The New MS500 Streamer and MCD600 SACD/CD Player from McIntosh Labs

In perhaps the longest break between PR releases for McIntosh (which really isn’t that long at all this year) a new set of digital extravagance has been issued to the masses. Two new sources in the form of a streamer and disc spinner are due out for shipping in May for those in the market for some top flight gear.

The new SACD/CD player is dubbed the MCD600 at will retail for approximately $7k. In addition to both the previously mention media, the new 600 will also handle audio files via the USB flash drive port on the front panel including DSD. In a pinch the player can even be utilized as a pre amp via the variable balanced and balanced outputs in the rear. The press release sees the term “8-channel” pressed closely up against the chipset specs, a growing trend for many manufacturers:

“At the heart of the MCD600 is a newly designed digital circuit highlighted by a new premium 8-channel, 32-bit PCM/DSD digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The DAC is used in Quad Balanced mode, with 4 DAC channels allocated to each of the left and right audio channels, resulting in truly exceptional sound reproduction. All PCM signals are up-sampled up to 32-bit/384kHz.”

The new MS500 streamer (approx. $6k) may look fairly plan-jane (for a McIntosh component) from the front panel, sporting only a single on off switch, but packs plenty of punch for any modern day music hub. 500GB of internal storage on a solid state drive and a new fanless processor should allow the unit to run “ultra-quiet”. Via the USB ports in the back the Linux-based system “can also be used to connect an external component with a built-in DAC; utilizing this external DAC, one additional independent audio zone can be created”.

More images and full press release below.

McIntosh Announces Two New Home Audio Products

New top of the line SACD/CD Player and enhanced Music Streamer

Binghamton, NY – May 16, 2018McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for over 65 years, is proud to announce two new products: the MCD600 SACD/CD Player and MS500 Music Streamer. Each product combines the best-in-class audio performance of the legendary McIntosh Reference System with the latest in technological development.

MCD600 SACD/CD Player
At the heart of the MCD600 is a newly designed digital circuit highlighted by a new premium 8-channel, 32-bit PCM/DSD digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The DAC is used in Quad Balanced mode, with 4 DAC channels allocated to each of the left and right audio channels, resulting in truly exceptional sound reproduction. All PCM signals are up-sampled up to 32-bit/384kHz.

Besides commercial SACDs and CDs, the MCD600 can also play music from user generated CD or DVD Data Discs as well as USB flash drives. Numerous file formats can be played from these including AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and WMA. Flash drives can easily be connected via the front panel USB input.

The MCD600 includes both fixed and variable balanced and unbalanced outputs; the variable outputs combined with its volume control allow the MCD600 to be connected directly to a power amplifier without needing a preamplifier. Coax and optical digital inputs and outputs are included as is the McIntosh High Drive headphone amplifier.

The MCD600 is wrapped in classic McIntosh styling with a polished stainless steel chassis, black glass front panel, illuminated logo, knobs and aluminum end caps. The front panel features new direct LED backlighting for improved appearance, while the top has a new screen printed glass panel listing performance specs and a block diagram.

MS500 Music Streamer
The sophisticated yet simple to use MS500 Music Streamer seamlessly integrates both internet based streaming music and locally stored digital music into one comprehensive device. It allows a digital music library to be enjoyed with McIntosh’s legendary audio standards – including uncompressed, lossless files with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution.

The MS500 runs ultra-quiet thanks to two key features. First, local music and the operating system are stored on a durable 500GB solid state drive (SSD) that has no moving parts to create noise; second, a new fanless processor combined with improved ventilation means noisy cooling fans are not needed. The combination of these two things results in there being no noise to interfere with music listening.

Besides onboard music storage, the MS500 has built in interfaces to leading streaming services such as Deezer, Murfie, Pandora®, Rhapsody®, SiriusXM®, Slacker, Spotify®, TIDAL and TuneIn (services subject to change). Internet radio stations can also be added as presets. Three USB ports allow for external mass storage or flash drives to be connected. Any one of the USB ports can also be used to connect an external component with a built-in DAC; utilizing this external DAC, one additional independent audio zone can be created.

The MS500 utilizes a Linux based operating system that brings stability and is extremely responsive to user inputs. It is operated via the included remote control, a web browser or with free apps for Apple​ and Android​ devices. The unit is compatible with many popular home automation systems allowing for easy integration into an existing setup. The timeless black glass front panel, illuminated logo and aluminum end caps make the MS500 a welcome addition to any audio system and room decor.

Pricing* and Availability
Orders are now being accepted for MCD600 and MS500 with shipping anticipated to begin in May for both products. Target retail price for each (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded):

MCD600: $7,000 USD
MS500: $6,000 USD

*Pricing subject to change.

About McIntosh
Founded in 1949, McIntosh Laboratory is known for offering distinguished quality audio products, superior customer service and the ultimate experience in music and film. All McIntosh products are handcrafted at the Binghamton, NY factory by over 150 employees with a passion for music and the McIntosh heritage. McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home entertainment experience for discriminating consumers around the world, with the iconic “McIntosh Blue” Watt Meters globally recognized as a symbol of quality audio. Since its inception, McIntosh has been powering some of the most important moments in music history and pop culture. From President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration speech to Woodstock to the famous Grateful Dead “Wall of Sound,” McIntosh has not only witnessed history, it has shaped it. With McIntosh, customers have the ability to create their own premium audio experience – and truly live their music. Visit www.mcintoshlabs.com to learn more.