MCINTOSH’S MOST POWERFUL INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER ON ITS WAY
McIntosh’s new MA9000 integrated amplifier is large, imposing and impossibly powerful.
Rated at 300 watts per channel, the MA9000 is described by McIntosh as its biggest integrated amplifier.
Then again, audio specialist brand McIntosh has always thought big.
Any notion McIntosh harbours any desire to downscale the size of its models. Built to last a lifetime, the MA9000 is formidably sized with a width of 44.5cm, a depth of 55.88cm and a height of 24cm. Its weight of 45.8kg unboxed and 60.8kg in the shipping carton suggest this is a hernia-inducing model requiring two people to lift it around.
Stylistically the MA9000 screams “big, hefty and durable’’ qualities of all McIntosh products, past and present.
The facia is undeniably done the Mc way with a classic glass front facia, large blue power meters, and illuminated McIntosh logo. Aluminium end caps, large control knobs, a superbly polished stainless steel chassis and chunky built-in handles.
Designed as an integrated built to drive any loudspeaker to realistic listening level, the MA9000 is also a hub connecting and controlling a huge number of sources.
Ten analogue connections comprise two balanced and six unbalanced inputs and moving magnet and moving coil phono inputs. Both phono inputs offer adjustable loading and all unbalanced analogue connectors are made from premium gold-plated solid brass to enhance signal transmission as well as grounding.
For digital usage, the connections include two coax, two optical, one USB and one MCT input. All are built in the brand’s new DA1 Digital Audio Module. Future proofing is via future modules.
The DA1 uses a grunty eight-channel, 32-bit Digital-To-Analogue Converter configured in Quad balanced mode. It supports high resolution DSD256 and DXD384kHz files via the USB input. The coax and optical inputs decode music up to 24-bit/192kHz. All inputs can be given custom names for user-friendly system control and configuration.
Stylistically McIntosh has given the MA9000 monogrammed heat sinks and these are made from high quality materials that have excellent thermal conductivity properties. These heat sinks are connected to advanced high current output transistors chosen to eliminate thermal equilibrium lag time (or warm up time).
New, more powerful control microprocessors are used in the MA9000 to improve overall system operation. Internally the circuit is crammed full of the latest audio grade parts picked for their contribution to sound quality.
A handy feature is the MA9000’s Home Theatre PassThru mode for seamless integration into surround systems. Another is a High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD).
A discrete, eight-band tone control is also handy as is a Power Control to sends power on/off signals to connected McIntosh components for easy system power up and shutdown.
Large, powerful, superbly equipped and beautifully built, the MA9000 integrated amplifier is the stuff of audiophile dreams.
Locally it will be available this month, and pricing will be announced in the coming days.
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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