McIntosh Adds Hybrid Integrated Amplifier

mcintosh ma12000

McIntosh just introduced the MA12000 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier. The MA12000 offers 350 watts per channel, and it combines the benefits of a vacuum tube preamplifier with a solid-state amplifier. The MA12000 is a hybrid design with the preamplifier section powered by (four) 12AX7A vacuum tubes (two tubes per audio channel), while the 350-watt power amplifier section employs a solid-state design. McIntosh’s Autoformer technology guarantees the speakers will always be capable of receiving that full 350W whether they have 2, 4 or 8 Ohm impedance.

There are 10 analog inputs on the MA12000 consisting of two balanced and six unbalanced inputs, plus one Moving Coil and one Moving Magnet input. Both phono inputs feature adjustable loading for fine tuning the MA12000 to a specific turntable configuration so vinyl playback sounds just right. All the unbalanced analog connectors are constructed from gold-plated solid brass for signal handling and grounding. The MA12000 also has one balanced and one unbalanced output to connect to an additional amplifier that’s used in a different part of the house.

For digital music, the MA12000 comes with McIntosh’s DA2 Digital Audio Module factory installed. Located in the DA2 are seven digital audio inputs: two coaxial, two optical, one USB and one MCT (for use with their MCT series of SACD/CD Transports), and one audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection. The DA2 is powered by a next-generation, Quad Balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). This audiophile-grade DAC features improved dynamic range and improved total harmonic distortion. The DA2 supports high resolution digital audio playback, as the USB input supports native playback of up to DSD512 and DXD up to 384 kilohertz, while the coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz.

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The HDMI (ARC) input allows TVs with a compatible HDMI (ARC) output to be connected to the MA12000 and the DA2 can be replaced by future modules to keep the MA12000 up to date as new digital audio formats and technologies are developed. The DA2 has also received Roon Tested designation from Roon Labs, which can be especially useful when having an extensive library of digital music.

Other MA12000 features include:

  • Power Guard that monitors the output signal for over driving.
  • McIntosh’s fuse-less short-circuit protection circuit Sentry Monitor that disengages the output stage before current exceeds safe operating levels.
  • A pair of peak responding, trademarked “McIntosh Blue” watt meters that indicate the real-time power output of each audio channel.
  • McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks, which are connected to advanced high current output transistors that minimize thermal equilibrium lag (or warm-up) time.
  • Home Theater PassThru.
  • McIntosh’s patented Solid Cinch speaker binding posts.
  • An eight-band tone control that allows for advanced manual analog adjustment of your favorite recordings.
  • High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD).
  • Power Control to send power on/off signals to connected McIntosh components.
  • Doubling of filter capacity compared to McIntosh’s other integrated amplifiers.

The entire unit is wrapped in the classic McIntosh aesthetic with a pair of blue watt meters, a black glass front panel, rotary control knobs, illuminated logo, aluminum end caps with built-in handles and a stainless steel chassis.