McIntosh has introduced the MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier.

The McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier is designed to be versatile with a  set of connectivity options, including balanced inputs and outputs, allows for nearly all headphone types to be connected.

McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

Dual Triode Vacuum Tubes

A pair of 12AT7 and 12BH7A dual triode vacuum tubes power the compact MHA200. The 12AT7 vacuum tubes amplify the incoming audio signal while the 12BH7A tubes provide the power to drive the output to the headphones with low distortion. The MHA200 uses a pair of McIntosh’s Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers.

Valves on the McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

The Unity Coupled Circuit is the same technology McIntosh was founded on in 1949 and is still used in their full-size home audio vacuum tube amplifiers such as the MC275 and the more recent MC1502. Indeed, the MHA200 shares many physical design traits with the aforementioned vacuum tube amplifiers.

Connections

A wide assortment of connectivity options come on the MHA200. For attaching headphones, there are 3 options: a pair of 3-pin balanced XLR connectors for dedicated Left and Right balanced output; a 4-pin balanced XLR connector for balanced stereo output; and a 1/4″ stereo headphone jack. For connecting the MHA200 to a home music system’s source components, it has 1 set each of both balanced and unbalanced inputs. Thanks to the MHA200’s small size of just 6-1/8″ (15.6cm) wide x 9-1/8″ (23.2cm) deep and its balanced inputs, it can be placed close to the listening position for ease use, with long balanced cables connecting it to the audio system without fear of signal loss.

McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier input connections

Unity Coupled Circuit Transformers

The MHA200 takes advantage of McIntosh technologies to create the best possible personal listening experience. The Unity Coupled Circuit transformers have been adapted to produce 4 headphone impedance ranges of 32 – 100, 100 – 250, 250 – 600, and 600 – 1,000 Ohms at 500mW.

McIntosh custom designed and manufactured the output transformers to match the tube amplifier section to the headphone output section in order to ensure maximum power transfer for various headphone loads. Instead of having to adapt to the impedance of the headphones with voltage gain in the input stage, the Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers’ secondary windings ensure the full power of the MHA200 is available regardless of the impedance of the headphones. A custom, high-performance, and highly efficient toroidal power transformer with low mechanical hum and a low magnetic field, which helps reduce electrical noise, provides clean power to the amplifier.

McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier outputs

The user can select the best impedance range for the headphones via the LOAD knob. The VOLUME knob allows the MHA200 to be connected directly to music sources that only have a fixed volume output without needing a preamplifier for volume control. Conversely, if the component has variable volume output, then the VOLUME knob should be set to the center Unity Gain point and the volume controlled by the variable output component.

Stainless Steel Chassis

The MHA200 features a custom formed stainless steel chassis with a polished mirror finish that will accentuate the glow of the vacuum tubes, making it a statement piece. A vintage die-cast aluminium McIntosh name badge adorns the side. A Power Control input and output allows the MHA200 to turn on and off with other connected McIntosh components, such as preamplifiers, CD players, turntables, or media streamers.

McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

Pricing And Availability

Orders for the MHA200 can now be placed with shipping expected to begin in March 2021 to the United States and Canada, and to the rest of the world shortly thereafter.

McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $2,500 USD and £2795 in the UK, distributed by Fine Sounds UK.

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