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Mr. Beast: McIntosh’s MCD12000 CD player & DAC

  • New from McIntosh: a flagship CD/SACD player called the MCD12000 that doubles as the New York company’s flagship D/A converter.

    Seven digital inputs – 2 x coaxial, 2 x TOSLINK, AES/EBU, USB and a proprietory MCT connector – talk to a DAC circuit built around a pair of ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DAC chips. As is typical with D/A converters of this stripe, the S/PDIF inputs top out on PCM decoding at 24bit/192kHz with the USB input capable of pulling in PCM up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD up to DSD512. The MCD12000’s TOSLINK and coaxial outputs are for connecting the unit to an external D/A converter.

    Once digital is converted to analogue inside the MCD12000, an analogue output stage carries the signal to the amplifier. Here we get a choice of balanced or single-ended outputs but also a choice of tube or solid-state flavours. The former is built around a combination of green-glowing 12AT7 and 12AX7A tubes and ‘discrete balanced’ op-amps whilst the latter bypasses the tubes to leave only the op-amps in play.

    On the all-important disc transport, McIntosh says that it “uses a high-precision die-cast aluminium tray that provides smooth and quiet disc handling, while an advanced digital servo provides fast, quiet and accurate operation.”

    The digital stage gets its own dedicated power supply. As does the analogue stage. This separation – as well as a bespoke R-core transformer – reportedly minimises any cross-contamination of noise.

    And it wouldn’t be a McIntosh without the company’s iconic blue (60dB) VU meters mounted to the front panel but those chunky side handles suggest that this new unit is (err) quite the unit.

    Price? US$12,000 or £13,995. Shipping begins this later month.

    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.

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