McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier and McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier, thus the US-American high-end HiFi forge McIntosh Laboratory Inc. presents two new stereo integrated amplifiers.
The two solutions McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier and McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier are the chosen successors of the stereo integrated amplifiers McIntosh MA8900 Integrated Amplifier and McIntosh MA9000 Integrated Amplifier. The US-American high-end HiFi forge McIntosh Laboratory Inc. promises with these two systems once again very powerful solutions, which trump with twice 200 watts or even twice 300 watts.
They have drawn on all their experience in the development of the finest amplifier systems, and thus once again deliver an increase in performance with a simultaneously expanded range of functions for flexible use.
More power for dynamic playing
First and foremost, according to the manufacturer, the new stereo integrated amplifiers shine with even greater power reserves, which could be achieved by increasing the filter capacity. In this regard, McIntosh Laboratory Inc. cites a doubling of power reserves in both the McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier and the McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier by increasing the sieve capacity by 50 percent.
The U.S. high-end HiFi forge promises in this context of a particularly dynamic reproduction, in which even peaks do not lead to any distortion. The company specifies the Dynamic Headroom for the McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier with 3.1 dB instead of “only” 2.0 dB as with the predecessor, with the McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier one increased this value from 1.8 dB with the predecessor to now 2.8 dB.
Also the power supply was again improved with both models around a signal processing free from disturbing influences with simultaneous high load capacity to guarantee.
Of course, both stereo integrated amplifiers are equipped with all the technologies that have distinguished solutions from McIntosh Laboratory Inc. for years.
This includes the so-called McIntosh Autoformer Technology, which always provides the full power, regardless of whether they have an impedance of two, four or even eight ohms.
Another essential feature is the so-called McIntosh Power Guard Technology, whose task is to continuously compare the input and output signal and thus also guarantee maximum output power free of distortion.
It goes without saying that the new stereo integrated amplifiers also feature McIntosh Sentry Monitor for safety, as well as McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks.
McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier
As already described, the new McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier delivers a power of two times 200 watts, so it already offers a very good foundation to optimally drive a variety of speaker systems.
The new McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier is equipped first of all with nine analog inputs, whereby this is divided on a balanced as well as eight unbalanced inputs, once implemented as XLR, the remaining as Cinchbuchärchen pairs. Two of these unbalanced inputs are designed as phono preamplifiers, once designed for drives with MM, once with MC cartridge system.
McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier
The McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier can provide an output of two times 300 watts, thus providing additional power reserves when the potential of its little brother seems too little.
In addition, ten analog inputs are available here. In addition to the two inputs designed as phono preamplifiers – once for MM, once for MC cartridge systems – as well as the six other unbalanced connections, you’ll find two balanced inputs designed as XLR sockets.
New Digital Board – McIntosh DA2 Digital Audio Module
Compared to the respective predecessors, which relied on the McIntosh DA1 Digital Audio Module, the new models are now equipped with the McIntosh DA2 Digital Audio Module ex works.
This offers seven digital inputs, divided into two optical and two coaxial S/PDIF interfaces, a USB port for direct connection to a PC or Mac, and a so-called MCT. In addition, and this is particularly pleasing, there is an HDMI port that not only supports HDMI CEC for central control, but also ARC, which is an Audio Return Channel.
At the heart of the signal processing is a quad-balanced 8-channel 32-bit digital-to-analog converter, which in the McIntosh DA2 digital audio module is said to have undergone improvements over its predecessor in terms of dynamics and the lowest possible distortion.
The coaxial as well as optical S/PDIF interfaces of the digital board are capable of processing signals in Linear PCM with up to 24 bits and 192 kHz, via USB the converter supports audio data in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 384 kHz as well as DSD including DSD512. The proprietary MCT is designed to connect to corresponding Super Audio CD players from McIntosh Laboratory Inc. so that DSD can be transmitted natively.
By the way, the manufacturer explicitly points out that the said digital board is designed as a module that can be exchanged for a new model at any time, should there be an update in the future.
Roon Tested DAC
The manufacturer also explicitly points out that the two stereo integrated amplifiers McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier and McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier are considered Roon Tested DAC via the McIntosh DA2 Digital Audio Module, so they can be used in conjunction with a PC or Mac directly via the media management and multi-room audio streaming software from Roon Labs.
Five-band or even Eight-band Tone Control
While the McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier has a five-band tone control, the McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier even has an eight-band tone control. Thus, the McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier offers a cut or boost of 12 dB in 2 dB steps at 30 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 2 kHz and 10 kHz, while the McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier offers this option at 25 Hz, 50 Hz, 100 Hz, 200 Hz, 400 Hz, 1 kHz, 2.5 kHz and 10 kHz.
What else there is to say…
Each input can be given its own name to your heart’s content, to keep things organized. Of course, both models are equipped with a Home Theater PassThru, and an integrated headphone amplifier in the form of a High Drive Headphone Amplifier with McIntosh Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) for particularly accurate results should not be missing.
Numerous trigger connections are available as well as an RS232 interface and the connection sockets for the speaker systems are designed as McIntosh Solid Cinch Speaker Binding Posts in the proven manner.
The chassis of the amplifier systems present themselves in the typical design line of McIntosh Laboratory Inc. with a front made of glass, whereby of course the backlit VU meters are just as striking as an LCD arranged at the bottom of the front. In between are the numerous controls and the front is flanked by the typical solid aluminum carrying handles.
Prices and availability
Unfortunately, we do not yet have concrete prices for the local market, but it is certain that the new stereo integrated amplifiers McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier and McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier will soon be available in stores in this country.
Getting to the point
It is probably no revolution, rather an evolution, which McIntosh Laboratory Inc. now carries out with the generation change to the new stereo integrated amplifiers McIntosh MA8950 Integrated Amplifier and McIntosh MA9500 Integrated Amplifier. First and foremost, of course, the higher power reserve stands out here, on the credit side, the two new models can also book the updated digital board for themselves.
|PRODUCT||MCINTOSH MA8950 INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER|
MCINTOSH MA9500 INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER
|Manufacturer||McIntosh Laboratory Inc.|
|Distribution||Audio Components GmbH|
|More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG|