McIntosh Boosts Dynamic Headroom of New Amplifier

McIntosh today announced a power amplifier to replace the MC302 but it’s no ordinary replacement.

The engineering team of the legendary brand doubled the filter capacity of the new MC312 ($7,000) to lower distortion, improve bass performance, and make the amp better suited to handle extreme dynamic swings in music. In technical terms, the net effect is a boost in dynamic headroom from 1.8 dB to 2.3 dB — 27% higher than its predecessor.

Slated to ship by the end of the month, the MC312 is rated to deliver 2 x 300 watts into 2, 4, or 8 ohms — a feat made possible by the use of McIntosh-designed Autoformers on the audio outputs — and boasts a rated signal-to-noise ratio of 120 dB (below rated output).

Situated on a polished stainless-steel chassis with aluminum end caps and the brand’s signature black-glass front panel and blue watt meters, the amp retains the classic look for which McIntosh products are known but now uses direct LED backlighting to illuminate the front panel for “improved color accuracy” and has monogrammed heatsinks. McIntosh has also relocated both Autoformers to separate enclosures, each capped with a glass insert showing the transformer’s wiring diagram (photo below).

Additional updates include upgraded circuit components and internal wiring, a new “eco-friendly” power-management system, and the addition of balanced and unbalanced outputs to facilitate bi-/tri-amping and provide connections for a secondary system or powered subwoofer.

Standard McIntosh accoutrements include Power Guard circuitry that monitors and adjusts the input signal in real time to prevent clipping, fuse-free and self-resetting short-circuit protection, and patented, gold-plated Solid Cinch binding posts.

The MC312 is covered by a three-year warranty and can be purchased under McIntosh’s Trade Up policy, which offers up to 75% of a McIntosh component’s original MSRP toward the purchase price of a new McIntosh component.

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