McIntosh Laboratory has launched the most powerful integrated amplifier in its 71-year history, the MA12000. The new 350W product is a next-generation amplifier, boasting enough power to drive any loudspeaker.
The MA12000 is a hybrid design that incorporates a valve preamp section (powered by four 12AX7A valves, two per audio channel), combined with a high-performance 350W solid-state power amplifier employing McIntosh’s Autoformer technology, which guarantees the full 350W is always delivered, regardless of speaker.
The MA12000 boasts state-of-the-art digital capabilities, reportedly with enough connectivity for “virtually any home audio system”. It comes with McIntosh’s DA2 Digital Audio Module factory-installed, which includes seven digital audio inputs: two coaxial; two optical; one USB; one proprietary MCT (for McIntosh’s SACD/CD transports); plus, one audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) for film and TV sound with compatible HDMI screens.
The DA2 features an advanced, Quad Balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit DAC. This audiophile-grade device, which can be replaced as digital technologies progress, features improved dynamic range and improved total harmonic distortion. The DA2 supports Hi-Res Audio, too – its USB input supports DSD 512 and DXD up to 384kHz, while the coaxial and optical inputs rise to 24 bit/192kHz. The DA2 has also received Roon Tested designation.
Turntables can be directly connected thanks to the MA12000’s Moving Coil and Moving Magnet inputs, both of which feature adjustable loading for fine-tuning. In total there are 10 analogue inputs: two balanced and six unbalanced, plus the MM and MC connections. The MA120000 also has a balanced and unbalanced output to connect to an additional amplifier if needed.
The MA120000 benefits from some key industrial design elements: the autoformers and power transformer are contained in a new glass-topped enclosure, capped by a glass nameplate encircled with a decorative trim ring. Key performance specifications and a detailed block diagram are printed on five glass panels.
The entire unit is wrapped in the classic McIntosh aesthetic, with a pair of ‘McIntosh Blue’ watt metres, a black glass front panel, rotary control knobs, illuminated logo, aluminium end-caps with built-in handles and a stainless steel chassis, polished to a mirror finish.
Priced at £16,500, the MA12000 will be available in November in the UK and October in the US. The MA12000 can be ordered now from authorised McIntosh dealers. The manufacturer’s UK distributor is Fine Sounds UK.