McIntosh MA8950 and MA9500 Next-Gen Integrateds Revealed
McIntosh reveals MA8950 and MA9500 integrateds promising more headroom, lower noise and the latest factory-fitted high-res DA2 DAC module.
McIntosh's MA8950 and MA9500 integrated amplifiers replace the much-lauded MA8900 and MA9000 and boast a 50 percent increase in dynamic headroom, upgraded power supply components for lower noise, plus a Roon-Tested Digital Audio Module offering improvements in dynamic range and distortion, says the Binghamton, New York-based brand.
The MA9000 offers 300 watts per channel and ten analogue inputs: two balanced, six unbalanced, plus an MM/MC input with adjustable loading. Meanwhile, the MA8950 presents 200 watts per channel and nine analogue inputs: one balanced, six unbalanced, plus an MC (with adjustable loading) and a MM phono input.
Tone controls are available on both new models, with the MA9000 equipped with an eight-band control and the MA8950, a five-band version. These both allow for manual analogue adjustment of ± 12 dB (in 2 dB increments) across a range of frequencies.
The upgraded McIntosh DA2 Digital Audio Module comes installed in the two new integrateds and benefits from a Quad Balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit DAC. In addition, the module offers two coaxial, two optical, one USB and one proprietary MCT (for SACD data) input, alongside an audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection. Furthermore, DSD playback support is increased from DSD256 to DSD512 via USB.
McIntosh states that both models benefit from powerful control microprocessors for smooth and reliable operation, plus state-of-the-art audiophile-grade circuit components as well as several proprietary McIntosh technologies.
The amps also include McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks, which promise excellent thermal conductivity and heat dissipation properties, Home Theater PassThru for integration into a home cinema system, and McIntosh's High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD).
Finally, Power Control is available to send power on/off signals to connected McIntosh components.
Shipping expected to begin in February 2022 in North America, with the rest of the world following shortly after. In Australia the MA9500 will sell for $24,995 RRP, while the MA8950 will sell for $18,495 RRP.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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