About the McIntosh MCT80
Sonic precision in a compact package
Sonic precision in a compact package
Seasoned audiophiles associate the name "McIntosh" with amazing sound quality, and full-sized components that are built like a tank. But McIntosh also builds a series of smaller components, including the MCT80 SACD/CD transport. But don't mistake reduced size for reduced capabilities. The MCT80 can spin SACD, CD, CD-R, and CD-RW discs, and feed a flawless digital signal to your favorite DAC or digital preamp.
Solidly built — inside and out
The MCT80's premium die-cast aluminum disc tray and advanced transport mechanism provide fast, quiet, and accurate handling of all your discs. The transport's twin laser optical pickup ensures optimal playback of high-res sources. Audio data is read at twice normal speed to provide better tracking and error correction processing.
The top-notch construction and parts are cool, but so is the McIntosh "look." The entire unit is housed in a classic polished stainless steel chassis with a black glass front panel and brushed aluminum end caps.
Versatile digital outputs
The MCT80 must be connected to an external DAC or other component with a built-in digital-to-analog converter. The transport features standard digital output options, as well as McIntosch's MCT multi-pin DIN connection. We've listed a couple of McIntosh's matching compact components, as well as two full-sized preamps:
- optical and coaxial digital audio outputs: Use these outputs for playing your CDs through a component with matching inputs, like the McIntosh MXA80 integrated stereo system, or MHA150 headphone amp/DAC/integrated amplifier
- DIN digital audio output: This proprietary output feeds both CD (PCM) and SACD (DSD) digital audio signals from the MCT80 to the two matching components listed above, or to full-sized McIntosh preamps like the C47 analog and digital preamplifier and D150 digital preamplifier
A world-famous audio heritage, made in America
Since its founding in 1949, McIntosh has defined the meaning of high-quality sound reproduction, while setting industry standards for superior performance and reliability. The company is based in Binghamton, New York, where its high-end components and speakers are still individually handcrafted by a team of skilled experts. This uncompromising dedication to quality has made McIntosh one of the most recognized and respected audio manufacturers in the world.
- stereo playback for SACDs, hybrid SACDs, audio CDs, CD-Rs & CD-RWs, and MP3 & WMA CDs
- improved disc mechanism with sturdy die-cast aluminum tray
- disc audio data is read at twice normal rate for better error correction and tracking
- twin-laser optical pickup (one for SACD, one for CD)
- fiber optic illuminated glass front panel and mirror-finish stainless steel chassis for a beautiful appearance and long-term durability
- digital audio outputs:
- optical (Toslink) and coaxial (RCA)
- proprietary "MCT" output for connecting compatible McIntosh components like a McIntosh MXA80 integrated stereo system or McIntosh MHA150 headphone amplifier/DAC/integrated amp
- MCT output offers a secure DSD connection for playback of high-resolution SACDs up to DSD128 levels
- proprietary McIntosh DIN cable included
- Power Control input jack receives turn-on signals from a McIntosh component
- Power Control output jack sends turn-on signals to another McIntosh component
- Data In jack receives control data from a McIntosh Control Center
- IR and 12-volt trigger connections for use with external controllers
- remote control
- detachable power cord
- handcrafted at McIntosh's Binghamton, New York factory
- 11-1/2"W x 5-7/8"H x 19"D
- weight: 33 lbs
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # MCT-80
What's in the box:
- CD/SACD transport
- 6' AC power cord
- 4' Digital MCT cable
- Remote control
- Owner's Manual
McIntosh MCT80 reviews
I bought this player to replace an old Wadia 8. I am using the DAC in a Mac C47 preamp. I only expected a good replacement but was pleasantly surprised to find a significant improvement. The music is clearer and better balanced than the Wadia. The sound is warm and not fatiguing. Worth it to me for the sound quality. My main complaint is the controls. Programing the player is like playing a video game. First a button at the top of the remote has to be pressed long enough for an LED next to a gold square to blink twice then the play button must be pressed twice to engage random playback then pressed twice again to get the program mode. It will not work if buttons are pressed too slowly or quickly. This is nuts when there are buttons on the remote that do nothing. The instruction manual is very poorly written. Keep the materials with the customer service number in case you need a tutorial.
Pros: Really good sound quality, at least when played through a Mac preamp with built in DAC such as the C47.
Cons: Programing control is absurdly designed. Special connection needed for SACD playback. Be sure your DAC has the necessary plug.
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More details on the McIntosh MCT80
Features & specs
|CD Transport Only||Yes|
Single Disc |
|Direct Track Access||Remote|
|Direct Disc Access||N/A|
|Multiple CD Player Control||---|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
|CD Frequency Response||Not Given|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||Not Given|
|SACD Frequency Response||Not Given|
|SACD Dynamic Range||Not Given|
|SACD THD||Not Given|
|Analog RCA Output||No|
|Analog XLR Output||No|
|Digital Optical Output||Yes|
|Digital Coaxial Output||Yes|
Twin Laser Pickup + Advanced Transport: The MCT80 incorporates two laser elements, with different wavelengths, that are focused through one lens assembly. The twin laser optical pickup assures optimal disc reading. This unique design allows reading of both the CD and Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) formats. The MCT80 also features an improved transport with a die-cast aluminum tray in conjunction with an advanced digital servo for faster, quieter and accurate operation. The disc audio data is read at twice the normal rate insuring better disc tracking and error correction processing
Disc Compatibility: All common disc types can be played; including SACD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW (MP3/WMA) and user generated DVD or CD data discs with music file formats including DSD (up to DSD128), WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz), FLAC, MP3 and others.
- DVD Data Disc (DSD/PCM): The MCT80 has the ability to playback a user created DVD data disc with DSD & PCM audio files. When a disc has audio tracks up to DSD128 and PCM up to 96kHz/24-bit, the digital audio signal is available at the MCT digital audio output. PCM audio tracks up to 192kHz/24-bit are available at the Optical and Coaxial digital outputs.
- CD-R/RW Discs (MP3/WMA): CD-R/RW discs with tracks recorded with MP3 and WMA Formats will playback on the MCT80 when the writing software used to create them conforms to the ISO9660 Level 1 standard.
Digital Outputs: The MCT80 includes three digital outputs in the form of one coax (RCA) and one optical (toslink) connector, along with one of McIntosh's proprietary MCT connectors.
- Optical & Coaxial Digital Outputs: The coaxial (RCA) and optical (toslink) outputs support CD audio formats up to 24-bit/192kHz. For listening to CDs, the MCT80 can be used with any product that contains a digital coaxial or optical input and a Digital to Analog Converter (DAC).
- Proprietary MCT Output: The MCT output offers a secure DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio on SACDs up to DSD128 levels. To take advantage of the MCT80's unique SACD capabilities, it must be used with select McIntosh models that have an MCT input - which includes the MXA80 Integrated Audio System and MHA150 Headphone Amplifier, plus the D1100, C52, C2600, C47 and D150 preamplifiers, as well as the MA9000 and MA8900 integrated amplifiers.
McIntosh Classic Design in a Compact Chassis: The MCT80 has the famous McIntosh illuminated glass front-panel and stainless steel super mirror finish chassis. These highly durable materials will ensure the pristine beauty of the MCT80 will be retained for many years. The MCT80 has been designed to perfectly match McIntosh's smaller sized MXA80 Integrated Audio System, MHA150 Headphone Amplifier, MB50 Streaming Audio Player, and MP100 Phono Preamplifier (each sold separately) to make a comprehensive yet compact audio system.
Front-Panel Display: The MCT80 front-panel display indicates the current disc playback status. The illumination of the front-panel is accomplished by the combination of custom designed fiber optic light diffusers and extra long life light emitting diodes (LEDs). This provides even front-panel illumination and is designed to ensure the pristine beauty of the MCT80 will be retained for many years.
IR Remote: The included IR remote control with illuminated push-buttons provides complete wireless operation of the MCT80's functions.
Custom Integration: The McIntosh MCT80 offers advanced connectivity and control features often required for custom home integration.
- Power Control: The MCT80 has the ability to automatically switch power on or off to and from source components via the Power Control In/Out connections (3.5mm).
- Data Port: The MCT80's Data Out Port (3.5mm) sends remote control signals to a McIntosh source component. This Data Port connection allows for the remote operation of basic functions using the MCT80's remote control.
- IR Input: The 3.5mm IR input allows the connection of an external IR receiver. With an external sensor connected to the MCT80, remote control operation of the system is possible from another room and/or when the MCT80 is located in a cabinet with the doors closed. The signal from a connected external IR receiver will have priority over the signal from the unit's front-panel IR sensor.
Digital Power Supply w/ Auto Power Off: The McIntosh MCT80's digital power supply and multiple regulators ensure stable noise free operation even though the power line may vary. The MCT80 incorporates an Auto Off feature, which automatically places the CD/SACD transport into the Power Saving Standby/Off Mode after approximately 30 minutes of inactivity or no audio signal.
Mounting Options: The McIntosh MCT80 can be placed upright on a table or shelf, standing on its four feet. It also can be custom installed in a piece of furniture or cabinet of your choice. The four feet may be removed from the bottom of the MCT80 when it is custom installed. Always provide adequate ventilation for your MCT80. Allow at least 2" above the top, 2" below the bottom, and 1" on each side of the CD/SACD transport, so that airflow is not obstructed.
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