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McIntosh MA5300 Integrated Amp Review | Newly updated handsets

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McIntosh MA5300 Integrated Amp Review
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Read our full McIntosh MA5300 Integrated Amp Review here: | Chat with us online: | Call for sales and support: 888.899.8776

If you’ve read many of our reviews, you’ve figured out we usually like to put a product in a far more demanding situation than you would ever normally do to see how good it can perform. We were at it again with the MA5300. We pulled out our Mark Levinson ML534 power amp and ML519 digital preamp which sell for $40K for the pair and inserted the MA5300 to drive a very hard load in the Revel Salon 2. This is a speaker that typically needs a monster amp to bring out its best.

The MA5300 did surprisingly well, especially in the sound staging area. It was able to paint a big and full soundstage that was very three dimensional. However, as we suspected, there is no 100 watt integrated amp that could ever be able to drive the Revel Salon 2 and while it had full bass, it did not have the control a big, separate power amp can deliver.

We moved things around and selected a speaker that would be more normal for the price range of the MA5300. We chose the McIntosh XR50 speaker, which is a great bookshelf speaker and as we like to say here the MA5300 made them stand up and pay attention! We had great detail with never a sense at all of harshness and the soundstage was just huge when we got the placement of the XR50’s dialed in.

The MA5300 has a sound that is like most current McIntosh gear, warm, rich, yet detailed. It also gets the timing right so you will be tapping your toes to the music on those rhythmic passages. On most speakers other than something like the challenging Revel Salon 2, it will also make you smile with its bass impact. No, it’s not as good as a 300 watt McIntosh or Mark Levinson, but when you consider how its made and what it costs, it’s pretty impressive. And don’t forget, you could, in theory, start out with the MA5300 as an all in one component, then add a much more powerful McIntosh amp to it later and continue to use it as a preamp.

The audio world is full of integrated amplifiers to choose from. We love the fact the MA5300 has the classic McIntosh look and sound, yet also has a future upgrade path with its modular digital board system. We can’t think of many $5,500 integrated amps out there with a better feature set or sound, and none have the 70+ year legacy you get with a handcrafted component from Binghamton, NY!

At Audio Advice, we love bringing home technology to life and we have been doing so for over 40 years. We were named Best Specialty A/V Retailer in the United States by TWICE Magazine and have won the Bravo award from Metro magazine for “Best Place to Buy a Home Media System” each year since its creation.

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  1. I came here from the departed movie. I had no idea these were that expensive. So that guy was getting pretty good money for being a cop

  2. does anyone can tell how the good is the headphone section of this amp, if given a rate 1 to 10 compare to mha150 would it justfy the extra cost

  3. Unfortunately the MA5300 doesn't have any OUTPUTS. Buyer beware if you have analog or digital recording decks that you want to connect. And don't use the preamp out with a Y-cable splitter to send signal to powered subwoofers (for instance). It sucks. IMHO, at this price point these kinds of things shouldn't have been ignored. I mean really, how much more could it possibly cost to add a couple of analog outputs?


  5. Any amp, regardless of make and/or price, is only as good as the speakers connected to it.

  6. I'd sell my mother to get one of these, have wanted one since the 70s , but not the pocket ..as if yet..

  7. I'm very new to this and really appreciate your thorough explanations of features and technologies.

  8. I live in Syracuse. I don't think I've ever heard it mentioned in a YouTube video haha!

  9. I am impressed with the McIntosh factory. They make almost everything there. Want to get an amp. Thanks for good review.

  10. They use less quality components than before, including power Suply.
    Economists are destroying the world

    And bring back analog VUs… for Christ sake,

  11. Wow! Didnt even know yall were still in Raleigh, my hometown. Bought my first pair of Sennheiser headphones for 80bucks back in 80 something and still gottem! In Winston Salem now but will be visiting you guys soon. Hope you treat us old construction workers with more respect than I get here in Winston. Like Audio just like the rich people . Glad you guys are still here. Always got good service back in the day!

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