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A New McIntosh Integrated – The MA252

Embargo lifted. Another McIntosh amp is ready to hit the streets and this time its a hybrid. The first of its kind for the legendary amp company, actually. Pushing 100 watts into 8 via a solid state output stage, the pre amp section utilizes two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 tubes to create sweet sweet music for the listener.

Its also an integrated. The MA252 has an all analog design that boasts two unbalanced, 1 balanced and a MM photo input with a full range sub out to boot. As a precautionary measure the classic McIntosh green lights that illuminate the tubes will actually flash red in the case of overdrive/clipping, which then return to green after everything is back in proper working order thanks to the amps new Power Guard tech.

Its a good feature set for a simple two channel integrated that offers the analog basics of what you need to rock without too much of the folly of digitis-server-y gizmos. The McIntosh dealer network is ready and waiting to take your preorder for the amp, shipping dates expect to start this month with a retail price of $3,500 USD.

More from the press release:

“The MA252 Integrated Amplifier is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh. Taking retro design cues from the legendary McIntosh MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier, the MA252 combines the best of vacuum tube and solid-state circuit design to create an amplifier that’s both visually and sonically stunning.

The preamplifier stage uses two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 vacuum tubes housed inside stylish protective cages; the output stage is a direct coupled solid-state amplifier that delivers 100 Watts per channel into 8 Ohm speakers or 160 Watts per channel into 4 Ohm speakers. An all analog design, it comes with 2 unbalanced, 1 balanced and 1 Moving Magnet phono input. All 4 inputs can be given user-friendly names in order to simplify user control. Bass and treble tone controls help fine tune the music to one’s personal preferences. A full range subwoofer output is included for use with a powered subwoofer to further enhance low frequencies.

The MA252 features our McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks™ which are connected to advanced high current output transistors. These transistors eliminate the typical amplifier warm-up time so that the MA252 is in peak operating condition from the moment it’s turned on. A powerful control microprocessor is used for smooth system operation, along with some of the latest audio-grade circuit components that deliver the best possible sound.

Thanks to its solid-state output, the MA252 is our first product containing vacuum tubes to include our patented Power Guard® technology. Power Guard monitors the output signal for signs of overdriving and makes real time micro adjustments to the input signal to prevent harsh sounding clipping that could potentially damage the speakers. If Power Guard is activated, the 2 vacuum tubes connected to the affected audio channel(s) will flash an amber color; they will return to their normal green color when the clipping has stopped.

Other McIntosh technologies found in the MA252 include Sentry Monitor™, High Drive headphone amplifier and gold-plated speaker binding posts. Input selection, bass, treble, tone bypass, balance and input offset levels can be adjusted using the front panel knobs or the included remote control; all settings and input selection will be shown on the OLED display. The entire unit sits atop a beautiful polished stainless steel chassis with a classic McIntosh-styled die cast aluminum name badge attached to each side.”

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