McIntosh MC252 Solid State Amplifier With 250WPC


One of the most compact high power amps made by McIntosh, and one of the best looking in our opinion featuring 3D glass and heavy aluminum end caps.  

Super capable and full of features. Would cost you over $9k to buy a new equivalent Mc amplifier today, plus you'd have to wait about a year to get one.

Very clean with only the slightest signs of use. 

Condition is very good, glass is perfect, and chrome is super clean. Both VU meters are bright and responsive, and the end caps are free from any deep dings.

Tested in our lab where it produced a rated clean 250W per side without drama or strain. 

Some lettering is worn on the rear panel, and we've found this is common for McIntosh pieces of this era during the early transition from a chrome plated chassis to stainless steel.

This MC252 will ship in an official McIntosh double box which is currently on order from the factory, the only way to ensure safe travels. 

Please check out our full video on this amplifier:

Click below to add our recommended matching cables from Kimber Kable, all brand new as SkyFi is an official Kimber dealer.

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best

Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Better

Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Best

Kimber Kable - Speaker Cables - Better

Kimber Summit Series Monocle XL Speaker Cables (PAIR) - Best

Kimber Summit Series BiFocal XL Bi-Wire Speaker Cables (PAIR) - Best If Applicable 

Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Better

Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Best 

McIntosh Performance Features Include:
• Power Output
The MC252 consists of two separate power amplifier channels, each capable of 250 watts into 2, 4 or 8 ohm speakers with less than 0.005% distortion. The two channels can be combined into a single channel with 500 watts into 1, 2, 4, 8 or 16 ohm speakers with less than 0.005% distortion.

• Patented Autoformers
The McIntosh designed and manufactured Output Autoformers provide an ideal match between the amplifier output stage and speaker loads of 2, 4 and 8 ohms. The Autoformers also provide perfect DC protection for your valuable Loudspeakers.

• Patented Power Guard
The patented McIntosh Power Guard Circuit prevents the amplifier from being over driven into clipping, with its harsh distorted sound that can also damage your valuable Loudspeakers.

• Patented Sentry Monitor with Thermal Protection
McIntosh Sentry Monitor power output stage protection circuits ensure the MC252 will have a long and trouble free operating life. Built-in Thermal Protection Circuits guard against overheating.

Click here for a PDF copy of the McIntosh MC252 Owner's Manual

Power Output Stereo
Minimum sine wave continuous average power output per channel, all channels operating is:
250 watts into 2 ohm load
250 watts into 4 ohm load
250 watts into 8 ohm load

Power Output Mono Bridged
Minimum sine wave continuous average power output is: 500 watts into 4 ohm load
500 watts into 8 ohm load
500 watts into 16 ohm load

Power Output Mono Bi-Amp (Parallel)
Minimum sine wave continuous average power output is: 500 watts into 1 ohm load
500 watts into 2 ohm load
500 watts into 4 ohm load

Output Load Impedance
2, 4 or 8 ohms (Stereo Mode)
1, 2, 4, 8 or 16 ohms (Mono Modes)

Rated Power Band
20Hz to 20,000Hz

Total Harmonic Distortion
Maximum Total Harmonic Distortion at any power level from 250 milliwatts to rated power output is 0.005%

Intermodulation Distortion
Maximum Intermodulation Distortion if instanta- neous peak output per channel does not exceed twice the rated output, for any combination of fre- quencies from 20Hz to 20,000Hz, with all channels operating is 0.005%

Dynamic Headroom
2.0 dB

Frequency Response
+0, -0.25 dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz
+0, -3 dB from 10Hz to 100,000Hz

1.6 Volts Unbalanced Input
3.2 Volts Balanced Input

A-Weighted Signal To Noise Ratio
112 dB below rated output

Input Impedance
10,000 ohms Unbalanced Inputs
20,000 ohms Balanced Inputs

Wide Band Damping Factor
Greater than 40

Overall Dimensions
Width is 17-1/2 inches (44.45cm)
Height is 9-7/16 inches (23.97cm) including feet
Depth is 14-13/16 inches (37.62cm) including the Front Panel and Knobs

94.5 pounds (42.87 kg) net, 108.5 pounds (49.22 kg) in shipping carton

The SkyFi Testing Process for Solid State Amplifiers:

We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect the PCBs for discoloration from resistors or transistors that may have been running hot. On vintage units we often spot check select capacitors for value and ESR.

If the amplifier passes visual inspection, we move on to a controlled power on sequence using a Sencore safety analyzer to monitor current draw in real time. Once the amplifier is determined to be safe to operate, we connect it to full AC mains for function and power testing. We connect the speaker outputs of the amplifier to a Sencore PA81 Power Analyzer which acts as a dummy load, DC offset monitor, and oscilloscope interface. We start with a low level 1KHz test signal at the amplifier’s input and slowly increase its amplitude while monitoring the output on an oscilloscope for signs of noise, clipping, distortion, or improper channel balance. We continue increasing the signal level until the amplifier reaches clipping. At this point we take an output power measurement and compare it to the spec sheet of the amplifier to verify proper performance. If the device under test has both balanced and single ended inputs they are both tested at this time. We finish off the bench evaluation with a 1KHz square wave check and a 20Hz to 20KHz sine sweep to assess the amplifier’s frequency response characteristics. This battery of tests will usually reveal if the amplifier has any issues that need further attention.

Before the device leaves the bench, we perform a listening test with actual music using a variety of preferred test tracks. Our benches are outfitted with familiar monitor speakers which help us identify inconsistencies that will not always show up on our test gear. The main things that we are listening for are hum or noise with no signal present, proper center image, clicks, pops, or any other obvious undesirable audio characteristics.

If the unit passes all of these tests it is moved to our long term testing rig where we simulate real word operating conditions for 6-8 hours. This allows us to monitor the unit for signs of thermal runaway or intermittent issues that only crop up when the unit has fully come up to temperature.



Official McIntosh Box

On Order


Not Included


Not Applicable


Yes - Power Cable Only

Physical Condition

7 / 10

Working Condition

10 / 10

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