Why? Because it has almost every high-quality feature you need (e.g., tons of power, crazy low sound distortion, plenty of inputs) at an extremely great value.
Get all of the juicy details by watching my latest McIntosh tour featuring the MA500.
McIntosh's MA5200 integrated amplifier combines a preamp and an amplifier on one chassis. It has quite ample power, 100 watts per channel claimed into 8-ohms. One of the major magazines just tested it and their sample put out 130 watts per channel. That's not actually atypical. Into 4-ohms, their sample put out over 185 watts per channel. Amazingly that's with 0.005% distortion. So very ample power with almost unmeasurably low distortion.
There's a preamp on the same chassis with lots of features. We have lots of analog stereo inputs. We have an XLR balanced input. We have digital inputs, coax, optical, USB, if you want to hook up your computer for high-resolution music. We have an input for a turntable with a moving magnet phono cartridge, and the phono section of this is based on McIntosh's separate preamplifier. So you know it's excellent quality.
And the headphone amplifier is outstandingly good in the MA5200. This was designed to be the perfect entry level piece for someone as their first piece of McIntosh. It has most of the features that almost anyone would need. It has plenty of power. It runs cool. Lots of flexibility. It's an extremely good value. And it is the bestselling piece of McIntosh by a country mile at World Wide Stereo.