Phono preamplifier for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges with USB output
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Our take on the McIntosh MP100 by Crutchfield's Eric Angevine
The McIntosh MP100 offers fine control over load matching so you can get the best possible sound out of your record collection.
Precision gain control for your cherished vinyl
Getting the best possible sound out of your turntable can be a delicate dance. You want your phono preamp to boost the signal coming from the tonearm enough to pull out all of the wonderful nuances of the music. But raise the overall gain too much, and you raise the noise floor as well. The beautiful McIntosh MP100 gives you the fine control you need to boost the output of your moving magnet or moving coil cartridge to the point of perfection. And like every piece McIntosh makes, its looks are beautiful and refined — just like the sounds it coaxes out of your beloved vinyl collection.
Ready for anything
You'll notice right away that the MP100 has two large knobs on the front panel: one for matching the load capacitance to a moving magnet cartridge, and another for matching the load resistance to a moving coil cartridge. Dialing in the value to your specific cartridge will minimize hiss and noise for the cleanest possible sound. Having access to these adjustments also means that this workhorse of a phono preamp will continue to work for you even if you change cartridges or turntables.
Make solid connections
The MP100 has plenty of connections, for use with virtually all kinds of audio systems. Check out the back panel and you'll see a left, right, and ground input just for moving magnet cartridges, and a separate input for moving coil cartridges. There's a pair of balanced XLR outputs alongside unbalanced analog RCAs. Equipped with its own high-quality built-in analog-to-digital conversion, the MP100 lets you play your records on digital components that are downstream in your system. There are optical and coaxial outputs, as well as a USB Type-B output for archiving vinyl records onto your computer's hard drive.
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.
Need a cable?
This phono preamp does not come with an RCA cable to connect to your receiver or amp.
- phono preamp with analog and digital outputs
- separate control dials for matching the load of moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridges
- signal-to-noise ratio: 80dB (MM)/78dB (MC)
- selectable mono or stereo output
- bright LED indicator alerts you to signal clipping
- adjustable high and low digital output selector
- standby button helps conserve power
- fluorescent front-panel display with adjustable brightness
- handcrafted at McIntosh's Binghamton, New York factory
- discrete left/right and ground inputs for moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) phono cartridges
- pair of balanced XLR outputs
- pair of unbalanced RCA outputs
- coaxial digital output
- optical digital output
- USB Type-B digital output (24-bit/96kHz) for connecting to a computer
- triggered power input and output lets you turn on all of your McIntosh gear at once
Dimensions and Warranty:
- 11-1/2"W x 3-5/16"H x 13-3/4"D
- weight: 8.6 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Phono preamp
- AC power cord
I was amazed how the MP100 opened up without being too bright or "mechanical" sounding. I still have more hours to break it in and with each hours it just seems to get better.
Jim, Greer, SC
McIntosh MP100 Reviews
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Phono Preamplifier: The MP100 is the first dedicated phono preamplifier from McIntosh. Designed to help both new and experienced vinyl lovers get the most fidelity, performance, and enjoyment from their albums. Its a great choice for someone new to vinyl, for someone with an older home audio system wanting to add modern phono capabilities, or for someone looking to add phono playback to a home theater system.
Moving Coil (MC) & Moving Magnet (MM) Inputs: The MP100 has two precision phono preamplifier circuits, one for Moving Coil (MC) Phono Cartridges and the other for Moving Magnet (MM) Cartridges. Both phono inputs have selectable loading. The circuits use the latest designs providing the lowest possible noise and distortion. The close tolerance resistors and capacitors used in the RIAA Correction Equalization Circuitry provides an extremely flat frequency response.
- MM Load (PF) Setting: The MM LOAD (PF) Control with indicators is used to select the capacitive value in picofarads added to the input signal path for a flat frequency response from the connected Moving Magnet phono cartridge. Set to 50, 100, 150, 200, 300, or 400 picofarads.
- MC Load (Ohms) Setting: The MC LOAD (OHMS) Control with indicators is used to select the resistive value in ohms added to the input signal path for a flat frequency response from the connected Moving Coil phono cartridge. Set 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, or 1k Ohms.
Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: The balanced XLR outputs allow the connection using long cable lengths without a loss in sound quality. The MP100 also has unbalanced RCA output connections for compatibility with a wide range of audio components.
Note: The balanced and unbalanced outputs may be used simultaneously and connected to different preamplifiers or component recording devices.
24-Bit/96kHz Analog-to-Digital Converter: The MP100's internal analog-to-digital converter circuitry is designed to encode 2-channel PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) digital audio signals. The digital outputs (Optical, Coaxial, & USB-B) are fixed at 24-bit/96kHz to capture the full dynamic range of a record while optimizing digital file size.
Note: The phono preamp's digital circuitry can be switched off, providing a true analog only signal processing.
Optical & Coaxial Digital Outputs: The McIntosh MP100 is fitted with one optical (toslink) digital output & one coaxial (RCA) digital output. The digital outputs encode 2ch PCM Signals from the selected Phono input. The optical & coaxial outputs process digital audio signals at 96kHz with 24-Bit resolution. The digital outputs have two different output levels settings - Low or High.
USB-B Port For "Ripping": The McIntosh MP100 is equipped with a USB-B port for connecting the phono preamp to your computer. When used with a properly configured conversion program, the MP100 can "rip" your vinyl records to a computer via USB to produce high quality digital music files. The USB-B port provides digital audio signals at 96kHz with 24-Bit resolution from the selected Phono input.
Note: The MP100's USB-B output is compatible with Windows PC (7/8.1/10) and Mac (OS 10.6.8 or later). When using a Windows PC, a special McIntosh USB Audio Software Driver will need to be installed on the computer.
Clipping Indicator: If an album has a very loud section, the clipping indicator will alert you so you can lower the digital output in order to produce a distortion-free recording.
Mono Button: The Mono button combines the left and right channel signals for a monophonic sound.
Electromagnetic Input Switching: Digital Logic Circuits drive electromagnetic switches on inputs and operating functions for reliable, noiseless, distortion free switching.
Power Control Connections: The Power Control connections (3.5mm Trigger In/3.5mm Trigger Out) provide convenient Turn-On/Off synced operation with other McIntosh audio components.
Multi-Regulated Power Supply: The multi-regulated power supply ensures stable noise free operation even though the power line varies.
LED Front Panel Illumination: The even Illumination of the front panel is accomplished by multiple extra long life Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) arranged with a special orientation.
Glass Front Panel & Stainless Steel Chassis: The famous McIntosh illuminated glass front panel and the stainless steel chassis with super mirror finish ensures the pristine beauty of the MP100 will be retained for many years.
Mounting Options: The MP100 Phono Preamplifier is designed to be placed upright on a table or shelf, standing on its feet. Do not install the MP100 directly above a heat generating device, such as a power amplifier. Allow at least 1" above the top, 7/8"below the bottom and 1" on each side of the MP100, so that airflow is not obstructed. Allow 16.75" of depth for airflow and cable connections.
Auto Off Feature: The MP100 incorporates an Auto Off Feature, which automatically places the phono preamplifier into the Power Saving Standby/Off Mode. This occurs approximately 30 minutes after there has been an absence of an audio signal & user activity.
Our Product Research Team
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Why did you buy this?
Various online reviews. [ Brian Nov 13, 2018 ]
Quality [ craig Aug 04, 2018 ]
Reputation, previous product ownership [ MS. May 29, 2018 ]
I trust the McIntosh brand [ John Jan 28, 2018 ]
quality [ Linda Jan 27, 2018 ]
McIntosh has outstanding quality. McIntosh products are very expensive but they hold their resale value very well. The added digital facility makes the analog holdout product integrable with modern systems as well. The MM and MC load matching ere necessary functions in a universal phono input stage. [ JOHN Mar 25, 2017 ]