The ultimate Audioscore for McIntosh 452 AC Review

Audio Score – Mcintosh MC 452 AC – Audio Components – Review

Audioscore McIntosh
Audio Score – MC 452 AC – Audio Components Review
Mcintosh MC 452 AC Audioscaleurs

Mcintosh MC 452 AC Audioscaleurs

The Mcintosh MC 452 is a two channel, high-end audio power amplifier.

In the Mcintosh Line-Up it used to be the flagship two-channel stereo amplifier from 2012 until 2018. It was replaced by its successor, the MC462, with a price of around USD 8000, when introduced. It was significantly more expensive on the European market, coming in at up to €12.495 in 2018.

For me it is hard to imagine a more beautiful two channel power amplifier

With a weight of 110 pounds (49.9kG) or 140 pounds (64.9kG) packaged, the amplifier is the heaviest one I have ever owned. The weight of the amp makes it almost impossible to move it around without the help of a friend. However, Mcintosh equips their top end models with handles, which definitely make it easier to carry it with 2 people. Let me start with a little bit of history on Mcintosh, before we start with the A3S score of the MC452. This amplifier is equipped with the so called “quad balanced” design. Mcintosh has changed the naming of this technology over the years from “balanced” to “double balanced” and now “quad balanced”. The principle is quite extraordinary, because it eliminates noise and harmonic distortion by letting amplifier pairs run “against” each other. This means heavy investments in parts, because you essentially build four amps for a two-channel power amp, in this case each putting out 225 Mcintosh watts. The result is a fully balanced design from input to output. Mcintosh first introduced this feature with the Monoblock MC 1000 in 1992. Over the years, Mcintosh has kept this technology for their flagships. In comparison to their conventional transistor power amps with “autoformers” the difference in THD is a couple DB’s.

Moving back to the MC 452, I am now going to talk about my own unit, which I bought last year at Hifi Audio in Düsseldorf. If you ever have the chance to check out hifi-audio in Düsseldorf, please do. They are not only very competent, but also have a huge selection of high-end stuff. For the last 20 years, I have been a happy customer and can highly recommend a personal visit or digital on:

This review is quite simple, with 3 main chapters:

The Audio Scaleurs Sight & Sound Score, or The A3S-Score
Download the A3S-Score

This A3S – score review is quite simple, with 3 main chapters: 

  • The first part SIGHT focusses on the score of the device. Based on my personal experience, I will rate the preamp in various categories, give a score for the current value and the give it an audio-score. The total score is 40 points maximum.
  • The second part focusses on the SOUND aspects of the device, with a maximum of 50 points. 
  • Last, we have the VALUE part, that accounts for 10 points.

If you would like me to feature your device, please feel free to contact me or visit my website

Time for the Audio Components Review!

I currently own this device and use it with my Mcintosh C49. It makes me happy and I am sure the 452 will stay a while, unless I get convinced of the better. Because the better is the worst enemy of the good, right? I hope you enjoyed this review and come back for more content.

Ps, you need an audioscore for your equipment? Contact me.



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