McIntosh Unveils DA2 Audio Upgrade Module

The DA2 digital audio module McIntosh introduced within July with the release of its C53 preamplifier is now available for installation in McIntosh products equipped with the company’s original DA1 module.

McIntosh says the DA2 is its most advanced audio processing module. Products that can be upgraded include the MAC7200 receiver, C49 preamplifier, and four integrated amplifiers — the MA9000, MA8900, MA7200, and MA5300. The module comes standard with the C53 and C2700 preamps.

Upgrading to the DA2 costs $1,000 and the installation must be performed by a trained technician at an authorized McIntosh dealer or service agency.

The DA2 provides the same digital connections as the DA1 — two coaxial, two optical, one USB, and an MCT connector — but adds an expanded set of capabilities, including native support of DSD files up to DSD512 (the DA1 is limited to DSD256) and an audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) for establishing a simple, two-way connection with an ARC-equipped TV, which allows volume to be controlled through the McIntosh component and enables a lip-syncing function that keeps audio and video in sync.

The DA2 is built around a quad-balanced, eight-channel 32-bit digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) for improved dynamic range and lower distortion compared with the DA1. Its coaxial and optical inputs support 24-bit/192-kHz audio playback and the USB input supports DXD up to 384 kHz. The proprietary MCT connection is for use with McIntosh’s MCT series of SACD/CD transports.

The module also converts Dolby and DTS multichannel audio formats for stereo playback and allows the TV’s remote to control the power and volume of the connected McIntosh unit when CEC communication is enabled.

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