What is a hybrid design?
An integrated amplifier takes several component audio pieces. It combines them into one unit, usually a combination of power amplifier and preamplifier. Still, some modern integrated amps also incorporate a phono stage and various home theater or streaming functions.
For many audiophiles, an amplifier relying on vacuum tubes is the only way to achieve an authentic analog sound, which is warm and clean. But a solid-state design offers durability and reliability advantages.
The MA12000 is a hybrid design with the preamplifier section powered by (4) 12AX7A vacuum tubes (2 tubes per audio channel), while the 350 Watt power amplifier section employs a solid-state design. It incorporates McIntosh’s Autoformer™ technology, which guarantees your speakers will always be capable of receiving that full 350 Watts, whether they have 2, 4, or 8 Ohm impedance.
There are ten analog inputs on the MA12000. These consist of 2 balanced and six unbalanced inputs plus 1 Moving Coil and 1 Moving Magnet input for connecting a turntable. Both phono inputs feature adjustable loading for fine-tuning the MA12000 to your specific turntable configuration. Constructed from gold-plated brass, the unbalanced analog connectors provide superior signal handling and grounding. The MA12000 also has one balanced and one unbalanced output if you ever want to connect to an additional amplifier used in a different part of your residence.
For digital music, the MA12000 comes with McIntosh’s DA2 Digital Audio Module factory installed. Located in the DA2 are seven digital audio inputs: 2 coaxial, two optical, 1 USB and 1 MCT (for use with their MCT series of SACD/CD Transports), and one audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC)1 connection. Power for the DA2 comes from a next-generation, Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). This audiophile-grade DAC features improved dynamic range and improved total harmonic distortion. The DA2 supports high resolution digital audio playback, as the USB input supports native playback of up to DSD512 and DXD up to 384kHz. The coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz.
The HDMI (ARC) input allows TVs with a compatible HDMI (ARC) output to connect to the MA12000 and your home stereo system to bring a new audio performance level to your TV and movie watching that TV speakers or soundbars can’t provide. Popular multi-channel audio formats from Dolby® and DTS® are supported and converted to 2-channel audio for proper playback. With CEC communication enabled in both the MA12000 and your TV, your TV remote can control the power and volume of the MA12000. The DA2 can be replaced by future modules to keep your MA12000 up to date as new digital audio formats and technologies develop.
The DA2 has received Roon Tested designation from Roon Labs. Roon is especially useful if you have an extensive library of digital music. Roon will recognize it and send it audio optimized for its capabilities. Roon Tested devices are automatically identified and configured out of the box for a superior experience.