McIntosh MC3500 AC: Woodstock tradition of tube mono

the American manufacturer McIntosh presents McIntosh MC3500 AC: Woodstock tradition of tube mono offers very good sound

With the tube mono amplifier MC3500 Mk II AC, the American manufacturer McIntosh presents an uncompromising amp, the original version of which, the MC3500, ensured one thing at the legendary Woodstock Festival despite the chaotic conditions: very good sound.

McIntosh MC3500 Mk II AC: Technology and Concept

It is a thoroughbred tube amplifier, which is technically based on the original version, but equipped with contemporary components and technologies. Among other things, they come Unity Coupled Circuit Output Transformers are used, which provide the 350 watts of power that can be called up according to the data sheet regardless of the impedance (taps for 2, 4 and 8 ohms are available) of the connected loudspeakers.

The tube assembly of the McIntosh MC3500 Mk II AC mono power amplifier

The scarce 55 kilograms Heavy bundles of joy has a fully symmetrical driver section with a 12AT7 and three 12AX7A tubes, the power stage is realized with eight selected EL509S, which are supposed to sound similar to the 6LQ6 built into the original amp.

McIntosh has also thought of operational safety: a special sensor monitors the screen grid current in the output tubes. If this increases too much, a circuit attenuates the input signal in real time so that the tubes always run in a safe working area. Another monitor permanently monitors the output current and, if necessary, switches the amplifier off if certain limit values ​​are exceeded. With the classic blue VU meter the upper scale shows the output power, while the lower shows the warm-up time.

McIntosh MC3500 AC: tube mono and original version

On the left the original from the Woodstock Museum – on the right-front the MC3500 Mk II AC in today’s incarnation

They are also impressive for a tube device of this type technical data: McIntosh, for example, gives only 0.3% THD at full load and a linear frequency response (deviation max. 0.5 dB) of 20 Hz – 20 kHz; even at 10 Hz – 70 kHz, the maximum deviation is 3 dB.

Of course, all of this has its price: for a pair it becomes the McIntosh MC3500 Mk II AC 38,000 euros due, they are expected to be available in stores in the second half of February 2022.