McIntosh has just unveiled two new high-end integrated amplifiers, the McIntosh MA8950 and McIntosh MA9500, successors to the McIntosh MA8900 and McIntosh MA9000. The American manufacturer announces significant improvements, including an optimized power supply as well as a 50% increase in dynamic headroom which should further reduce distortion and provide even greater bass performance. The new McIntosh DA2 digital audio module is also included. Incorporating a 32-bit DAC operating on eight channels, it also has an HDMI ARC port for connecting a television. It is also Roon Tested to fit seamlessly into the heart of a Roon multi-room audio system.
McIntosh MA9500: 2 x 300W
Announced at around €15,000, the McIntosh MA9500 delivers 300 watts per channel into 2, 4 and 8 ohms, and offers about ten analog inputs: two balanced XLR, six unbalanced RCA and two phono inputs (separate MM and MC). An eight-band tone control is also included with +/- 12 dB adjustment for each frequency range (25Hz, 50Hz, 100Hz, 200Hz, 400Hz, 1kHz, 2.5kHz and 10kHz).
McIntosh MA8950: 2 x 200W
The McIntosh MA8950 is sold for €11,500 and delivers 200 watts per channel into 2, 4 and 8 ohms. It is also well equipped with analog inputs (one balanced XLR, six unbalanced RCA and two separate MM and MC phono inputs). The tone control can be done over five bands (+/- 12 dB on 30Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 2kHz and 10kHz).
DA2 digital module
While the MA8900 and MA9000 incorporate the DA1 digital audio module, the McIntosh MA8950 and McIntosh MA9500 come standard with the DA2 digital audio module which offers 7 digital inputs in total: 2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB, 1 MCT and 1 HDMI ARC. The DA2 features an audiophile-grade digital-to-analog converter, an 8-channel 32-bit Quad Balanced model (four for each stereo channel) that improves both dynamic range and total harmonic distortion compared to the DA1’s DAC.
The DA2’s coaxial and optical inputs support Hi-Res digital audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz. The DA2 also features an exclusive McIntosh MCT input that provides secure DSD transfer with McIntosh SACD/CD transports. Enough to offer the best possible sound quality of the high definition audio present on your SACDs.
Solid Cinch binding posts (McIntosh MA9500)
The Solid Cinch speaker binding posts of the McIntosh MA9500 ensure optimal contact and allow you to securely attach the speaker cables. Held securely in place, they cannot come loose, eliminating any risk of a short circuit. The binding posts are all gold plated to prevent corrosion and ensure that a quality signal is sent through the cables to the speakers.
Packed with technology
These two McIntosh integrated amplifiers also feature many proprietary technologies:
- Power Guard, which constantly monitors input and output signals and can dynamically adjust input levels to ensure maximum output. This, while avoiding distortion and clipping that could damage the speakers.
- Sentry Monitor, a fuseless short-circuit protection technology that disengages the output stage before the current can exceed safe operating levels, then automatically resets when operating conditions return to normal.
- The famous McIntosh monogrammed lateral heatsinks made from high-quality materials with excellent conductivity and heat dissipation properties.
- The Home Theater PassThru feature that allows seamless integration into a home theater system.
- The High Drive headphone amplifier section with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) technology that can add an extra dimension to headphone listening.