McIntosh MC1502: Sentry Monitor tube amp with variable output impedance

McIntosh has released the MC1502 2 x 150W tube stereo amplifier. The novelty repeats the circuitry of the MC2152 model, released in a limited number of copies last year, for the 70th anniversary of the company. At the same time, according to the creators, the MC1502 received “a design more familiar to McIntosh”. Like the MC2152, the MC1502 is the successor to the classic MC275 – in fact, its “doubled” version. Moreover, the MC1502 has a signal-to-noise ratio even higher than that of the MC275 (112 dB versus 105 dB).

McIntosh MC1502

The final stages of each of the two MC1502 channels are equipped with four KT88 tetrodes, known since the mid-1950s. Two more pairs of dual triodes – 12AX7A and 12AT7 – operate respectively in the prestages and power circuits of each channel, all protected by blackened stainless steel mesh caps. The powerful KT88s are equipped with Air-Pipe cooling for extended service life. Ceramic lamp connectors with gold contacts are mounted on the top of the amplifier.

McIntosh MC1502

The output current in the MC1502 is controlled by McIntosh Sentry Monitor technology. If it is exceeded, the amplifier turns off. Flashing red LEDs will indicate this when activated. Thanks to McIntosh’s patented Unity Coupled Circuit output transformer technology since 1949, the MC1502 is ready to drive 2, 4 or 8 ohm speakers. A pair of such transformers is located symmetrically – on the sides of the power transformer. Each of them is enclosed in an extruded case with a glass lid, on which its connection diagram is applied.

The MC1502 received a switchable balanced and unbalanced input signal connection option on the back panel. It is claimed that the patented McIntosh Solid Cinch speaker cable connectors will provide reliable contact with the connected acoustics. The switchable input and output of the McIntosh power management technology allows you to automatically turn on other connected McIntosh components along with the amplifier. The MC1502 design is formed by panels of mirror-polished stainless steel. Two text-based brand logos and die-cast aluminum models adorn the sides of the MC1502. Another logo is placed on the sloping front panel of the amplifier.

The recommended retail price of the McIntosh MC1502 tip in the us market was $11,000.

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