Posted on 28th May, 2018


They're big, black, beautifully built and unmistakably McIntosh.

And just to drive the point home, the iconic Gothic McIntosh brand name illuminates on the front fascia of the new MCD600 SACD/CD player and that of the MS500 Music Steamer when either is powered up.

The two are just the kind of audio components Batman would have installed in his bat cave.

In other words, they have oodles of character and that is what sets McIntosh gear apart from any other brand known to man or bat.

The MCD600 and the MS500 models prove that despite McIntosh’s change of ownership that has occurred several times over the decades, this famous Binghamton NY brand has retained its soul.

The MCD600 carries a newly minted digital circuit featuring a new premium class, 8-channel, 32-bit PCM/DSD digital-to-analogue converter.

The DAC is configured to work in Quad Balanced Mode, with four DAC channels assigned to each of the left and right audio channels. All signals are up-sampled up to 32-bit/384kHz.

Discs played include SACD and CD, but the MCD600 will also playback user recorded CD and DVD Data Discs and music stored on USB drives.

A mountain load of file formats can also be played including AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, and WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz and WMA.

A front panel input accommodates flash drives.

Handily, the MCD600 offers both fixed and variable balanced and unbalanced output connections. The variable output level can be controlled by remote to allow the user to play directly into a power amplifier and bypass the need for a preamplifier if desired.

Coax and optical digital inputs and outputs are included along with the McIntosh High Drive headphone amplifier.

Stylistically the MCD600 is very McIntosh, dressed in a polished, stainless steel chassis and finished with a glass black panel that has an illuminated logo.  Black and silver knobs and silver aluminium end caps are a striking contrast to the black, main chassis.

McIntosh has given the MCD600 new, direct LED backlighting as a stylistic enhancement. Screen-printed glass panel listing performance specs and a block diagram completes this package.

The MS500 Music Streamer follows the same styling as the new player. It has a black chassis set off by silver, aluminium end caps and a front panel carrying an illuminated logo.

Built to handle internet-based music streaming and tracks stored locally, the MS500 offers playback of uncompressed, lossless files with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution.

The MS500 is said to run ultra-quietly. Locally stored music and its operating system are stored on a sturdy 500GB solid-state drive that has no moving parts. Improved ventilation and a new fanless processor means noisy fans are not required.

The MS500 is compatible with Deezer, Murfie, Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, Slacker, TIDAL and Tunein. Internet radio stations can be added as pre-sets.

Three USB ports allow for external mass storage or flash drive connection.

The MS500 uses a Linux based operating system and is said to be very stable and very responsive to user inputs. This model is compatible with a horde of home automation systems.

Sound Group Holdings, which distributes McIntosh in New Zealand tells us the McIntosh MCD600 SACD/CD Player and McIntosh MS500 Music Steamer will be available in the second half of this year, but local pricing has not yet been confirmed.

For more information visit McIntosh.

    Peter Familari's avatar

    Peter Familari

    One of the veteran journalists of the HiFi industry, if there’s a speaker he’s likely heard it or owned it at some point in his career. Peter was formerly the audio-video editor of the Herald Sun newspaper in Australia for over two decades.

    Posted in:Hi-Fi
    Tags: mcintosh 


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