Most McIntosh amplifiers, preamplifiers and integrated, have a digital module with a digital converter – DAC – where you can connect digital audio sources. But McIntosh has not had a standalone DAC before this one.
The MDA200 is simply McIntosh’s digital module with DAC, the DA2, packaged in a cabinet with its own power supply. It’s a bit more than that though, as you get analogue outputs including balanced XLR outputs, and a total of seven digital inputs.
Technically, it is based on a quad balanced 8-channel, 32-bit ESS DAC, with improved dynamic range and lower harmonic distortion.
As you can see from the back, the MDA220 has a USB input that supports DSD512 and DXD files up to 384 kHz. The other inputs, such as coaxial and optical, support up to 24-bit/192 kHz audio files. The input labeled MCT is a DIN connector, allowing you to connect McIntosh SACD/CD players with MCT output and enable the MDA200 to decode the DSD files on SACDs.
The HDMI input supports audio return (ARC) and is used when you want to connect the TV sound to the system. McIntosh has also made the MDA200 ready for Roon streamers.
The MDA200 is priced at $4,000 and will be available later this year.