Ah, the warmth and sound-staging of tubes. But, the power and dependability of solid-state!
McIntosh may finally have settled the conflict. The icon of American hi-fi has introduced its new hybrid integrated amplifier, and it may indeed offer the best of both worlds.
A first for the high-end New York company, the new MA252 allows users to blend the clarity of tube amplification sound with a modern solid-state output. Although the device looks retro, with a nod to the brand’s classic MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier, it only utilizes tubes in the preamplifier stage.
Output comes from advanced two-channel solid-state circuitry, offering 100 watts per channel into 8 ohm speakers or 160 watts into 4 ohm speakers. Users don’t need to worry about operational delay due to the tubes, either, thanks to the high current output transistors.
In addition to an all-analog turntable input, users can also opt for a separate subwoofer to add a low-end thrower in the mix. One of the best features, however, is McIntosh’s Power Guard technology, which offers adjustment of input and output to reduce and resolve clipping.
Complete with an OLED display for input selection and settings, the MA252 is the perfect blend of old and new for truly authentic sound production. McIntosh’s new hybrid amplifier is available for $3,500.