The MP1100 Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier will give vinyl lovers a new level of musical enjoyment and exhilaration. It’s filled to the brim with everything you need to not only play new records or pressings from the early days of vinyl, but it will also get every last musical note and nuance out of them – including some you may have never heard before.
The MP1100 is designed first and foremost for analog audio and achieves our most accurate equalization ever. It utilizes four 12AX7A vacuum tubes, with 2 tubes used per channel in a fully balanced configuration – making it our very first fully balanced vacuum tube phono stage. For those with multiple turntables or tonearms, there are 3 sets of RCA phono inputs; XLR connectors are also available on 1 of the inputs. All phono inputs allow for adjusting both resistance (7 settings) and capacitance (8 settings). For ease of use, it comes pre-programmed with profiles for Moving Coil and Moving Magnet cartridges as well as the McIntosh MT10 and MT5 turntables. Five additional profiles are included that are fully customizable and can be assigned to any phono input. RIAA, LP, NAB, AES and 78 analog equalization curves are included.
Two fairly rare but highly useful analog filters are built-in: a Rumble Filter helps remove noise that may have seeped into a song during the recording process; while a Scratch Filter can help restore the sound of frequently-played records that may have become a little worn, or records that may have some damage. Adjustable gain from 40dB to 64dB allows for further customization, while a Mono setting permits proper playback of mono recordings. In addition, there’s a pair each of balanced and unbalanced high level inputs for connecting other sources. For connecting to the rest of your audio system, there are a pair each of balanced and unbalanced stereo outputs.
Not to completely overlook the merits of digital audio, the MP1100 has an optical, coaxial and USB output. These digital outputs are fixed at 24-bits and can be set to either 96kHz or 192kHz. When used with a properly configured conversion program, the USB output can be used to “rip” your albums to your computer. Our digital output clipping indicator will notify you when distortion caused by loud sections in a song is being recorded to the file, allowing you to adjust your settings in order to create pristine, distortion free digital versions of your albums. For pure analog use, the digital outputs can be completely disabled and powered down.
To combat noise, the MP1100 features a dual mono design with the left and right audio channels electrically and mechanically isolated from each other while the power supplies are electronically separated. It can be paired with any preamplifier, integrated amplifier or home theater processor that includes volume control. An ideal match is our C1100 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier which also has a dual mono design; both also share the same polished stainless steel and hairline brushed black Titanium stainless steel chassis to create a cohesive appearance. Classic McIntosh design cues complete the MP1100.
“In essence, this is a phono stage that has it all, except for a volume control. It matches any cartridge, will run three turntables at once, can be adjusted on the fly using remote control and it even has bright blue output meters to warn of overload if mis-set. Add in a 24/192 high resolution digital output so LPs can be digitally archived or turned into files for phone or portable player and you have it all. Just add in a great sound, compatibility with rare historical recordings and even an option to run fully balanced, input to output and you start to see what is on offer and why it is so priced. My dreams never got so far but others could manage better by listening to the new MP1100. It has the lot.”
Like all McIntosh equipment, the MP1100 is a safe purchase. The long list of user-friendly features combined with the naturally conservative McIntosh house sound makes it an easy decision for the McIntosh owner. For those new to McIntosh, the MP1100 is a serious contender in its price range. The MP1100 will not be my last phono preamplifier, but it is one which I intend to keep and treasure for a very long time. Highly Recommended.