McIntosh MA8950 Stereo Integrated Amplifier with DAC
The American McIntosh, without a doubt one of the sacred monsters of High End audio of all time, has just launched the MA89500, a reference integrated amplifier with built-in DAC destined to establish a new reference in quality/price ratio within of its category. With an output power of 200 continuous watts per channel over 8, 4 or 2 ohms guaranteed by the exclusive Autoformer technology of the New York brand, the MA8950 replaces the award-winning MA8900 with the addition of a series of improvements and functionalities that enhance already exceptional in themselves. This is the case of the filtering capacity, which, having been multiplied by two, has made it possible to significantly increase the dynamic capacity and therefore the ability to reproduce the most demanding musical peaks, while reducing distortion and improving the extension and the bass response control.
As for the DAC section, it is embodied in McIntosh’s sophisticated DA2 module, a component that gives the MA8950 virtually unlimited possibilities thanks to its 7 digital inputs, including an ARC compatible HDMI to facilitate connection to a television and the exclusive MCT, which allows the transmission of DSD data to any of the SACD/CD transport mechanisms in the MCT range of the American firm. Internally, the DA2 includes an 8-channel D/A conversion “chip” in “Quad Balanced” configuration whose 32-bit architecture allows it to deal with the most demanding “Hi-Res” audio of the moment, that is, files encoded in PCM up to 32 bits/384 kHz and DSD up to DSD512 (22.4 MHz). Equally impressive is the analog connectivity of the new McIntosh, with a total of 9 inputs, including 1 balanced line and 2 separate phono inputs for turntables equipped with moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridges and to which They add two unbalanced outputs (one with a fixed level and one with a variable level) to facilitate the connection of an external power stage.
Entirely microprocessor controlled, the MA8950 also includes an extensive range of technological refinements exclusive to McIntosh, such as the Power Guard protection system (which continuously monitors input and output signals to prevent them from causing sound distortion), Sentry Monitor short-circuit protection circuitry (no fuse) and effective Monogrammed Headsinks heatsinks. The MA8950 also features a highly dynamic headphone amplifier equipped with the Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) dimensional expansion scheme and a sophisticated 5-band tone control that allows the user to personalize the sound while playing their favorite music content. Roon Tested approved, McIntosh’s new reference integrated amplifier is completed with completely handmade manufacturing of the highest level in the USA, finished off by the three most iconic elements of the brand’s industrial design: the treated glass front panel, the vu meters Analog with blue backlight and stainless steel chassis.