Any pluses or minuses to the older McIntosh mc275 compared to the newer mc275's IV, V, VI?


I've got Klipsch La Scala speakers & want to get a McIntosh mc275 amp. There are a couple of mc275 IV's on craigslist right now. Are there any advantages/disadvantages to the older ones over the newer ones? Yes, new is new, but then I'm thinking maybe they just don't build 'em like they used to? And I might upgrade to Klipschicorn's in the future... Thank You!    Bill
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The MC275 is a great match for La Scalas or Klipschorns!  Series IV, V and VI are all identical internally.  IV and earlier have smaller spade-only speaker terminals while the V and VI have larger bullet/spade combo terminals.  IV, V and VI all have balanced and unbalanced inputs, but only the IV has adjustable unbalanced input gain.

Good luck & happy listening!

I heard that all MC275 amps have no balanced circuitry (are single ended internally). As to upgrading to K-horns, I believe the La Scalla’s drivers are identical to K-horns but their cabinets are about 12 inches smaller in all dimensions (give or take). FYI: I’m a happy La Scalla owner! I use a BAT VK-300se integrated (which continues to amaze after 12 years).
Isn't the 275 a bit of overkill?  I've had Cornwalls and Hereseys and 7 watts will blow the windows out.  One plus of Mac amps is the softer "tubey" sound since horns can get fatiguing...
Thank You effischer, dweller & elevich!  Effischer, so I guess the IV's are the best because of the unbalanced input gain? I'm new to high end stuff so that's way over my head but I'll Google it. Can the IV's be upgraded to having the bullet/spade combo terminals? Dweller, I would only go to the Klipschicorns if I'm not happy with the La Scala's. The only Klipsch speakers I've ever heard were the Klipschicorns 20+ years ago & I never forgotten them! From what I've read I'm sure I'll be happy with the La Scala's! I just got the La Scala's recently (I don't have corners for them) & I'm gathering up the components to hook them up. I hooked the La Scala's up to my old stuff & just like I read. If your components aren't good the speakers will sound bad! I googled the CD player I have & it's going for $15 used on ebay  LOL... I've got a Oppo Sonica DAC that should be here Wednesday & need amp & preamp. Elevick, I was going to go with the McIntosh 2125 but I mostly listen to rock & was told the extra watts would be better. To have watts in reserve? I'm new so a lot of what I read goes WAY over my head! And that the mc275 was perfect for the Scala's... Thanks again! A million dollars worth of info here!     Bill
Adjustable gain on the RCA inputs may or may not be a big deal for you. They're primarily intended to permit control of a system with fixed line output (e.g. public address), adjust balance or compensate for a higher-than-normal output voltage from the preamp.  The XLR inputs are a nice feature; if your preamp offers them, that configuration can better reject noise and can be useful in certain environments (high EMF or RFI).

Series IV cannot be upgraded to the V/IV style speaker terminals; it's a totally different chassis stamping.  You wouldn't want to do that anyway because the MC275 is one of the most sought-after and collectible amplifiers ever made. When kept in pristine condition, used units can command nearly as much as new units.  In some cases (early models, special editions, industrial versions), they can go for quite a bit more than list price.  Tube rolling is where you can experiment, but be forewarned:  That can be both addictive and expensive!

La Scalas are indeed very efficient speakers, so you won't need to be cranking things up too much with an MC275.  That said, you will find the extra power provides greater control and more depth regardless of the music you're playing.  Make sure you spend some time fooling around with speaker location; La Scalas move a lot of air and have big cabinets, so distance from walls and resonant surfaces will really change how things sound.

Have fun!
Thank You effischer! Adjustable gain wouldn't matter to me. And XLR connections wouldn't be on an old Mc preamp I so don't need that either. I found a mc240 in mint condition. Is it's 40 watts enough to provide greater control & more depth to my music? Or would the mc275 be better? Tube rolling? Hmm, never heard of that before! This sounds like another expensive hobby for me!  Lol... Move speakers around? Didn't realize that would make a difference with La Scala's. But I'll try it...   Thanks again!   Bill
I maybe wrong, correct me if I am, but think McIntosh had them made for the old 275 by the famous Tango Output Transformers, where the newer one are in house?

Cheers George
MC240 would be another good choice for La Scalas.  At 105 dB @ 1 w / 1 m, most <100 watt tube amps work well with them.  I'd suggest you avoid SS amps though; they can often sound harsh with such an efficient speaker.

Very loosely speaking, more power = more definition and depth even when you use only a fraction of it.  You should research some of the threads here on the subject.  There are a number of good ones, and many posters are far more knowledgeable about the whys and wherefores than I am.

Do remember that the single most important thing you can do is satisfy yourself at a budget you're comfortable with.  Then you're free to concentrate on the music.  Which is really what it's all about, isn't it?
"Isn't the 275 a bit of overkill?  I've had Cornwalls and Hereseys and 7 watts will blow the windows out.  One plus of Mac amps is the softer "tubey" sound since horns can get fatiguing..."

You can get away with a small amp, but you probably won't be getting the best out of them. The amp still has to control the woofer. That's where the extra power comes in handy. Its really a judgment call. You need to find the combo that works for you.
Thank You effischer & sfall! Ah ha! So that's why a higher watt amp is beneficial! Even though La Scala's can run with only 1-2 watts the higher watts help the woofers! Yes! It is about enjoying the music! The only Klipsch speakers I've ever heard (except for surround sound at best buy) were Klipschicorns 25 years ago. Never forgot them! I went to a house to purchase something on craigslist & Klipschicorns were playing. No way I can remember what I bought from the guy but I do remember his Klipsch's! Oh, I take that back. The first day I got my La Scala's I hooked up the amp & cd player that I've had in storage for 20+ years. I found out what La Scala's sound like hooked up to poor equipment!  LOL... I then Googled my cd player on ebay & there was one for sale for $15! (and the model was discontinued years ago)...   Thanks again!   Bill
The little LEDs under the tubes in the newer 275s are adorable and worthy of mention. Or maybe not, but it's too late now.
wolf_garcia, why is it to late now?
Having owned a vast amount of McIntosh, both "vintage" and new, including a pair of MC275VI's mono-blocked, I would submit that the more recent editions of the 275s are all excellent.  From my experience, unless you're buying new with its obvious advantages, precautions are essential to ensure that the used pieces are in the best condition possible.  Online purchasing makes that a challenge, so ask lots of questions and use a credit card that will stand by you in the event of a dispute over the purchase. I look for ads with lots of pictures that I can examine for any signs of abuse, are the tubes original or replacements, and I need to know the estimated number of hours on the tubes.  A concern for me are those ads that have one or two pictures (usually poor quality) and minimal descriptive narrative.  The newer editions of the 275 are extremely well-built, but abuse is abuse.  Since you're paying for quality, used or otherwise, that is what you should get.  Due diligence pays off.  Best of luck!