MCINTOSH USHERS IN NEW MCT500 SACD PLAYER
McIntosh is the whole audio enchilada.
From its fabled headquarters in Binghamton, New York, McIntosh builds components to link the complete audio chain ranging from SACD/CD transports and players, pre and power amplifiers and speakers.
More importantly, at a time when most of the globe’s elite brands are scuttling to Chinese factories to build some of their models, McIntosh continues to handcraft its gear in-house.
The newest model to emerge from Binghamton is the MCT500 SACD/CD transport.
If you’re wondering why McIntosh laboured to build a transport instead of an integrated player, the answer is in the letters MCT.
MCT is Mc’s proprietary output that is said to offer a secure digital connection when the MCT500 links to one of the brand’s products that has a matching MCT input. Simple really.
For the rest of us who may want to use a transport of this calibre to a non-McIntosh DAC, the news is all good.
The latest MCT500 will work very nicely with a huge range of aftermarket DACS and is equipped to take on this task with three digital outputs: balanced XLR, coaxial and optical.
A thoroughly modern digital machine, the MCT500 as expected is all things to all men and plays a vast array of audio formats.
Its lucky owners can feed it SACD, CD, CD-R/RW, and DVD-R. The MCT500 will also crunch through the data stored as AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, WMA, and WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz). WMA can be played from discs and USB drives.
As expected in a transport at this price-point, the laser mechanism and disc tray are heavy duty all the way. The latter is a precision die-cast tray said to be ultra smooth and whisper quiet, and combined with an audiophile grade laser mechanism can read discs at twice the regular rate.
Stylistically, the MCT500 could be slotted into a wall to ceiling display of audio components, but it would still stand out from the crowd.
Because Mon Chez, while its rivals are decked with mundane black or silver facias, the MCT500 presents with a polished stainless steel chassis, black glass front panel, has an illuminated McIntosh logo and aluminium end caps.
The MCT500 is expected to sell in New Zealand for $8,999 RRP, and is expected to be available in April.
For more information visit McIntosh.
One of the veteran journalists of the HiFi industry, if there's a speaker he's likely heard it or owned it at some point in his career. Peter was formerly the audio-video editor of the Herald Sun newspaper in Australia for over two decades.
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