in ,

McIntosh readies MA9500, MA8950 integrated amplifiers

  • McIntosh is set to introduce two new integrated amplifiers: the MA9500 (that replaces the MA9000) and the MA8950 (that usurps the MA8900).

    What’s new? According to the press release, a doubling of filter capacity, a 50% uptick in dynamic headroom and better low-end performance, including better overall bass control. The power supply components in each model have also seen a redo.

    The two new amplifiers also feature McIntosh’s DA-2 D/A converter board, one that’s built around an unspecified “Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter” chip with entry points for coaxial (2), TOSLINK (2), USB, HDMI ARC and a proprietory MCT input. DSD support has been extended to DSD256.

    The MA8950 gives us 200wpc into 2, 4 or 8 Ohms. This load invariance is attributable to the deployment of McIntosh’s in-house designed Autoformers. On analogue inputs, we get nine: balanced (1), unbalanced (6) plus one MM phono and one MC phono, the latter with adjustable loading. The flexibility continues with a five-band EQ for ±12dB (in 2dB steps) adjustment of 30Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 2kHz, and 10kHz should your room, loudspeakers, hearing ability or taste demand it.

    The MA9500 ups the go-juice to 300wpc, again with load invariant autoformers, to offer ten analogue inputs: balanced (2), unbalanced (6) plus MM and MC phono whose loading settings are both adjustable. The in-built EQ offers eight bands: 25Hz, 50Hz, 100Hz, 200Hz, 400Hz, 1kHz, 2.5kHz, and 10kHz. McIntosh’s Solid Cinch loudspeaker binding posts that reportedly more securely hold the loudspeaker cable in place are also part of the MA9500’s spec.

    Both new models also feature McIntosh’s Power Guard technology that “can dynamically adjust input levels to ensure maximum output while avoiding harsh sounding distortion and clipping that could damage the speakers” as well as Monogrammed Heatsinks, Home Theatre PassThru and ‘high-drive’ headphone amplifiers that come loaded with the manufacturer’s own take on crossfeed (HXD).

    Pricing? MA9500 is yours for a cool US$12,000 and the 
MA8950 for US$9000. Shipping in the USA and Canada begins this month with the RoW to follow shortly thereafter.

    Further information: McIntosh

    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.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    Sony’s NW-WM1ZM2, NW-WM1AM2 DAPs to run Android 11

    A short film about five less obvious hifi accessories