100 wpc 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier Hybrid design: vacuum tube preamp and solid state power amp
The MA252 Integrated Amplifier is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh. Taking retro design cues from the legendary McIntosh MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier, the MA252 combines the best of vacuum tube and solid state circuit design to create an amplifier that’s both visually and sonically stunning.
"The McIntosh MA252 offers an alluring combination of tube romanticism and solid-state resolution and authority... The ability to connect the listener to the music makes this tube-solid state integrated a special component by any standard. I could happily listen to the MA252 for a long, long time." - PartTimeAudiophile
"If you’re looking for a definition of a ‘musical’ sound, the MA252 is it personified." - Audio Esoterica
The preamplifier stage uses two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 vacuum tubes housed inside stylish protective cages; the output stage is a direct coupled solid state amplifier that delivers 100 Watts per channel into 8 Ohm speakers or 160 Watts per channel into 4 Ohm speakers. An all analog design, it comes with 2 unbalanced, 1 balanced and 1 Moving Magnet phono input for turntables. All 4 inputs can be given user-friendly names in order to simplify user control. Bass and treble tone controls help fine tune your music to your personal preferences. A full range subwoofer output is included for use with a powered subwoofer to further enhance low frequencies.
"Carved like a boat designed to surf all the waves of music." Listening to it proved it to be "fast, powerful, precise... but without losing the sublime McIntosh charm." Presented with ON Magazine Top Audio Award. - ON Magazine
A "beautifully designed amplifier" with a "relaxing approach to the music, but still it plays with control and power." It is "pure pleasure for the ears." Awarded 5 Stars. - Stereo+
The MA252 features our McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks™ which are connected to advanced high current output transistors. These transistors eliminate the typical amplifier warm-up time so that the MA252 is in peak operating condition from the moment it’s turned on. A powerful control microprocessor is used for smooth system operation, along with some of the latest audio-grade circuit components that deliver the best possible sound.
The McIntosh MA252 amplifier "is not only appealing to look at, it sounds great too. Far bigger than its size should indicate, and there is no reason to doubt the power, because it kicks hard." Awarded 5 Stars. - Lyd & Bilde
"The McIntosh MA252 is not only a time machine that allows you to travel 30 or 50 years ago [when listening to classic albums], but it also takes you to the future: you spend from morning to afternoon or from evening to night with it in what seems like an instant. It sonically fills 25 square meters [270 square feet], does its job and disappears from the room." Presented with HIFI Live Magazine High Quality Award. - HIFI Live Magazine
Thanks to its solid state output, the MA252 is our first product containing vacuum tubes to include our patented Power Guard® technology. Power Guard monitors the output signal for signs of over driving and makes real time micro adjustments to the input signal to prevent harsh sounding clipping that could potentially damage your speakers. If Power Guard is activated, the 2 vacuum tubes connected to the affected audio channel(s) will flash an amber color; they will return to their normal green color when the clipping has stopped.
"The MA252 is a component worthy of consideration as the core to an audio system that will allow the user to listen for hours without fatigue. And, based on McIntosh's reputation for long-term reliability and service, possibly listen for decades." - Stereo Times
"The McIntosh MA252 is an amplifier that will prove hard to replace. It will allow you to find speakers that are the best suited to your tastes, and it will pamper them appropriately. A first-class amplifier." - Son-Vidéo
"Once again, McIntosh presented us a high quality product, embracing the wonderful philosophy of the brand. The expectations were big on our end and from what I heard during these listening sessions, I can, without a doubt, affirm that McIntosh succeeded the test on all points." - TED Magazine
Other McIntosh technologies found in the MA252 include Sentry Monitor™, High Drive headphone amplifier and gold-plated speaker binding posts. Input selection, bass, treble, tone bypass, balance and input offset levels can be adjusted using the front panel knobs or the included remote control; all settings and input selection will be shown on the OLED display. The entire unit sits atop a beautiful polished stainless steel chassis with a classic McIntosh-styled die cast aluminum name badge attached to each side.