- Retro style that McIntosh tube amplifiers are known for
- Ultra-low noise and distortion
- Built-in high-current headphone amplifier
- McIntosh’s best volume control design for precise adjustment
- Remote control of all functions including power, volume, mute, tone settings, and channel balance
- Cool running for long life
- Warranty: 3 years – World Wide Stereo is an authorized dealer for every brand we sell
- Included: World Wide Stereo 60-day guarantee and expert product support
- Power output per channel
- 100W into 8 ohms
- 160W into 4 ohms
- Number of channels: 2
- Speaker impedance: 4 or 8 ohms
- Rated power band: 20Hz to 20kHz
- Total harmonic distortion: 0.03%
- Dynamic headroom: 1.8dB
- Frequency response
- 0, -0.5dB 20Hz to 20kHz
- +0, -3dB 10Hz to 100kHz
- Sensitivity phono (Moving Magnet): 3.0mV
- Sensitivity high level (Balanced/Unbalanced): 0.6V/0.3V
- Signal to noise ratio
- Moving magnet: 80dB
- High level: 97dB
- Input impedance (Balanced/Unbalanced): 20K/20K
- Damping factor
- 8 ohms: >200
- 4 ohms: >100
- Maximum output (Balanced/Unbalanced): 8V unbalanced
- Balanced input: 1
- Unbalanced input: 2
- Phono input moving magnet: 1 (fixed loading)
- Headphone output: 1/4" high drive
- Unbalanced analog connector type: Standard
- Speaker binding post type: Standard
- Tone controls: Bass and treble
- Tone bypass and input assign: Yes
- RS232 control input: No
- Power control output: 1
- Rear panel data port: 1
- Input level match: Yes
- Vacuum tube or solid state
- Preamplifier: Vacuum tube
- Power amplifier: Solid state
- Dual layer chassis: Yes
- Chassis finish: Polished stainless steel
- McIntosh monogrammed heat sinks: Yes
- Power requirement: 120V 50/60Hz, 3.7A
- Standby requirement: <0.5W
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 12" x 7 5/8" x 18"
- Weight: 28 lbs.
What's in the Box
What's in the Box:
- MA252 Integrated Amplifier
- Remote control
Customer Reviews for McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amplifier
The sound is warm, retro, with laid back bass. The pre-amplifier and the amplifier appear to be on separate chassis. The preamp portion has the 4 valves in the front which remind me of a mini Stonhedge, attached to the stainless steel pre-amp section. The solid state amplifier section is actually a separate aluminum/steel housing with the trademark ("Mc") heatsinks for each channel. This kit exudes quality from the brass connectors to the smooth detent switches of the input selector. The remote is a modern small (by McIntosh standards) slab with identifiable gold marked buttons.
The amplifier is a take on the Mcintosh standardbearer 100watt--8ohm/160 watt--4ohm unit that has been perfected over the years and has run venerable amplifiers such as the MC-162 and the current MA5300.
The MA252 does compromise in the way of inputs, yet its 4 inputs have more than enough for this audiophile. A Moving Magnet Phono input, 2 unbalanced RCA connections and a Balanced input round out the show.
But never fear, my Retro loving friends, the Marantz ND8006 connected to this unit, creates more inputs that rival the Digital Pack 2 upgrade for the MA 5300 and only adds $1,500 to the $4,500.00 base price for this bit of kit, including HEOS, digital radio and a high CD player.
I'm living in the best of worlds and my LS50 Metas (with REL sub) sing like a system costing thousands more. What a great time to be alive in Audiophile land.
Customer Q & A
Have a functionality, compatibility, or otherwise product-specific question about this product? Ask it here! If you have a customer service or shipping question, please direct it to our customer service department
Amplifier power ratings can be as confusing as speaker power ratings. The typical speaker has a rated efficiency spec how loud is it in dB when driven with one watt and measured one meter from the speaker. The speaker maximum power rating id how many unclipped watts it will handle. Think of it like a maximum capacity. The point to ponder is the physics of amplification vs. loudness. Increasing the volume a barely perceptible 3 dB will double the amplifier power. Music is dynamic from soft to loud. So an amp playing low volume music may be using an average of 2 watts. Increase the volume in 3 dB increments and the power will go from 2 watts to 4watts the 4 to 8, then 16 then 32 then 64 then 128 then 256 then 512 watts. Average amp output is typically well below 10 watts. For the ear to perceive a doubling in loudness is a 10dB increase in power.
Turning up the volume too much on a 50 watt amplifier will result in the amplifier being overdriven in to a clipped waveform. Without getting even more into the physics suffice it to say that any amp that is overdriven can damage the speaker, starting with the tweeters. My amp at home is rated 120 watts into 8 ohms and over 200 watts into 4 ohms. If I exceed its power by turning it up too loud I can hear the clipping distortion in the tweeters. They would rapidly fail if subjected to clipping lasting more than 5 seconds. Underpowering is the primary cause of fried speakers.
McIntosh developed a patented circuit that prevents an amplifier from being overdriven more than about 1.2dB. Its called powerguard. So a McIntosh MA252 will play louder than any other non McIntosh 100watt amp.