Many Goodies from McIntosh
McIntosh's exhibit area in the Venetian Towers was busier than usual when I entered, and I soon found out why. Whereas most manufacturers in high performance audio were content to introduce one or two products, McIntosh seemed determined to introduce many, many new products. I could not mention them all, but Ron Cornelius, McIntosh's Product Manager, helped me focus on four products he felt of greatest interest to audiophiles. First, he showed me McIntosh's new Digital Preamplifier ($2500, above). This featured a new ESS DAC chip that operates its 8 channels in differential balanced mode for improved resolution. It includes a headphone amplifier, and four digital inputs: two optical, one coax, and one high-speed, asynchronous USB port.
Next is the McIntosh MR-88 Tuner ($4500), which Ron believes to be the most sensitive and selective FM tuner McIntosh has developed. It uses DSP-based, digital tuning that is so clean that a high-blend option is not needed. The FM circuit performs with very low distortion, <0.1% THD, 20Hz20kHz. Ron, a true FM fan, believes it is the ideal FM tuner for those, like him, who enjoy listening to Jazz, classical, and college FM radio stations. Its DSP-tuning circuit rejects a second image created by FM multipath, so it functions extremely well in a metropolitan environment like New York city.
Cornelius thought the new Mcintosh 6700 Receiver ($6500) would be a big hit with audiophiles. It is a hybrid design, with 6 tubes placed in a groove on the top of the chassis. It contains the same high performance FM tuner found in the McIntosh MR-88. Its amplifier is capable of driving 700 WPC into an 8 Ohm load using its McIntosh proprietary Autoformers.
Finally, Ron described the new McIntosh 2500 Tube Preamplifier ($6500), which handles both analog (upper chassis) and digital (lower chassis) audio signals.