Another MC402 Question

I have the opportunity to buy an MC402 for $4000....very good shape.

I generally like tubes better than SS but I thought I might pick up an MC402.

Have you owned an MC402 and have you heard a SS amp in the  $4K price range that you liked better than the MC402?

I haven't mentioned the rest of my system because it could change.


I've owned an MC402 for close to two decades now, and it has performed flawlessly.  I purchased it new; final choice was between the MC402, which outclassed every other SS amp I tried (Classe, Bryston, Rotel, etc.) and a VTL.  Honestly, the VTL sounded better, but I did not want to deal with a tubed power amp, especially in a warm climate.  The MC402 has ample power, very impressive dynamics, stout bass, and never runs hot, or seems even slightly stressed.  I now use Sonus Faber Olympica III speakers, and the match is solid.  

I sold my Mc402, I could not find a system that it worked with. I think the transformer output just made all the loudspeakers I had sound flat. Replaced with a Parasound A21, much much better. 

I have had my 402 since 2008 and have been very happy with it. I am driving SF Olympica Nova III’s as well. I have used this amp with Audio Research LS26, REF 5se, Ayre KX5 twenty (very short time) and now LS28SE. I would like to step up to mono blocks, but not in the credit cards right now. I think you can’t go wrong with the MC402 and if you’re not satisfied, there seems to always be a buyer for them.



Theo, you progressed from REF5SE to LS28SE. Can you describe the difference between the two? I’m thinking of upgrading to the LS28SE.

Fundsgon, (love the moniker) I had wanted to transition back to solid state or I would have kept the REF5se. But when I decided to go back I couldn’t afford a REF6, and although I am sure that the REF6 is far superior to The LS28SE, I am very happy with my purchase. In comparison the REF5SE presented a more defined deeper bass and maybe a more delicate mid range. But that said, the LS28SE is still breaking in, roughly 400 hours and only 200 on two of tubes. I had one tube fail and Audio Research sent me 2 and they are still breaking in. I am also breaking in the speakers and it is hard to say which is to credited with  what I am hearing, but it is amazing the transition of the sq in the past few weeks. So in my opinion the LS28SE is right on par with the REF5SE. Yes there are differences, but I can’t honestly say if it is the speakers, the pre amp of both have just developed a perfect synergy. In short I am not looking back.