I heard this for the first time at CanJam Socal, and I was actually impressed by the sound - not because it was particularly awesome, but because it sort of actually sounded like a tube amp, albeit a not particularly tubey one. McIntosh is very much not my jam, as I really just don’t agree with the sonic results of their design philosophy. Class B pentode tube stages with unity coupled outputs and autoformers (thankfully mostly a thing of the past) just aren’t my cup of tea. Fine if it’s yours.
While the MHA200 isn’t as dead sounding as a lot of mcintosh gear, it’s dry. But it’s also open and has top end and decent clarity. Sorta kinda resembles a tube amp, albeit one that’s being run with a lot of feedback and modern tricks to achieve low distortion. It has a 2-D soundstage like op-amp designs such as the THX. I suspect this is because of a lot of feedback, which is used to achieve the generally linear and somewhat dry tone. That said, unlike other Mac amps it doesn’t have the weird overdamped sound I typically associate with their tube designs where opamps are extensively used to ‘linearize’ the tubes and make them behave as much like transistors as possible. If it sounds like I’m being harsh, it’s because I think you can spend your money better elsewhere. McIntosh is expensive and water is wet.
That said, it is a mac amp, and it sorta actually sounds like tubes, and it isn’t totally boring. Not my favorite, but for the well-heeled mac fan who likes the green glow and the cute form factor it might be a fun toy. Sounded better than I expected generally, and overall not bad, but I wouldn’t look here for classic tube tones.