MCINTOSH MA-352 INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER

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McIntosh's MA 352 integrated amplifiers features a hybrid valve pre-amp section coupled to a solid state power amplifier
McIntosh’s MA 352 integrated amplifiers features a hybrid valve pre-amp section coupled to a solid state power amplifier

Most amplifiers we know today that are used at home can be broadly categorised as integrated amplifiers. This term describes amplifiers that combines the pre-amplifier section with the power amplifier. Hence the word ‘integrated’.

On the other hand, you may also encounter separate amplifiers called pre-amplifiers and power amplifiers where the two sections come in separate enclosures.

You need both for it to drive the loudspeaker.

While separate pre and power amplifier combinations are usually the preferred ‘weapon of choice’ among serious audiophiles, there have been many instances whereby integrated amplifiers have been known to perform just as well, if not better.

McIntosh’s new amplifier the MA352 is an integrated amplifier but what’s unusual about it is that the pre-amp and power amp sections are made of different design technology.

The pre-amplifier is based on valve, sometime referred to as tubes technology and the power amplifier section features solid stale technology.

Audiophiles are often split between which offers a better performance and in the case of the MA352 McIntosh has decided to combine the best of both in one common chassis.

A brute of an amplifier the MA352 measures a humongous 44.5 cm x 25.1cm x 52.1cm and weighs a backbreaking 30kg.

Yet it is a beauty to behold (to my eyes at least) and features a pre-amp section that is made up of a pair of 12AX7A and a pair of 12AT7 vacuum tubes. The solid state section feature a powerful Class AB amplifier that is capable of generating up to 200 watts per channel into a nominal 8 ohm speaker load or up to 320 watts into a nominal 4 ohms load speaker.

As with all McIntosh amplifiers the MA352 features an iconic pair of blue VU meters on a chassis that is crafted from highly polished mirror finished stainless steel.

In addition, the MS352 is also packed to the gills with proprietary McIntosh features such as their patented Power Guard control that monitors the output signal to prevent accidental speaker overdrive, a fuseless Sentry Monitor Speaker protection circuit that will disengage the output stage to prevent unsafe current operating levels and a high performance HXD (Headphone Crossfeed Director) headphone input.

With the exception of the balanced inputs all other input/output connectors are made of solid gold plated terminals
With the exception of the balanced inputs all other input/output connectors are made of solid gold plated terminals

In addition, the MA352 also feature up 2 balanced and 3 unbalanced inputs with one dedicated phono input configured for a moving magnet cartridge. All unbalanced inputs are made of gold plated sockets and a five band tone control adorns the middle section of the front control panel.

For further information contact:
Audio Perfectionist Sdn Bhd
Tel: 03-79542818 or Kenny Lim h/p: 012 2103810

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Dick Tan is one of the longest serving member of the audio-video industry having spent close to 45 years in it. Tan started in the mid 70s working in audio showrooms and writing for fledgling audio magazines in the country.

“I have been through turntables to open reel and cassette tape decks to amplifiers and speakers in that golden era of hi-fi to the sophistication of today's digital audio and AV components such as Bluray and UHD Bluray discs players to streamers and beyond. In the end they all have one common goal … to achieve audio and video in the best, most efficient way possible.”

The other 'hat' that Tan wears, at least once each year, is that of the organiser of the AV Show which started in 1994. The KL International AV Show has been consistently held every year since for the last 26 record breaking years.