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McIntosh has been perfecting vacuum tube amplifiers since the 1940s and solid state amplifiers since the 1960s. Their amplifiers have been used at many historic events including presidential inaugurations and Woodstock, as well as in landmark sound systems like the Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound and Despacio.
From that heritage comes a truly one-of-a-kind home audio amplifier only McIntosh could dream of, designed and built as the ultimate solution for bi-amping loudspeakers: the McIntosh MC901 Dual Mono Amplifier.
The MC901 is a monoblock amplifier that drives a single speaker. But it is unlike any other monoblock amplifier. What makes the MC901 so unique is that it's two amplifiers combined into one. Adding to the uniqueness is that each amplifier is of differing design philosophies: the MC901 consists of a 300 Watt vacuum tube amplifier attached to a 600 Watt solid state amplifier on one unified chassis.
Prior to the MC901, bi-amping a speaker required two separate amplifiers. It also required an external crossover, along with a lot of trial and error, to properly configure the two detached amplifiers so they worked together as best as possible.
The MC901 solves this issue thanks to its internal, adjustable crossover with the controls easily accessible on the top of the unit. These adjustable crossover filters allow you to optimize the performance of both amplifier sections to your listening preferences. Relative gain levels for each amplifier section can be adjusted from -6dB to + 3dB. A direct feed can also be connected to each amplifier section, thus bypassing the filters.
Like virtually all McIntosh amplifiers, the MC901 features an iconic “McIntosh Blue” Watt meter, which has come to be recognized around the world as a symbol of quality home audio. And just like the MC901 itself is a new design, so too is its meter with the introduction of the new DualView™ Power Output Meter.
The DualView meter features two of McIntosh’s traditional, fast responding mechanical meters stacked above and below each other in a single meter window; one meter is dedicated to the 300 Watt vacuum tube amp and the other to the 600 Watt solid state amp. Each meter operates independently of the other and displays the real time power reading of each amplifier section.
Although the MC901 may look different than any McIntosh product before it, a quick glance reveals signature McIntosh design cues. The top is highlighted by a series of diagrams printed on glass that outline the basic circuitry and specifications of the unit, along with a glass nameplate trimmed with a circular aluminum ring that’s finished to match the front panel endcaps. The sides are adorned with vintage McIntosh-styled die cast aluminum name badges.
Two classic McIntosh knobs are located on the front of the polished stainless steel chassis, and direct LED backlighting illuminates the DualView meter, McIntosh logo and the lettering on the black glass front panel. The uncompromising level of fit and finish that is expected of a McIntosh product completes the MC901. It can be combined with a variety of preamplifiers, turntables, CD players, media streamers and other specialty products to form a complete home audio system.