No direct experience with the Mac phono but plenty with the little Allnic, am quite sure you are going to hear a difference between the two units but only your ears are going to be able to say which is better. Only thing I can add is don't sell the Allnic to buy the Mac and have both on hand to compare back and forth. Good luck
Thanks, but wish I had the luxury of that option .... I must sell one to purchase the other .... thus my question. No decisions yet. Happy friday.
Any reason why you want to move away from the Allnic? I have a C1100 preamp and hoped that they would put their best foot forward on the built-in phono, but ended up going with an Allnic myself. If you don’t have any pressing reason to change, I’d wait to see how well-received the MP100 is and perhaps try to get a demo. Also, McIntosh just announced discounts on their turntables, so that may extend to the phono pre, too, if they aren’t moving too well.
Yo Greg (ok, the other greg). I have no particular/pressing reason to move the MAC, I just, at times, have this urge to try something different and have liked McIntosh in general for many years. Was also curious about it's first phono. Good suggesstion though, guess I'll wait. That C1100 is ONE gorgeous pre~! And so you're using an H1201 with it? I suppose you're happy with the arrangement? But now I'm curious, what power amp do you have and what speakers are you driving?
Hi tak1, I would be very surprised if the MP100 could approach the H-1201 in performance. There are many other phonos I'd be tempted to try in that price range from
I am using an H-3000/HA-3000 combo for my phono and they are wonderful. I'm using an MC275 driving KEF Reference 5 speakers.
Sorry, part of my response above disappeared. The second sentence should have said:
There are many other phonos I'd be tempted to try in that price range from vendors with strong track records before I put down money on the McIntosh.
Ok Greg (got all your sentances). Thank u and I would agree with you ref the phono. I was hesitent to begin with, thus my question, so we'll sit tight. In your earlier your message you seemed to imply that you were using the H-1201 with the C1100 and that surprised me (a mismatch there) but the H-3000 has to be close to a perfect fit with the MAC pre-amp .... and the 275 for that matter. I don't have direct experience with KEF, although I certaily seen them around. Super gear nonetheless ..... am sure it's sonic bliss. As I said in my opening, I just acquired a Cary SLP-05 pre-amp but was also looking for a used MAC 2300 ... but I gotta say, the Cary performs several levels above the C-46 I had. Use any parameter you wish, and it was significanlty improved. Cary uses the 6SN7 tubes and while I am relatively new to tube amplification, my understanding is that these are overall exceptional (assuming you buy a descent mnfr). If this marriage is any indication, I very much like the tube pre/SS power amp connection. With these two, the sound is full, rich and with weight. I don't have invested the money you have, but for what I do have, I'm very pleased. I've got a pair of Gauder Akustik Cassiano speakers (German) with ceramic drivers ... good stuff and they are doing things with the Cary I never heard before ..... but my dream is to own a pair of Magico's one day - S7's would be nice. I digress - anyway, thanks again for the input.
tak1, congratulations on putting together a fine system. It's not how much you spend on your system, but how much enjoyment you get out of the system you buy.
Truer words never spoken. Thanks.
You don't say what you have for a table/arm/cartridge but FWIW, I ran a C2300 with the MC302. It was an absolutely outstanding combination in my application. In many ways, I wish I still had the 2300 in my system, but I had to compromise somewhere to make it all really usable. Went to the C50 instead. That gave me 99.7% of the sound with none of the drawbacks, so I'm satisfied.
However and as theothergreg noted, the jury is still out on the new MP100. I would expect it to be on par with the C50, but you never know until you audition. Take your time and have fun either way.
To answer your question effischer, I have a VPI Classic with thier JMW-10 tone arm holding a Charisma MC2 cartridge. So what were the drawbacks of the 2300 that made you switch to the C50? Curious. For the time being, I'll hold and keep the Allnic. Thanks.
While the C2300 has one of the best phono sections ever made (both MC and MM, BTW), it took forever to warm up. Like 3 hours. By the time it was ready to rock, I was ready to roll... right into bed. I just don't have enough free time to deal with that kind of thing. 99.7% for most of the available time is better than only a tune or two @ 100%.
Folks have said I could have run the 2300 harder (i.e. much louder) to warm it up more quickly, but I just don't like the harshness you have to endure to do it that way. It's a big reason why I don't often care for the sound of a first set at a concert, either.
I'm not kidding about how good the 2300 sounded - the late Harry Pearson used it as part of his personal reference system for something like a year back when it was released. I found it magical on everything, and especially so with acoustic instruments. When you can hear the difference between a Guild and a Martin folk guitar on the first note, that's a remarkable accomplishment.
Still, the C50 is no slouch. It is a bit quieter as you might expect from SS, is perfectly neutral and has a kick-ass internal DAC. Maybe I can't distinguish between the Guild and the Martin for a few bars, but i can still hear the depth of their bodies and the timbre of their wood. Horns ring like they should and drums move air. I can still hear the difference between a Paiste and a Zildjian cymbal set; that didn't change.
I will also say that I underestimated the convenience of the DAC. I am very much not a digital guy. While I have a very high-end disc player, I have never heard a CD, SACD, DVD-A or 192/32 PCM file beat my fancy vinyl rig. However, getting my Graham arm to the correct VTA to bring all the magic out takes patience and a steady hand. Not ideal when I'm pressed for time or had a number of adult beverages. So, streaming Internet radio and running files from my computer provides benefits the C2300 couldn't deliver.
I may go back to a tube pre (maybe the C2500) after I retire and have the time to burn, but for now I have a compromise that works very well indeed. Since this is all supposed to be about happy listening, that's about as good as one can hope for.
Efficher .... thanks for the explanation .... I have no doubt that your C2300 was a great sounding pre, but I gotta pick a bone with you .... How is it even possible, that a 3 hour warm up will do anything at all to the sonic quality emminating from the phono section of your C2300? I know from my communications with MAC over the years that there is not, nor has there ever been, a measurble change in the electrical circuit after a period of warm-up. Further, they cannot measure quantitatively by any means, any change in performance, regardless of time. In the absense of imperical data, I truly believe it is only your ears adjusting to the sound. It is just not demonstrable that "it has to warm up to sound good". With all due respect, I find your notion of a 3 hour warm up, silly. What say you?