McIntosh MA252 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier

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What HFL Thinks

McIntosh MA252 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier - Anyone who has ever had a passing interest in HiFi must have heard of McIntosh, without doubt one of the most Iconic and respected HiFi Brands on the planet, founded in 1949 and offering a full range of HiFi components including Wireless Speakers, Turntables, DAC’s, Headphones, Integrated Amps and some really amazingly powerful dedicated Amplifiers but for all this great sounding HiFi it is their looks that are also legendary, those blue VU meters and that black glass with green lettering, absolutely timeless, there really is nothing else like McIntosh so please come into HFL to see what all the fuss is about.

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 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. 

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. 

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 overdriving 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 colour; they will return to their normal green colour when the clipping has stopped. 

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 aluminium name badge attached to each side.

SPECIFICATION:

POWER OUTPUT PER CHANNEL

  • 100 Watts into 8 Ohms
  • 160 Watts into 4 Ohms

NUMBER OF CHANNELS

  • 2

SPEAKER IMPEDANCE

  • 4 or 8 Ohms

RATED POWER BAND

  • 20Hz to 20kHz

TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION

  • 0.03%

DYNAMIC HEADROOM

  • 1.8dB

FREQUENCY RESPONSE +0,-0.5DB

  • 20Hz to 20kHz

FREQUENCY RESPONSE, +0, -3DB

  • 10Hz to 100kHz

SENSITIVITY PHONO (MOVING COIL)

  • N/A

SENSITIVITY PHONO (MOVING MAGNET)

  • 3.0mV

SENSITIVITY HIGH LEVEL (BALANCED / UNBALANCED)

  • 0.6V/0.3V

SENSITIVITY (POWER AMP INPUT)

  • N/A

SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO (MOVING COIL)

  • N/A

SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO (MOVING MAGNET)

  • 80dB

SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO (HIGH LEVEL)

  • 97dB

SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO (POWER AMP INPUT)

  • N/A

INPUT IMPEDANCE (BALANCED / UNBALANCED)

  • 20K/20K

DAMPING FACTOR

  • 8 Ohms: >200
  • 4 Ohms: >100

MAXIMUM OUTPUT (BALANCED / UNBALANCED)

  • 8V Unbalanced

CONNECTIVITY:

BALANCED INPUT

  • 1

UNBALANCED INPUT

  • 2

PHONO INPUT MOVING COIL

  • 0

PHONO INPUT MOVING MAGNET

  • 1 (fixed loading)

UPGRADEABLE DIGITAL AUDIO MODULE

  • No

DIGITAL COAXIAL INPUT

  • 0

DIGITAL OPTICAL INPUT

  • 0

DIGITAL MCT (DIN) INPUT

  • 0

DIGITAL USB INPUT

  • 0

BALANCED VARIABLE OUTPUT

  • 0

UNBALANCED FIXED OUTPUT

  • 0

UNBALANCED VARIABLE OUTPUT

  • 0

HEADPHONE OUTPUT

  • 1/4" High Drive

SUBWOOFER OUTPUT

  • 1 (mono)

AM/FM TUNER OPTION

  • No

HOME THEATER PASSTHRU

  • No

UNBALANCED ANALOG CONNECTOR TYPE

  • Standard

SPEAKER BINDING POST TYPE

  • Standard

SERVICE PORT

  • 0

CONTROL:

TONE CONTROLS

  • Bass and Treble

TONE BYPASS AND INPUT ASSIGN

  • Yes

RS232 CONTROL INPUT

  • No

POWER CONTROL OUTPUT

  • 1

REAR PANEL DATA PORT

  • 1

REAR PANEL IR SENSOR INPUT

  • No

INPUT LEVEL MATCH

  • Yes

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS:

VACUUM TUBE OR SOLID STATE

  • Preamplifier: Vacuum Tube
  • Power Amplifier: Solid State

OUTPUT AUTOFORMER

  • No

OUTPUT METERS

  • No

DUAL LAYER CHASSIS

  • Yes

CHASSIS FINISH

  • Polished stainless steel

MCINTOSH MONOGRAMMED HEATSINKS™

  • Yes

POWER REQUIREMENT

  • 120V 50/60Hz, 3.7A

STANDBY POWER REQUIREMENT

  • <0.5 Watts

WEIGHTS & DIMENSIONS:

DIMENSIONS (W X H X D)

  • 12" (30.5cm) x 7-5/8" (19.4cm) x 18" (45.7cm)

WEIGHT

  • 28 lbs (12.7 kg)

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"I will be working with a carefully selected group of retailers across the UK so we have strong geographical coverage that puts Bryston within easy reach of audiophiles up and down the land. Each Centre of Excellence will receive in-depth training to ensure they are fully conversant with all aspects of the brand, to enable them to serve their customers with confidence."

HiFi Lounge have been big fans of Bryston for many years now, owning much of their equipment personally before starting HiFi Lounge. We even started the always active Bryston Owners Thread on AVForums to which we contribute regularly, so it really is a privilege to be part this new scheme. We have a vast knowledge regarding the current Bryston range of which we have most on demo, so if you have any questions or would like to come in for a listen please do not hesitate to get in touch. There is nothing we like more than talking about and listening to Bryston equipment.