McIntosh drops 1,200 watt amp: MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier



Who wants it, who needs it, and who has got it?

Seems McIntosh Labs is looking to give those power-starved audiophile souls out in the land of bass, and treble a little taste north of 1,000 watts with its MC1.25KW power amplifier. If you’ve got monster speakers, or they just are of the hard-to-drive variety (watts are cheap, right?) then the big blue dial are probably just the medicine to juice those driver arrays. Tipping the scales at 158 lbs, the MC1.25KW is not for lightweights, so make sure you bring a friend to install this behemoth. With features like 0.005 per cent total harmonic distortion, McIntosh’s touted Autoformer™ technology, and their Power Guard®, Sentry Monitor™ circuit protection built-in, the big amp can also look after itself. Just remember the old adage that power corrupts, so once you get a taste of absolute power, it will corrupt you absolutely.

–Rafe Arnott

Press release below

McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for over 65 years, is proud to announce the MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier.

The MC1.25KW is our newest and one of our most advanced amplifiers. Redesigned from top to bottom, it replaces the venerable MC1.2KW as our most powerful single chassis monoblock amplifier. A simple glance at the 158 pound (71.7 kg) MC1.25KW is enough to convey its power and performance capabilities, but when you hear it – then you’ll truly understand what it can do.

The MC1.25KW outputs 1,200 Watts of pure power into a single channel with a nearly imperceptible total harmonic distortion of 0.005%. This astonishing amount of power is fully available to 2, 4 or 8 Ohm speakers via our Autoformer™ technology. A pair of these amps can anchor a home audio system that can rival nearly any stereo system in the world.

Updates and enhancements abound in the MC1.25KW. A 50 per cent increase in filter capacity improves the performance of low end frequencies as well as increasing dynamic headroom. The top of the amp showcases an updated yet unmistakable McIntosh industrial design that will fit right in with current McIntosh products or those made decades ago. The audio Autoformer and power transformer remain located just behind the front panel but are now contained in new glass topped enclosures. In between them is new circular glasswork housing the amplifier’s name badge that is adorned with a decorative trim ring.

Towards the rear of the unit are four of our McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks™. Made from high quality materials with excellent thermal conductivity properties, these heatsinks are so efficient at dissipating heat that they warrant bearing the McIntosh “Mc” logo. They connect to advanced high current output transistors that eliminate thermal equilibrium lag time so that the first musical note played sounds just as good as songs played later in the listening session. The heatsinks are capped with handsome ventilation trim plates. These trim plates and the circular trim ring are made from aluminum and are finished to match the front panel handles.

All of this sits atop a polished stainless steel chassis which rests on four new redesigned feet that feature a chamfered edge. Other updates include an updated power transformer, heavier gauge internal wiring, upgraded circuit components, and the addition of our eco-friendly power management system that will turn the amp off after a set amount of time when no input signal has been detected. The AC receptacle has been repositioned to provide additional clearance so a wider assortment of power cords can more easily be used.

With all the changes and improvements made in the MC1.25KW, one thing that hasn’t changed is the large, fast responding 11-inch (27.9 cm) blue Watt meter that accurately shows the amp’s power output. Also unchanged is the signature black glass front panel with control knobs, illuminated logo, and aluminum end caps with handles. The front panel and meter have new direct LED backlighting for improved appearance and colour accuracy.

Other exclusive McIntosh features included in the MC1.25KW include Power Guard®, Sentry Monitor™, Quad Balanced design, Power Control and our patented Solid Cinch™ speaker binding posts. Both a balanced and unbalanced output are included to make bi-amping or tri-amping speakers easier; they can also be used to send the audio signal to a secondary system if the preamplifier does not have enough outputs or to connect a powered subwoofer.

Pricing and Availability
Orders for the MC1.25KW can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in November.

Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $12,500 USD

About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream