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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is a component audio system?
The McIntosh audio system is a stereo system that uses two speakers or a multi-channel system using 3 to 12 speakers. Components are the individual units that individually will offer the highest performance and fidelity possible. Connecting the various components into a complete system of source components, control center, amplifiers, and speakers will deliver the best possible sound.
What is a source unit?
Source units are devices that play music media which is expanded into a space by the audio system. Examples include: AM/FM Tuner, CD Player, Computer playing music files, CD player.
What is the difference between an amp, preamp and integrated amp?
Preamps are Control Centers that switch source units, turn volume up and down, and in some cases allow tone shaping or turning bass and treble sounds up or down.
Amplifiers are the ‘Muscle’ of the audio system and amplify the small audio signal from the preamp to a large one that will operate speakers and determine how dynamic the reproduced sound of the system is in one unit. Integrated amplifiers are single chassis models that combine the function of the preamplifier and power amplifier in one unit.
Why does McIntosh use meters?
Precision McIntosh power meters allow the monitoring of sound level balance and output level between the two stereo, or many multi-channel speaker channels. Meters protect valuable speaker systems from damage as long as more watts than the speakers are designed to handle are not exceeded.
What is the McIntosh output autoformer®?
The McIntosh Output Autoformer is a special transformer that is designed and manufactured in-house by McIntosh. This allows any speaker type to be used with a McIntosh amplifier and have all of the power that the amp is designed to deliver. All other amplifier designs will not have even power with differing speaker designs. McIntosh amplifiers with the output autoformer® will deliver ‘All the Power You Pay For’ regardless of speaker type chosen.
What is the McIntosh Power Assurance System?
Power Assurance is a group of patented McIntosh circuit designs that protect the stereo from damage and allow maximum performance and long, trouble free life.
What is Quad Differential and why do I need it?
Quad Differential is the most sophisticated McIntosh amplifier design that allows the impossible combination of the most powerful amplifiers with the very lowest distortion and background noise. Many would say this is the impossible combination; highest power with lowest noise but Quad Balanced make the impossible possible.
What is electromagnetic switching?
Electromagnetic switching is used in McIntosh preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers to switch the variety of source components connected. Rather than the common mechanical
switches that will deteriorate with wear, electromagnetic switches are high tech switching nodes that allow very long, trouble free operation.
What is the difference between tube and solid state McIntosh gear?
Performance between tube and transistor gear is almost identical in technical specifications, Many users request vacuum tube units that offer a slightly classical ‘tube’ sound, “warm” sound to the audio presentation. Tube and transistor models may be mixed and will all work together in a McIntosh component stereo.
Download music. Many now use downloaded music as their main media source. Sound quality will always depend on the quality of the download files and the music system interface. McIntosh offers the most advanced computer USB interface in C48, C50 and MCD1100 which will maximize audio performance. Alas, we cannot make a low quality sound source high quality.
Technical Support and Service?
McIntosh dealers are the first line resource to solve technical issues and provide any needed service. Dealers and installers are rigorously trained and supported by McIntosh factory technical support personnel. The consumer can always contact us directly or through the McIntosh website at firstname.lastname@example.org.