McIntosh is one of the most dependable brand names when it comes to high-end audio systems. For years the brand has been recognized by audiophiles throughout the world as equipment that delivers clear and consistent quality in music. McIntosh is probably best known for its amplifiers and preamps, but the company produces many other components and parts for stereo and home theatre.
What are the specs for the McIntosh MHA 100?
- total harmonic distortion:
- less than 0.005%
- signal-to-noise ratio:
- 105 dB.
- frequency response:
- 20-20,000 Hz (±0.5dB)
- 11-1/2""W x 5-9/16""H x 15""D.
- 26 lbs.
What else to know about the McIntosh MHA 100?
"The big, clean power that this little solid-state amp delivers to speakers is truly astounding—especially considering that it was designed as a headphone amplifier. As most TONE readers know, McIntosh doesn’t really do anything small or halfway. As such, the MHA100 is no mere desktop audio accessory. With a set of sturdy speaker terminals on the back panel, along with a wealth of inputs, this is a pretty serious integrated amplifier. Inputs include USB, coax, and AES/EBU on the digital side—the onboard DAC can facilitate digital files up to 24 bit/192 kHz—and balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA for analog (plus an RCA preamp output), so this amp can take pretty much any source you throw at it. The MHA100 also does a solid job with the floorstanding ELAC FS249s—which, at $8,000 a pair and with a recommended power input of 30 to 400 watts per channel, are in another world than my little Energy speakers. Through the ELACs, the MHA100 delivers Jason Isbell’s outstanding album Southeastern will all the finesses and soul that it requires, but on hard-hitting rock and pop from the likes of Vampire Weekend, Jack White, and Led Zeppelin, the McIntosh amp has no problem throwing down.
Of course, I would be remiss not to discuss the MHA100’s greatest capability, its headphone section, which is among the best I’ve heard. Perhaps its most noteworthy feature is the ability to select from three headphone impedance ranges—8 to 40 ohms, 40 to 150 ohms, and 150 to 600 ohms—all powered by a version of McIntosh’s famous output Autoformer, adapted for headphone use. These selections cater to a variety of headphones—everything from ear buds to ear cans. (Headphone impedance, input/output, volume, and limited bass adjustments can all be controlled using the two dual-level knobs on the front panel or with the small supplied remote.)
A 24/192 version of Dark Side of the Moon sounds downright eerie through the MHA100 and a pair of 600-ohm Beyerdynamic T1 headphones. The auxiliary sounds at the beginning of “Money” are so real and detailed that they almost induce hallucinations. Similarly, Songs of Leonard Cohen on vinyl through these headphones gives one the creepy impression that Cohen’s lips are right next to your ear and he’s whispering to you. The MHA100 reveals details on that record—such as distant backup vocals and various instrumental nuances—that are not present though most systems. The Mac amp illuminates them in the mix, bringing the listener deeper into the music.The soundstage this amp presents through headphones is big and lifelike, and its accuracy and clarity across the frequency spectrum are reference-level good. McIntosh has done a phenomenal job adapting its trademark amplifier sound for the headphone user.
I can’t stress enough how wonderful the headphone section is—but at $4,500, the MHA100 isn’t for everybody. Those who take the plunge will have a component that they can base a reasonably sized system around. Unless you’re looking to drive gigantic or overly power-hungry speakers and run multiple analog and digital sources, the MHA100 will give you everything you need with all the power, finesse, and quality for which McIntosh is known. Oh yeah, and it’s a kick-ass headphone amp." - Bailey S. Barnard, TonePublications (Headphone Arts)
Brief History of McIntosh
Long mapped-to Binghamton New York – the current headquarters and manufacturing center for McIntosh Labs – not many people know the brand was originally launched outside of the Nation’s Capital in Silver Spring Maryland, in 1949. In 1956, the brand built their original facility in New York, according to the official brand website.
Other McIntosh Products We Often Buy
Typically, StereoBuyers purchases mostly used amplifiers, especially the vintage amps and high-end McIntosh models such as the MC202 or MC252, and the C220 preamp, for example. We have also purchased many pre-owned tuners from McIntosh over the recent years, including the MR67 and MR78 models, for example.
StereoBuyers has purchased tens of thousands worth McIntosh brand equipment since 2014, with individual buys ranging from $100 to well over $50,000. If you are moving, ready to upgrade, or have McIntosh equipment you do not or will not be using, why not contact us today to find out if it is worth good money?
If you are interested in selling your used McIntosh equipment to us in the greater NYC area or Colorado, please click here to fill out a Free Quote Form and we will get back to you. If we agree on terms, we come to meet you where you want, and pay cash.
The following images show actual McIntosh equipment purchased by StereoBuyers.