IT had to happened. Deeper into the revival of vinyl, we are seeing manufacturers try all sorts of approaches to woo a new market, or please the older one. Vinyl is increasingly stepping out of the niche domain it has occupied in the past few years after reversing its earlier twilight phase, and McIntosh Labs’ MTI100 is aimed at taking it right to the centre of action… albeit, of a high-end persuasion.
Rather than ask what it has, let’s start out by stating what it doesn’t – no speakers, and you’ll need to bring your own vinyl. Equipped with both, the MTI100 is ready to spin endless hours of musical pleasure for you.
The “turntable” part is merely the centre of focus – the MTI100 has, on board, a hybrid integrated amplifier, a phono stage, analogue and digital inputs, Bluetooth receiver, speaker and subwoofer outputs and headphone output… one wonders why they left out the coffee machines! You also get a mounted Sumiko Olympia MM cartridge, which is pretty new in the market. The turntable will play both 33-1/3rpm and 45rpm records.
There’s a solidly-machined 3.18kg aluminium platter and aluminium tonearm (with anti-skate) atop a solid glass mount that is on a thick metal plate.
“The belt-drive platter with manual speed change is driven by an industrial grade permanent magnet AC synchronous motor with a two-speed pulley. With this motor, the platter speed is precisely synced to the AC power line’s frequency to deliver precise rotational speeds for playback accuracy,” says the company.
The Class D amplifier, rated for 80 watts per channel (into 4 ohms or 50W into 8 ohms) combines with a tube preamp section (driven by a pair of 12AX7s) and a shielded phono section.
Music can be streamed to the MTI100 via its High Definition Bluetooth 4.2 receiver, while an external Bluetooth antenna helps achieve optimal reception and signal quality. Additional sources can be connected via the digital and analogue inputs.
A remote handset is provided for power, volume and input selection can be controlled by either the included remote or via two knobs on the unit – the rest of the design is typically modern McIntosh. Talk about taking integrated vinyl playback to a whole new level…