth. And its top and middle acrylic plating are designed to absorb unwanted vibrations so that the listener can focus on the music.
Its DC motor is powered by an external voltage-stabilized supply and drives the belt at either 33.3 or 45 RPM. The vinyl is placed atop a 1-inch thick polyoxymethylene outer platter and milled aluminum inner platter for the promise of playback speed stability and vibration reduction.
Where some high-end turntables can take a good while to set up, McIntosh has preset tracking force, anti-skate, cartridge overhang and tonearm height at the factory to get the party started with minimal fuss.
A high impedance, high output moving coil cartridge is reported to offer enough output presence to work with moving magnet phono inputs as well as the MC variety. McIntosh says noise-free reproduction is assured from a design that teams up an alloy cantilever with an elliptical diamond stylus, doubtless helped along the no noise path by the dural aluminum tonearm (with added damping) it hangs with. Sapphire and ceramic bearings also get some damping treatment.
The MT2 is of course compatible with a host of McIntosh integrated amplifiers and home theater setups via the unbalanced stereo outputs to the rear, so long as they have phono inputs. If they don't McIntosh makes phono preamps, too.
The MT2 Precision Turntable has a total unit weight of 29 lb (13.2 kg) and will be available from next month for a suggested retail price of US$4,000.
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