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MCINTOSH LABS INTRODUCES NEW HEADPHONE AMP MODEL MHA 100 - Page 7

post #91 of 1237

I'm pretty excited by its release and hearing some impressions. If the 1W output stays the same with varying impedance loads and it can push high voltage then I think its more than enough. Most new planar headphones are starting to push up the efficiency so I doubt it as much of an issue as it used to be in the past. The 50W is also more than adequate for desktop listening or smaller listening rooms, though I would be interested to see the output at 4 ohm as most smaller bookshelf speakers tend to have lower sensitivity and low impedance ratings. One of these with a Hifiman HE-560 and a pair of KEF LS50s could keep me sorted for a very long time. The proof in the pudding is in the listening! :p

post #92 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by guerillaw View Post
 

 

 

The Mcintosh answer to this would likely be that the auto former keeps the output relatively the same despite changes in impedance.  The selling point would be that the headphone out, jus tike their speaker amps, put out a constant high voltage high watt output regardless of the impedance of the output. Of course, only real world listening will inform us if this is A. True or B. Worth the price. 

 

I look forward to said impressions since I am big fan of the Mcintosh sound on speakers and if they can deliver that sound consistently regardless of which phone I plug in that would be intriguing. 

I've gotten some answers from Mcintosh regarding the power ratings. They have been very nice and answered my questions promptly. The first answer was in line with what you said guerillaw, and more of a marketing line:

"MHA100 is very different than other headphone amplifiers as it uses a McIntosh output autoformer with three impedance outputs, 8-40, 40-150 and 150 -600 ohm output impedance. The amplifier sees one side of the autoformer and your headphones are on the other. MHA100 also has two power levels, low and high with one watt being the high level. This design allows any dynamic headphone to be perfectly matched to the amplifier section of the MHA100."

 

After more mails they also said that the use of the higher output impedance interval increases the output, and that according to the engineers the 40-150 ohm interval with a 50 ohm headphone will have between 2-3 watts. This makes the headphone out a possible HE6 match, which would be a big plus for me. (yes I know that the consensus for the HE6 is that it should be driven by a speaker amp).

 

Although the DAC isn't really needed for me, the MHA100 would suit me very well as an all-in-one solution with the speaker amp. There have been a few people in this thread that question the inclusion of dac and speaker out but for me the amp on paper looks perfect, with me mostly listening to headphones but sometimes need to listen to speakers. But given the price I need to check if there are any ways to demo the amp before purchase.

 

I have not asked about the DAC as I am not that interested in the question and I highly doubt that I would receive any worthwhile answers. If anyone else want to ask them about the DAC, pm me and I can send the email adress for the nice person I've been mailing with.

post #93 of 1237

Thanks for following up, snejk. 

 

And in case anyone is interested, it apparently includes a remote.

post #94 of 1237

Got a reply from Cornelius at McIntosh regarding the DAC in the MHA-100: It's NOT the same as the D100 :triportsad:

 

His answer :McIntosh uses many designs in our DAC sections. New models usually have some relation to existing models but will always contain changes with layout and so on. The McIntosh digital engine used in MHA100 manipulates the incoming data to minimize errors in the data stream such as jitter and timing then converts the incoming signal to 32/192 and then sends to the Burr Brown 32/192 stereo DAC for conversion to analog. This is true for coax, optical and High Speed USB 2.0 digital inputs. This design is similar to what we use in out new integrated amplifiers. D100 is not the same design but is 32/192 using a simplified digital engine and an ESS DAC chip.

Since MHA100 is a head phone amp you can take your own preferred headphones to your local dealer for an audition. McIntosh should be shipping MHA100 shortly so please contact your dealer to find out when they will have one on display."

 

... :rolleyes: 


Edited by bmichels - 4/12/14 at 3:52am
post #95 of 1237

Thanks for the info! Quite interesting to see how they approach designs. It pretty much seems like a clean slate.

 

Its probably different because the D100 is a digital pre-amp, so they are probably using the ESS9018s functionality there. The preamp section in the MHA100 will in all likelihood an analogue implementation and therefore more complex. We also shouldn't forget that the DAC chip used often doesn't matter that much in the overall sound as its only one of the pieces in the total design. The Wolfson DACs in the PWD2 for example doesn't sound at all like the other Wolfson DACs I've heard before.

 

I'd be curious to look at the differences between the MHA100 and the MA5200. The latter has a higher output capacity and an integrated phono stage for similar money.


Edited by daerron - 4/12/14 at 4:31am
post #96 of 1237

Some additional infos provided by Cornelius :

 

"MHA100 is unlike any other headphone amp in many ways. You may store up to 5 different headphone Profile Settings for Headphone use. Each profile setting stores the selected Headphone Impedance Range, HXD Setting (On or Off), Bass Boost Setting (0 to +12.5 dB) and asign a custom name for it.

For the user with a collection of headphones this allows MHA100 to appear as a perfectly matched headphone amp to each set of your dynamic headphones. "

 

I start to be interested in this little amp.

 

Now we need some listening impressions because at the end, it is all about SQ...

post #97 of 1237

Dang, that is pretty cool.

post #98 of 1237

time to get that credit line increase before the MHA-100 hits stores.  ;)

Reply
post #99 of 1237

Besides being overpriced like typical Mcintosh products, I am not so sure it deserves $1k+ price as an amplifier without balanced output at least. Sure it does have DAC section but it seems it is worse than D100, which costs $2.5k with headphone output as well.

 

Even within Mcintosh pricing standards, this is just a terrible deal unless someone absolutely needs speaker amp + headphone amp combo with Mcintosh name on it.

post #100 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

Besides being overpriced like typical Mcintosh products, I am not so sure it deserves $1k+ price as an amplifier without balanced output at least. Sure it does have DAC section but it seems it is worse than D100, which costs $2.5k with headphone output as well.

 

Even within Mcintosh pricing standards, this is just a terrible deal unless someone absolutely needs speaker amp + headphone amp combo with Mcintosh name on it.

 

I agree, its either going to be terrible or absolutely perfect for certain people, I guess a lot of execs are drooling about having one of these in their office. My interest is still more with the D100 due its flexibility and great DAC and most desktop speakers are powered in any event. Most small passive speakers are quite insensitive and low impedance loads. So it would have been nice to see the power output at 4 ohm.

post #101 of 1237
Still looking forward to it. Has a lot of options i like for a desktop box.

Job uncertainty will put it on hold for a while though...or i sell some gear.
post #102 of 1237

At this point, I'm still a bit confused as to whether or not -speakers aside- if there's any difference between the MHA100 and the MXA70.

 

Is the MXA70 simply a MHA100 with the added speakers or is there a difference in specs that I missed?

 

And yeah, I want one. Badly.

 

Mcintosh needs to get one of these chez Jude pronto so he can give us some pointers in a video review.


Edited by IceClass - 4/20/14 at 6:23pm
post #103 of 1237

I'm pretty sure it's just a bundled set with it's own model number. It is confusing, though.

 

Has Jude reviewed any McIntosh stuff before? I'd be interested to see his take.

post #104 of 1237

Still no independant reviews somewhere in the net ?  :(

post #105 of 1237
MHA-100 just went on sale in the UK.
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