Big Mcintosh MC1000 pwr amp s?

comment's from user's on these big mono bloc's.
are the new MC1201's better?
Good for arc welding and thawing frozen pipes.
mac amps spec out great. but sound is lifeless and uninvolving. 2 dimensional sound. bass has no definition and is bloated, very bloated in the bass to midrange area.
the mac mc series is not about music or finesse. they are about specs only. mac cares only about 30 year reliability not true audiophile sound. too bad.
Maybe Avnut should listen to the newer designed amps before commenting - he probably never has owned any nor has he auditioned becuase if he did he would know better - I own a mAc 352 and it has a really balanced non fatigue sound quality - unlike say the Levinson 331 which I found to be edgy and brought listener fatigue. The big boy Mac amps I auditioned were great - just costly.The 30 year build quality is not bad either.
I've owned MC-1000's for four years and hated to part with them a year ago but I had to---baby. But I kept my Dynaudio Consequence just in case my fortunes turned around one day.
The problem most people have with Mac gear is unfounded.
I read this month's peice review on the 1201's and I was really pissed. They had them hooked up to a pair of Utopias and I couldn't help but think if these people really know what they're doing.
The only way to really judge muscular amps like these is to drive an impossible load like my Dynaudio Consequence-83dB not with 91dB speakers. The macs only come alive at around 300 watts or so.
I used to drive an old pair of B&W 800's 93'dB and they didn't sound as good because I didn't have a gymnasium to turn them up full blast. When I did, the sound was bouncing all over the place.
The moral of my story is the the big guys sound best with hard to drive speakers.
As for quality and comparing them to the new ones I'm sure they have sped them up a bit but as any Mac fan will tell you, we like it warmer so the former are probably better.
Besides, great deals can be had on a new pair of the old ones but as I said before, I'm still not ready to pull the trigger--Spring is coming and I have to invest in a new backyard fence for my little girl safety.
Buy a new pair of thousands and enjoy!
Douggie in Toronto
In response to AVNUT, after I sold my thousands to MATHERTON in San Diego, I brought home a pair of Thresholds 12e's to audition. After four years with the macs I was able to tell the difference right away. REBA McEntires' "walk on" {forgive my taste in music} was not nearly as crisp and detailed. Her voice was coloured and lost in the band. Believe me---every day for four years I knew that song in my sleep.
Funny thing is Threshold Krell,Roland and Levinson pretty much sound the same from what I'm told.
McIntosh isn't about specs, although their feeling the pressure- they're about AUTOFORMERS and it's been there property since the 50's.
Thank god for patents!
Douggie in Toronto
in response to "ljgj". i have listened extensively to the mc602's for about 20 hours on my friends system and at the store. in each case i found the sound slow and boring without any hint of realism. they are not etched true. thats because their dull. the sound is not clean. its dull. you tend to miss a lot of details in the music because of the macs veiled sound. question? why would you create an amp that only "sings" at 300 watts plus? at what point is "anyone" actually using a full all oout 300 watts continuous? maybe some but not most. i really wanted these amps to work with my 801n's but the separation between the layers of sound was not there. almost seemed like a mono sound. i'm keeping my vk1000's because of it. by the way, my dad actually bought the 602. as an audiophile of 30+ years he finds the sound to be very slow. not laid back slow, just slow.
oh yeah. the stereophile review was dead on. the bic macs act like a big bully to your speakers. like a chubby kid tryin to muscle up on an unsuspecting classmate. not iron fisted that amp. probably just sloppy like its lil bro the 602.
At the risk of receiving negative ratings (seems like it happens every time you knock what someone else owns,.... petty) I must agree with Avnut. I had a friend who ran a MC500 with VR-6's. The VR's, as you know, were "speaker of the year", "stereophile Class A rated", blah, blah, blah. A really nice sounding speaker in the right system. I brought over a Mesa Baron to this guy's house back when I owned one and we were both BLOWN away by difference in soundstaging. The Mesa sounded real and palpable with a lot more slam than anyone would want or need in a 20X35 room. After we had played around a while we put the Mac back in the rig and all of a sudden it sounded like someone had thrown big goosedown comforters over the VR's; it was a disgusting difference, for him. At the end of the day he convinced me to leave him with the Mesa until he figured out what he was going to step into. He settled on a Plinius 250 and I swear those guys are hiding tubes in there somewhere.
I guess it just goes to show with us older guys - you are either a McIntosh man or you're not - not much in between.
Has anybody heard these amps with other speakers ?
Ljgj, If it's any consolation, I love my MR67. But of course, would be willing to part with it at the right price :)
If Fonsy66 likes the McIntosh sound, there is no reason for people to knock it here, beyond just mentioning it.

I heard the MC1000s a few years ago and I found them to be similar to other Mc amps in sound. The dealer did say that depending on the speakers you use with them, the sound can change A LOT. He had a whole list he would not recommend pairing up with them - I don't remember which ones though. He said the same goes for other Mc amps but less so. Sounds like some people here neglected to pair up the right speakers with these big amps.

Fonsy66: If you like the sound of this big boys, make sure your speakers will too. good luck! Arthur
I find the characteristics of McIntosh-amps being "slow and boring without any hint of realism. they are not etched true. thats because their dull. the sound is not clean. its dull" to be a parody, being far from the truth from my own experience and the experience of others. Before I settled down on McIntosh - I now enjoy a combination of a C200 preamp and MC402 amp - I compared the following amps: Mark Levinson, Krell, Audio Research, Densen, Audionet, Chord, Musical Fidelity, T+A, Plinius, Bryston, and others - always with my own, same CDs. The McIntosh-amps were the most natural sounding, most powerful amps I heard. Soundstaging was excellent, as were voices, orchestras, and bass control and definition.
Hammerr: "The macs only come alive at around 300 watts or so." I have listened to five different McIntosh-amps now, and found the exact opposite to be true. They sound excellent even late in the night, when not even one per cent of their power is used. The MC602 that Avnut criticizes is definitely one of the best amps in the world. I can only imagine that the setup, or cables were bad, or that for example the MC602s he listened at a dealer's premises was not run-In. My own 402 sounded awful and steely for the first couple of hundreds of hours - but sounds terrific now.
As always, one should go and listen himself.
My experience with McIntosh has led me to the same conclusion as Hassel. I just adore mine!
I'm getting in on this late but "avnut" very clearly has what we used to call in the industry a "tin ear"....
lgjg called it right, either you love mac or you hate it.

i personally love it, guess im a geezer too.

I have had a pair of these amps for over 6 years and love them!I have managed to blow just about every woofer ever hooked up to them though as they are so powerfull.
The systems I have used with them are EV pa's with 18" woofers as well as McIntosh XRT22 system (currently)
I was warned when I bought the amps that I would blow the woffers from one of the best Bill @ Hi Fi Haven rest his soul. But as far as reliable amps they are that and I find them to be VERY Clean as well.
i have had both mc1000's and now own a pair of mc1201's. i would not own, use, consider, think about, come near, ponder or otherwise even dream of anything besdes mcintosh as the power source for my system!

i have components and main speakers which are not mcintosh. but, the preamp, power amps, tuner, cd player and subwoofer are all mac.

i will not even address the religious questions of the way mcintosh "sounds". sound is alot like taste - no amount of convincing or argumentation will make someone like liver and onions if they hate liver and onions! similarly, no amount of convincing or argumentation will be effective on those who either love mcintosh (like me) or those who hate it. to me, mac sounds best, period. to other, it sucks, period. i'm glad i know what i like, and have a system that makes me glad to be alive!

that's all a stereo is good for. but, that's not a small thing. :-) everyday when i go home after a long day of work, i get to listen to the best sounding stereo i've ever heard. i just hope others feel the same way about their audio systems.
I have owned and heard a fair amount of hi end gear,both in the stores and more importantly in my house. I have a few systems which i one time or antoher I have owned or heard in my house,spectral, ARC,Linn ,Naim,Vtl,Consonce,Levinson,Goldmund etc....what do I own....I have a Mac c2200, a Mac mc252 a Mac mc275 and the little Mac cd changer...I also own a VTL 2.5 and a Vtl st 85...a Linn Ikemi,wakonda,lk100...other tube amps that I currently have are a nicely restored dynaco st70 and a pair of Radii set 3 watt mono amps. I like all the equipment i currently have BUT if I had to go with one would be Mcintosh
ever wonder why mac takes so much flack & other gear dont?

the moderators at this site seem to allow anybody to slam mcintosh gear all they want but try that with other gear & see what happens,nothing beacuse it wont get posted.

if you saw even one tenth of the crap writen about mcintosh turned on another company they would be out of business.

Are there any owners here of MC1000s? I'm about to buy a pair of these or (if I can find it) a pair of 1201s. Parting with a pair of Pass X600's.
My question is> what (other than power) differences could anyone expect? Are there any specific issues with these amps? I'll be using it with a pair of JMLab Utopias (as stereophile's reviewer did with the 1201s) and I'm hoping to get at least the same clean power as with the Passes.
Would it be a dissapointment or would it be a step on the right direction? I can't blame the Passes for anything, just that I've heard the 501's and liked it very much combined with a pair of N802 B&W.
Any feedback will be appreciated.
Thanks !

Yes, MC1201s are better sounding than MC1000s in every respect you can imagine.

There was a time when McIntosh power amps sounded flat and uninvolving but that time has been gone for over 10 years now. The full range of McIntosh autoformer amplifiers are dynamic, musical, expressive and have a ton of tone. But the MC501s and MC1201s completely demolish the idea that too many devices in the signal path spoil an amp. The 1201s will shove aside the constriction and discontinuities imposed by most passive crossovers in loudspeakers, sound uniformly lovely up and down the frequency range of music, and impart an effortlessness to your system that very few other amp/speaker combinations at any price can muster.

I'm still a tube amp listener, but the MC1201s have strongly tempted me.

Thank you Phil.
Do I read you correctly if I sort of conclude from your words that it'd be better to get a pair of 501s than a pair of mc1000's?

Or would you just reduce the choice to the 1201's against the 1000's in wich case the 1201 wins hands down, yet the 501's wouldn't be a contest for the 1000's?

Sorry if I'm being dense.

The question I wonder about, is yes,I understand how many large high wattage Amplifiers will have plenty of reserve power on tap, and this can be a good thing for transients-dynamics, but to what point will one go?No doubt there's probably not a speaker made on the planet that requires 1KW, or 1.2KW of power to drive, and I wonder just how much better a MC-1201 would power, and sound per any given speaker versus the MC-501?I'm sure one could perhaps apply in jest, the age old saying, that "if the first watt doesn't sound good, what good will another 1199 watts do"? Unless there are design differences between these models, I cannot see how there would be much radical difference in sound? I suppose there is though, otherwise, why would McIntosh make them in the first place? Mark
I wonder just how much better a MC-1201 would power, and sound per any given speaker versus the MC-501
To my ear, the MC1201 is MUCH more dynamic, while maintaining the sweet, liquid sound of the MC501.
Thanks everyone for the answers.

Keep wondering one thing though. Would a pair of 501's be a better choice than a pair of MC1000's? No match for the 1201's, that much I can make out of the written opinions, but what would you choose? A pair of the newer 501s or a pair of the older 1000's?

brgds, marcelo
Marcelo, My opinion (for what it's worth! lol) is if you can afford the MC-1201's, I say go for it my freind!

Different people have different goals, and strategies about audio equipment, and from what I gather somewhat about you, you wish to make a wise purchase decision, buy equipment that you are going to be happy with, and be happy with for a long time to come.

To me, even if I had Donald Trump's pocketbooks, I sure wouldn't want to be going through every flavor of the month, like I'm changing my socks, regardless of how much money I had.

I'd want to find something I can live with, be happy with, feel I spent my money wisely, and properly, and the bottom line is, the money spent satisfies me.

I've heard equipment that exceeds $150K in price. $33K Amps alone, not to mention the front end, and pre-amps-spekers that went along with.

I've heard equipment that perhaps impressed more than McIntosh gear in general at first, but I think most Audiophiles here will agree, Amps, and Speakers that are sharp, over-accentuated, and highly analytical can get tiresome very quickly.

My opinion is "what good is $150K worth of equipment, and it tortures you, that after 25 minutes you're fatigued, and want to shut everything down?

McIntosh by nature is generally very smooth gear, yet has never seemed to lack detail, and articulation.

Usually, it's the media one places on the CD Tray, or the Turntable Platter that has it's shortcomings.

One, I believe must always remember this, when placing a slightly beat up 35-45 year old LP on the Platter, and hearing shortcomings in the sound. One with wisdom always tries to "see" past this, and just enjoy the moment, and the music.

I wish you the best of luck my freind, and as far as McIntosh goes, I think this is still a company who is a first class contender, and worthy of anybody's home, no matter how deep their paocketbooks are. Mark
Looks like I'm going to be in the minority of the postings here. I've owned the 1000s for around 8 yrs now. I tried the 1201s for about a month. They are great and I would choose them over just about anything else in their price range. But ultimately I liked the 1000s better. The speakers I had at the time were Maggie 3.6s and Apogee Duetta Sigs. Different speakers and I might have liked the 1201s better. Your own taste will ultimatlely decide what the "best" is. Being as objective as I can, I would say the 1201s have a faster sound and the 1000s a more relaxed sound. This again will cause a preference for one over the other, not making one absolutely better. Short of hearing both, your best bet is problably what your doing here and go with your instincts. Good luck.
Thanks everyone for the input and well reasoned arguments.

See, the thing I noticed when I bought the Passes was a transparency that I didn't seem to recall from the Krell 700cx I had. With the Krell I think to recall a more relaxed sound, the Passes are simply atomic.
This had me for a while going "wow", but sometimes, on some recordings (specially remastered issues from Verve), it can be too much of the "goodie". Not that I'm saying the Passes are overanalytical, but perhaps the combination Pass/Utopias is such that a little less here and there wouldn't hurt in the long run.

Perhaps overall any McIntosh SS amp will get me back to a more relaxed auditioning, and without having heard any of the big blocks, I'd also agree that in theory the 1000s could be more relaxed.

My desicion is made, I'll get me a pair of McIntosh monoblocks, and while my heart says "go for the 1201s" my instinct says "the 1000s are the best choice for your boxes"...I'll keep listening any and all advice.
Thanks again
Best regards,
McIntosh is a great choice with JM Lab. I love my combination, though far less gradiose as yours Marcelo. I agree that the Mc150/300/500/1000 series, from my experience, is farily mellow - or at least more so than the next 2 generations that followed them. But then I have a 1991 7200 that isn't as mellow as a MC300 for instance.

I think that even the latest McIntosh will be a little softer than the Passes which lends the Mcs a natural, comfortable quality that is remarkable when paired with a detailed speaker. Good luck! Arthur
Thanks Arthur. I appreciate your comments, it makes me even more comfortable to learn that your combination Mc/JMlab is apparently what I imagine (that's all what I can do, this will be a blind choice) it'll be on my own system.
Brgds, Marcelo
McIntosh is wonderful amp choice. I have the MC-602 and love it. This is a very detailed amp. With a rich and warm sound. Some say it's a solid state that sounds tubish. I sold a Krell KSA-300 because I needed/wanted more power. At low volume levels I could not hear a diffrence in amps. B&W 801 s3 speakers. As I moved up into the +100 watts level The MC never strained never has it let me down. I had to run dedcated 120VAC 20 amp. With my stereo set up I do not have room for mono blocks I use MC-602 for mains and MC-7205 for my HT. Transparent Cable Reference IC and speaker wires. All can say is I am very happy. Nothing beats the Blue Meters. Don
I have made up my mind...

My heart (and my lovely wife) had me deciding to buy a pair of MC1201's.
I have located a few ex-dem here in Europe (very rare on the 2nd hand market, disgustingly expensive brand new, goes for 30k$/pair!), so hopefully one of those will grace my system soon.
Thanks to everyone for the input,
Brgds, Marcelo
Congratulations Marcelo,

What a thrill those will be. I hope you have them in your system soon. Happy listening.

4/4 update> I closed a deal on a set of 1201 this morning, money is already wired, and the seller (a shop in the EU) tells me that in abt. 3 days I'll have my puppies. Thought of sharing this since y'all been so involved helping me decide with all of your valuable opinions.
thanks guys! will update again once I have the amps home.
Brgds, Marcelo
I'm haven't listened to 501s directly compared to 1000s. With some speakers the power reserve of the 1000s might trump a sonic advantage to the 501. I think the 1201 is the way to get everything and it looks like you have. Congratulations!

Thanks Phil,

just learned that due to transport logistics, the amps won't be delivered until tuesday next week...buahhhhh.....(crying). I so much hoped for a weekend with the Macs...oh well, it makes it all more exciting...
brgs, marcelo
Well, tomorrow's the big day ! The 1201s are ready for delivery to my door early a.m...cannot wait.

Have already moved aside the Passes (gosh, those are heavy monsters too!)and made room for the Macs. Wish my back well...

brgds, Marcelo
Well Marcelo its tomorrow....what say you? Have fun, I have the 501's so I can imagine how great your 1201's are going to be.
Hi all :-)))) (big grin!). What to say? I haven't stopped listening since I brought the monsters upstairs. These amps are really gorgeous! I can now understand why everyone pointed at the 1201's. Even my close friend that owns a pair of 501's was as excited as I was. He was also one of the many whom pushed me toward these. He was convinced that I'd like it. And I do!
There is nothing I can point out that I don't like, besides one little thing> the WBT connectors on the back are too close to each other to make it easy to tighten the terminals. Luckily, it's once in a long while I play with cables. Same for the AC connector, funny place to have it, and barely space for a large AC plug. Besides these minor design (probably intended?) "flaws", what matters is the sound, and here I can't find a single glitch.

Pops, what are you using along yours?

Btw, some ppl says the Macs are slow?. Well, I'd like to say the Passes are about the fastest amps I ever had, but man, these are not slow, these are as fast as an amp should be! And by fast/slow I mean to say dynamic. These are a very fine pair of power amps, amongst the best, no doubt.

Brgds, Marcelo
Mareclo, excellent news, glad you are enjoying those big boys. I am using a Meridian 200/563 combo, CJ premier 14 preamp and Thiel 3.6 speakers. Illuminati dig, and MIT 330 SG, 350 SG EVO, and Magnum 2 speaker cables. Soon to pull the trigger on a turntable.

My 501's are a perfect match for the Thiels, total control and dynamic top to bottom. The Thiels also allow the big Mac's midrange to shine. Good luck with your Mac's, mine did not change much after burn-in.
Hi Pops, great set up you have there! Wich TT are you thinking of? I'm in love with the Basis 2500 or the Nott Dais with a TriPlanar arm...

I honestly don't expect (neither I think it would) changes with burn-in. Besides, if it takes whatever more than a few hours, it is hard to keep memories of the initial sound, so knowing when it is burnt in IMHO is a wild guess. But, I might be proven wrong by other opinions and experiences.

These sounded beautifully right out the box, none of the usual minuses associated with an unburnt pair of whatever electronics were detected. At least not by me.
brgsd, marcelo
Great news Marcelo, I bet they sound fabulous. I am thinking about a Basis 1400 or possibly higher marque, its my first endeavor into vinyl since college back in the late 70's...oops my age is exposed!

I've got to get a phono preamp as well...any ideas?

Hi in the 70's ah? mmhhh....about 50?(me here...dangerously close to I'm getting old...and still playing with toys... ;-)

higher than Basis? VPI TNT HRX perhaps? Or would you think of a SME 20 or 30? (can't make a real scale, Simon Yorke is also up there?)

Phono preamp> I have an Aesthetix Rhea (110v version) bought last year brand new in the US. It works perfect for the low gained carts I like to use.

And it is a thrill with the remote, makes it soooo easy to play with loads and commute TTs!

My second option if I only had one TT was the EAR 324. My third the Ayre 5.
Then an AQVox (german). See, I only look for balanced configurations. The AQVox has also balanced inputs. I'm tempted to buy one (700 eur) to try it out. It is similar in configuration to the NEC balanced, but cheaper and has full 19" chassis.
Depends on the cart you'll choose, but if you are aiming as high or even higher as the Basis 1400, I'd guess you'd choose also a highend cart.
Depending on the kind of sound you like and want to get, a Benz LP would be a great choice imho. This if you like better a lush sound. If you like fast and furious, the Colibri might be perhaps the best. Many other options out there, but I haven't heard any (Zyx, Lyra, Koetsu, etc).

Easy Marcelo, only 47....though it feels like what 50 must feel like some days! I do like a lush presentation, I've got an excellent dealer that I'm going to spend some time with in a couple of days to walk me through some stuff.

I'm pumped to get back into analog. thanks for all the advice, I'll let you know what I those amps doing?
Class '58 then? me '59...I know how it feels...

The amps are doing wonderfully. Thanks.

All the best with your search, I myself went back to vinyl only a few years ago, was also caught by the "perfect sound forever" thing for too long.
Now I do both, it's like having a bike and a car.
Practical as a car the CDs are, but nothing beats the fun of a bike on a twisted road or the joy of spinning a vinyl. Sure, please let me know wich progresses you make.
brgds, Marcelo
I have read some of the posts above.
The slow sound that someone described, it's partly depending of the speaker choice. A speaker is very sensitve about the poweramplifiers damping factor. If the filters/drivers in the speakers are designed to work with high damping factor amps and one connects them to an amplifier like Mcintosh. That is, a design with very low damping factor, the speaker will not behave as intended. This is actually a fact, that also determine the sonic character of the speaker (overall sound) also. This is something users should look more into before judging amplifiers or speakers. Otherwise the compairson come out a little unjust!
Can any one help me. I am presently running a trio of mini utopias (JM Lab) for my HT in the front. I am looking into Mcintosh
for power amps. Someone here locally is offering me 3 Mc 1000's at a reasonable price believe it or not. Is this too much power for the speakers? Thanks . Elias.