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    McIntosh Announces MC901 Dual Mono Amplifier

    Hey Guys - Just a quick one today. We don't publish many press releases on the front page over the course of a year, but some of them announce cool products, and we want to highlight them.  I'm no HiFi historian, but I believe this new McIntosh amp is pretty unique. It makes me wish I had bi-amping capability on my new Wilson Alexia Series 2 speakers. 

     

     

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    EMBARGOED Press Release:
    Not for publication until December 11, 2019 at 10:00 AM EST / 15:00 UTC / 15:00 GMT / 16:00 CET

     

    McIntosh Announces MC901 Dual Mono Amplifier

     

    A one-of-a-kind, ultimate solution for bi-amping loudspeakers: a 300 Watt vacuum tube amplifier and a 600 Watt solid state amplifier on one chassis

    Binghamton, NY – December 11, 2019 – McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for 70 years, is proud to announce the MC901 Dual Mono Amplifier. 

     

    Legendary home audio company McIntosh has been perfecting vacuum tube amplifiers since the 1940s and solid state amplifiers since the 1960s. Their amplifiers have been used at many historic events including presidential inaugurations and Woodstock, as well as in landmark sound systems like the Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound and Despacio. From that heritage comes a truly one-of-a-kind home audio amplifier only they could dream of, design and build as the ultimate solution for bi-amping loudspeakers: the new McIntosh MC901 Dual Mono Amplifier.

     

    The MC901 is a monoblock amplifier that drives a single speaker. But it is unlike any other monoblock amplifier. What makes the MC901 so unique is that it's two amplifiers combined into one. Adding to the uniqueness is that each amplifier is of differing design philosophies: the MC901 consists of a 300 Watt vacuum tube amplifier attached to a 600 Watt solid state amplifier on one unified chassis. 

     

    The 300 Watt vacuum tube portion powers the speaker's mid and upper drivers via eight KT88 output tubes, plus four 12AT7 and two 12AX7A signal tubes; the solid state section delivers 600 Watts of dedicated power to the power hungry woofers. The 300 Watt vacuum tube amp in the MC901 uses McIntosh's patented Unity Coupled Circuit output transformer – the same technology McIntosh was founded on in 1949 – to deliver its full 300 Watts into almost any speaker regardless if it has 2, 4 or 8 Ohm impedance. Similarly, the 600 Watt solid state amp delivers its full 600 Watts into a 2, 4 or 8 Ohm impedance speaker via McIntosh's Autoformer™ technology. 

     

    Vacuum tubes do not perform at their best when they are amplifying lower frequencies that are not being used by the loudspeaker. With the MC901, the vacuum tube amp will not be burdened with low end reproduction as the solid state section will drive these frequencies. The two amplifier sections of the MC901 are designed to work together in a synergistic relationship and are specifically engineered to assure that each section only amplifies its intended frequencies. Each amplifier section has its own discrete power supply so neither siphons power or performance away from the other. All of this results in easy bi-amping with unparalleled performance and sound reproduction from the speakers.

     

    Prior to the MC901, bi-amping a speaker required two separate amplifiers. It also required an external crossover, along with a lot of trial and error, to properly configure the two detached amplifiers so they worked together as best as possible. The MC901 solves this issue thanks to its internal, adjustable crossover with the controls easily accessible on the top of the unit. These adjustable crossover filters allow the user to optimize the performance of both amplifier sections to their listening preferences. Relative gain levels for each amplifier section can be adjusted from -6dB to + 3dB. A direct feed can also be connected to each amplifier section, thus bypassing the filters.

     

    Like virtually all McIntosh amplifiers, the MC901 features an iconic "McIntosh Blue" Watt meter, which has come to be recognized around the world as a symbol of quality audio. And just like the MC901 itself is a new design, so too is its meter with the introduction of McIntosh's new DualView™ Power Output Meter. The DualView meter features two of McIntosh's traditional, fast responding mechanical meters stacked above and below each other in a single meter window; one meter is dedicated to the 300 Watt vacuum tube amp and the other to the 600 Watt solid state amp. Each meter operates independently of the other and displays the real time power reading of each amplifier section.

     

    While an entirely new design, the MC901 comes with the technology one would expect from a McIntosh amplifier: Power Guard® in the 600 Watt solid state amplifier section, Sentry Monitor™, Quad Balanced design, Power Control, Solid Cinch™ speaker binding posts, McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks™, and McIntosh's eco-friendly Power Management System.

     

    A brand new technology in the 300 Watt vacuum tube amplifier section of the MC901 is Power Guard Screen Grid Sensor™ (SGS). Power Guard SGS™ helps prevent premature vacuum tube failure by monitoring the screen grid current in the KT88 output vacuum tubes. If the current becomes too high, a circuit in Power Guard SGS is activated which then dynamically attenuates the input signal in real time to keep the vacuum tubes operating at safe levels.

    Although the MC901 may look different than any McIntosh product before it, a quick glance reveals signature McIntosh design cues. The top is highlighted by a series of diagrams printed on glass that outline the basic circuitry and specifications of the unit, along with a glass nameplate trimmed with a circular aluminum ring that's finished to match the front panel endcaps. The sides are adorned with vintage McIntosh-styled die cast aluminum name badges. Two classic McIntosh knobs are located on the front of the polished stainless steel chassis, and direct LED backlighting illuminates the DualView meter, McIntosh logo and the lettering on the black glass front panel. The uncompromising level of fit and finish that is expected of a McIntosh product completes the MC901.

     

    Pricing and Availability
    Orders for the MC901 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in December 2019.

    Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $17,500 USD

     

    About McIntosh
    Founded in 1949, McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. is known for offering distinguished quality audio products, superior customer service and the ultimate experience in music and film. All McIntosh products are handcrafted at the Binghamton, NY factory by over 150 employees with a passion for music and the McIntosh heritage. McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home entertainment experience for discriminating consumers around the world, with the iconic “McIntosh Blue” Watt Meters globally recognized as a symbol of quality audio. Since its inception, McIntosh has been powering some of the most important moments in music history and pop culture. From President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration speech to Woodstock to the famous Grateful Dead “Wall of Sound,” McIntosh has not onlywitnessed history, it has shaped it. With McIntosh, customers have the ability to create their own premium audio experience – and truly live their music. Visit www.mcintoshlabs.com to learn more.

     

    MC901 Angle hi res.jpgMC901 Back Cage hi res.jpgMC901 Top hi res.jpgMC901 Lifestyle hi res.jpg



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    I’m going to assume everyone’s recuperating from having their entire worldview shattered by this to comment...

     

    I think it’s a great idea and wonder why no one has done it before. 
     

    edit: 37.5 watts per tube, is that a lot for a KT88?

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    42 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

    I’m going to assume everyone’s recuperating from having their entire worldview shattered by this to comment...

     

    I think it’s a great idea and wonder why no one has done it before. 
     

    edit: 37.5 watts per tube, is that a lot for a KT88?

    No, that is about the typical output for a 6550/KT88.

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    The last photo, and the one on the marble looking table, reminds me of a choo choo steam engine that would play well with Back to the Future, with all the tubes glowing on the side providing some type of plasma energy. Even the white ring on top, perhaps a futuristic smoke stack? Two meters in one? I have no idea if this is the bees knees of new design, and I've not heard it obviously, but really? Lately I've not liked their aesthetics, and I'm a customer. I guess the brand needs spiffing up according to the marketing department, but it's just not working for this stick-in-the-mud. A local shop has a MC275 LE I'm lusting after, so maybe I just gotta get my mind right and give this "new" aesthetic a chance. 

    image.png

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    28 minutes ago, JJinPDX said:

    The last photo, and the one on the marble looking table, reminds me of a choo choo steam engine that would play well with Back to the Future, with all the tubes glowing on the side providing some type of plasma energy. Even the white ring on top, perhaps a futuristic smoke stack? Two meters in one? I have no idea if this is the bees knees of new design, and I've not heard it obviously, but really? Lately I've not liked their aesthetics, and I'm a customer. I guess the brand needs spiffing up according to the marketing department, but it's just not working for this stick-in-the-mud. A local shop has a MC275 LE I'm lusting after, so maybe I just gotta get my mind right and give this "new" aesthetic a chance. 

    image.png

    I really like the new aesthetic as a change but not sure how classic the look of carbon fiber will be long term. My MC275 will look classic forever. 

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    I see Victor Frankenstein has upgraded his audio gear in time for Christmas.... The size of it you would need a classical lightening conductor to run it..alive.thumb.jpg.86da546faaba8c79fd67624b0ddb5462.jpg

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    Frankly, when I saw the first image this morning, I was like... “WOW” - say what you want, they came up with an intriguing design and amplifier all in one. Based on the MC601s I own, I am sure this will sound pretty great. The 601s continue to impress me... 

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    11 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

    I’m going to assume everyone’s recuperating from having their entire worldview shattered by this to comment...

     

    I think it’s a great idea and wonder why no one has done it before. 
     

    edit: 37.5 watts per tube, is that a lot for a KT88?

    Not really.  I've had a couple push pull amps that were 75 wpc using a pair of KT88's.  37.5 watts per tube. 

     

    Here is the measurements of an MC275 which is a pair of KT88's per channel putting out 75 wpc.  

    https://www.stereophile.com/content/mcintosh-mc275-power-amplifier-measurements

     

    I like the new look.  Don't know about this combination of a hybrid, but no reason it couldn't be used effectively.  

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    20 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Agree. I could use a little education from some of our more “experienced” readers. 

    I think it is a great idea.   I have been bi-amping my Von Schweikert VR 5 Anniversary MK2s for several years, and it is always a giant PITA trying to match the top amp with the bottom amp, and takes allot of trial and error to get right.   I love the idea of an all-in-one tubes on top, SS on bottom, best of both worlds.   What would be interesting is if this amp will work with KT150 tubes.   I'll bet this amp will sound fantastic on speakers designed to be bi-amped.

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    Wow, this is new. An amplifier built to do bi-amp by the design. Kudos for the old company trying something never done before!  Hopefully, someone will review how it works in the real world.  And, I really hope the next version will look better.

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    If they ever go to handles,I wonder if they'll be blue too?Beautiful,I'll bet Jerry has em on order aye?........adios brother

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