Does Mc Intosh make reference gear


I have been reading the current thread here about Mc Intosh being bashed. People are saying they use cheap parts or have a 70's type of sound. I don't know the Mc line that well. Do they make a reference line? If they do why don't you ever hear about it? If they don't maybe they should. I'm sure audiophiles would give more props to Mc Intosh if they made some cutting edge products.
taters
"I'm sure audiophiles would give more props to Mc Intosh if they made some cutting edge products. "

I think Mc cares more about retaining the value of the brand than catering to audiophiles. I don't blame them. The brand is what distinguishes McIntosh. WHy should they do anything to make their brand not stand out from the pack? Especially just to cater to finicky audiophiles who will not even agree on what a reference is? Keep dreaming. If you don't like Mc, buy something else. I lot of people do. I do not, but I suspect I could find a way to live with Mc gear if I had to. I do love the looks and have considered Mc gear on many occasions, but it has just never worked out.
No MAC does not make current 'reference level' gear.
MAC is well below reference level.
MAc IMO is about the reference level of the best gear in the early 1980's
Prior the the 'audiophile revolution' of the mid 80's when the 'high end' was really born.
Whats reference level gear?
*******Prior the the 'audiophile revolution' of the mid 80's when the 'high end' was really born*******

A Date that will live in infamy!!!

Cheers
Rok2id,

So what date is that exactly so I can celebrate it?
Elizabeth,

After reading your post What gear would you say is the equivalent of what Mc Intosh is making today?
"Well below reference." What a disingenuous comment. Reference is whatever a given manufacturer is willing to pay for or someone's ego insists it is. Everyone's hearing is unique to that individual and what one likes another may dislike. Note that Harry Pearson put a McIntosh C2300 in his "reference" system a year or two ago. Is that relevant? If so, why and under what conditions? Musicians, who produce the material the rest of us judge audio equipment with and should know, can't agree about the color of the sky at any given point in time, much less what something "should" sound like.
The British invasion of the 70's is when 'actual' hi end distinguished itself imo. Recognized or not. McIntosh sounded like absolute junk in comparison. No different from all the Asian crap jumping on the bandwagon. Just more power. However I'm speaking strictly ss here. As far as tubes go, Mac was an 'also ran'. Lots of good 'old' stuff out there. What Mac has going for it is establishment, not pedigree. It sounds okay and has it's following. Sometimes it's wise to 'leave good enough alone'.
I've had a great variety high end gear over the last 35 years and have settled with a McIntosh pre and amp.
Reason: it sounds like music. Period. And, that's why I'm in this hobby.
I'm guessing that those who bash it have never heard it.
Well, I've learned on this thread that high end was born in the 80's. Thanks Elizabeth. Then Csontos tells me the Brits were the reason in the 70's. Wow, what was I doing in the 60's? And thank you Csontos for your opinion on McIntosh. I think old Harry Pearson might disagree with you about your thoughts on their "also ran" tube stuff. You know Harry? The founder of Absolute Sound. His reference is Mac tube. But what does he know? Have you actually ever listened to a Mc275 or an Mc2301? I doubt it. But I guess it makes no difference since the British invasion.
Does McIntosh make reference gear? Sound is in the ear of the beholder. McIntosh does not make the most expensive gear, although not cheap my any means. Some equate the most expensive gear as reference level.

Being a owner of the McIntosh MA6600, I can only state that it is the best sound out of all my former and current systems. Tube or solid state. And in league with some gear I had chance to audition at fine audio salons. Gear that many may indeed rank as reference gear.

IMO they do stand out for the pack. Great sound, much appreciated features, impeccable build that lasts for years, going into decades. Not cookie cutter looks, their gear has in own distinctive look. Excellent customer service and high pride of ownership.
Csontos.."The British Invasion of the 70's is when actual high end distinguished itself"..if your referring too British high end audio influencing America in the 70's then your way off the mark. It's the British who copied us.
Who invented the world's first Acoustic Suspension speaker?
Acoustic Research in New England in 1952. Who invented the worlds first two channel stereo receiver? Harman Kardon in 1958. Who invented the worlds first soft dome fluid
filled tweeter? Phase Technology in Florida in 1979. In fact the British sound comes from New England. The warm rich relaxed sounding speakers from AR and KLH from the 50's had a direct influence on British speaker companies.
It all started in America Baby! We are still the best on the planet when it comes to High End Audio!
Does McIntosh make reference gear? Sound is in the ear of the beholder. McIntosh does not make the most expensive gear, although not cheap my any means. Some equate the most expensive gear as reference level.

Being a owner of the McIntosh MA6600, I can only state that it is the best sound out of all my former and current systems. Tube or solid state. And in league with some gear I had chance to audition at fine audio salons. Gear that many may indeed rank as reference gear.

IMO they do stand out for the pack. Great sound, much appreciated features, impeccable build that lasts for years, going into decades. Not cookie cutter looks, their gear has in own distinctive look. Excellent customer service and high pride of ownership.
I'm glad no one is beating up on Burson gear. My hackles/dander would be up.
Add to that the Aussie invasion debate and this thread would go on forever.
....and Elizabeth...your basing your comment on what ????As usual .........
Audiozen, my operative is 'invasion', yours is 'New England'. Wherever it came from originally, the British in the UK had it down in the mid to late 70's. They simply did better with existing design concepts back then. Examples that imo are still competitive with current products found anywhere.
Disagree. Having bought my first system in the mid 70's and circulated the high end stores in my town constantly during that time, there was no sign of British products standing out and above American products in the stores.
During the mid and late 70's, it was America and Japan putting out the best products on the market. One good example is Sansui. Their build and sound quality from that time period was remarkable. Another good example was Phase Linear which Bob Carver founded in 1968. Their amps and preamps in the 70's were great and back then McIntosh was at the top of their game. Your comment is a first on Gon giving the Brit's a commanding spot in the 70's is greatly
exaggerated.
"I'm guessing that those who bash it have never heard it."

Maybe, but I gotta say I have heard a lot of poorly set up Mc based systems in A/V shops that target the wealthy in general (certainly not audiophiles, though a lot of the gear they sell is pretty good) and that lack of audiophile level quality control probably contributes to the uneven reputation with audiophiles.

I've also heard mc sound very good when done up right. So my opinion is it is as viable a product overall as most but has unique appeal due the brand and its styling.
Regarding origins of the high end, I would say it started to reach its peak back around 1970 or so with the introduction on the OHM A and F, large full range speakers capable of lifelike presentation and dynamics on a large scale. THat is of course when working correctly, which was often not the case. Things took off from there, thanks largely of course to Al Gore...:^).
Jgiacalo...I agree with you. I am at where I will stay ... with McIntosh.
In the beginning....

No Al did NOT however invent the Klipschorn or found ALtec or JBL, which is probably where the high end really started, with large high efficiency speakers that worked quite well with the tube amps that were predominant in the early years of high end audio.
Yep..Al Gore cleared the way for Spectron and got their patents approved for the first Class D amp in 1974.
YEs, tube amps were the dawn of high end audio civilzation, especially driving large high efficiency horn speakers.

THen came the middle ages of largely eh Class A/B SS amps that opened up some new doors in terms of getting bigger better sound out of smaller packages, but things tended to mostly muddle along for years.

Then came high efficiency Class D amps and the dawn of a new era. Class G came and went offering decent sound in a smaller package, but this was the real deal.....a path into the future.

Now we are at the dawn of a new era, the Class D amp era....all thanks mostly of course to that great inventor and humanitarian, Al Gore....

BTW, I think even McIntosh has come out with some new CLass D amp products of late that still looks like Mc gear. That Al Gore......
Not enough credit is given to Al Gore. He started the first penal colony down under, spawning all that cheap labor which eventually found its way to a small group of hobbyists who happened to dabble in audio.

Al then successfully led the Aussie invasion onto American shores (after handily defeating the Japanese, but that's another story) under the guise of some free trade agreement planting the seeds of audio dissent. Slowly they took hold, casting doubt and dispersion amongst audiophiles, opening avenues of choices they never knew they had.

The plan worked brilliantly as no one actually knew the genesis of doubt that took hold in audiophiles. Reviews picked up, debate ensued, and no one could agree on what sounded best. That resulted in a flanking maneuver clearing a path for headphones and headphone amps, thus undercutting and weakening the hold that home systems had.

Al then quietly retired with his fortune, preferring to listen through Burson headphone amps in the seclusion of his 10,000 sq ft mansion, never to have achieved the fame he deserved. The price Al paid was a great one, but some heros prefer to remain anonymous.

All the best,
Nonoise
Do they make reference gear , I think so . They are not cutting edge , but , your gear will still be working 30 yr from now .
Is Al gore a McIntosh fan?
Elizabeth I believe owns Bryston amps....so take that with a grain, taters go to audio aficionado site...they have a Mac site and the entire forum is not as hostile as this one can be. Agon members are more about one upsmanship. A little too serious around here... :-)
Pops,

If you look at that site there are a lot of people with very expensive systems. I'm sure you will find one upsmanship there as well.
Bryston and Mc = two way different beasts.

Which is reference?

The one that sticks the word "reference" in the product name first! :^)
No..Al Gore is not a McIntosh fan. Ever since Al sold Current to Al Jazerra Network,..(ya know..that friendly terrorist news organization that sent over the internet encrypted codes from their news site to the terrorist's who brought down the World Trade Center..) Al exclusively buys his Audio components from Al Qaeda Audio. Their amplifiers are stunning to look at especially the beautiful gold camel logo on the front of their amps.
Those seen leaving Al Gore's place were observed to buy cartons of Camel cigarettes no doubt due to the subtle, golden camel logo on the front of those amps. Steganographic clues abound if you look close or long enough at something.

Let us not forget that Al Gore's family fortune was in tobacco and this neatly ties in all the conspiracy theories about Al Gore.

You gotta admire the guy.

All the best,
Nonoise
I remember quite clearly lusting after mcintosh gear in high school in the late 70s, going to the big time hifi shop and being mesmerized. When I had some coin to be able to put towards a decent system there were a few places that seemed to offer the same stable of products, mcintosh, B&W, rotel, etc. Having auditioned those brands and some of the less well known but well respected it seemed to me that more could be had $ for $ with other options. I will never forget hearing a B&W/Mcintosh demo and asked the salesperson to turn off the subwoofer and he said it was already off. I went over and put my hand on it to feel it vibrate and he then turned it off.

I have a good friend that has a mcintosh set-up and just doesn't do anything for me for whatever reason.
Some will and some won't not isolated to McIntosh ... it's a personal decision.

IE. Not a fan of Spectral so not reference to me but is to many which is perfectly fine.
Is that a one or two hump camel? Does it look nervous?
Jakeman,

Their gear working 30 years from now has nothing to do with reference.
05-17-13: Taters
Pops,

"If you look at that site there are a lot of people with very expensive systems. I'm sure you will find one upsmanship there as well."

Taters - not that I have witnessed.....
Taters, I disagree with your statement. Many elements and concerns go into making a device. It would be foolish of Mc or any other maker to have a device to simply last long and not be relevant in sonics. Bryston has a twenty year warranty on amps. They an others not just make them too last, but have in mind that you would want to keep them for the long term. And would compete sonically with new products coming into the market.
Having been around studios for three decades, I never see their products around. I do see it in the homes of many artists though, for personal playback. Very few pro reference companies cross over, although you can buy such respected brands as ATC and Bryston, which have a loyal following amongst studio engineers. They sell consumer electronics as well.

I personally love McIntosh. I think some of their products are sublime, including the 275 tube amp and some of their recent solid state ones. And they hold their value. Not a lot of brands can say that in this fickle audiophile world, where "trading up" usually entails a 50 to 80% depreciation.
Fact is Mc gear does hold its value better than most any other brand, including those near and dear to high end enthusiasts. So they are "reference" in that regard. Facts are facts. So there.... :^)
Their MC2301 tube amp is a reference piece by any standard, but that's the only model I would put in that class.