McIntosh has taken the wraps off its “most powerful integrated amplifier ever.” The MA12000 pumps out 350 watts per channel, a whole 50 watts more than the US firm’s super-sized MA9000 amp.
Oomph aside, the MA12000 offers up a tempting blend of warm analogue sound and cutting-edge tech. To that end, McIntosh has teamed a traditional preamp
– complete with four green-glowing 12AX7A vacuum tubes – with a punchy solid-state power amplifier and a Quad Balanced 32-bit DAC.
The unit boasts digital smarts, too. There’s support for hi-res 24-bit/192kHz playback and seven digital audio inputs, including two optical inputs, USB and an HDMI (ARC) connection.
McIntosh has form when it comes to creating monster amps (see also: the 450W MC462) and knows a thing or two about controlling large amounts of firepower. Hence this latest effort features the company’s Autoformer technology, which aims to ensure that the amplifier’s 350W are fully delivered to any speaker.
So, where do you start with raw power at your disposal? Have a gander round the back and you’ll find enough connections to connect to virtually any traditional music system. There’s 10 analogue inputs, including six gold-plated unbalanced inputs, two balanced inputs, plus one moving coil and one moving magnet input (meaning your vinyl collection should sound better than ever).
The whole shebang comes wrapped in McIntosh’s retro-chic style, complete with black glass panels and dual “McIntosh Blue” watt meters that indicate power output in real time, so you can of see precisely how many of those 350 watts your speakers are pumping out.
Thankfully – for you and your neighbours – the MA12000 also comes with McIntosh’s High Drive headphone amplifier, which can drive a wide range of audiophile headphones.
As you’ve probably guessed, all this headline-grabbing power doesn’t come cheap. The MA1200 will be available through authorised McIntosh dealers from October, at a price of $14,000 (£11,000, AU$19,000).
Bit pricey? Here are the best stereo amplifiers for every budget
Read all the latest McIntosh reviews
Discover the best headphone amplifiers