McIntosh MA9500 Stereo Integrated Amplifier with DAC
The legendary American firm McIntosh has just announced the launch of the MA9500, an absolute reference stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC, intended for the most demanding music lovers and audiophiles. With an output power of 300 continuous watts per channel over 8, 4 or 2 ohms guaranteed by the exclusive Autoformer technology of the New York brand, the MA9500 replaces the award-winning MA9000 with the addition of a series of improvements and functionalities that place it in the pinnacle of achievements in its class. Thus, the filtering capacity has been multiplied by two, the result being a significant increase in dynamic capacity, which allows the new McIntosh to reproduce the most demanding musical peaks with hardly any distortion, while improving the extension and control of the bass response.
Another substantial innovation incorporated into the MA9500 has to do with its DAC functionality, embodied in McIntosh’s sophisticated DA2 module and which gives this new amplifier 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, which allows it to deal, thanks to its latest generation 32-bit architecture, with “Hi-Res” audio. most demanding of the moment, that is, files encoded in PCM up to 32 bits/384 kHz and DSD up to DSD512 (22.4 MHz). The analog connectivity of the MA9500 is also impressive, with a total of 10 inputs, including 2 balanced line inputs and 2 separate phono inputs for turntables equipped with moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) capsules, and to which one balanced output and one unbalanced output to facilitate the connection of an external power stage.
Entirely microprocessor controlled, the MA9500 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 distortions in the sound), Sentry Monitor short-circuit protection circuitry (no fuse) and effective Monogrammed Headsinks heatsinks. The MA9500 also features a highly dynamic headphone amplifier equipped with the Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) dimensional expansion scheme and a sophisticated 8-band tone control that allows the user to customize the tonal curve of their favorite recordings. Roon Tested Approved, McIntosh’s new absolute reference stereo integrated amplifier is completed with completely handcrafted 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 analog vu meters with blue backlighting and the stainless steel chassis.