McIntosh MC462 Stereo Power Amplifier Review

MCINTOSH MC462 amplifier

In our latest article, we wrote about our assessments regarding the testing of the McIntosh MC462 power amplifier. McIntosh did not start designing and manufacturing audio devices today, they have been working since 1949 to make their products appeal to all hi-fi enthusiasts.

Let’s take a closer look at the McIntosh power amplifier

The MC462 power amplifier has 2 channels and the output power is 450 Watt at 2,4 or 8 Ohm. Autoformer technology ensures stable operation and 450 watts of power per channels. Compared to its predecessor, the performance has not changed, but the filter capacity has been increased by 50%, resulting in a more precise and clear basses range. Red LED lights indicate automatic standby. If the amplifier does not detect a signal for 30 minutes, it switches to auto standby mode, which is an energy-saving and environmentally friendly function. The amplifier can handle even the most complex speakers.

Versatile protection and many features

MCINTOSH MC462 amplifier back

Just like a protective escort, the Power Guard function protects the speakers from distortion throughout their lifespan. Sentry Monitor protects the power amplifier from overload and short circuit. Quad Balanced is there to extinguish noises, while the Power Control inputs and outputs allow you to control multiple McIntosh devices at the same time. Solid Chinch gold-plated speaker connections can also accommodate a banana plug, fork, or direct cable.

Attractive, clean design

The device is designed to cope with contemporary requirements, featuring a stripped-down and pure style. The housing is made of stainless steel, the stained glass front panel is equipped with LED backlighting, and there are a logo illuminated in green, equipped with aluminium handles, 2 control buttons and power meters with blue backlighting on the front. Behind the front panel are the 2 Autoformer and the mains transformer. The semiconductors are connected directly to the heavily sized heat sink to ensure efficient heat conduction. The power amplifier is equipped with symmetrical and asymmetrical inputs and outputs. The device stands on 4 rubber feet. The weight of the power amplifier is quite heavy, 52.3 kg. It seems not to be a waste of time exercising with heavy weights at the gym before we decide to move our McIntosh amplifier around.

“AB” class amplifier

It combines the advantages of the “A” and “B” classes, i.e. the level of distortion remains low with good efficiency.

Let’s rock and roll!
MCINTOSH MC462 front

We were looking forward to start the audio tests of the McIntosh MC462 amplifier, the happy new owner promised us to organise as an inauguration of his latest acquisition intended to complete his home theatre system. The testing session took place in an old, brick-built condominium. B&W Diamond 802 speakers provided the sound coming from the amplifier. The room was acoustically almost completely ideal, and following our acoustic measurements we suggested the owner to add a few more diffusers on the walls.

At the request of our customer, we started the testing with the performance of 3 tenors. The names of Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo are a guarantee for wonderful arias. We put on the O Sole Mio and were propelled to the sunny hillsides and small villages of beautiful Italy. Each of the songs performed by the 3 amazing singers sounded perfect, clear, dynamic. We did not hear any noise or distortion even when we adjusted the volume.

We listened to one of the most beautiful arias in Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly afterwards. The Grand Aria was interpreted by Maria Callas, of course, an unsurpassed voice of incommensurable beauty. The amplifier was not at all afraid of the task, every frequency ranges sounded beautiful, definite, and in addition we received a vivid, but precise sound image. The unlimited dynamics were absolutely astonishing.

The famous musical Mamma Mia-Here we go again, written based on the hits of the band ABBA, hit the screens in 2018. The MC462 was awesome and we could enjoy extremely detailed, spacious, full and realistic sounds. The bass was intense, the sound turned out to be contrasted and authentic. The device provided accurate and distortion-free performances.


We were not disappointed with the capabilities of the McIntosh MC462 power amplifier. Honestly, the outstanding performance did not came as a surprise as we had previously tested the manufacturer’s other products, so we already had some idea of ​​what to expect. The unlimited dynamics are simply astounding and stunning. We couldn’t find any errors in the sound. The sound image was clear, detailed and spacious. This model is the most muscular amplifier from McIntosh. As a negative, we would mention its rather bulky size and high price. Due to its respectable weight and size, it should preferably not be placed on a light, Scandinavian shelf.


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