Article Index
McIntosh MT-5
p3 Sound Quality
p4 Sound Quality
p5 Conclusion
p6 Measured Performance
All Pages



The Sumiko Blue Point No2 moving coil cartridge. It is inexpensive and can easily be bettered.
Into the arm is fitted a high output Sumiko Blue Point 2 moving coil (MC) cartridge, purposed for an MM input – I have to explain this better later as the handbook leaves the subject hanging. 
   A turntable like this is equally suited – arguably more so – to a high-quality moving magnet (MM) cartridge from the likes of Audio Technica, Nagaoka, Goldring, Ortofon and a host for others not forgetting Shure’s M97XE for those too cack-handed to feel confident about manually lifting and lowering a tone arm. I’m thinking very much here of all those souls used to bullet-proof digital devices but drawn by the lure of ancient analogue – especially when it lights up green!

   McIntosh continue with their policy of glitz by using a highly polished stainless steel chassis that offers a gleaming finish all the way around. At rear it is studded by a pair of gold-plated phono output sockets, plus a gold-plated earth terminal no less – the first of its kind I ever recall seeing; these things are usually paltry little thumbwheels on a threaded shaft. I pushed a 4mm banana plug with attached earth lead into this terminal to establish earthing to our Icon Audio PS3 phono stage. At far right, looking from rear, lies a small d.c. power input since the power supply is not on-board, being a small free standing plastic case (not a wall wart) with 4ft of thin twin core flex that carries 12V to the turntable, and a two-pin ‘calculator socket’ input for a suitably terminated mains cable (not supplied). As you’d expect nowadays this is a universal power supply that works anywhere, accepting 110V/240V, at 50 or 60Hz.



The motor drives a sub-platter that sits on a large magnetically cushioned bearing,

employing a hard ceramic bearing shaft.


The MT5 is big: it weighs 14.3kgs, and measures 43cm deep and 45cm wide. There is no suspension system so it needs a firm and level surface to stand on, one able to support its weight. Also, the dust cover is not hinged; it must be lifted off and placed to one side, so space for this is needed, together with the inevitable LPs that will lie about. This suggests a suitably strong and stable wall shelf system to me. The plinth feet are height adjustable.

   Although the MT5 is easy to use, and comes as a convenient package, if you look at the handbook available on line you will see a prodigious set-up procedure. Ours was the only UK sample and came boxed from the factory, not set-up – but this is a Clearaudio-sourced design with protected ceramic centre bearing shaft, lubricating oil, shaft, hub and much else in the box that I have encountered before, so knew what to do – including the need for a long run in and subsequent speed re-adjustment. It is a complicated design and best set up by a dealer. 



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