It looks like a McIntosh. It sounds like a McIntosh. It’s built like a McIntosh (and in Binghamton, NY, like all other McIntosh products). But despite the fact it’s certainly aspirational, it won’t require you to aspire quite as much as most other products wearing McIntosh livery.

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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.

  • 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,-0.5dB20Hz to 20kHz
  • Frequency Response: +0, -3dB10Hz 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

Apart from being tough and cost-effective, though, the most laudable attribute of the McIntosh MA252 is that sonically it brings its owner more than a taste of what much loftier-priced high-end audio promises. 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.