McIntosh is gearing up for a battle with Samsung and Panasonic in the 4K Blu-ray player market, but not just yet with the company revealing a ‘bridge player’ that boasts 4K upscaling, but cannot play 4K Blu-ray discs.

That player is dubbed the McIntosh MVP901 and boasts a plethora of features that have been designed to complement the 4K upscaling. These features include built-in decoding of Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Auro-3D when passing those formats to a compatible processor. On the processor front, McIntosh has designed the MVP901 to work with the MX122 or MX160 home theatre processor directly out of the box.

While the McIntosh MVP901 won’t support 4K Blu-ray discs, the audio video player does support 3D Blu-ray discs, with state-of-the-art processing power promising ultra-fast playback start speeds. The MVP901 also includes features that will no doubt please power users – including the ability to make advanced adjustments to colour, image detail and video performance to improve picture quality.

Despite many associating the MVP901 with movies however, McIntosh is keen to stress that it is capable of so much more. In fact, the company has included a whole host of features specifically designed to appease audiophiles. Those features include support for CDs, SACDs and DVD audio discs – which can all be enjoyed via an 8-channel, 32-bit/192kHz DAC that’s used in stereo quad balanced mode to produce high fidelity audio.

The HDMI output can be used for multi-channel music output, while users can also use the three USB ports to playback files from a flash drive. Those files can be either audio or video-based. Network streaming and BD-Live is also available through the use of the included ethernet connection.

At a launch event in Sardinia, McIntosh described the player as ‘bridge player’ with the implication being that the company is working on a native 4K Blu-ray player, which will be released in due course. Expect pricing to be significantly higher than the $5,500 retail price that comes with the MVP901.

Alongside the MVP901, McIntosh also had a few other products up its sleeve. These include the C2600 vacuum tube preamplifier and MP100 phono preamplifier.

The C2600 builds upon the C2300 and C2500, incorporating the best features from the previous models while also adding the company’s advanced digital audio section and upgraded tube circuitry design.

McIntosh has equipped the C2600 with an expansive set of 16 inputs to connect virtually all analogue or digital music sources. Analogue inputs include three balanced, four unbalanced plus one each dedicated Moving Magnet and Moving Coil phono inputs. Digital inputs consist of three optical, two coax, one USB and one McIntosh exclusive MCT connection. Three sets of balanced and unbalanced analogue outputs connect the C2600 to the rest of the system.

The C2600 features a 32-bit/384kHz, DSD digital-to-analogue-converter (DAC) and is capable of decoding and playing DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 plus DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. For headphone listening, the addition of Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) brings an added dimension to the music. Home Theater Pass Thru also allows for seamless integration into a multi-channel home theatre system.

The C2600 is set to cost $7,000 when it ships in August.

The MP100 is the first dedicated phono preamplifier from McIntosh and is designed to help both new and experienced vinyl lovers get the most fidelity, performance and enjoyment from their albums.

McIntosh has packed the MP100 with features designed specifically for the vinyl lover including: Moving Coil and Moving Magnet inputs, Moving Coil and Moving Magnet adjustable loading (six settings each), balanced and unbalanced analogue outputs, optical, coax and USB digital outputs and a Mono switch for when playing mono records to decrease noise and play the signal correctly.

There are many ways to integrate the MP100 into an audio system. If someone is just building their system, it can become the main part of the setup. For someone who already has a system with an older but working preamp, the MP100 is a way to add modern phono features.

For home theatre systems where a turntable is desired, the MP100 is designed to be an easy way to add full phono preamp capabilities without having to get a full-sized stereo preamp that would undoubtedly duplicate many of the home theatre processor’s features.

When used with a properly configured conversion program, the MP100 can ‘rip’ the records to a computer via USB to produce high quality digital files. The digital outputs are fixed at 24-bit/96kHz to capture the full dynamic range of a record while optimising digital file size.

If an album has a very loud section, the digital output clipping protection should kick in and prevent harsh sounding and speaker damaging distortion from being recorded to the file.

The MP100 is expected to retail at $2,000 when it goes on sale in August alongside the MVP901 and C2600, and will be available in the UK via Jordan Acoustics.

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