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McIntosh MCT80

Stereo SACD/CD transport (no DAC onboard)

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Item # 958MCT80

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Our take on the McIntosh MCT80

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.

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:

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.

Product Highlights:

  • 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:
  • 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

What's in the Box:

  • CD/SACD transport
  • 6' AC power cord
  • 4' Digital MCT cable
  • Remote control
  • Owner's Manual
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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Disc Capacity 1
CD Transport Only Yes
Disc Exchange N/A
Track Programming 10
Random Play Single Disc
Disc Naming No
Direct Track Access Remote
Direct Disc Access N/A
Remote Included
Display Color Green
Multiple CD Player Control ---
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years
CD-R Playback Yes
CD-RW Playback Yes
MP3 Playback Yes
SACD Playback 2-Channel
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
Digital Optical Output 1
Digital Coaxial Output 1
Headphone None

Product Research


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.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

1 question already asked

The MCT-80 features both optical and coax digital audio outputs so, yes, you will be able to connect it to your external DAC. I hope that helps. My bio: [ Ryan  Jan 06, 2018 ]  Staff

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