Buying anything used is a gamble, even McIntosh. I have three Mac pieces in my history. The first, an MX-130 preamp (bought on Audiogon) arrived with a low-level hum that does not come through the speakers. The seller included a McIntosh UR12 touch screen remote so I have lived with the hum. My next piece, an MVP-871 "Universal Disc" player, bought as a demo from Magnolia A/V (which McIntosh refused to warranty), never worked right and was eventually replaced with an Oppo 105D. Finally, I recently purchased a factory sealed Mac 275, Mk6, (from Magnolia) as I do have faith in their amps. So... to sum it up, it's Caveat Emptor, even with McIntosh (or maybe, especially with McIntosh).
Check out this website and determine if it offers any equipment and/or repair options to match your needs http://www.mcintoshaudio.com/
If you are buying the gear because you like it, than its worth fixing. McIntosh isn't for everyone, but it is a unique brand that some people really like. If its working and in good condition, the products tend to hold their value. A good resource for vintage McIntosh and to have it repaired is Audio Classics in Vestal NY. I was there once and they really know McIntosh inside and out. People from all over the country seem to know about them, so they must be very familiar, and willing, to ship back and forth if you can't make it into the store. Actually, they're in the middle of nowhere, so shipping probably accounts for most, if not all of their business. They have an excellent reputation.
I have bought many pieces of Mac here on the "Gon, and even Ebay. I have had absolutely no problems buying used, in fact I can't afford the obscene prices Mac gets for their new stuff, so I have to buy used. Being retired doesn't help either. I will tell you this, and others will probably agree, DON'T buy any of their DVD/CD/SACD players, unless you want lots of expensive problems. I speak from experience, and with old and newer models, i.e. the MVP-861.
I agree with Tonykay, buyer beware. Be sure and use Paypal, pay with a credit card, and you should be ok to get your money back if problems can't be worked out with the buyer.
I love Mac gear. However, any time you buy vintage Mac gear you should assume it needs work. Very old Mac gear can be expensive to recap, retube, etc...
On the good side, it holds its value well and is easy to resell. So if you like the Mac sound, GO FOR IT.
Tonykay, as an owner of a number of McIntosh pre amps, and amps I too have had a hum issue. I have found that the power supply is the culprit in most cases and was easily resolved with softer feet or isolating the vibration resonating from the cabinet.
Blackwbg, I would take caution on the older gear as many things deteriote over time regardless of manufacture. It is the nature of electronics, but if you can by with the option to return, by all means go for it. A good alternative, although more costly is audioclassics.com as mentioned. I have never bought a bad piece lfrom them.
What a silly question. ANY vintage gear that has not been serviced or updated, Mac or any other manufacturer, electronics or speakers, may, and probably does, need some work. That's a surprise to you? Please, not another inane Mac bashing thread.
As Audio Classics is in Vestal, NY, I'm not surprised they do most of their business with Mac - which is headquartered in Binghampton, NY, about five minutes away.
If you like the Mac a lot, call up either Mac itself or Audio Classics and see what they say!
Audio Classics in NY state great for Mac.
I have bought multiple McIntosh online from private buyers on EBay and Agon. I ship them to Terry DeWickfor a going over before shipping to Hawaii I where I live.I have had good luck. I buy from experienced sellers with track records to protect. Otherwise, I avoid sellers who don't have extensive history or knowledge on audio. The good ones are easy to spot.They often have had the piece inspected and fixed to get a good price. If I was in a hurry to buy I would go to Audio Classics or Terry DeWicks used page. Both of these are good sources with grading systems, fair prices and reputations to protect. McIntosh themselves refer people to both sources and they work with each other too. For your device, the closest Mac expert I know to TX is called Audio Dr in Phoenix AZ. He is online and does good work for fair prices. Probably folks in TX too but I don't know them.
Thanks for the tip on using softer feet. I suspected the power supply all along but never did anything about it. I'll try the softer feet.
Doesn't matter how one comes across vintage equipment; it should be expected that the electrolytic capacitors will need to be replaced. Even new/unused electrolytics, sitting on a shelf for any length of time, dry out and degrade. Some info: (http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3104/m2/1/high_res_d/thesis.pdf) There are a variety of symptoms, caused by bad caps(especially the power supply filter caps), and hum/buzz are usually prevalent.
Dirt in the volume and/or balance controls, time worn solder joints that are loose, failing capacitors, loose connections, etc. You name it. Older equipment may have these issues. It has nothing at all as to whether it is Mac, or any other brand. Sometimes you can spray electrical cleaner in the volume/balance pots, (with the unit unplugged) and turn the controls many times back and forth while spraying and this may clear up the noise issue. You can tell if this is the problem by turning the volume/balance control and if the noise follows the control adjustment, that is typically it. If not, sometimes a complete resolder of all internal circuit board connections is required, as cold solder joint has presented itself. Nice vintage equipment is definitely worth this effort. Some of the older Mac, JVC, Sansui, Pioneer, etc. equipment many with the solid wood cabinets are worth it definitely.
Locally, If you haven't sent for repair yet, I found Mike at Austin Stereo on Burnet fair, knowledgeable. Worked a couple Scott 299 amps for me.
Another very good tech is Mike Samra at Audio Asylum. While he works on most any vintage equipment he especially likes Mac and HK Citation 2. He utilizes lot of the McShane upgrades.
Currently working on a Sansui 1000 for me.
What a silly question. ANY vintage gear that has not been serviced or updated, Mac or any other manufacturer, electronics or speakers, may, and probably does, need some work. That's a surprise to you? Please, not another inane Mac bashing thread."
Can you point out where someone is bashing Mac here?
I don't believe anyone is bashing McIntosh here, but it happens frequently. Here is the title of a recent thread "Why do no audio enthusiasts use McIntosh? You be the judge!
Exactly, Tonykay. Thank you.