Ah yes, McIntosh has had the awesome MB100 digital music server for a while now. Lovely piece, works like a charm, that will be $6000 sir. It’s a great piece of equipment for those needing the features such as the internal hard drive and custom install features, but most people these days are looking for something less costly that excels at streaming and can play files from a network drive (NAS).
Enter the new McIntosh MB50 digital streamer:
Priced at $2000, this little guy is perfect for those looking to add high performance streaming to their McIntosh system. It’s even wireless itself! Note the cute little antenna’s! You teach the MB50 your network id/password, and you control it with a great app called DTS Play-Fi. I think for streaming it’s one of the nicest and simplest interfaces around. In addition, it has a cool, somewhat unsung feature, in that it can actually take an ANALOG source and convert that to digital? Why on EARTH is this important? We’ll if you have a McIntosh D100 or D150 digital preamplifier, the MB50 will allow you to connect up an analog device such as your beloved old McIntosh MR78 tuner! It will convert the analog sound of the MR78 to digital and send that digital signal to your D100/D150. Nice!
But the real story, the one we really care about, is that it can stream from all the big services out there: Amazon Music (terrific playlists!), Spotiy, Rasphody, and the true-cd resolution Tidal. Tidal music is a streaming service that for $20 a month, you have access to 25 million music tracks at honest to gosh full CD resolution (as in 1411 kbps).
Tidal is terrific because it also has beautiful artwork and all the messy, boring, painful, frustrating work of entering/fixing your song metadata is taken care of for you. The elves at Tidal have done all of that for you, letting enjoy 25 million tracks of perfectly tagged and artworked music! It’s like having a hifi butler.
The MB50 is an excellent complement to your existing McIntosh system. You can add the MB50 to a D150 or D100 digital preamplifier, MDA1000 DAC, MCD500/MCD550 CD players or the C2500/C2600 preamplifiers. You just connect them with a 75ohm digital cable (preferrably a McIntosh one!). Below we have the MB50 connected to our store D150 digital preamplifier. This creates an outstanding streaming solution from McIntosh. The D150 can connect to a preamplifier as a normal source component, but also directly to an amplifier since it has a volume control. One of my favorite pairings in the store is the McIntosh D150 directly connected to a McIntosh MC275 amplifier, shown below:
We have the little mity-mite here in the store and would love to give you a tour!