McIntosh Laboratory has launched a new CD/SACD player, the MCD550. The new player has been designed to offer exemplary playback of both CD and SACD discs and “transform the audio quality of digitally connected devices”, thanks to its three-input internal DAC.
At the MCD550’s heart lies an eight-channel, 32-bit/192kHz PCM/DSD digital to analogue converter that operates in quad-balanced mode, utilising four DAC paths per audio channel. The three-strong digital input suite in the McIntosh Digital Engine includes a coaxial and optical input, plus a dedicated asynchronous USB 2.0 input (operating at up to 24-bit) which allows for the direct transfer of digitally stored music at up to 192kHz resolution.
The MCD550 benefits from both coaxial and optical outputs, for use with a digital preamp or home theatre processor, plus both (fixed and variable) balanced and unbalanced outputs, giving the new player a vast range of connectivity options including direct connection to a power amplifier.
The MCD550 has a new transport section with a premium die-cast aluminium tray plus the latest in advanced digital servo technology for “faster, quieter and more accurate operation; the disc’s audio data is read at twice the normal rate, ensuring better disc-tracking and error-correction processing”.
The MCD550’s front panel display indicates the current disc’s playback status, digital input status and the variable audio output volume level. Also featured on the fascia is dial-based level control, allowing simple volume adjustment for headphone use, volume-matching with other source components when the player is used in a system, and for volume control when using a direct connection to a power amplifier. A dial control is also employed for track selection.
A dual-layer chassis is employed, plus an advanced linear power supply, which has a R-Core power transformer, along with multiple regulators, to ensure stable and noise-free operation.
Analogue outputs: balanced/unbalanced stereo, fixed and variable
Fixed output level: 2.0Vrms unbalanced; 4.0vrms balanced
Variable output level: 0 – 8.0Vrms unbalanced; 0 – 16.0Vrms balanced
Output impedance: 600 ohms unbalanced and balanced
Frequency response: 4Hz to 40kHz, +0.5, -2dB (SACD); 4Hz to 20kHz, ±0.5db (CD)
Signal to noise ratio: better than 110dB (A-weighted)
Dynamic range: better than 100dB
Total harmonic distortion: 0.002% @ 1000Hz (SACD); 0.002% @ 1000Hz (CD)
Channel separation: better than 98dB (1,000Hz)
Headphone output impedance: 47 ohms
Digital audio specifications
Coaxial sample rate: 16, 24-bit/96kHz
Optical sample rate: 16, 24-bit/192kHz
USB sample rate: 16, 24-bit/192kHz
Digital coaxial input: 0.5v p-p/75 ohms
Digital optical input: -15dbm to -21dbm
Digital USB input: USB type B connector
Digital output sample rate: up to 24-bit/192kHz
Digital coaxial output: 0.5V p-p/75 ohms
Digital optical output: -15dbm to -21dbm
Fixed outputs: unbalanced 1 stereo
Fixed outputs: balanced 1 stereo
Variable outputs: unbalanced 1 stereo
Variable outputs: balanced 1 stereo
Digital coaxial input: 1
Digital optical input: 1
Digital USB input: 1
Digital coaxial output: 1
Digital optical output: 1
The MCD550 sells for £6,395 and is available in February.