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McIntosh MXA60
Prosumer audio components shrunk into a shelf-sized unit
by Greg Stefano
on 01 April 2011
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A favorite of audiophiles everywhere, McIntosh has been known for its top-of-the-line amplifiers and stereo equipment for over 60 years. We recently got the chance to spend some time with the MXA60 integrated audio system, released to celebrate the company's 60th anniversary.

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As with all of their products, the system's looks alone won us over instantly. With a glass face, metal casing and anodized aluminum trim, the design balances premium materials with clean lines and details that highlight the serious internal electronics. Analog gauges and a small window showcase the tube powering the preamp, which, combined with a blue backlit glow, give this system an undeniably stylish look.

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Underneath its glamorous exterior, the system houses some serious guts. The tube powered pre-amp lends super-rich sound, but it's the 75-watt-per-channel amplifier that really lays a powerful foundation. The system also piles on other high-end tech features, like a hi-def CD player, the best digital-to-analog converter on the market (a 24-bit 192kHz Burr Brown), and classic XLR outputs.

Overall the system delivers amazing sound. We really enjoyed the crispness of the audio and the power the system offered. The package also comes with specially designed two-way loudspeakers, which (while also handsomely designed) we found to be the weakest link in the system with a somewhat tinny tone and lagging in the low end. To truly make it bump, we recommend adding a subwoofer to round out the bass.

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While the MXA60 may not have the flexibility of McIntosh components, it contains the same proprietary tuner technology, making it a simple and compact shelf option for anyone who obsesses about sound. With the standard-bearing quality and trademark good looks we have come to expect from McIntosh, this system promises to impress and satisfy—providing you have the kind of cashflow that a product like this requires. You can purchase the system from select vendors for $7,500.

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