McIntosh MCD 500

Americans have more or less invented the “posing”. And so also the McIntosh engineers let like flexing their muscles naked and for all to read: on the cover of the MCD 500 they print the simplified circuit diagram of the player. Look, the proud buyer, so the digital signal under this hood flows. A wonderful sight for half technicians, fascinating like the hieroglyphics at the entrance to the pyramid of the Pharaoh. You can guess the magic, but is not bothered with too many details.

  1. McIntosh MCD 500
  2. Data sheet

We stalk us further from outside to inside. Which all in touch come: drawer, mechanics, drive. Up to 2000 euro in the player class there are uncaring collapse depressions. The producers follow the compulsion of money. The development of a private drive eats huge amounts of money. Every business student would advise here to the standard drive from Sony or Philips. May it not even think Accuphase and McIntosh. Accuphase builds itself, McIntosh uses a modified drive by the Group sister Denon.
For all those who now surprised frown: Yes, McIntosh was a holding company incorporated, which houses also the Denon and Marantz. This detail has noted already AUDIO in the test of the better player MCD 301 (11/08). The little brother of the MCD 500 rotates his silver discs in a converted, encapsulated Denon drive. What sets the MCD 500 about: again new servos were developed, the entire drive is fully covered, all data will be read at double speed and buffered in the store, before it goes to the conversion. Here McIntosh puts it on a chip also American-made with the abbreviation 9008 S. Only one? Already, but what for one: 8 single converter plug into the 9008, as already indicated in the model number,. Where is each one, otherwise, can count as the cheap multi-channel codecs such as surround receivers to the converter the world elite.
It is even better when running like McIntosh half of this converter octets per channel in double differential mode, where any rest scatters out funds to and moves the noise in even greater distance from the listening area. That the 9008er chip offers a digital volume control, doesn’t the Mac developers, however. Instead, the Americans before the controlled output switch on an analog level attenuator chip. As a clear sign emblazoned therefore on the front right a full-fledged, large volume. The MCD 500 stands out with two unique features: he lures his audience with a superb headphone out and just this volume. The new player’s flagship in the McIntosh Gallery could, can and should be tested once on a power amplifier.
When ESA-Pekka Salonen on SACD his musician and sound technician in Stravinsky’s “Sacre you Printemps” crashes, then you want to hear the bass drum as a fur-covered monster in the back corner of the concert hall and just not as diffused rumblings. The McIntosh made most exemplary in our test. He gave the pose of the muscle man. Each approach of “Bacon” sound was hateful to him. Fascinating, as the noble, austere but extremely demanding dynamic in “Home” by friend ‘n’ fellow traced (AUDIO-CD “Great music Vol. IV”, legendary recordings of the 1990s). If not so ideal canned rock music that could route but also merciless hardness on the boxes. The MCD 500 by McIntosh knew no negotiable in his sporty approach. Also not a tends to be ‘soft’ Sibelius Symphony, in the you like relaxed about a Finnish Lake landscape would like to glide with the “crane” theme of the fifth.
At all – the art to get the most out of each silver disc: the logic says that the high bit signal of the SACD and the old PCM huge should differences between. These two player while celebrating the power of “Super Audio”, lift the CD but almost on the same level. We amazed and pleased when looking in our “old” CD-collection.
McIntosh MCD 500

Manufacturer McIntosh
Price €8000.00
Rating 130.0 points
Test procedure 1.0

Technical data and test results

Dimensions (W x H x D) Height depth 44.5 x 15.0 x 42.0 cm
Weight 12.8 kg
Playback MP3
HDCD playback
Learning with display / remote control / / FB without display
Volume control
CD text display
Tube output stages
Title overview
ID3 tag display
Repetition Title, CD, A-B
Car space
Speaker size adjustable SACD
Level Setup SACD
Time correction SACD
Built-in multichannel decoder, SACD
Digital outputs i-link 0
RCA audio (stereo) 2
5.1 output (RCA) No
5.1 output (XLR) available No
Digital output ST No
Digital inputs Yes
Headphone output / adjustable /
Measured values
CD output voltage (0 dB FS) 2.2 V
Output resistance 591 ohm
Noise ratio (A-weighted) CD 117 dB
Noise ratio (A-weighted) SACD 115 dB
Error correction information layer CD 2.30 mm
Error correction surface CD 2.30 mm
Jitter CD 612 picoseconds
Power consumption standby / operating 1.5 / 22.6 W
The sportive: dynamic rich sound, fascinating direct
no mercy with poorly produced CDs
Sound CD 130
Sound SACD outstanding 135
Facilities outstanding
Operation Very good
Processing outstanding
Sound judgment well over 130
tested in 4 / 09