McIntosh intros extraordinary dual mono amp for bi-amping

posted on Monday, 16th December 2019 by Steve May

Hi-fi  High-end  High Res Audio 

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Hailed as a statement product quite unlike any other, the new McIntosh MC901 Dual Mono Amplifier is presented as ‘the ultimate solution for bi-amping high-performance loudspeakers.’

Priced at £20,000, the MC901 is effectively two amplifiers in one: a 300-watt valve amplifier, attached to a 600-watt solid-state amplifier, together on a unified chassis. The valve section effectively drives a loudspeaker's mid and upper drive units using eight KT88 output tubes, four 12AT7 and two 12AX7A signal tubes, while the solid-state section delivers its 600 watts directly to the bass drivers. Each has its own discrete power supply.

Prior to the MC901, bi-amping a speaker required two separate amplifiers. It could also require an external crossover to configure the two amps. The MC901 shas an internal adjustable crossover with controls accessible the top of the unit.

MC901 Angle Hi Res Crop

MC901 Back Cage Crop

Design is typically McIntosh and intricate. The top is highlighted by a series of diagrams printed on glass that outline the basic circuitry and specifications of the unit, along with a glass nameplate trimmed with a circular aluminium ring, finished to match the front panel end-caps. The sides have vintage McIntosh-styled die-cast aluminium name badges.

The MC901 sports McIntosh's new DualView Power Output Meter; one meter is dedicated to the valve amp and the other to the solid-state amp. Each operates independently of the other.

Distribution is via Jordan Acoustics.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and Ideal Home (amongst others).

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