McIntosh MCD1100 SACD Disc Player Preview 
Home Theater Audio Sources DVD-Audio/SACD Players
Written by Michael Palmer   
Monday, 01 November 2010

Audiophiles, gather round and take out your wallets.  The premium sound gurus from McIntosh have announced the MCD1100 SACD Disc Player, which is engineered to deliver extended functionality and maximum musical fidelity from CD, CD-R, CD-RW, SCACD, Hybrid SACD, MP3, and WMA stereo music discs.  And, it doesn't require a separate preamplifier to deliver warm, rich and emotionally engaging sound from today's many digital music sources.  The MCD1100 can be added to any existing system or used as a standalone component with a set of high quality headphones

This is what McIntosh President Charlie Randall had to say about the MCD1100:

"In creating McIntosh source components, our designers and engineers have always strived to deliver all the emotional content in recorded music. For the first time, we now offer superlative McIntosh performance for not only a compact disc library, but any other digital stereo source as well. In today’s digital music universe, our advanced digital decoding allows sources such as streaming music, music servers, Internet radio and others, to be processed, controlled, and improved. Many convenient web-based audio sources have been compared to ‘fast food’ sound as opposed to the ‘fine dining’ physical music media. Clever, advanced McIntosh engineering now allows the best of both worlds; great sound and unlimited web selection.”


(Author's tangent: It's funny, so many companies are trying to fix music that has been stripped of its original fidelity when encoded for digital distribution, but every audiophile I speak with say these techniques are generally rubbish.  That whatever patch fixes are tacked onto these files can never fully replace missing data.  Esteemed AVRev readers, what do you think?  I suppose if anyone could do it, McIntosh could, but we'll have to listen with our own ears before believing this.)

Okay, back to the MCD1100… Cosmetically, anyone will recognize this unit as "quintessentially McIntosh."  There is a new 3D designed glass front panel, soft backlighting, and a polish stainless steel chassis. 

The MCD1100 is designed to drive power amplifiers directly; its performance capabilities are comparable to the finest stereo preamps.  Like many of its sibling products, the MCD1100 features McIntosh Control Functionality which allows it to operate McIntosh power amplifiers and source components.

The advanced USB Audio digital input allows convenient access to music stored or streamed from a computer while also controlling popular computer audio programs. Five additional digital inputs allow connection to the Digital Audio outputs of CD changers, radio tuners, pro audio gear or music stored on Windows or Mac PCs.  The USB digital input accepts audio data rates up to 32 bit/ 192kHz.  Though, despite this connectivity, we have to wonder, why no WiFi for streaming computer or Internet-based content?  For added convenience, when connected to a user’s favorite streaming music program, users may control and navigate from the handheld McIntosh remote.

Build quality?  You betcha.  The MCD1100 features an aluminum die cast transport base and disc tray for maximum stability during playback.  Advanced digital laser servo motor yields quieter and the most accurate positioning of the twin laser optical pickup, and allows for optimum reading of the disc.

In terms of decoding, four 32 bit/192kHz, PCM/ DSD Digital Audio converters are used per channel in a Quad Balanced configuration.  Eight total Digital to Analog converters employed results in the best possible audio performance. SACD disc conversion from Digital to Analog also uses Pure DSD decoding.

Pick up an MCD1100 SACD Disc Player from your local, authorized McIntosh dealer starting in November for a cool $10,000.







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