MCINTOSH RELEASE MA5300 INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER
They’re busy little beavers in Binghamton, New York, those McIntosh people.
Not long after we received a review sample of McIntosh’s $14,999 high-end integrated amplifier, came the announcement of a spanking new integrated called the MA5300.
Significantly McIntosh describes both as its “Next Generation amplifiers’’, largely because the pair is clearly much, much more than a traditional integrated amplifier.
They’re better equipped, sport futuristic styling but above all have a good deal of built-in future proofing thanks to their replaceable modular design.
McIntosh says the MA5300 is its smallest solid-state integrated amplifier defined by power output and physical size.
Take this with the proverbial grain of salt. Mc’s idea of smallness is larger than yours or mine.
And yes, while the MA5300 is indeed smaller and less powerful than the MA8900, it still has a formidable presence compared to most elite integrated amplifiers.
A good thing since McIntosh buyers do think big with a capital “B".
Power wise, the MA5300’s output of 100 watts per channel into an 8 Ohm load is half that of the larger MA8900, but really, matched to the right speakers this amount of watts is more than ample for most music lovers.
Stylistically the MA5300 is all McIntosh. The fascia features new dual scale blue watt meters that are a signature logo on many Mc amps. These give an accurate readout of power output for both 4 and 8-Ohm impedance. So McIntosh. And so desirable.
The McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks that connect to advanced high current output transistors that eliminate warm-up times are next generation Mc, but Mc all the same.
So is the overall styling that combines blue watt meters with a black glass front panel with aluminium end caps and an illuminated logo.
The MA5300, in keeping with McIntosh tradition, lacks no end of connectivity options. It has 12 inputs comprising 6 analogue inputs (4 balanced, 1 balanced and 1 moving magnet), and 6 digital inputs (2 each for coaxial and optical, 1 USB and 1 proprietary MCT for linking Mc’s MCT series of SACD/CD transports.
The digital inputs are housed in Mc’s DA1 Digital Audio Module that can be replaced by future modules as required.
The MA5300 comes with an 8-channel, 32-bit digital to analogue converter employed in Quad Balanced mode which supports up to DSD256 and DXD 384kHz for high-resolution audio playback.
In a nice touch, all the inputs can be assigned user-friendly names to simplify system control and configuration.
Most of Mc’s important technologies reside inside the MA5300 including Power Guard, Sentry Monitor, Home Theatre PassThru and High Drive Headphone amp with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD).
The MA5300 can be ordered now from any authorised McIntosh dealers with shipments expected to begin in the US this month.
Local pricing hasn't been confirmed at time of writing, but it will sell for US $5000 or £6750 overseas.
For more information visit McIntosh.
One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.
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