High End 2014: McIntosh Americana


By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis

McIntosh Labs powered the live performance of Barbara Belloni in the Fine Sounds Group stage but created a special atmosphere in the all-McIntosh room. In the entrance, we found some classics like the 240, a black leather Chevy sofa, and an old Harley Davidson staring at a pyramid of MC601s.

In the corridor was the brand new MHA 100 headphone amplifier with emblematic blue power indicators and autoformers in the output stage, connected to a prototype headphone created in association with German specialist Beyerdynamic.

The MHA 100 is quite interesting as it packs a 32bit/192Khz DAC (on USB, optical, AES/EBU and coaxial) and will drive speakers too, with 50 watts per channel. It weighs some 15 Kgr (32Lbs) and could be the affordable McIntosh for those who value a classic brand but prefer not to break the bank.







About Panagiotis Karavitis 212 Articles
Doctor and Editor @ Part-Time Audiophile Publisher @ Audiohub.gr


  1. trying to market old names with nostalgia, ain’t gonna work. What is the advantage of a McIntosh over dozens of other brands for much less? blue lights mean nothing. Commerical live events use Crown, QSC, and dozens of sturdy non jewlery like casing, it’s all about power and sound…this is glitz and showy.

    • Sound quality is moot, which is what makes all this fun. The sound of any system as a whole is a function of the “everything else” that’s involved — with the “you” part of that equation being the most important variable.

      But as to McIntosh — this may well be one of the best-selling high-end brands currently in the market today — and that doesn’t mean nothing. You don’t have to like ’em. It doesn’t their market dominance, though.

      Those blue dials are iconic. The sound-quality is generally very high. Is it the best that can be bought? Again, a moot question, and a fun one to debate.

  2. Front panel and general cosmetic design: priceless. Top cover plastered with text including marketing tripe like “Legendary Performance:” not.

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