McIntosh MT2 Precision Turntable Overview
Today’s complex gadgets often are jacks of all trades, masters of none. But turntables, with their 20th century roots, have just two simple functions: to spin a platter noiselessly at precise speed, and guide a stylus effortlessly along a spiral vinyl groove. To perform these functions to perfection, however, is an engineering feat. Enter McIntosh, the storied audio manufacturer renowned for its engineering prowess. The MT2, McIntosh’s third (and least expensive) turntable, is designed with rock solid construction, elegant craftsmanship and impeccable sonics. It is plug-and-play right out of the box, with a installed moving-coil cartridge installed and pre-tweaked for top performance. And, while “entry-level” and McIntosh seems an oxymoron, the MT2 gets you into the sonic stratosphere at a less-rarefied price than many competitors. If you’ve got the time, the taste and the wherewithal, stop by one of our showrooms to take McIntosh’s MT2 Precision Turntable out for a spin. Read our take on the McIntosh MT2 here.
- Moving coil cartridge pre-installed
- Factory-set anti-skate, balance, cartridge overhang and arm height
- High output compatible with most phono inputs
- Tonearm of damped light, rigid aluminum
- Fluid-damped ceramic vertical bearings
- Gimballed sapphire horizontal bearings
- High-stability thermoplastic ring surrounds milled-aluminum inner platter
- Voltage-stabilized and decoupled DC drive motor
- 33-1/3 and 45 RPM with fine-adjustment speed control on rear
- Black-lacquer base with acrylic top plate
- Contoured acrylic dust cover
- Comes with record mat, clamp, bubble level and stylus force gauge
- Dimensions: 17-13/16” wide by 17” deep by 5” high (6” with dust cover)
- Weight: 29 lbs.
- 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
Ready to rock, right out of the box
Turntable/cartridge combinations are incredibly tweaky. But McIntosh makes it easy. A Sumiko moving-coil cartridge comes installed, with the various settings (stylus overhang, anti-skate, arm height, tracking pressure) already optimized. Just assemble a few parts, plug and play. And moving coil cartridges, while prized for their natural sound (the frequency response stretches to 50kHz), often require pre-pre-amplification (a separate preamp or transformer) to connect to a receiver. But the output of the MT2’s cartridge is high enough to feed directly into the phono inputs of most amplifiers or receivers.
Tonearms must be ultra-light and ultra-rigid. And they must be able to swing freely in two dimensions. The MT2’s arm is crafted of an alloy called dural aluminum, with fluid-damped ceramic vertical bearings and sapphire horizontal gimbals. In short, it tracks with ease and pivots with precision.
Stability on a silver platter
Ideally, a turntable’s platter acts as a flywheel, smoothing out small speed variations (wow and flutter). The MT2’s massive two-part platter spins as smoothly as they come. The inner platter is solid milled aluminum. The outer portion is a high-stiffness, low-friction, dynamically balanced thermoplastic that’s more than an inch thick, which also helps to absorb external vibrations. The spindle is a polished steel shaft with a sintered bronze bushing coated with Teflon. Smooth. Quiet. Effortless.
A motor alone
The platter is belt-driven (which also helps reduce noise) by a DC-servo motor with stainless steel brushes and a separate voltage-stabilized power supply. And it’s completely decoupled from the chassis, to minimize noise transmission.
All about the base
For ultimate stability, the MT2’s mechanisms rest on a resonance-optimized plinth (that’s fancy talk for base) of compressed wood finished in black lacquer, topped with dual acrylic plates to further reduce the transmission of external vibrations and noise. And finishing off the whole package is a fitted clear dust cover.
And oh, that Mac glow
If you get the idea that the MT2 is built like a tank, you’re right. But no camo or khaki here; Mac just wouldn’t be Mac without that trademark green glow. You get the backlit McIntosh logo along with subtle, elegant illumination around the edges of the platter and plinth. Just turn down the lights, and turn up the tunes.
WWS: What we say
“You get less noise, and more music, and that’s what McIntosh is all about. … And it’s absolutely gorgeous. This is like a Mercedes C-class; it’s for someone who doesn’t need the best of the best, but still wants the best. And it will be less expensive to own than a lot of other turntables, just like everything McIntosh makes. A McIntosh product is a greater initial investment, but the long-term value is there.” — Ken Zelin, World Wide Stereo McIntosh product specialist
- Cartridge type: Moving coil, high output
- Output level: 2.5mV at 5cm/s
- Load impedance: 1000 ohms recommended (preamp MC input)
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 50kHz
- Channel separation: 35dB at 1kHz
- Compliance: 15 x 10-6cm/dyne
- Recommended tracking force: 2.0g
- Channel difference: Less than 0.5dB at 1kHz
- Total mass: 6.3g
- Stylus: Elliptical diamond
- Cantilever material: Aluminum
- Bearing: Sapphire and ceramic
- Arm tube: Dural-aluminum
- Counterweight: Eccentric
- Adjustments: Vertical tracking angle, anti-skate, Azimuth
- Playback speeds: 33 1/3 and 45
- Motor type: DC motor with stainless steel brushes
- Speed control: Servo system
- Platter: Dynamically balanced polyoxymethylene (POM)
- Platter bearing: Polished and tempered steel shaft in sintered bronze bushings
- Stereo outputs unbalanced: 1
- Speed control fine adjustment: Yes
- Dust cover included: Yes
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 17 13/16" x 5" x 17"
- Weight: 29 lbs.
What's in the Box
What's in the Box:
- MT2 Precision Turntable
- Dust cover