McIntosh MX120 A/V Preamplifier


The MX120 is designed to be the hub of a fine home theater system combining legendary McIntosh analog two-channel performance with the latest digital audio and video signal processing and source switching. Balanced and singled-ended audio outputs are supported. Pure analog and two-channel bypass modes are provided, as is a low noise MM phono preamp. A multi-channel input is included. Balanced and unbalanced analog inputs are supported. Three optical and three coaxial digital audio inputs are provided and assignable to any audio/video input.

User Reviews (1)

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amlanc   Audio Enthusiast [May 31, 2010]

I have had many processors before, including Rotel, Classe and Aragon. But I have never had a Mcintosh and since I had HDMI to almost all components, I was keenly aware that most mac components dont support the latest spec. However, when the opportunity came by to get one brand new for a really good deal, I couldn't say no to myself and got the MX-120.

The audio quality blew my mind away. I was playing vinyl on my Clearaudio Emotion with the incredible Talisman MC cartridge and I was shocked with disbelief as to how clean the sound can be. Gone were all the pops and crackles (I did use a NANO Phono stage which was not too bad) and I was simply overwhelmed with the joy of Dave Brubeck and his magic!

Similar experience ensued when I tried a Blu-Ray Movie of Aragon. I connected my Oppo's 7.1 out to the 7.1 in of MX-120 (only 3 balanced out). I also connected the HDMI and component (believe me you will need it:)). Funny thing about MX-120 is that while all HDMI is pass through, for some reason the bios pictures doesn't show up in HDMI, there the component helps. Anyway, it's not a big deal, and I wasn't dying to see the Oppo logo. THe picture 1080p is glorious (1080p available only via passthrough). The upscaling of regular TV to 1080i is not too great and you'd be better off to set it for 720p where it does a stunning job.

Except for standard Mcintosh idiosyncrasies like setup only on main unit not via remote, NON-learning remote etc., it's a remarkable piece of design and electronics.

If you can get one for 3K or so, close your eyes and buy it. You'd save $9K from MX-150 and you'll have your audio fix. What have you got to lose?

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