McIntosh MA252
McIntosh MA252
McIntosh MA252

McIntosh MA252: Classic, high-quality tube amplifier

The Mackintosh company began operations in the late 1940s. Frank McIntosh was a consultant for a Washington, D.C. firm that developed radio and television stations. This required high power, low distortion in amplifiers, and at that time there was no equipment with characteristics that would satisfy the company. He set out to create an audio amplifier that not only met current requirements, but also exceeded industry standards. To assist in development, Mackintosh hired Gordon Gow in 1946 and together they began designing an amplifier that would exhibit astounding performance and set a standard for the audio industry to this day.

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McIntosh MA252 is the first hybrid integrated amplifier in the catalog of the famous American brand. It is largely based on the classic tube MC275, but does not lose the advantages of transistor sound. The McIntosh MA252 is a tube amplifier featuring patented Power Guard technology designed to monitor and adjust output and input signals in real time to prevent distortion. As you’d expect from a tube amp, the MA252 features heatsinks that are connected to the output transistors to reduce warm-up time when the unit is first turned on. Radiators, traditionally for modern McIntosh, repeat the brand logo.

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The McIntosh MA252 preamp section features two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 tubes in protective cages, and the transistor output circuit provides 100 Watts of power into 8 ohms and 160 Watts into 4 ohms. The McIntosh MA252 is an all-analog amplifier. On its rear panel there are two unbalanced and one balanced inputs, a phono preamplifier input and a subwoofer output.

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The OLED display on the front panel of the stainless steel housing shows information such as selected input, bass and treble levels, tone control mute, balance and input offset amount. All these parameters can be controlled both from the controls on the front panel and from the remote control. Other technologies used in the amplifier include Sentry Monitor and High Drive headphone amplifier.

The McIntosh MA252 has all the sound talent of a classic, high-quality tube amplifier. Transparency, openness, balance and analogue naturalness coexist here with excellent elastic bass delivery.

Characteristics McIntosh MA252

Number of channels 2
Power 8 Ohm, W 2 x 100
Power 4 Ohm, W 2 x 160
Frequency range, Hz-kHz 20 – 20
S/N ratio, dB 97
Harmonic distortion, % 0.03
Input impedance 20 kOhm
Sensitivity , dB 0.6 / 0.3 V (XLR/RCA)
Damping factor 100-200
Tube package 2 x 12AX7a, 2 x 12AT7
Phono stage MM
Inputs: Analog audio 3 x RCA, 1 x XLR, Others 1 x 3.5 mm IR, Data Port
Outputs Acoustic 2 pairs, Headphones 1 x 6.3 mm, Others 1 x 3.5 mm trigger
Dimensions, mm 305 x 194 x 457
Weight, kg 12.7