The new MC257 features a stunning front panel with the company's new eye-catching TripleView Power Output Meter that independently indicates the real time power reading of the amplifier’s three front channels. The easy-to-read, 15” (38 cm) wide TripleView meter design is a streamlined approach to the three individual meters found on McIntosh’s previous generation 7-channel home theater amplifier. While a totally new design, each of the three pointers in the TripleView meter have the same inviting motion that McIntosh meters are known for and perform at the same high level as any of their meters. The captivating look and glow of the TripleView meter is sure to be a conversation starter, but its trademarked blue lighting can be turned off so as not to compete with the TV or movie screen.
In addition to the new TripleView meter, the MC257 features many other upgrades. When using just the front left, center and right channels, power output has been increased by 25% from 200 Watts per channel to 250 Watts per channel. When using all 7 channels, each will receive a healthy 200 Watts per channel. Regardless of how many channels are used, the full 200 or 250 Watts is delivered to either 4 or 8 Ohm speakers via McIntosh’s Dynamic Power Manager (DPM) technology. Filter capacity has been increased by 20% which has produced an amazing 94% increase in dynamic headroom from 1.7dB to 3.3dB as well as improving low frequency performance – both key features in a home theater amplifier, especially when listening to an energetic soundtrack.
Also new to the MC257 are five McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks which are connected to advanced high current output transistors to efficiently and silently cool the amplifier; as a result, noisy cooling fans that can interfere with the movie soundtrack are not needed. A quiet, specially wound toroidal isolation power transformer also helps keep noise to a minimum. Speaker terminals have been updated to McIntosh’s standard gold-plated binding posts. McIntosh’s power management system that will turn the amplifier off after a set amount of time when no input signal has been detected has also been added. Finally, the front panel is now lit by direct LED backlighting for improved color accuracy and durability.
Besides all these upgrades, the MC257 maintains McIntosh technologies like Power Guard to prevent potential speaker damage caused by clipping and over-driving of the amplifier; and Sentry Monitor technology that protects against short-circuits by disengaging the output stage should the current ever exceed safe operating levels (it then resets automatically when operating conditions return to normal). Both balanced and unbalanced inputs are included to connect the MC257 to a home theater processor.
As the center piece of a powerful audio system, the MC257 can power a 7-channel home theater by itself; it can be paired with either McIntosh’s MI128 8-channel or MI254 4-channel digital amplifiers in home theaters that have more than 7-channels; or it can be used in 5-channel home theaters with 2 of its channels available to power a second audio zone.
Orders for the MC257 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin to the United States in September 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): $10,000 USD