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McIntosh MP100 brings vinyl playback to Devialet Phantom

  • The MP100 is McIntosh’s first standalone phono stage. On its front panel (above) we note switchable MM and MC loading options – six for each – and a mono toggle that does what we might expect: “decrease noise and play the signal correctly”. The press release also confirms the existence of balanced and unbalanced outputs. Price? US$2000.

    This story gets more interesting with news of the MP100’s internal ADC, one that outputs 24bit/96kHz PCM over USB for archiving vinyl rips to a PC/Mac or via S/PDIF for on-the-fly digitisation. ‘Hi’ and ‘Lo’ settings allow the end user to tailor the MP-100’s digital output so that clipping is avoided.

    Real-time digital encoding of vinyl playback might make hardcore turntablists wince but it’s generally the only way to keep one’s wax in the game when bypassing a traditional analogue pre-amplifier in favour of going DAC-direct into a power amplifier. That’s how I played it with the PS Audio NuWave Phono Converter some eighteen months ago.

    Both the PS Audio and McIntosh phono digitisers spill ones and zeroes over coaxial. The NPC one-ups the MP100 with DSD support and an I²S output.

    However, McIntosh return fire with the presence a Toslink output, making the MP100 a rare beast indeed: one that links your existing turntable to the Devialet Phantom whose ONLY hard-wired digital input is Toslink.

    Game on.

    Further information: McIntosh Labs


    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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