Ampzilla 2000 v2 and Mcintosh MC402

I have the opportunity to either purchase an Ampzilla 2000 or MC402 from Mcintosh. I am choosing either one of these and would like your opinion on either one. Which one is better sound quality wise?

The rest of my system is : Mcintosh C1100 preamp, KEF reference 1 speakers, and Audioquest cables.

I like deep big bass, smooth mid range, big and deep sound stage and airy high.



Stick with Mac if you like a warm robust sound.  Almost anything else in that price range will articulate better.



A subtle nuance to your comment above regarding your Mac preamp. I’ve owned a few Mac preamps through the years. They are feature rich, inoffensive, reliable and trustworthy. They commit no major sins, however, yours interfaced well with Pass Labs NOT because the Mac preamp is universally versatile but because Pass Labs amplification is quite forgiving in that regard.


There are fans and foes of every type of gear manufactured; past, present and future. Mac is a solid business, Ampzilla’s business strength is for you to decide. Formerly bankrupt companies (or those for whom that might be a fallback plan) are difficult to value. I recognize I keep it pretty simple for my amplification choices and I’ve owned alot of great gear. I prefer non-gimicky reliable and beautiful sounding amplification. I don’t have any qualms admitting that I prefer what I prefer and that usually involves vacuum tubes. Horses for courses right?


Have you considered another Pass Labs amp? I believe the Pass Labs amps are reasonably agnostic regarding preamps...which wasn’t an accident but in fact a design goal. My 2 cents on the topic with a 2 cent discount.

I do understand your Mac passion, but the SST Ambrosia is an outstanding  preamplifier.  It was just a suggestion,  no harm, no foul. 

Just to add a bit more info. I built the original GAS Ampzilla from kit in 1975, after meeting Jim Bongiorno, Jon Dahlquist, and Saul Marantz at the Dahlquist room (driven by an Ampzilla) at an Audio show in DC. I also owned a GAS Ampzilla II…

Fast forward to 2013 or 2014, I was looking to rebuild my original Ampzilla. I cold called Jim’s company on a Sunday afternoon to leave a call-back message about rebuilding the amp, and Jim answered himself. We talked for 2 hours about amplifier design, with him telling me about his strategy for the new Son of Ampzilla II he was designing for his new joint company Spread Spectrum Technologies (SST). Mr. Bongiorno died perhaps 3 months after our conversation, but I never forgot his kindness. A year ago I had the opportunity to buy a used SST Son of Ampzilla II from the Music Room, just after Underwood Wally no longer sold them (Wally is another super-nice guy who spent a lot of time with me).

I am hugely impressed with the sound of this amplifier. SST is made by Wyrd for Sound as I understand it, and thus provide repair. I am familiar with the house sound of Mac, and some of this sound is due to the use of autoformers in the output. But the Son of Ampzilla II is truly a giant killer, and I would think that the monoblock Ampzilla 2000 II’s to be even better!