MCD12000 CD Player
Two-in-One: A Reference Level DAC and a Reference Level CD Player.
Bring all your digital music to life in your home audio system with the MCD12000 SACD/CD Player. While classified as a CD player, it is better to think of the MCD12000 as a reference level Digital-to-Analog convertor (DAC) that includes reference level SACD/CD playback capabilities. Music played through any of the MCD12000’s digital inputs or from compact discs is processed by professional grade 8-channel DACs designed for premium audiophile performance and recording studios. The MCD12000 is the perfect DAC and SACD/CD Player to use with the reference level C12000 Preamplifier.
At the heart of the MCD12000 are two ESS SABRE PRO ES9038PRO 32-bit/8-channel DACs, with one DAC dedicated to the left audio channel, and the other DAC dedicated to the right audio channel. Each DAC uses ESS’ patented HyperStream® II architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to deliver an unprecedented performance level that will satisfy the needs of the most demanding digital audio applications. Each ES9038PRO is configured in Octal-Balanced Mono mode where the DAC’s eight outputs are used to drive the analogue audio, resulting in outstanding sound quality. Separate digital and analogue power supplies keep the power and audio signals free from cross contamination, while a specially constructed R-Core power transformer minimizes noise radiation.
There are seven digital inputs on the MCD12000: two coax, two optical, plus one USB (Type B) for computer based audio, one AES/EBU, and one MCT input which can be used with any of our existing MCT SACD/CD Transports that you may already have. The coax and optical inputs support up to 24-bit/192kHz. The USB input supports up to 32-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD512 and DXD384kHz.
The MCD12000 offers both balanced and unbalanced fixed analogue outputs in both solid-state and vacuum tube configurations. This abundance of output options gives you the flexibility to decide which to use based on the music selection, the audio components in the rest of your home audio system, and your personal sound preferences. A pair of 60dB output meters show the signal level that’s being delivered from the analog outputs of each channel. While the volume is controlled by your preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or other control device, the meters on the MCD12000 will respond to the music being played through it and move back and forth accordingly.
All outputs are driven by discrete amplifiers or a blend of vacuum tubes and discrete amplifiers. For vacuum tube output, one 12AT7 tube and one 12AX7A tube are assigned to each the left and right audio channel. Solid-state output is via a discrete balanced op-amp. A digital coax and optical output are included for added flexibility to connect the MCD12000 to the rest of your home audio system.
In addition to commercial SACDs and CDs, the MCD12000 can also play music from user generated CDs or DVD Data Discs. Numerous file formats can be played from these discs including AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, WAV, and WMA. A twin laser optical pickup assures optimal reading of all common disc types. The disc transport has a precision die-cast aluminum tray that provides smooth and quiet disc handling, while an advanced digital servo provides fast, quiet and accurate operation. The disc’s audio data is read at twice the normal rate ensuring better disc tracking and error correction processing. Power Control and data ports allow for seamless Integration with other McIntosh system components.
The Digital-to-Analog convertor (DAC) in the MCD12000 has received Roon Tested designation from Roon Labs, which can be especially useful if you have an extensive library of digital music. As a Roon Tested partner, McIntosh has provided equipment to Roon for testing with a variety of different operating systems and computers, and shared information about its design and capabilities.
The MCD12000 is wrapped in classic McIntosh styling. The bottom part of its chassis is made from stainless steel that is polished to a mirror finish; the top part is made from hairline brushed black Titanium stainless steel that matches the C12000 and brings an enhanced degree of richness and refinement to your home audio system. The front features our timeless black glass panel, illuminated logo, knobs, push button controls, and custom machined brushed aluminium handles that match the C12000. On the top is a glass panel listing performance specs and a block diagram of the audio signal path. A remote control is included.
Number of Channels
Fixed Output Level
Variable Output Level
600 ohms Unbalanced and Balanced
4Hz to 40kHz, +0.5, -2dB (SACD)
4Hz to 20kHz, ±0.5dB (CD)
Signal To Noise Ratio
Better than 100dB
Total Harmonic Distortion
0.003% @ 1000Hz
Better than 98dB (1,000Hz)
Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) Type
Professional Grade 8-channel, 32-bit PCM/DSD, Quad Balanced, 1 DAC per channel (2 DACs total)
Coaxial Sample Rate
Optical Sample Rate
USB Sample Rate
16, 24, 32-bit/384kHz
DXD: DXD352.8kHz, DXD384kHz
DSD: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512
Digital Coaxial Input
0.5V p-p/75 ohms
Digital Optical Input
-15dbm to -21dbm
Digital Output Sample Rate
Up to 24-bit/192kHz
Digital Optical Output
-15dbm to -21dbm
Digital Coaxial Output
0.5V p-p/75 ohms
SACD, CD, CD-R/RW and DVD-R; popular file formats such as AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and WMA
Laser Beam Wavelength
CLASS IIa/CLASS I
Standby Power Requirement
Unit Dimensions (W x H x D)
17-1/2″ (44.45cm) x 7-5/8″ (19.4cm) x 19″ (48.3cm) Note: When the Disc Tray is opened, the panel clearance required in front of mounting panel is 6-3/4″ (17.2cm).
32.5 lbs (14.7 kg)
48 lbs (21.8 kg)