The MA252’s preamplifier stage uses two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 vacuum tubes housed inside stylish protective cages. The amplifier’s output stage is a direct-coupled solid-state amplifier that delivers 100 watts (per channel) into a conventional 8-ohm speaker load or 160 watts into 4-ohm speakers.
An all-analogue design, the MA252 benefits from two unbalanced, one balanced and one Moving Magnet phono input for turntable connectivity; all four inputs can be named. The amplifier also benefits from bass and treble tone controls. A full-range subwoofer output is also included for use with a powered sub.
The MA252 design features McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks connected to advanced high-current output transistors. The transistors eliminate typical amplifier warm-up times so that the MA252 is in peak operating condition from switch-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.
Thanks to its solid-state output, the MA252 is McIntosh’s first product containing vacuum tubes to include its patented Power Guard technology. Power Guard monitors the output signal for signs of overdriving and makes real-time micro adjustments to the input signal to prevent harsh-sounding clipping that could potentially damage the speakers.
Other McIntosh technologies found in the MA252 include Sentry Monitor and the High Drive headphone amplifier. 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 unit sits atop a beautiful polished stainless steel chassis with a classic McIntosh-styled die-cast aluminum name badge attached to each side. Gold-plated speaker binding posts are also included.
All McIntosh products are handcrafted at the Binghamton, NY factory by over 150 employees with a passion for music and the McIntosh heritage. Orders for the MA252 are shipping now for $3,500 USD MSRP.