McIntosh's Most Powerful 2CH Amp Ever Unveiled!

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,271 21 9
#1
The new 450-watt McIntosh MC462 is the company’s most powerful stereo power amplifier. With 50% more filter capacity and 66% more dynamic headroom than its predecessor, the “Quad Balanced” MC462 is the result of some serious engineering work. As you would expect from McIntosh, it’s also built like a tank, nice to look at, and more than a little pricey.

McIntosh.jpg


Read: McIntosh's Most Powerful 2CH Amp Ever Unveiled!

And see what new enhancements McIntosh made to their latest stereo amplifier.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
170 3 3
#2
The new 450-watt McIntosh MC462 is the company’s most powerful stereo power amplifier. With 50% more filter capacity and 66% more dynamic headroom than its predecessor, the “Quad Balanced” MC462 is the result of some serious engineering work. As you would expect from McIntosh, it’s also built like a tank, nice to look at, and more than a little pricey.
And costs more than my pickup.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic General
Ratings
503 6 22
#3
It's a lot of money to pay for a 2-channel amplifier with a poor damping factor of about 40. Why don't they get rid of their output stage autoformers?
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,462 6 2
#4
Gene, it's gorgeous, but I can't deal with Autoformers. Even for huge blue meters under real glass.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
65 1 1
#5
It's a lot of money to pay for a 2-channel amplifier with a poor damping factor of about 40. Why don't they get rid of their output stage autoformers?
Technical Question: How big of a deal is damping factor? I remember a time when it was all the amp spec rage (just after the THD wars) then it kind of fell out vogue. I've read some articles saying it's no big deal. Recently, Hegel has come out with some integrated amps, quoting a damping factor of "more than 4000". A month or two back, I got to listen to one of Hegel's (relatively) lower priced units driving a pair of KEF R500s and was impressed. The KEF rep then hooked up a pair of Reference 1s and it still was impressive. He then connected a pair of Blade 2s and this little integrated (well, 150 wpc) had a vice grip on the big KEFs and the rep explained that the damping factor had a lot to do with it. Just wondering, my good forum mates... ;)
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,462 6 2
#6
Technical Question: How big of a deal is damping factor? I remember a time when it was all the amp spec rage (just after the THD wars) then it kind of fell out vogue. I've read some articles saying it's no big deal. Recently, Hegel has come out with some integrated amps, quoting a damping factor of "more than 4000". A month or two back, I got to listen to one of Hegel's (relatively) lower priced units driving a pair of KEF R500s and was impressed. The KEF rep then hooked up a pair of Reference 1s and it still was impressive. He then connected a pair of Blade 2s and this little integrated (well, 150 wpc) had a vice grip on the big KEFs and the rep explained that the damping factor had a lot to do with it. Just wondering, my good forum mates... ;)
Damping factor isn't really important at all; 40 is probably good enough, but the reason the damping factor isn't so hot is the use of output transformers (the Autoformers, in McIntosh parlance),as they effectively raise the amp's output impedance, and that lowers the effective damping factor. And in solid state amps output transformers aren't necessary. In McIntosh's case, it's some sort of weird tradition from tube amps where they do serve a purpose. In this amp, IMHO, they're a waste of parts cost.
 
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Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic General
Ratings
503 6 22
#7
Damping factor isn't really important at all; 40 is probably good enough, but the reason the damping factor isn't so hot is the use of output transformers (the Autoformers, in McIntosh parlance),as they effectively raise the amp's output impedance, and that lowers the effective damping factor. And in solid state amps output transformers aren't necessary. In McIntosh's case, it's some sort of weird tradition from tube amps where they do serve a purpose. In this amp, IMHO, they're a waste of parts cost.
Damping factor is important when the amplifier has to drive a woofer with a high Qts. Also, when a passive crossover is used, the series inductor adds with the speaker cable to the amplifier's output resistance, and that reduces the overall control on the driver's motion. If the woofer's impedance is only 4 ohms, the damping action is 50% of that with an 8 ohm one.
 
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Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic General
Ratings
503 6 22
#8
Of course, the damping factor question would mostly apply to a vented enclosure. In a sealed cabinet, the enclosed air helps controlling the cone motion. IMO, the drawback of a sealed box is that the cone excursion cannot be as linear as that in a vented or horn loaded box because of the compression and decompression effect.
 
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Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,462 6 2
#9
Damping factor is important when the amplifier has to drive a woofer with a high Qts. Also, when a passive crossover is used, the series inductor adds with the speaker cable to the amplifier's output resistance, and that reduces the overall control on the driver's motion. If the woofer's impedance is only 4 ohms, the damping action is 50% of that with an 8 ohm one.
Richard Pierce said it best right on this site:

https://www.audioholics.com/audio-amplifier/damping-factor-effects-on-system-response

I am an output transformer hater, so it doesn't take much to convince me that a near-zero output impedance is better. Emotionally, I sometimes liked to blame the bass emphasis I heard with B&W 800-series speakers on the McIntosh amps I always heard them demonstrated with, but the reality is even a Krell amp (known for super-low output impedance designs) wouldn't make much of an audible difference. Perhaps with some weird speakers that fall below 2 ohms in the deep bass, like the original Legacy Focus, but for most speakers their impedance is more reasonable. I think the obvious audibility of low damping factors on high-power amps with any "normal" moving coil speaker is the stuff of street legend.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,486 7 1
#10
I am an output transformer hater, so it doesn't take much to convince me that a near-zero output impedance is better.
I don't like them either, but there are output transformer less McIntosh amps, and I wouldn't mind one of those used ones if in good looking condition.
 
D

Danzilla31

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
323 1
#11
I'm just curious guys I'm not ready to mess with amps yet but I'd like to learn from your insights are McIntosh's amps really that good for that much money? Are they that much better then less expensive amps? And if not where do you guys feel the best price range for amps you know that ceiling of dimishing returns where going higher isn't going to really make a difference really is?
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,462 6 2
#13
I'm just curious guys I'm not ready to mess with amps yet but I'd like to learn from your insights are McIntosh's amps really that good for that much money? Are they that much better then less expensive amps? And if not where do you guys feel the best price range for amps you know that ceiling of dimishing returns where going higher isn't going to really make a difference really is?
There are thousands of recent posts with opinions on this general topic.

If you're wondering, no, I don't think McIntosh amps are better. In fact, I think they're mostly worse, at least if they have output transformers. On the other hand, they're built like industrial art. If you like that sort of thing, join the McIntosh cult. Their products will probably outlive you.
 
D

Danzilla31

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
323 1
#14
There are thousands of recent posts with opinions on this general topic.

If you're wondering, no, I don't think McIntosh amps are better. In fact, I think they're mostly worse, at least if they have output transformers. On the other hand, they're built like industrial art. If you like that sort of thing, join the McIntosh cult. Their products will probably outlive you.
Yeah I don't want to off track the thread just a quick question to appease my curiosity. So if I like eye candy..... BUUUUUY MCINTOSH!!!! LOL
 
Out-Of-Phase

Out-Of-Phase

Full Audioholic
Ratings
208 1 2
#15
$9000.00 Good grief.

Forgive me, I am not an EE, but I still think I would rather have the ATI AT1802 power amp over this thing.

You don’t get the blue meters, but I’ll bet you that I wouldn’t be able to hear the difference between the two anyway.

I’ll take money saved and invest it. ;)
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,462 6 2
#16
$9000.00 Good grief.

Forgive me, I am not an EE, but I still think I would rather have the ATI AT1802 power amp over this thing.

You don’t get the blue meters, but I’ll bet you that I wouldn’t be able to hear the difference between the two anyway.

I’ll take money saved and invest it. ;)
You are not in McIntosh's target market. The AT1802, nice as it is, also has a considerably lower power output, so the difference might be audible in a very large room with high performance speakers capable of high output.
 
Out-Of-Phase

Out-Of-Phase

Full Audioholic
Ratings
208 1 2
#17
You are not in McIntosh's target market. The AT1802, nice as it is, also has a considerably lower power output, so the difference might be audible in a very large room with high performance speakers capable of high output.
Regardless, no $9000.00 amp for me. This product is for someone like Bill Gates or Tim Cook.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
6,417 14 6
#19
Forgive me, I am not an EE, but I still think I would rather have the ATI AT1802 power amp over this thing.
I sure wish RBH would get into the ATI-amp-game along like Monoprice, except go for the class-D amps and with XLR connectors. :D
 

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