Tubes going in, and tubes going out
Honey, they’ve shrunk the MC275 (or recently reviewed MC1502) and made it for driving headphones. If that’s not exciting news, what is? The McIntosh MHA200 is an all tube affair, and no you’re not seeing triple, that’s a pair of McIntosh’s Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers.
McIntosh MHA200 Connectivity includes, A pair of 3-pin balanced and a single 4-pin balanced output, along with standard 1/4-inch stereo jack. Inputs accept both balanced and RCA. On the front, something interested which is detailed below, a load impedance knob. Shipping is expected to being in March 2021, and at a suggested retail price of $2,500 USD. More specific details and pictures are included in the press release below.
Press Release Below
McIntosh Announces MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier
Treat Your Headphones to McIntosh Vacuum Tube Amplification
Binghamton, NY – February 4, 2021 – McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for 70 years, is proud to introduce the MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier.
The McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier is designed for discerning headphone enthusiasts who demand the most from their headphones. Its versatile set of connectivity options, including balanced inputs and outputs, allows for nearly all headphone types to be connected to enjoy an extraordinary personal listening experience.
A pair of 12AT7 and 12BH7A dual triode vacuum tubes power the compact MHA200. The 12AT7 vacuum tubes amplify the incoming audio signal while the 12BH7A tubes provide the power to drive the output to the headphones with low distortion. The MHA200 uses a pair of McIntosh’s Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers to deliver pristine audio. The Unity Coupled Circuit is the same technology McIntosh was founded on in 1949 and is still used in their vaunted full-size home audio vacuum tube amplifiers such as the timeless MC275 and the more recent MC1502. Indeed, the MHA200 shares many physical design traits with the aforementioned vacuum tube amplifiers.
A wide assortment of connectivity options come on the MHA200. For attaching headphones, there are 3 options: a pair of 3-pin balanced XLR connectors for dedicated Left and Right balanced output; a 4-pin balanced XLR connector for balanced stereo output; and a 1/4″ stereo headphone jack. For connecting the MHA200 to a home music system’s source components, it has 1 set each of both balanced and unbalanced inputs. Thanks to the MHA200’s small size of just 6-1/8″ (15.6cm) wide x 9-1/8″ (23.2cm) deep and its balanced inputs, it can be placed close to the listening position for ease use, with long balanced cables connecting it to the audio system without fear of signal loss.
The MHA200 takes advantage of unique McIntosh technologies to create the best possible personal listening experience. The Unity Coupled Circuit transformers have been adapted to produce 4 headphone impedance ranges of 32 – 100, 100 – 250, 250 – 600, and 600 – 1,000 Ohms at 500mW so that virtually every headphone can receive legendary McIntosh sound quality and performance.
McIntosh custom designed and manufactured the output transformers to match the tube amplifier section to the headphone output section in order to ensure maximum power transfer for various headphone loads. Instead of having to adapt to the impedance of the headphones with voltage gain in the input stage, the Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers’ secondary windings ensure the full power of the MHA200 is available regardless of the impedance of the headphones. A custom, high-performance, and highly efficient toroidal power transformer with low mechanical hum and a low magnetic field, which helps reduce electrical noise, provides clean power to the amplifier.
The user can select the best impedance range for the headphones via the LOAD knob. The VOLUME knob allows the MHA200 to be connected directly to music sources that only have a fixed volume output without needing a preamplifier for volume control. Conversely, if the component has variable volume output, then the VOLUME knob should be set to the center Unity Gain point and the volume controlled by the variable output component.
The MHA200 features a custom formed stainless steel chassis with a polished mirror finish that will accentuate the glow of the vacuum tubes, making it a statement piece to display and to use with pride. A vintage die cast aluminum McIntosh name badge adorns the side. A Power Control input and output allows the MHA200 to turn on and off with other connected McIntosh components, such as preamplifiers, CD players, turntables, or media steamers.
Pricing and Availability
Orders for the MHA200 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in March 2021 to the United States and Canada, and to the rest of the world shortly thereafter.
Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $2,500 USD.
Founded in 1949, McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. is known for offering distinguished quality audio products, superior customer service and the ultimate experience in music and film. All McIntosh products are handcrafted at the Binghamton, NY factory by over 150 employees with a passion for music and the McIntosh heritage. McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home entertainment experience for discriminating consumers around the world, with the iconic “McIntosh Blue” Watt Meters globally recognized as a symbol of quality audio. Since its inception, McIntosh has been powering some of the most important moments in music history and pop culture. From President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration speech to Woodstock to the famous Grateful Dead “Wall of Sound,” McIntosh has not only witnessed history, it has shaped it. With McIntosh, customers have the ability to create their own premium audio experience – and truly live their music. Visit www.mcintoshlabs.com to learn more.