Sound+Image

McIntosh tubes for cans

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Ahigh-quality dedicated headphone amplifier is often a pleasure for the ears, but when it’s a McIntosh model glowing green with one pair of 12AT7 dual-triode valves and two more 12BH7A valves, it’s a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.

The McIntosh HA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier retails at $4995, with three options for attaching your headphones: a standard quarter-inch jack socket, a 4-pin balanced XLR connector for balanced stereo output, plus a pair of 3-pin balanced XLR connectors for dedicated left and right balanced output.

The 12AT7 vacuum tubes amplify the incoming audio signal while the 12BH7A tubes provide the power to drive the output to your headphones with low distortion, downstream of a pair of McIntosh’s Unity Coupled Circuit output transforme­rs, which have been adapted to produce four headphone impedance ranges: 32-100Ω, 100-250Ω, 250-600Ω or 600-1000Ω. These can be selected by the knob on the unit’s left, while the right-hand knob controls the volume. There are both balanced and unbalanced inputs available.

More info: www.synergyaud­io.com

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