McIntosh unveils new integrated amplifier duo

posted on Thursday, 10th February 2022 by Steve May

Hi-fi  High-end 

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McIntosh has announced two new integrated amplifiers, the MA8950 and MA9500. The duo replace the MA8900 and MA9000, and boast a number of performance improvements over their predecessors.

Upgrades include a 50 per cent increase in dynamic headroom for better bass, upgraded power supply and a Roon-Tested McIntosh DA2 Digital Audio Module, with dynamic range and distortion improvements.

The DA2 benefits from an audiophile-grade, Quad Balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit DAC and offers two coaxial, two optical, one USB and one proprietary MCT for SACD data input, plus the addition of an audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection.

DSD playback support is increased from DSD256 to DSD512 via USB.

The MA9500 offers 300 watts per channel and ten analogue inputs: two balanced, six unbalanced, plus an MM/MC input with adjustable loading. Balanced and unbalanced outputs are also included.

The MA8950 offers 200 watts per channel and comes with nine analogue inputs: one balanced, six unbalanced, plus a MC (with adjustable loading) and a MM phono input. It also includes an unbalanced fixed output and an unbalanced variable output, along with a discrete, five-band tone control of ±12dB, again in 2 dB increments.

MA8950 Rear Connections
Shared niceties include proprietary McIntosh technologies like the McIntosh Autoformer, which ensures loudspeakers will always receive full power regardless of impedance, McIntosh Power Guard technology that continuously monitors input and output signals and can dynamically adjust input levels to avoid clipping, and Sentry Monitor fuse-less short-circuit protection technology.

MA9500 Rear View

The amps also utilise the brand’s Monogrammed Heatsinks, Home Theater PassThru for seamless integration into a home cinema system, and a High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD).

The MA8950 and MA9500 retails for £12,495 and £14,995 respectively, and will be available in the UK this spring. Distribution is via Fine Sounds UK.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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