Mr. Beast: McIntosh MCD12000 CD player and DAC


New from McIntosh is a flagship CD/SACD player called the MCD12000 which also doubles as the New York company’s flagship D/A converter.

Seven digital inputs – 2 x coaxial, 2 x TOSLINK, AES/EBU, USB and a proprietary MCT connector – communicate with a DAC circuit built around a pair of ESS Saber ES9038PRO DAC chips. As is typical with D/A converters of this band, the S/PDIF inputs exceed PCM decoding at 24bit/192kHz with the USB input capable of extracting PCM up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD up to DSD512. The TOSLINK and coaxial outputs of the MCD12000 are used to connect the device to an external D/A converter.

Once digital is converted to analog inside the MCD12000, an analog output stage carries the signal to the amplifier. Here we have a choice of balanced or unbalanced outputs, but also a choice of tube or solid state flavors. The first is built around a combination of green-glow 12AT7 and 12AX7A tubes and “discrete balanced” op-amps while the latter bypasses the tubes to leave only the op-amps in play.

On the all-important disk transport, McIntosh says he “Utilizes a high-precision die-cast aluminum platter that provides smooth, quiet record handling, while an advanced digital servo delivers fast, quiet, and precise operation.”

The digital stage has its own dedicated power supply. Just like the analog stage. This separation – along with a bespoke R-core transformer – would have minimized any noise cross-contamination.

And it wouldn’t be a McIntosh without the company’s signature blue (60dB) VU meters mounted on the front panel, but those chunky side grips suggest this new unit is (be mistaken) quite unity.

Price? US$12,000 or £13,995. Shipping begins this month later.

Further information : McIntosh


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