McINTOSH Labs to hi-fi is what Harley Davidson is to motorbikes… American traditions undiminished in the magnitude of their legend by time or trends. It’s been some busy months for McIntosh, what with a change in ownership (from D&M to Fine Sounds), entry into the digital lifestyle market (the McAire) and a slew of new products launched at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in January.
There were the new integrated amps and receivers we told you about a few weeks ago, and available now are two more products – the C2500 tube preamplifier and entry-level MA5200 integrated amp.
The C2500 blends McIntosh’s famed tubed preamp circuitry – delivered here by way of six 12AX7a tubes – with a range of features to tempt the modern audiophile, including digital inputs that will decode at 32-bit/192kHz resolution.
This preamp is stacked to the brim – there are 15 inputs in all, including two dedicated phono (one each for MM and MC), five digital (one USB, two each optical and coaxial), six analogue RCA and two balanced, along with a quarter-inch one for headphones. Home Theater Pass Through is also provided.
Tone controls (bass and treble) can be bypassed or assigned to individual inputs, while three stereo power amps (balanced or unbalanced) can be hooked up to the C2500 simultaneously.
The solid-state MA5200, meanwhile, is a 100-watt per channel package delivering the full McIntosh experience. Its nine inputs include one phono MM and three digital (also at 32/192 and with USB), along with Home Theater Pass Through for hassle-free integration with an AV system.
The Power Guard feature here prevents clipping and damage to speakers, while the High Drive headphone amp onboard will match just about any pair of cans you care to plug into the amp.
Of course, the icing on the cake – or some would argue, the cake itself – are those famous blue meters and black glass fascia. Find out more.