Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity reviews the MC312 Power Amplifier

McIntosh MC312 Amplifier

The MC312 Power Amplifier provides 300 Watts per channel into 2, 4 or 8 Ohm speakers via our Autoformer™ technology. With our customary design and build quality, it can easily be your home audio system's main amplifier for many years. Todd Cooperider reviewed the MC312 for Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity.

Cooperider normally likes his music presented "big and bold," but when the MC312 was on at low levels for use as background music, he realized that for the first time ever, he actually liked listening to music at lower volumes. "For the first time, I find myself listening at lower volume levels, and really liking the presentation." The fact that the MC312 was able to break through his low volume barrier made a big impression.

McIntosh MC312 Amplifier

When he turned up the volume to his normal levels, he was "more impressed." Even during extended listening sessions at "ear-splitting volumes" the MC312 "barely broke a sweat or generated heat." In comparison, he said his reference amplifier would warm his entire room if played in the same manner.

On Roger Waters' Amused to Death, the MC312 provided a "3-dimensional presentation." He has listened to this album countless times but never came close to the "pinpoint positioning of sound effects" as he did with the MC312. "When the hairs on your arms rise during a listening session, and you get a huge grin on your face, you know that (a) you're having a tremendous amount of fun, and (b) you're listening to true reference-quality equipment."

McIntosh MC312 Amplifier

Again comparing the MC312 to his reference amplifier (that costs twice as much), Cooperider found that the MC312 "equals [it] in some areas, and surpasses it in others." He makes it clear that this is not a criticism of his reference amp, but rather it "shows how good of a job that McIntosh has done to create a world-class stereo amplifier" at this price point. During his months with the MC312, Cooperider tried to find fault with it but "simply couldn't," adding that "McIntosh has succeeded in engineering one of the finest stereo amplifiers for under $10k that you can purchase today."

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(Excerpts taken from original review by Todd Cooperider / Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity / August 21, 2019)