Like having your cake and eating it? McIntosh has the amp for you. The new MC451 Dual Mono Power amplifier combines both tube and solid state amplification in one (sturdy) unit.
The 150 Watt vacuum tube amplifier drives midrange drivers and tweeters, while the 300 Watt solid-state section drives the woofers. This handy “McIntosh Hybrid Drive” technology is also adjustable…
Users can adjust the crossover point on the back of the MC451 so that frequencies below the crossover point are sent to the solid state amplifier and frequencies above are sent to the vacuum tube amplifier.
The American company thinks its wizardry can be used to match music genres with their preferred amplifier technology. For example, rock music could be improved by introducing a higher proportion of solid-state amplification, while jazz could benefit from more tubes.
Sounds familiar? It’s probably because the MC451 isn’t McIntosh’s first crack at a Hybrid Drive amp. The much bigger, more expensive MC901 does the same trick, but with a lot more grunt (a 300W vacuum tube amp paired with a 600W solid state amp).
It goes without saying that the MC451 has received the full McIntosh treatment. The black glass faceplate is set with two blue-lit wattmeters (one for the vacuum tube amplifier, one for the semiconductor amplifier) and three green-lit windows showing the tubes.
Other features include McIntosh’s patented Power Guard signal overload technology, which prevents the amplifier from overdriving the speakers, and Sentry Monitor short circuit protection.
Like the recently launched MI502, the MC451 is not exactly an impulse purchase. The price is set at £16,495 / $14,000 (about AU$21,000). Pre-orders are open now with shipping starting this month (US and Canada), followed shortly by the rest of the world.
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