McIntosh introduced the MA12000 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier. This fully loaded, hybrid integrated amplifier is a product of uncompromising audio engineering and expert craftsmanship. McIntosh's most powerful integrated amplifier ever, the feature-rich MA12000 offers 350 Watts per channel of clean, high-performance power that produces a breathtaking home audio experience. You will think your favorite musicians are playing a live, in-person performance in your house.
The company says that the MA12000 should give us the best of all worlds with the warm nuances of a vacuum tube preamplifier combined with the speed and raw power of a solid-state amplifier, state-of-the-art digital audio capabilities, and enough analog audio connections for virtually any home music system. The MA12000 is a hybrid design with the preamplifier section powered by 12AX7A vacuum tubes (2 tubes per audio channel), while the 350 Watt power amplifier section employs a solid-state design. McIntosh's Autoformer technology guarantees the speakers will always be capable of receiving that full 350 Watts whether they have 2, 4, or 8 Ohm impedance.
There are 10 analog inputs on the MA12000 consisting of 2 balanced and 6 unbalanced inputs, plus 1 Moving Coil and 1 Moving Magnet input. Both phono inputs feature adjustable loading for fine-tuning the MA12000 to a specific turntable configuration so vinyl playback sounds just right. All the unbalanced analog connectors are constructed from premium gold-plated solid brass for superior signal handling and grounding. The MA12000 also has 1 balanced and 1 unbalanced output to connect to an additional amplifier that's used in a different part of the house.
For digital music, the MA12000 comes with McIntosh's DA2 Digital Audio Module factory installed. Located in the DA2 are 7 digital audio inputs 2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB, and 1 MCT (for use with their MCT series of SACDCD Transports), and 1 audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection. The DA2 is powered by a next-generation, Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). This audiophile-grade DAC features improved dynamic range and improved total harmonic distortion. The DA2 supports high resolution digital audio playback, as the USB input supports native playback of up to DSD512 and DXD up to 384 kHz, while the coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24 bit/192 kHz.
The HDMI (ARC) input allows TVs with a compatible HDMI (ARC) output to be connected to the MA12000 to bring a new level of audio performance to your TV and movie watching that TV speakers or soundbars just can't provide. The DA2 can be replaced by future modules to keep the MA12000 up to date as new digital audio formats and technologies are developed. The DA2 has also received Roon Tested designation from Roon Labs, which can be especially useful when having an extensive library of digital music. The top of the MA12000 is highlighted by some updated industrial design elements. The Autoformers and power transformer are now contained in a new glass-topped enclosure capped by a glass nameplate encircled with a decorative trim ring. Key performance specifications and a detailed block diagram are printed on 5 glass panels.
The entire unit is wrapped in the classic McIntosh aesthetic with a pair of blue watt meters, a black glass front panel, rotary control knobs, an illuminated logo, aluminum end caps with built-in handles, and a beautiful stainless steel chassis polished to a mirror finish. The MA12000 can be paired with a variety of turntables, CD players, music streamers, and speakers. MA12000's suggested retail price (VAT, shipping, and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded) is $14,000. Info and photos by McIntosh.