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McIntosh MCD85
Foto © McIntosh Laboratory Inc.

McIntosh MCD85 2-Channel SACD/CD Player

The McIntosh MCD85 2-Channel SACD/CD Player is the latest SACD and CD player from McIntosh Laboratory Inc. and is a truly outstanding solution in several respects. One of the special features is obvious at first glance, namely its unique design.

The McIntosh MCD85 2-Channel SACD/CD Player, according to the American high-end hi-fi manufacturer, is intended to be the perfect partner for the McIntosh MC275, McIntosh MC1502 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier, McIntosh MA252 and McIntosh MA352 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier solutions. The new player is also ideally suited for the McIntosh MC830 1-Channel Solid State Amplifier and McIntosh C8 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier solutions, according to McIntosh Laboratory Inc.

What do all these solutions have in common? Clearly, a unique design, which the manufacturer himself refers to as retro style.

McIntosh MCD85 with unique design

The new McIntosh MCD85 2-channel SACD/CD player also has exactly this retro style, although it’s fair to say that a device of this type has never been seen in this form factor before. The McIntosh MCD85 2-Channel SACD/CD Player is a statement, namely “a serious music lover lives here”, as it is very strikingly called.

The basis here is also a panel in bright chrome on the front, which is bent backwards at an angle of about 45° on the upper side and accommodates the drive in addition to two rotary encoders. On top of this is a structure in discreet black, with the front in tried-and-tested black glass housing the striking green emblem of the manufacturer, including the product name, but above all a very generously dimensioned display. This is flanked by two buttons on the left and right, which control playback and open and close the solid die-cast tray. This tray has a new, specially bevelled nose at the front, which is adapted to the angle of the chassis and allows smooth and quiet handling of the discs.

Technical refinements

A special technical feature of the McIntosh MCD85 2-channel SACD/CD player is that the discs are read out at double speed, with the data then being stored in a memory buffer to guarantee optimum error correction. The basis for accurate reading of data from optical media is, of course, a particularly elaborately designed, high-quality disc mechanism that uses a Twin Beam Laser, in which a single lens with two laser units is used to guarantee the different wavelengths for SACD and CD playback under the best possible conditions. It is a Class IIa laser at 650nm for SACD and a Class I laser at 790nm for CD.

The McIntosh MCD85 2-Channel SACD/CD Player is capable of playing not only CDs and SACDs, this is mentioned for the sake of completeness. Media with AAC, AIFF, ALAC, MP3, WAV, WMA and even DSD can be played back.

Quad-balanced 8-channel 32-bit DAC

Another special feature is the data conversion, which uses a quad-balanced 8-channel 32-bit 192 kHz DAC. This means that four DAC channels are available for the left and right channels to enable detailed signal processing with the lowest noise and highest dynamics.

It should also be emphasised that this signal processing is not reserved for optical media alone, because the new McIntosh MCD85 2-channel SACD/CD player has interfaces for integrating external digital sources. In addition to an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface, this is first and foremost a USB port that opens up the converter’s full potential. This allows signals to be processed in Linear PCM with up to DXD 384 kHz and DSD including DSD256, whereas the S/PDIF interfaces are limited to PCM signals with 24 bits and 192 kHz only.

The analogue output stage of the new McIntosh MCD85 2-channel SACD/CD player is of course balanced, so the analogue outputs are a pair of XLR connectors, but a pair of RCA sockets for unbalanced signals is not to be missed either.

To conclude the consideration of the connections, in addition to a rear panel IR sensor input, the new McIntosh MCD85 2-channel SACD/CD player has a panel data input, a power control output and a power control input.

The new McIntosh MCD85 2-Channel SACD/CD Player measures a not at all modest 30.9 cm in width, 19.7 cm in height and 41.3 cm in depth. The data sheet lists a weight of 9.3 kg.

Getting to the point

With the new McIntosh MCD85 2-Channel SACD/CD Player, McIntosh Laboratory Inc. provides the matching CD and SACD player for a series of amplifier systems that the US high-end hi-fi manufacturer has brought onto the market in recent months. Just like the amplifier systems, the new CD and SACD player presents itself with an outstanding design, which the manufacturer himself calls a true statement.

Manufacturer:McIntosh Laboratory Inc.
Distribution:Audio Components GmbH
Price:US$ 4.500,-

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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