McIntosh Launches Two Contemporary Rack-Mounted A/V Components
McIntosh has unveiled a pair of new rack-mountable products in the MX100 A/V Processor and MI347 seven-channel amplifier.
The MX100 and MI347, according to McIntosh, are designed to be heard more than seen. What the New York State-based manufacturer means is that both products can be easily mounted and hidden away in an A/V equipment rack. For that very reason, the MX100 has a 2U height, and the MI347 is 3U. Naturally, if you prefer to gaze lovingly at your audio equipment (and who doesn't?), you can leave them out in the open. Additionally, we are promised that this pairing “will deliver an edge-of-your-seat home theatre experience”.
The MX100 A/V Processor sports purely digital inputs with four HDMI inputs along with an HDMI output, all of which are HDCP 2.2 compliant. Each HDMI port also has 18Gbps of bandwidth to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG; 4K Ultra HD at 50/60Hz; 4:4:4 colour spacing; Rec. 2020; and 3D video pass-through. You also get Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) functionality on the HDMI output. eARC offers improved bandwidth so the MX100 can receive higher resolution audio from a TV to produce the best possible sound quality. Finally, a pair of coax and a brace of optical digital audio inputs are also present.
For audio output, the MX100 has 11.2 (or 7.2.4) discrete audio channels and 13 balanced (XLR) connectors. Seven premium 32-bit DACs provide audiophile-grade processing for the best audio playback, says the brand.
The MX100 is compatible with leading home theatre surround sound and object-based 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It's also fully compatible with 4K Ultra HD video sources. Audyssey MultEQ XT32 calibration software is also on hand with its upwards of ten thousand individual control points, enabling further fine-tuning out of your room's problems.
The MX100 can be entirely operated via the remote control, or it can easily be incorporated into a home automation system via RS232 control protocol.
The MI347 7-Channel Digital Amplifier is a dedicated home theatre amplifier that, we're told, utilises highly sophisticated closed-loop digital switching amplifiers that are paired with extremely robust power supplies. The upshot here, according to McIntosh, is “performance levels rarely heard in home theatres”.
Arguably, the front left, front right, and centre channel are the most essential speakers in a home theatre as this is where the majority of the dialogue and the loudest and most prominent special effects resonate from. As such, the MI347 will deliver 250 Watts at 8 Ohms or 300 Watts at 4 Ohms to each of these three speakers. The MI347's other four channels are meant to drive the still important but less power-hungry surround sound speakers. To each of these four channels, the MI347 will deliver a healthy 125 Watts at 8 Ohms or 200 Watts at 4 Ohms.
A highly efficient Class D amplifier, the MI347 does not require noisy cooling fans to maintain nominal operating temperature; it also features an abundance of cooling vents on the top and sides to further assist with heat dissipation. On the front panel, multi-colour LEDs show the status of each channel. On the back, both a balanced and unbalanced input is included for each channel.
If there are more than seven audio channels in your home theatre, such as with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, McIntosh's MI254 4-Channel Digital Amplifier or MI128 8-Channel Digital Amplifier (both rack-mountable) can be added to deliver McIntosh power to all the speakers.
Of course, you get a variety of McIntosh technologies too, including Power Guard that prevents overdriving and damaging the speakers; Sentry Monitor that disengages the output stage should current ever approach unsafe operating levels.
Even though these two new products might be living in a racked cupboard, they both are easily identifiable as being McIntosh. Both sport a black glass front panel, an illuminated McIntosh logo, silver side trim and rotary control knobs on the MX100.
McIntosh is taking orders for the MX100 and MI347 now with shipping expected to begin in November 2020 to the United States and Canada, and to the rest of the world shortly after that.
Suggested retail price is £6,495 for each the MX100 and MI347.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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