The DA2 Digital Audio Module is McIntosh’s newest and most advanced module for processing digital audio. It comes as standard in their C53 and C2700 Preamplifiers.

McIntosh products equipped with the DA1 can now be upgraded to the newer DA2. The models that can be upgraded are: MA9000, MA8900, MA7200 and MA5300 Integrated Amplifiers; MAC7200 Receiver; and C49 Preamplifier. (Note: These models will continue to come with the DA1 installed. Upgrading to the DA2 is an optional dealer-installed upgrade that must be installed by an Authorised McIntosh Dealer or Service Agency.)

DA2 Digital Module

The DA2 Digital Audio Module builds upon the DA1 with an expanded set of capabilities. In addition to having all the same connections as the DA1 (2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB and 1 MCT), a new audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection is included on the DA2. This allows it to be connected to TVs with a compatible HDMI (ARC) output to bring TV sound to the next level by listening to it through a home stereo system. ARC functionality can provide two-way communication between the DA2 equipped McIntosh unit and TV, allowing for volume control and lip-syncing functions to ensure the audio and video are perfectly synched. Popular multi-channel audio formats from Dolby® and DTS® are supported and will be converted to 2-channel audio for proper playback through the DA2 equipped unit. When CEC communication is enabled in both the DA2 equipped unit and TV, the TV remote can control the power and volume of the connected McIntosh unit.

32 Bit DAC

Additionally, the DA2’s USB input can support native playback of up to DSD512, surpassing the DSD256 limit of the DA1. This increased DSD playback support is thanks to the next generation, Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) that powers the DA2. This audiophile-grade DAC is highlighted by both an improved dynamic range and total harmonic distortion compared to the DA1. The USB input also supports DXD up to 384kHz. The coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback. Rounding off the DA2 is a proprietary MCT input that offers a secure, custom DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs when paired with McIntosh’s MCT series of SACD/CD Transports.

Pricing And Availability

Due to the technical nature of the DA2 upgrade, the upgrade must be performed by a qualified trained professional.

Available from November in the USA and the rest of the world shortly after. Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $1,000 USD. UK price £1295.

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