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Martin Dew

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McIntosh has unveiled the MA9500 and MA8950 integrated amplifiers replacing the MA9000 and MA8900 with added performance enhancements. Both are available this month for $12,000 and $9,000, respectively. According to the NY-based company, dynamic headroom has been increased by more than 50% enabling less distortion on musical peaks, and improved low end bass performance.
Both amps come with the McIntosh DA2 Digital Audio Module factory installed over the DA1 module of the former models. The DA2 is powered by an audiophile-grade, quad balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit DAC for better dynamic range and total harmonic distortion. The DA2 includes the same digital inputs found on the DA1 (2 x coaxial, 2 x optical, 1 x USB, 1 x proprietary MCT input), plus an audio-only HDMI ARC connection. There is also increased DSD playback support (up to DSD512) via the USB input. Upgraded power supply components further reduce noise emissions, and both models continue to use control microprocessors for...

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