08.04.2023 | News

The McIntosh MA252: Classic Elegance with Cutting-Edge Performance

McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amplifier

The MA252 2-Channel Hybrid Integrated Amplifier offers a unique combination of vintage appeal and state-of-the-art audio performance. Designed for a superior music listening experience in a stereo system, the MA252 showcases our Hybrid Drive technology, delivering the warm and rich sound of vacuum tube preamplification combined with the control and power of solid-state amplification circuits.

Combining Strengths for Superior Sound

At the heart of the MA252 – the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh – lies Hybrid Drive technology. This innovative approach combines the best of both vacuum tube preamplification and solid-state (or transistor) amplification to deliver a high-fidelity sound that is both refined and powerful. Audiophiles favor tubes for their natural and harmonically rich sound reproduction, while solid-state circuits offer excellent control, accuracy, durability, and power.

With our unique Hybrid Drive Technology, the audio signal enters the MA252 from the source component, such as a CD Player, Streamer, or Turntable. The vacuum tube preamplifier portion of the MA252 where the signals are preliminarily boosted, and then go through the solid-state power amplifier section where they are amplified enough to be heard through the speakers. By harnessing the strengths of both technologies, the MA252 achieves a delicate balance, ensuring an immersive and high-fidelity listening experience that replicates music the way the artists intended it to be heard.

Vintage Aesthetics with Iconic McIntosh Design

The MA252 looks as good as it sounds. Visually, it evokes McIntosh’s timeless design, incorporating signature brand elements and vintage cues that resonate with audio enthusiasts. One of the standout features is the presence of exposed vacuum tubes, exuding an air of nostalgia and lending a classic touch to any audio setup. The tubes, situated prominently on the front panel, serve both functional and visual purposes, becoming a conversation piece for anyone who appreciates the history and sound of vintage audio equipment.

McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amplifier

The side of the chassis mimics the classic MC275 power amp, featuring the signature McIntosh die-cast logo as well as the amplifier’s model number. The front evokes a contemporary design: custom glass faceplates and green LEDs whose display offers a visual representation of user control. One of the most striking features is the four tubes, encased in stainless steel protective cages, sitting atop the stainless steel chassis. When turned on, they glow orange, switching to green when fully warmed up. The Monogrammed Heatsinks have "Mc" subtly crafted into them.

Legacy Built to Last

McIntosh’s timeless audio equipment pays tribute to the past with manufacturing made to last well into the future. Each piece is custom crafted in McIntosh’s factory in Binghamton, New York. Using a patented Power Guard system, the tubes flash orange when the volume hits an overdrive that risks clipping, and then return to green when back at balance. Our circuit design protects the attached speakers from damage while providing maximum performance.

McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amplifier

Additionally, the McIntosh Sentry Monitor prevents any possible damage through fuse-less short circuit protection. Beyond the clever design and stunning visual, the heatsinks dissipate heat produced by the system, preventing damage to the amplifier.

Like all McIntosh electronics, the MA252 comes with a three-year limited warranty in the US and Canada. Additionally, our product support and our international service network have kept our equipment’s resale value high throughout our nearly 75 years of craftsmanship.

User-Friendly Power and Connectivity

The MA252 is an all-analog amplifier designed with ease of use in mind. For those venturing into the realm of McIntosh for the first time, the amplifier offers a straightforward input stage. By adding just a source and speakers, the MA252 becomes the heart of a multi-component sound system, streamlining the integration process and ensuring an uncomplicated path to a sonically spectacular experience. This simplicity makes it an ideal choice for music enthusiasts seeking an accessible entry point into the McIntosh family.

McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amplifier

Despite its entry-level positioning, the MA252 does not compromise on power. With a robust power output of 100 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms, it effortlessly drives a wide range of speakers, delivering exceptional clarity and dynamic range. The amplifier also features numerous connectivity options, including two unbalanced analog inputs, one balanced analog input, and a high-quality moving magnet phono stage for vinyl enthusiasts. Additionally, a subwoofer output allows for the integration of a subwoofer to enhance the low-frequency performance, catering to a diverse range of audio preferences.

Availability and Purchasing

With the McIntosh MA252 integrated amplifier, music enthusiasts can revel in a harmonious blend of vintage elegance and cutting-edge audio performance. The incorporation of Hybrid Drive technology enables the MA252 to deliver the rich and immersive sound associated with vacuum tubes, while maintaining the control and power of solid-state amplification circuits. Boasting iconic McIntosh design cues and a user-friendly setup, the MA252 serves as a perfect entry point for individuals seeking a high-quality audio experience with a touch of nostalgia. The MA252 can be purchased directly through online dealers in the United States.

Additionally, it can be purchased from any local McIntosh dealer who can also help set up your home audio experience.