McIntosh Unveils 2012 Audio Lineup


New York - McIntosh's 2012 lineup will include three new components and three new speakers that make it possible to build a McIntosh-based home theater system at a lower price than before while still delivering McIntosh quality, president Charlie Randall said last night.

The products include the company's first 3D Blu-ray player and a home theater preamp/processor, both of which will be the company's first DLNA-certified devices to stream content from a PC. The preamp/processor will be among the brand's first AirPlay-enabled products. McIntosh's other planned AirPlay product, a tabletop speaker system, might be available before or after the preamp/processor.

The new components are due in January, and the speakers are due in February.

The three components - the MX121 preamp/processor, the MVP891 Blu-ray/DVD/SACD player, and the MC8207 7x200-watt amplifier - will enable consumers to build the audio electronics portion of a home theater system for about $14,000 compared to a current starting price of about $25,000, Randall said, after introducing a

limited-edition MC275 tube power amp


Three new speakers include a bookshelf speaker at a tentative $4,000/pair compared with a $5,000/pair model that it will replace. A new tower speaker is priced at a tentative $10,000/pair compared with a current opening price of $20,000/pair.

With the electronics and speaker introductions, McIntosh is returning to opening price points that it hasn't offered in two to five years, depending on the product category, Randall said.

The limited-edition $6,500-suggested tube amp, due in December, celebrates the 50


anniversary of the launch of the brand's first MC275 in 1961. It's the brand's longest running SKU, though out of production from 1972-1994.

Here are some of the details and pricing of the new products.

MX121 surround-sound preamp/processor:

At a suggested $6,000,

the 9.1-channel unit will come in at about half the price of the brand's current opening-price pre-pro. It will be the company's first pre-pro that can be controlled from an app for iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads.

Other new features include Internet radio, DLNA 1.5 streaming of PC audio, and Audyssey DSX post-processing to add front-height and front-width channels; a full array of Blu-ray audio decoders, 7.1-channel analog output, six HDMI 1.4a inputs, two 1.4a outputs, and 1080p upscaling.

It offers Audyssey room correction, whereas the current model features Lyngdorf's Room Perfect room correction.

MVP891 Blu-ray:

The player will be priced at a tentative $5,500 compared with the current model's $8,000. Both play Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs and SuperAudio CDs. The new model, however, will be the company's first Blu-ray player with 3D playback, first with DLNA certification to stream audio and video from a networked PC, and first to support audio and video streaming services. The company declined to specify which A/V services will be offered.

The players will also add HDMI 1.4a outputs compared with the current model's HDMA 1.3. Other features include BD-Live and 16GB of built-in memory.

MC8207 amplifier:

The 7x200-watt amp will be priced at a suggested $6,000, lower than a current $8,500 7x200-watt amp  thanks to the use of black-enameled metal chassis instead of mirrored stainless-steel chassis, and the replacement of analog VU meters with LED-based meters that look like analog VU meters.

Both amps are rated at 7x200 watts into both 4-ohm and 8-ohm loads, all channels rated simultaneously. Both also feature second stereo-zone output,

XR100 tower speaker:

At a suggested $10,000/pair, the speaker features 600-watt power handling, four 6-inch woofers, 8 2-inch inverted-dome midranges, two 2-inch tweeters, and a 0.75-inch super tweeter in a 49-inch-tall cabinet that is 8-inches-wide and 14.7-inches-deep.

LCR80 LCR speaker:

At a suggested $2,500 each, the three-way speaker can be positioned horizontally or vertically thanks to a 0.75-inch super tweeter flanked above and below by a 2-inch midrange/tweeter driver when the speaker is placed horizontally. All three drivers in turn are flanked on the left and right by a 6-inch woofer.

The speaker can be shelf-, stand- or wall-mounted and features 300-watt power handling

XR50 bookshelf speaker:

At a suggested $4,000/pair, the three-way speaker features 300-watt power handling, rear port, one 6-inch woofer, and two 2-inch inverted-dome midrange/tweeters, one above and one below a 0.75-inch super tweeter.

All speakers come in a choice of high-gloss black, red walnut or pear maple finishes.


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