McIntosh A116A Amplifiers


The McIntosh A116A amplifier is a mono, tube 30 watt amplifier. This was McIntosh's first amplifier for the home audiophile market. Speaker connections for 0.5, 4, 8, 16. The A116A has a gray hammertone chassis. The tubes are comprised of: 6BG6 (2), 12AX7, 12AU7, 12BH7 and 5U4GA. It is 8"X12" and slightly over 8" high. The weight is approximately 35 pounds and it was sold in 1953 and 1954.

User Reviews (1)

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convivialist   AudioPhile [Aug 14, 2011]

I purchased this pair of A116A amplifiers over the period of a couple of years and intended to play with them and then sell them after seeing what 1954 sounded like.

In order to see how they worked after expert servicing by a McIntosh trained tech, I used my McIntosh 110 as a preamp and tuner. I wired them to my HT-1 McIntosh Speakers because these large speakers were already in the test area. Each one of these HT-1 speakers has two long throw 8" woofers and 3 dome tweeters. I assumed these speakers (Note: HT-1 speakers are rated 300 wpc) would sound sluggish and underpowered with my 30 wpc A116A amps.

So what happened? I plugged the A116A amps into the wall and waited for the amps to warm. The tuner in the 110 was tuned to the world's best Jazz station -- 91.1 FM in Toronto, Canada. The quality of sound from the A116As and the HT-1s was simply stunning - in a very good way. The bass response was tight and bold. The 3 tweeters lit up with that beautiful, lifelike Mac sound. I then put on a symphony (Beethoven's 6th) and found that the large soundstage was quite surprising and satisfying. Then I tried some Sinatra - and again, the sound was splendid.

I must not be the only person that has noticed these amps are superb because the prices for them have been going up dramatically. Even at the current stratospheric prices (i.e., about $2000 each), they are worth the money. My pair of A116As has a couple of imperfections in the paint on the corners, but overall, they look beautiful even with a couple of imperfections. The finish shined up with car polish and the tubes reflect off of the hammered gray finish like rhinestones. I have heard that some of these units have been reworked" with too many changes and do not sound as the old ones do.

Post Script: When I took some photos of the A116As a few months ago in preparation for listing them for sale, my wife said, "I like the way those amps sound. Are you sure you want to sell them? You'll never find another pair of those, so why don't you keep them?" ....must have been a bit of MacMagic to make her say that. She's not an audio fan. I am not one to argue with a good wife, so here they stay and I love them.

I just finished listening to Copeland's "common man"; and now as I listen to Louis Armstrong on my unlikely discovery system (i.e., A116As, HT-1s and 110 pre/tuner), I realize again how lucky I am.

These are great amps and hold their own beautifully with the other Mac famous tube audio.

Good listening to all and thanks to all for listening.

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