How awesome is the McIntosh MC501?

If you love this amp like I do shout it out!! I have 3 of these beauties for home theater, paired to a 402 for surrounds, and I love them!!

Let's hear about what you do with yours, why you feel upgrading is or isn't necessary, and why you think this is one of the best amps out there.

What speakers allow them to sing for you? What cables did for you? Let's hear constructive commentary and critique, not just gushing adjectives.

Let's hear commentary on why you bought it, why you wouldn't trade it, why so many are up for sale right now, and any aspect of the 501 that has you loving it.

Let's hear it!!
I had them and I was not impressed....I am now by the Krell 650mcx.
Not very.
depends on priorities.

i continue to own them b/c
1) they sound quite good (and their sins are not annoying in nature)
2) they run ice cold (big for me)
3) they have power to spare (also big)
4) extremely reliable
5) excellent resale value
6) aesthetically beautiful...those blue meters are lovely

i will gladly dump them for an amp that sounds better, runs ice cold and has 1kw of power (much like mikey fremer, i believe you have to have lots of power to make a monkey coffin come to life). let me know when there is such a product.
With the right speakers, MC501s make very satisfying music. I bought Sacman's last summer, mated them with Montana EPS2 speakers and a C2300 preamp, and the combination had good synergy. The EPS2 are forward in the mids with some brightness in the treble; MC501s are very smooth through the mids and a bit lacking in HF micro-detail. The combination worked well. Recently, I replaced the Montanas with PMC IB2i, which are simply extraordinary, balanced through the whole range. The smoothness of the Mac electronics was no longer needed or appropriate so I sold them. I enjoyed my time with them but I have no regrets about moving on.
I like them. They work equally well with both my Eggleston Andra II's and Thiel 3.6. I listen to mostly classic rock and they crank out dynamics effortlessly.
What does the 650mcx do differently?

I'm always thinking Krell will be my next stop.....
There goes Stanwal with another anti Mac comment...
Roger that on stanwal. This is a PRO McIntosh thread!!
I bought a pair about a year ago to mate with Logan CLX's - which are very revealing speakers and have an impedance curve that can challenge some amps. I also have a Plinius SA250 Mk3 to compare the 501's with, which is one hell of a beast and Class A to boot.

My take on the 501's is that they have lots of drive, detailed, musical and appropriately emotional in tone. Easy to listen to - but I never feel that they are so smooth that I am missing something - in fact with the 501's I can hear way deep into the music. Also I disagree that they roll off the top octave, but that might be a synergy thing.

Very natural, beautiful build, cosmetically .... great audiojewllery!

There will always be something "better" but for me after many years on the audio upgrade highway,changing out these amps would be a low priority and I am sure anyone who buys them would not be upset.

Mhelming, the 650mcx are the only that can bring out the amazing low end response of my 801N. Some might find them a little bright but personally, I also love the transparency and details that were missing from the Macintosh MC501.

Echo chamber , you mean!
Also, if you were not asking a question why use a question mark? Next time I suggest " The Mac 501 is AWESOME!!!
Thanks for the tip...
Im in the Stanwal camp and I presently own a Mac amp.I will say this about McIntosh .IMO, well built w/great resale value and yes I do like those blue meters.As far as stating "awesome",never!.One thing where Mac fails in the "highend" amp market is speed and detail.Although I havent heard the 452 yet from reading it appears Mac is getting away from that typical house sound you either love or hate and venturing into this market where they couldnt compete.It will be interesting to see how the fan base likes this move.
I moved from a McIntosh MC252 to the MC452 - yes, they are moving away from their so-called hous sound. The MC452 is an amazing amplifier, but I thought that when I got my MC252. The MC452 trumps the MC501 monos for deoth, soundstage and overall sonics. The MC601 monos are even better.
I have been very pleased with the performance of my McIntosh MC501 amps driving Salk SoundScape speakers. The soundstage, resolution and ability to simulate a live musical performance of this system are among the best that it has been my pleasure to hear. To my middle aged ears, any improvements over the MC501 in amplification are difficult to discern and command a high price. I expect to enjoy this system for many years.
I was pleased that McIntosh introduced the MC601 amp and others proclaimed it superior to the MC501, because this helped me to purchase a pair of demo MC501 amps at an attractive price.