Tjnif makes an interesting point. I have owned a variety of speakers and electronics and none have pushed my buttons until I heard the newer Mac gear. On thinking on it I realized my first exposure was to Mac and other tube sound in the 60s and was blown away by it. I now firmly believe that early gear became my reference standard and nothing has quite sounded right to me until I heard the new Mac gear. It clicked with me because it matched my image of how home stereo reproduction should sound like. That's not to say that it is the 'best,' it just matched my early conditioning. But I sure soounds good.
Good to hear you had a positive experience with them. many manufacturers are quite good in this respect, some are horrible, always good to know which are in which camp.
I am not sure about the other posting you mentioned but I would never consider their components due to their huge size and dated looks. Even Audio Research has been updating their look somewhat of late but not Mac.
I know this sounds pretentious but you have to admit that components like the new Mac music server look absurd with the 70's style front panel outputting the video to a flat panel TV to view the stored music on the wall above it.
I commented on the appearance of their gear to the dealer and he said many of his Mac customers continue to buy it because they can upgrade one piece and it always matches the others in their system. He also said many of them never even listen to other brands...to each their own.
My McIntosh gear goes back to 1959. I owned A C-20 Preamp, MC30 power a, Mc275 power amp. I got away from McIntosh for quite a number of years. I have a pair of Duntech Sovereigns that I've had for 20 years. I used ARC amps, Spectral, NRG, Edge M8M amp and Luminous Audio KST-150, just to mention a few. I recently purchased a McIntosh MC-402 power amp. I am over whelmed by this amp. I've bought my last amp. My wife's comments when she heard the MAC, was, honey, this a new ballgame. This is just the opinion of an old audiophile. FWIW.
Right on Jgiacalo! I don't think their is a "better" but deninetly different sound (just like) guitar amps.But you know how I feel.......
I've also been into audio for quite some time and have had my share of gear come and go. One day I happened to listen to a 402/C46 driving a pair of Totem Winds. That combo was making music, not audiophile sounds to impress and say "look what I can do with _______" insert your favorite audiophile word. Bottom line is McIntosh makes music to my ears and apparently many people agree, because they are still around after more than 50 years. I've given up on chasing the latest and greatest gear out there, just to be replaced by the next "flavor of the month" gear the next month or year. Since acquiring the 501 monoblocks, followed by other McIntosh components, I listen to music and have rediscovered my music collection which was always a hit or miss with other gear for one sonic reason or another. Some people say McIntosh does not have the last bit of resolution, to them I say, keep your resolution, my system is warm, analog sounding with a spacious soundstage, midrange to die for and it makes music sound like music not some analytical collection of sounds which you get tired of in a month. I've even bought a 275MKIV tube amp only to realize I already have tube warmth and gorgeous midrange equal to tubes with the 501's. I also happen to really dig the classic looks, build quality and the blue meters are simply addicting. I am a McIntosh fan from here to the end now and no other gear matters. Nothing anyone can say to change my mind, simple as that. Don't bother with examples, like I've said, I've had more gear come through my house than I care to remember or discuss. Long live McIntosh and thanks for reuniting me with music!
long live the mac......flyski, i would love to heard those 501's with my ltds...i'd be doin backflips....
Yes, agree with everything "Flyski" had stated! McIntosh is music to me today and nothing ever will change my mind abou it. Today, my MVP841+MCD/MDA1000+C501+WP7 makes music that no other gears had even presented to me before.
Its McIntosh for me! Always!
I owned a MC2105 some years ago, and absolutely loved it. I still regret selling it to this day. It was supremely musical, with real "grunt". I really should go and listen to some of their latest designs, to see what I'm missing.
I must chime in here as well. I have and continue to own Mc gear. I realize that I may be missing something by not having other amps or pre amps but I would be missing something as well with the other brands as well. That would be the Mcintosh sound and the beauty of the illuminated Glass panel, blue meters and of course that build quality that can only come from Mcintosh. An American hertiage.
I've never experience with McIntosh before until 3 weeks ago I got the MC202 and I can tell it's going to stay for a long long time. The bad thing is now I need a new pair of speakers. :<)
Flyski had it nailed when he said: "Some people say McIntosh does not have the last bit of resolution, to them I say, keep your resolution, my system is warm, analog sounding with a spacious soundstage, midrange to die for and it makes music sound like music not some analytical collection of sounds which you get tired of in a month."
the thing is, the mc 501s (my point of reference) exert such a strong influence (read: coloration) on the overall presentation (which Flyski partly IDs, and i cover a bit on dagogo.com) that the whole system's synergy and holistic performance falls in line with their voicing. whereas other amps require tweaks, careful system matching, etc in order to get, at best, slightly better sound, though if the whole system is out of kilter, other amps sound inferior.
2 things: 1) the 501s are not the best amps out there, not by a long shot. 2) they're so easy to use and so good regardless that they're an ideal amp for music lovers, but less so for audiophiles (who enjoy the tweaks and absolute performance).
for those who love this brand, i salute you for getting off the merry-go-round. just don't say they're the "absolute" best.
A pair of Mac 275's, a pair of Klipschorns and some good Jazz on the turntable ... Ahhhhhhhhhhhh
And some say there is no God, somebody hand me a beer.
Lets face it, McIntosh has been around so long that our grandfathers owned it but its still some of the best built, best sounding product on the planet. I only wish the U.S. had more companies like it !
The McIntosh look is beautiful to me. I hope they never change it. The sound doesn't have the last bit of resolution, but with all negatives comes positives and the coherence and musicality is definately worth the tradeoff. It's a compromise that favors the music instead of the audiophiles. For me, that is the way it should be.
If McIntosh didn't please so many people (most of which don't give a rat's ass about audio forums) they would have gone out of business like so many others did in the 80s. But no, they are one of the top dogs today because they are doing it right, obviously.
Yes..Me too. I am the quintessential prodigal son who returned home to vintage McIntosh after wandering 25years in the audio desert. Now at age 49.. I grew up in a home rich with McIntosh gear.( C-8,C-11,C-22,C-28//MC-60/MC2105..My Dad had them all paired with the then SOTA KLH-1/JansZen ELS speakers..I still get to hear the Janszens with the 2105/C-28 combo at his place on occasion!
While the audio journey has not been all bad, I have enjoyed many other fine components including some nice sounding tube amps...There is a certain "rightness" to the sound of Mac's. The vintage 60/70's gear with or without tubes have a nice balanced freq response that gives weight and power to music..I love classical orchestra in-particular in my system. Clearly the best I have ever heard for me.
Toady's newer Mc gear is certainly more extended and is more transparent. Excellent sounding..perhaps better suited to all music genres. Lovely to look at and proudly display. Fit and Finish as well as customer service at Mc exemplary indeed
When Im at the point to change again..( no doubt will have the itch to try more gear!) Im certain Ill audition the latest Mc gear too.
Excellent! I think your post also nailed this..
Rhyno, I don't recall claiming that 501 monoblocks are the "absolute best", what ever that means. I did say that to me they sound like music because they do so many things right, especially in the midrange. Having owned quite a few tube amps and prefering that type of sound, I find that 501's give me that sonic quality while also being able to drive my speakers well and recreate virtually any type of music at realistic levels with their superior "dynamic" abilities over tube amps. The term "absolute best" if a very illusive term indeed. One man's best is another man's torture. The 501's suit my sonic preference, power output, dynamic abilites and pride and enjoyment of ownership. As far as coloration goes, everything outside the original recording instance is a coloration including, mikes, mike cables, recording equipment, your playback system and especially your speakers and room's acoustic response/interaction with speakers. So you see, coloration is a very illusive term as well. If the 501 are "colored" and add their own color to the painting, then so be it, I am very happy with these painters and their work.
for those who love this brand, i salute you for getting off the merry-go-round. just don't say they're the "absolute" best.
Being that the "best" is arbitrary, I have to say that McIntosh has been the best for me, and for no other reason than because it did get me off the merry-go-round. Will it beat all comers on the audiophile's sonic checklist? Not to my ear, no. But if the synergy is right, it can easily turn off the analytical and get you in touch with the musical. For me, there's nothing more enjoyable about this hobby than taking the work out of it. And McIntosh has been berry, berry good to me in dat reegard.
My MC2505 was probably built when Lyndon Johnson was President. It still works and sounds great. How many brands can you say that about?
Add another 501 zealot to the list.
Since I got mine, I haven't looked back at the HUNDREDS of pieces of gear I've owned in the past few years.
I have to say that McIntosh has all the resolution your system has. As the gear around them gets better, so do the 501's. I haven't heard their limits yet. The Halcro has a gerbil pubic hair more resolution, but can they put out this power? NO. Will Halcros be playing tunes in 15 years? Probably not. The 501's will go to my grandkids. Or my bedroom when I can afford the MC2KW's. ;-)
Hantrax, you are correct about the resolution of the 501's. Adding an MDA1000 DAC to drive the 501's directly has resulted in a tremendous amount of resolution, air and focus to my system. The MDA1000 retains all the analog warmth of the McIntosh components while adding the last ounce of all the necessary parameters that define high end audio. So if anyone ever doubts the resolution and detail capability of the 501's, just listen to them with the MDA1000 driving them through balanced cables. Bring a napkin to wipe the drool off your chin!
Well and here is my two cents. I have an MC2000 driving a pair of Alto BE's, I tried Halcro, AR, Levinson. 6 years later, the bias still doesn't need to be reset... they are not on the "MK14 version", and the midrange is to die for. So, it looks cool, it has the best midrange I have heard personally, and I haven't had the tube blues. What's not to like? I added a subwoofer to make up for the loss of base, and I haven't heard Alto's sound better. Is it a bargain? Compared to what else I heard, I would have to say yes. Don't know about any other Mac though.
Thought it was time to revive this thread because all of the above opinions are still valid. I too grew up with the knowledge of McIntosh and other iconic American trademarks (think Harley-Davidson) and have tried to buy as many as possible. I too have mixed and matched many different brands of preamp/amp/cdp into my system to the point of adnauseum. Things changed when I started using all McIntosh electronics (c45, mcd-201, mc-352, with american maple speaker stands, plinths and rack. I like McIntosh. You might like ARC, Boulder, Conrad-Johnson, etc. The point is that the electronics should be from the same manufacturer if you want your system to sound it's best. OK, my speakers are British and my turntable/cartridge is German/Danish but the synergy of the electronics and therefore my system is undeniable. Call it a "house-sound" if you want, but the only way to get it is to have it all from the same company. Now the fun part is to find which "house-sound" is best for you. Listen everyday.
I have a McIntosh MC206 power and a McIntosh MX118 pre/tuner/proccessor. I went from BK 202 power and a BK Pro10 pre and Adcom tuner. The improvements are not subtle
Well, as I've said before - there's mcintosh in one category, and then there's everything else. After listening to every standalone amp that I could find, the question was only which mcintosh amp to choose - I ended up with a 402 but could have done just as well with a 252 or a pair of 501's.
Just another Mac convert I do believe my MC275 will be the last amp I buy unless I get another MC275 that is
I will have my 1961 McIntosh MC240 forever.
Hats off to AC for dealer support like that. I, too, have a C2200 and am curious what your symptoms were?
That was almost 4 yrs ago!! Don't remember....I think some intermittent problem on left channel. I think the volume on the left would mysteriously get louder and louder.... Something like that. I have a C2300 now, got it 1/12 yrs ago.....
I've always been a sucker for big, blue eyes!
I was one of those that could not bring myself to even listen to McIntosh for years because of what so many had said about it. Then one day a friend said just listen and tell me what you think. I have never looked back since. It was the mc402 and c2200. I have never listened as much as I do now. What I have read pretty much nails what I heard and now continue to hear every day! Wonderful sounds that I will have for the rest of my life.