01.17.2020 | Reviews & Awards
Reviews & Awards

Hi-Fi World reviews the MA352 Integrated Amplifier: "A stunning amplifier in sound quality and dynamic thrust. Visually alluring too."

Awarded 5 out of 5 Globes.

McIntosh MA352 Hi-Fi World review

The MA352 Integrated Amplifier is a hybrid design that combines the finest of vacuum tube and solid state audio design principles. An all analog design, the MA352 has a vacuum tube preamplifier section that is powered by a pair of 12AX7A and a pair of 12AT7 vacuum tubes; its output stage is a direct coupled solid state amplifier that outputs 200 Watts per channel into 8 Ohm speakers or 320 Watts per channel into 4 Ohm speakers. The result is an "amplifier to be seen, not tucked away," according to Noel Keywood of Hi-Fi World.

McIntosh MA352 Integrated Amplifier

Using a pair of Martin Logan ESL-X speakers, a CD player and turntable, Keywood's testing was ready to begin. "Playing LP and then CD the overall quality of this amplifier soon became apparent," he stated. When listening to John Campbell singing "Down in the Hole," Keywood noted "enormous levels of detail and a great sense of atmosphere coming from his [Campbell’s] microphone." While listening to the Dire Straits track "Your Latest Trick" on LP, he called it a "stunner" and noted how the MA352 helped deliver "stabbingly [sic] powerful dynamics."

On the LP version of Hugh Masekela’s Uptownship, Keywood stated "There was a sense of pure clarity here, yet without sharpness." He said it was a sound that any listener would consider "supreme high fidelity, aided by sheer dynamic thrust. Spectacular, but palatable too." With classical music, he said "This amplifier finds visceral power in an orchestra and conveys it with some force."

McIntosh MA352 Integrated Amplifier

Keywood concluded his review by stating the power amplifier section of the MA352 "has grip and insight" while the preamplifier "valve stages add in body and dimensionality to the soundstage."

The final verdict: "The MA352 measured well in all areas. It has massive power, almost no distortion and no weak points... A stunning amplifier in sound quality and dynamic thrust. Visually alluring too." Awarded 5 out of 5 Globes.

Click here for the full article.

Special thanks to Jordan Acoustics.

(Excerpts taken from original review by Noel Keywood / Hi-Fi World / / February 2020)