McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amp Review


Every now and then, we get a product that takes our breath away. This is one of them. The new McIntosh MA252 integrated amplifier combines a powerful solid state power amp with a vacuum tube pre-amp section — a very sought-after combination. We just love the retro nod to the MC275 Vacuum Tube Amp and modern upgrades. The MA252 is fully remote-controllable and includes tone controls, a headphone amplifier, and a smashingly-good phono section so you can enjoy your favorite tunes from a variety of sources. There’s no doubt in my mind this piece will be another collectible classic McIntosh tube model in the years to come.

Check out the video below for a complete tour of the McIntosh MA252. It’s currently only available in store, so stop by a World Wide Stereo showroom near you to check it out in person.

Video transcript

This is Ken Zelin with World Wide Stereo, and I'm here with the most important McIntosh product introduction of the last 20 years. We've been waiting for this product for a long time, and it's finally here. It's the MA252 integrated amplifier. So, we'll take a quick tour of this.

It has a solid state amplifier section. The power amp is quite powerful. It's rated for 100 watts of power continuous. It will peak at 200 watts per channel. Into 4 Ohms, it's rated for 160 watts per channel, and into 4r Ohms, it'll peak at 320 watts per channel.

So, this will drive the vast majority of speakers on the market today with power to spare. The preamp section is a tube design. It gives you that lush, warm sound that tubes are known for. And it has a fantastic phono section, also using vacuum tubes. So, if you're a vinyl enthusiast, this is made for you.

The MA252 comes with a remote control that will operate it and do basic functions, if you have a McIntosh CD player to go with it. There's no digital to analog converter built into this model. McIntosh wanted this to remain a classic for many, many years, digital to analog converters keep improving every few years.

So, if you need digital inputs, we have that available from several manufacturers as a little small device that you can plug into the back. But it does have inputs for a turntable, several other sources. We'll flip it around and take a look at the back of it in a moment. A little tour of the back. We have McIntosh's new solid metal speaker terminals, very high current.
Beautiful, gold plated input jacks, left and right for a turntable, another analog source, another analog source, and balanced inputs also. For the first time in a McIntosh integrated amplifier, we have a single jack, which can be used for a powered subwoofer.

The best part of this is the value of it. I can't actually talk about the price on this video, but it's probably about half of what you'd expect it to be. It's the best value McIntosh product in years. There's a huge waiting list for it, but that's getting a little bit better. We have a big shipment on its way. We can't wait to get more in. But it's on display and you can come hear it now at World Wide Stereo.

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