McIntosh introduced the MA12000 hybrid amplifier. Its pre-amplification circuit uses 4 12AX7A dual triodes, and the power amplifiers are made using purely solid-state components. The MA12000 is considered the most powerful hybrid integrated amplifier the company has ever released – capable of delivering 350 watts of power to each of the two channels. Moreover, the maximum power does not depend on the impedance of the connected speakers, which can be in the range from 2 to 8 ohms. The speaker cable connects to proprietary Solid Cinch terminals.
The X Power Guard technology is responsible for the safety of the speakers in the MA12000. The amplifier itself is protected from a short circuit by an automatic proprietary Sentry Monitor system. McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks provide reliable passive cooling of the output transistors, while the McIntosh Blue Peak Wattmeters indicate power output. On board the novelty is an eight-band analog tone control, assembled on discrete elements and a High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) function. Seamless integration into a home theater system with proprietary components is ensured by PassThru technology.
To process digital signals, the MA12000 is equipped with a McIntosh DA2 audio module, created on the basis of an 8-channel 32-bit (DAC). The DA2 USB input supports native playback up to DSD512 and PCM up to 384 kHz. Two coaxial and two optical inputs can accept digital audio up to 24 bit / 192 kHz. In addition, the digital module has an MCT input for use with proprietary SACD / CD transports of the same name.
HDMI audio input with ARC function is provided for integration into video systems. The DA2 module is Roon Tested, allowing MA12000 owners to use their amplifier in the Roon ecosystem. It is important that a hardware upgrade of this part of the amplifier is possible later.
The analog switching of the MA12000 is equally versatile. These are 2 balanced XLR and 6 unbalanced RCA inputs with gold-plated brass contacts, complemented by two built-in MM and MC phono amplifier inputs with adjustable load. The amplifier also provides a pair of line outputs in balanced and unbalanced versions.
The rear panel of the amplifier provides power management jacks for connected McIntosh components. If we talk about the power supply of the MA12000 itself, then to improve the bass in the circuit, a battery of filtering capacitors is used with twice the capacity compared to other McIntosh ICs. In addition to the controls located on the front panel of the novelty, you can use the standard remote control.
The MA12000 amplifier received a distinctive corporate design. On the top panel of the case there are 5 glass nameplates with product information. The model name is engraved in the center and surrounded by a decorative applied ring. The black glass front panel is complemented by aluminum control knobs, illuminated logo and polished stainless steel chassis.
The MA12000 amplifier in the US and Canada is expected to ship in October 2020 at a suggested retail price of $14,000.