McIntosh MA252 hybrid valve & solid state amplifier announced

McIntosh goes back to valves

by Mark Hodgkinson Nov 2, 2017 at 7:41 PM


  • Hi-Fi News

    McIntosh MA252 hybrid valve & solid state amplifier announced
    McIntosh has launched the MA252, its first ever hybrid integrated amplifier with a combination of vacuum tube (valve) and solid-state technologies.
    The MA252 takes its retro design cues from the McIntosh MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier. The MA252’s preamplifier stage uses two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 vacuum tubes housed inside protective cages. The amplifier’s output stage is a direct-coupled solid-state amplifier that delivers 100 watts (per channel) into a conventional 8-ohm speaker load or 160 watts into 4-ohm speakers.

    An all-analogue design, the MA252 has two unbalanced, one balanced and one Moving Magnet phono input for turntable connectivity; all four inputs can be named. The amplifier also possesses bass and treble tone controls. A full-range subwoofer output is also included for use with a powered sub.

    The MA252 features McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks connected to high-current output transistors. The transistors are designed to eliminate typical amplifier warm-up times so that the MA252 is in peak operating condition from switch-on.

    Thanks to its solid-state output, the MA252 is McIntosh’s first product containing vacuum tubes to include its patented Power Guard technology. Power Guard monitors the output signal for signs of overdriving and makes real-time micro adjustments to the input signal to prevent harsh-sounding clipping that could potentially damage your speakers.

    Other McIntosh technologies found in the MA252 include Sentry Monitor and the High Drive headphone amplifier. Input selection, bass, treble, tone bypass, balance and input offset levels can be adjusted using the front panel knobs or the included remote control; all settings and input selection will be shown on the OLED display.

    The unit sits atop a polished stainless steel chassis with a classic McIntosh-styled die-cast aluminium name badge attached to each side. Gold-plated speaker binding posts are also included.

    Orders for the MA252 can be placed now with authorised McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in November (US) and December (UK) where the price will be £4,500.

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