I’m going thru McIntosh he!!

I’ve been having lots of trouble with McIntosh processors;

First one was a MX119.  Went dead on me - no picture no sound despite 2 visits to an authorized McIntosh repair shop.  They gave up.

I took it to the shop where I bought it.  They traded it for a MX120 along with some cash.

The MX 120 went on the fritz after a couple years of ownership.  Audio and video blinked in and out.  Had to turn on and off to get it working again, unplugged it from the back and let it sit.......

I went to another McIntosh authorized repair and sales place and I asked whether they could fix the 120.  They said it was an old unit and it was a gamble whether they could get the parts.  They said it might be 2 boards.  Then, they offered me a lightly used 121.  They gave me an allowance for the 120 and I paid a lot of money on top of that for the 121.  They told me the 121 was lightly used by a rich person and wanted the latest.  Told me there was nothing wrong, impossible that anything could be wrong with the 121.

Now the 121 has the following problems:  sound, no video;  video, no sound, nothing altogether.  The 121 is an outright lemon.  I am going back to this shop to get my money back.

So I want to ask, are McIntosh processors really that bad or have I been incredibly unlucky?  Feedback please.  Is McIntosh listening?  Thanks for looking.


For repair and service, did you consult Audio Classics LTD. Vestal, NY?
If you are in the U.S.A. reach out to these guys for more insight between those processors.
FWIW, my experience with an MVP 871 is similar. I bought it as a demo from Magnolia. Due to its age, McIntosh refused to honor the warranty that had been promised by Magnolia. Magnolia did cover it for repairs and we sent it back twice. The bottom line is that Magnolia finally replaced it with an Oppo 105D and assorted cables. I received about $1500 of equipment despite having paid about $3000 for the Mac DVD. I still have the Oppo and I felt that I had made lemonade out of a lemon. Obviously, I steer clear of demo items now.
I would send an email to Randy Vikan at Elite Audio Technician on Key Penninsula, WA an incredible tech, only works on Mc and Primere, very selective but incredible. Intrust him w heirloom MC240 MX110, etc....
Second for Audio Classics; they're one of the best around for Mc gear.  I have had issues with 2 different Mc A/V items:  An ancient MAC-3 pre/pro and an MVP 881 BR (the 881 saga is in the archives here if you want to look it up).

On the MAC-3, I sent it in for a refurb at A-C shortly after I purchased it because it had a lot of detail issues (bulbs out, dirty and a funky processor selector switch).  They quickly got it up to snuff and turned it right around.  Worked fine for 4 years then started having an intermittent processor failure.  Back to A-C; that time it took awhile for them to find some cracked solder joints on the motherboard and a bad prong on one of the processors.  Fixed them, been working fine ever since.  Not exactly a bargain, but I don't want to commit to the 7.1 or newer standard yet (too much cubic $$$).

In the process of all this, I've spoken with Ryan @  A-C several times and also with a couple of different engineers at Mc.  The crux of the matter is that the A/V codes change very quickly, and sometimes so quickly that even "current" tech can be obsolete less than a year after it was introduced.  Accordingly, the chip manufacturers and firmware writers push the ragged edge on the QA process so they can sell at least enough to pay for set-up before they have to start over.  Mc buys good chips, but stuff does happen.  That's also why they don't offer the "trade-up" program on HT gear.

From my perspective and considering my investment level, I'm satisfied because HT is not the primary function of my system.  Even with the (very bizarre and isolated) issue with my 881, that was purchased primarily for its 2 channel audio quality.  Which was never a concern; the problem was all in the video.

Accordingly, you're going to have to decide how you want to proceed.  An "obsolete" rig like a MX135 or 136 might be a more value oriented choice, or you could look at Marantz, Krell, Cary or similar instead.  I can't speak to their serviceability but suspect they may have some of the same HT issues.  FWIW, I looked at the MX120 and MX150 when I was configuring my system as possible single-box solutions.  I was very unimpressed with the 2 channel performance of the 120 when I auditioned it and the 150, while better, just wasn't enough better to justify the money.

A final point on "authorized" Mc service centers:  Don't waste your time.  In most cases, they're merely authorized for simple warranty repairs and firmware updates.  If they get into something that's complicated, they either give up or send it into Mc.  A-C knows what they're about and also know when to send it into the factory.  And they tell you about it before doing it.

Your call either way, but hopefully my 2 cents will help.  Good luck and happy listening!
I like how the second "authorized" SS said they probably couldn't fix the unit, but would take it on trade in.  You know they turned that thing around and made more money on it than they gave you.