McIntosh MI254 and MI228 Marks Company’s Return to Custom Install Market

The McIntosh MI254 and MI228 distribution amplifiers were specifically designed for custom installation applications that include whole-house audio.


Returning to the custom installation market with a new generation of products, the newly launched McIntosh MI254 and MI228 highlight the decades-old company reentry into the whole-house audio category. 

Supporting the introduction of its new distribution amplifiers, McIntosh has also announced new architectural speakers to provide integrators with a choice of several new products to complete a range of distributed audio installations. 

“We are excited to return to the custom install category with these new amplifiers and speakers,” comments Charlie Randall, president and CEO, McIntosh. 

“Many of our traditional home audio products have been used for distributed audio applications by talented CI installers. We are happy to once again offer products specifically designed for custom installation.”

McIntosh MI254 and MI228 Amplifiers are Performance Oriented

McIntosh's new MI254 and MI228 amplifiers offer integrators a choice of four channels or eight channels of power. 

The four-channel MI254 is rated to produce 250 watts of power into 8 ohms or 300 watts of power into a 4-ohm load. The eight-channel MI128 is rated to produce 120 watts into 8 ohms and 150 watts into a 4-ohm load. 

Utilizing “highly sophisticated closed loop digital switching amplifiers” that are paired with “robust” power supplies, McIntosh states that its new amplifiers, “produce performance levels that are rarely achieved in distributed audio.”

Both amplifiers share the same 2U rack dimensions, and McIntosh points out the amps' rack-mount ears are removable to help integrators install the amps in non-rack environments. 

Related: McIntosh Power Controller Uses Thermally Protected Metal-Oxide Varistors to Keep Electronics Safe

The Class-D amplifiers are engineered to run quietly through their omission of cooling fans, and McIntosh says the MI254 can also be employed in home theaters to power height and surround speakers. 

Both products also feature multi-color LED indicators to indicate channel status, and they share other attributes, including industrial design, a signal overload technology that protects connected speakers from being overdriven, BUS inputs and outputs, 12-volt triggers and on/off signal sensing capabilities. 

In addition, the MI254 incorporates a pair of front-panel McIntosh watt meters that display the summed power output of channels one and two; three and four. Moreover, MI254 incorporates five-way speaker binding posts. 

The MI128 employs two-pole phoenix-style speaker connections, back-panel controls for volume balancing, two digital audio inputs, and channel-summing options for mono signal distribution. 

McIntosh Companion Architectural Speakers

Complementing its two new distribution amplifiers are the WS500, WS300 in-wall speakers, and CS200 in-ceiling speaker. 

The three-way WS500 and WS300 in-wall speakers are designed for both whole-house audio, stereo and home theater applications. McIntosh explains that its new in-wall speakers employ fully sealed enclosures and controlled air chambers to minimize distortion and response irregularities.

McIntosh features a pair of 6.5-inch woofers, along with two 2-inch inverted-dome Titanium dome midrange drivers and a single 3/4-inch Titanium dome tweeter in the WS500. The WS300 includes a single 8-inch woofer, along with a pair of 2-inch inverted-dome Titanium dome midrange drivers, and a 3/4-inch Titanium dome tweeter. 

Each in-wall is just over 3.6-inches deep to facilitate their installation into most walls, and the speakers' midrange and tweeter housing can rotate to help integrators fine-tune their performance.

The three-way CS200 in-ceiling speaker uses an 8-inch woven glass-fiber woofer, two inverted Titanium dome midrange drivers and a 3/4-inch Titanium tweeter. McIntosh says the CS200 also employs a rotating array to aid the installation process.

All three speakers ship with all of the necessary installation hardware, as well as magnetic grilles and McIntosh supports the speakers with rough-in kits.

About the Author

Robert Archer
Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; both schools are located in Haverhill, Mass.