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New McIntosh DA2 Digital Module Available

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McIntosh just announced a new upgraded DA2 Digital Module for some products including the MA9000, MA8900, MA7200 and MA5300 Integrated Amplifiers; MAC7200 Receiver; and C49 Preamplifier.

 

This part from the press release may be of interest to some who like to convert and resample audio prior to the input of the DAC. 

 

 

"Additionally, the DA2’s USB input can support native playback of up to DSD512, surpassing the DSD256 limit of the DA1. This increased DSD playback support is thanks to the next generation, Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) that powers the DA2. This audiophile-grade DAC is highlighted by both an improved dynamic range and total harmonic distortion compared to the DA1. The USB input also supports DXD up to 384kHz. The coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback. Rounding out the DA2 is a proprietary MCT input that offers a secure, custom DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs when paired with McIntosh's MCT series of SACD/CD Transports to produce the best possible sound quality from a SACD collection."

 

DA2 Close Up hi res.jpgDA2 Back hi res.jpgDA2 Angle hi res.jpg

 

 

Here's the entire press release:

 

 

McIntosh Announces DA2 Digital Audio Module Upgrade Kit

Units with the DA1 installed can now be upgraded to the newer DA2

 

Binghamton, NY – November 14, 2019 – McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for 70 years, is proud to announce the DA2 Digital Audio Module Upgrade Kit. 

 

The DA2 Digital Audio Module is McIntosh's newest and most advanced module for processing digital audio. It comes standard in their C53 and C2700 Preamplifiers, allowing both of those units to take advantage of some of the latest innovations in digital audio technology. 

McIntosh products equipped with the DA1 can now be upgraded to the newer DA2. The models that can be upgraded are: MA9000, MA8900, MA7200 and MA5300 Integrated Amplifiers; MAC7200 Receiver; and C49 Preamplifier. (Note: These models will continue to come with the DA1 installed. Upgrading to the DA2 is an optional dealer installed upgrade that must be installed by an Authorized McIntosh Dealer or Authorized McIntosh Service Agency.)

 

The DA2 Digital Audio Module builds upon the DA1 with an expanded set of capabilities. In addition to having all the same connections as the DA1 (2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB and 1 MCT), a new audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection is included on the DA2. This allows it to be connected to TVs with a compatible HDMI (ARC) output to bring TV sound to the next level by listening to it through a home stereo system. ARC functionality can provide two-way communication between the DA2 equipped McIntosh unit and TV, allowing for volume control and lip-syncing functions to ensure the audio and video are perfectly synched. Popular multi-channel audio formats from Dolby® and DTS® are supported and will be expertly converted to 2-channel audio for proper playback through the DA2 equipped unit. When CEC communication is enabled in both the DA2 equipped unit and TV, the TV remote can control the power and volume of the connected McIntosh unit.

 

Additionally, the DA2’s USB input can support native playback of up to DSD512, surpassing the DSD256 limit of the DA1. This increased DSD playback support is thanks to the next generation, Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) that powers the DA2. This audiophile-grade DAC is highlighted by both an improved dynamic range and total harmonic distortion compared to the DA1. The USB input also supports DXD up to 384kHz. The coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback. Rounding out the DA2 is a proprietary MCT input that offers a secure, custom DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs when paired with McIntosh's MCT series of SACD/CD Transports to produce the best possible sound quality from a SACD collection.

Due to the technical nature of the DA2 upgrade, the upgrade must be performed by a qualified trained professional at an Authorized McIntosh Dealer or Authorized McIntosh Service Agency. 

 

Pricing and Availability
Orders for the DA2 Upgrade Kit can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin to the United States in November 2019 and the rest of the world shortly thereafter.

Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $1,000 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 only witnessed 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.

###

 


Founder of Audiophile Style

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11 hours ago, ShawnC said:

It would be nice to see McIntosh get involved in the Ethernet connection world.  That addition to the there DAC modulus would be enticing.

 

That would mean they would need to come up with a software solution as well, and support it, and does that really make sense when there are so many good ethernet sources already that can connect to their DAC?


No electron left behind...

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"Quad balanced 8-channel" sounds like ESS chip?

 

Now the question left unanswered is whether the HDMI ARC solution supports DSD too, or is it PCM-only? (for BD/SACD sources with HDMI output)

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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6 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

That would mean they would need to come up with a software solution as well, and support it, and does that really make sense when there are so many good ethernet sources already that can connect to their DAC?

 

As far as I can see, that is a DAC board, not a "streamer" (IOW computer). So it is "their DAC"?

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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21 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

That would mean they would need to come up with a software solution as well, and support it, and does that really make sense when there are so many good ethernet sources already that can connect to their DAC?

I get that but if they want to stay relevant I'd start including/designing Ethernet based connections.  You can always allow Roon to do the heavy lifting, Like in Bel Canto's Black series, PS Audio DACs ect.  I won't purchase a future product DAC, Integrated Pre., without it.  Ethernet has simplified cabling for me.  I agree there are a lot of great ethernet sources out there.   

 

I'm still amazed that McIntosh and other brands make products with so many inputs that aren't solely dedicated to home theater.  I don't know anyone anymore that use more then 3 inputs (DAC or stream, Phone and tape) and digital is usually the default go to.

 

My ultimate solution would be a Kii or Dutch like product (with full frequency range) Roon capable, DSP and a nice remote. 

 

I'm still amazed at the sound and how simple the setup is on my Kef LS50s with a REl sub are.  If KEF made a floor standing (full range) model of this design I'm done.


PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

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55 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

As far as I can see, that is a DAC board, not a "streamer" (IOW computer). So it is "their DAC"?

 

 

?


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16 minutes ago, ShawnC said:

I get that but if they want to stay relevant I'd start including/designing Ethernet based connections.  You can always allow Roon to do the heavy lifting, Like in Bel Canto's Black series, PS Audio DACs ect.  I won't purchase a future product DAC, Integrated Pre., without it.  Ethernet has simplified cabling for me.  I agree there are a lot of great ethernet sources out there.   

 

I'm still amazed that McIntosh and other brands make products with so many inputs that aren't solely dedicated to home theater.  I don't know anyone anymore that use more then 3 inputs (DAC or stream, Phone and tape) and digital is usually the default go to.

 

My ultimate solution would be a Kii or Dutch like product (with full frequency range) Roon capable, DSP and a nice remote. 

 

I'm still amazed at the sound and how simple the setup is on my Kef LS50s with a REl sub are.  If KEF made a floor standing (full range) model of this design I'm done.

 

If they were to do this, they would be smart to partner with someone already in the game. Imagine the equivalent to an Optical Rendu INSIDE the McIntosh...


No electron left behind...

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8 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

If they were to do this, they would be smart to partner with someone already in the game. Imagine the equivalent to an Optical Rendu INSIDE the McIntosh...

 

There are usually three ways companies go with such:

1) Take something like RasPi and have normal Linux with MPD there (Bryston, etc)

2) Buy solution from StreamUnlimited

3) Buy solution from ConversDigital

 

Smaller companies usually do (1) because it is very cheap. Bigger ones can afford (2, 3) since the initial cost is higher.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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9 hours ago, ShawnC said:

I'm still amazed that McIntosh and other brands make products with so many inputs that aren't solely dedicated to home theater.  I don't know anyone anymore that use more then 3 inputs (DAC or stream, Phone and tape) and digital is usually the default go to.

 

One reason I have the preamp I have, is that it has 8 analog inputs of which 3 are balanced, and has possibility to freely enter name for each input. No digital inputs. I have all inputs in use, and wouldn't buy one with built-in DAC. I could use more inputs though.

 

9 hours ago, ShawnC said:

My ultimate solution would be a Kii or Dutch like product (with full frequency range) Roon capable, DSP and a nice remote. 

 

I'm still amazed at the sound and how simple the setup is on my Kef LS50s with a REl sub are.  If KEF made a floor standing (full range) model of this design I'm done.

 

I wouldn't buy such. Digital side evolves so fast that it would obsolete the entire speakers in two years.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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10 hours ago, Miska said:

Digital side evolves so fast that it would obsolete the entire speakers in two years.

 

 

Which is one way that McIntosh has a good idea by making the module replaceable.


No electron left behind...

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27 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

Which is one way that McIntosh has a good idea by making the module replaceable.

 

I think it was Accuphase who started on this path.

 

Yes, that is a very good approach. Accuphase, NAD and Creek have been also doing same. I have one Creek amp with Ruby DAC module (replaces one set of analog inputs). I'm not sure if NAD has been releasing any updated versions. Creek has updated once (Ruby 2). Accuphase has done some updates. Time will show how well McIntosh is keeping up with DAC module updates.

 

But the easily replaceable DAC module is essential feature to keep such in-device digital sections up to date. 👍

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Miska - how do you like the Creek integrated amp?

 

I came very close to buying one but went Audio Research pre-amp and separate amp...


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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8 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

Miska - how do you like the Creek integrated amp?

 

I came very close to buying one but went Audio Research pre-amp and separate amp...

 

It is very good price/performance ratio, and it is just so damn good match for Dynaudio speakers. Now Creek is coming up with new higher end version they had on display at Munich. I talked with the designer about what they improved. I will likely move over to that one or alternatively Electrocompaniet, have to see how it goes. But I've been very happy!

 

Ruby module is multi-functional. S/PDIF (low jitter Wolfson S/PDIF interface chip) and USB-input DAC, Bluetooth, and FM-radio as plug-in module.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Thanks much - if I ever sell the Sonic Frontiers in the bedroom system, Creek is what I'd want.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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On 11/16/2019 at 9:55 AM, AudioDoctor said:

 

That would mean they would need to come up with a software solution as well, and support it, and does that really make sense when there are so many good ethernet sources already that can connect to their DAC?

They have it already 


MAIN - Peach Audio Balanced Isolation Power Supply, Linn Akurate DSM, McIntosh MA2275,  
Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes, 2xSVS SB13-Ultra, Kimber, Audioquest, Van Den Hul, Isotek cables, Nordost Sort Kone AC
 
THE REST - Halcro MC50, Marantz PM-15S1, Cambridge Audio Azur 551R V2, Denon AVR-4520, Cyenne Audio CY-3100, Aaron CC-240, Bose 251, Bose Soundlink Mini    

PREVIOUSLY OWNED - Definitive Technology BP7006, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC USB, Cambridge 752BD (Oppomod PSU), Sonos ZP90 (Cullen Mod), Epos Epic 5,

Aaron ATS-5, Audioquest DragonFly v1.2, Sonore microRendu + Uptone LPS-1 happily gone,  
 LH Labs Geek Pulse S Infinity + LPS1, Chord Signature speaker cable

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On 11/16/2019 at 11:02 AM, AudioDoctor said:

 

If they were to do this, they would be smart to partner with someone already in the game. Imagine the equivalent to an Optical Rendu INSIDE the McIntosh...

They do this too with PlayFi


MAIN - Peach Audio Balanced Isolation Power Supply, Linn Akurate DSM, McIntosh MA2275,  
Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes, 2xSVS SB13-Ultra, Kimber, Audioquest, Van Den Hul, Isotek cables, Nordost Sort Kone AC
 
THE REST - Halcro MC50, Marantz PM-15S1, Cambridge Audio Azur 551R V2, Denon AVR-4520, Cyenne Audio CY-3100, Aaron CC-240, Bose 251, Bose Soundlink Mini    

PREVIOUSLY OWNED - Definitive Technology BP7006, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC USB, Cambridge 752BD (Oppomod PSU), Sonos ZP90 (Cullen Mod), Epos Epic 5,

Aaron ATS-5, Audioquest DragonFly v1.2, Sonore microRendu + Uptone LPS-1 happily gone,  
 LH Labs Geek Pulse S Infinity + LPS1, Chord Signature speaker cable

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