Two-in-One: A Reference Level DAC and a Reference Level CD Player

Two-in-One: A Reference Level DAC and a Reference Level CD Player
originally posted
by: Alex Hu 
May 11, 2022

Announcing the MCD12000 SACD/CD Player

US MSRP: $12,000

Bring all your digital music to life with the new McIntosh MCD12000 SACD/CD Player.

Highlights of the MCD12000:

A reference level DAC that includes a reference level CD Player

(2) 32-bit/8-channel professional grade DACs

7 digital inputs

USB input supports up to 32-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD512 and DXD384kHz

All outputs are driven by discrete amplifiers or a blend of vacuum tubes and discrete amplifiers

Balanced & unbalanced analog outputs in both solid-state & vacuum tube configurations

Back of the MCD12000

While classified as a CD player, it is better to think of the MCD12000 as a reference level Digital-to-Analog convertor (DAC) that includes reference level SACD/CD playback capabilities. Music played through any of the MCD12000's digital inputs or from compact discs is processed by professional grade 8-channel DACs designed for premium audiophile performance and recording studios. The MCD12000 is the perfect DAC and SACD/CD Player to use with the reference level C12000 Preamplifier or MA12000 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier.

MCD12000 CD Player Up Close

At the heart of the MCD12000 are two ESS SABRE PRO ES9038PRO 32-bit/8-channel DACs, with one DAC dedicated to the left audio channel, and the other DAC dedicated to the right audio channel. Each DAC uses ESS’ patented HyperStream® II architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to deliver an unprecedented performance level that will satisfy the needs of the most demanding digital audio applications. Each ES9038PRO is configured in Octal-Balanced Mono mode where the DAC’s eight outputs are used to drive the analog audio, resulting in outstanding sound quality. Separate digital and analog power supplies keep the power and audio signals free from cross contamination, while a specially constructed R-Core power transformer minimizes noise radiation.

MCD12000 (bottom) with two-chassis C12000 Preamplifier

There are seven digital inputs on the MCD12000: two coax, two optical, plus one USB (Type B) for computer based audio, one AES/EBU, and one MCT input which can be used with any of our existing MCT SACD/CD Transports that you may already have. The coax and optical inputs support up to 24-bit/192kHz. The USB input supports up to 32-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD512 and DXD384kHz.

The MCD12000 offers both balanced and unbalanced fixed analog outputs in both solid-state and vacuum tube configurations. This abundance of output options gives you the flexibility to decide which to use based on the music selection, the audio components in the rest of your home audio system, and your personal sound preferences.

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