This post contains no news or surprises. Most audiophiles would agree that McIntosh is not state-of-the-art compared to Audio Research, Pass and Spectral. Their claim-to-fame is not to advance the SOTA and be the best that money can buy, sound-wise. They have a certain allure and following not because of their sound quality, but because of their macho looks, build quality, reliability, low noise and, yes, reputation.
I don't think that everybody buys audio equipment strictly on the basis of sound quality alone. To some, the bling factor plays a huge role.
Here is an analogy: A Rolex watch has a huge bling factor and the company has a stellar reputation. Most Rolex watches, however, are analog with old fashioned hands and dials and don't necessarily keep good time compared to a SOTA digital watch. Does this mean that they are behind the times (ha, no pun intended)? No, they have their niche in the market, just like McIntosh.
I've been reading lately that some of their newer designs are a departure from the past and are not slow and muddy. It may just be the particular amp he tried was one of the older designs. I think it would be foolish for McIntosh to completely depart from some of the old designs because so many people like them. I'm just guessing but I think Mac has two house sounds now. The old one and the new one. The new one's much faster.
And we should care about something an unidentified person said in an internet forum? Especially when it lacks any specificity.
Tpreaves' comment was so funny that it made my pants muddy.
I was watching the news last night and this home in arizona had more christmas lights on it than the power company could provide for. The homeowner was proud of that. The neighbors couldn't compete with that setup so one put on their house an arrow that pointed to the other house and underneath the arrow it said "DITTO'. My contribution to gossip this morning.
I was originally going to make the same comment as Tpreaves, but I didn't want to encourage future threads like this. Looks like it didn't matter.
Maybe he should get better speakers than Magico. I've heard them, and for what they cost, it's(the sound) the very least they should do like anything else. Try a Mac 7270 or Mc2600.
You need to get out and listen rather than reading opinions of others. I see that this is your third thread in the amp/preamp forum regarding McIntosh products with a similiar theme. Just as Tpreaves asked, what is your point?
Look who the OP is. Taters is stirring the pot...again.
Why you don't take some time to do your homework and trust your ears feedback!
I assure you that at the end the invested time will be worthier than following forums on and on.... Just people opinions based on their perception doesn't mean yours it has to be the same.
This hobby is very subjective and following brands will take you nowhere!
Your post have my 2 cents.
The very latest McIntosh amps are extremely nice. I think for several years they were kind of like the "Cadillac" of amps, and not in a good way. Over-priced, bloated and not competitive with the very best. They were the gold-standard in the 70s and 80s perhaps.
However, I have recently listened to many of their latest amps and while I won't buy a McIntosh (still over-priced, in general) the sound is very nice. The construction has always been top-notch also. My local dealer doesn't sell very much McIntosh anymore because the reputation (he says) has taken a beating. But we both agree that these are again some of the best amps going.
I really believe we are in a golden age of amp design and the quality of what's available is truly remarkable, from just 10 years ago. Go listen.
I've read the other posts Smatsui refers to...
Taters, what's up with you and McIntosh?
agree - if your expectations are based on others perceptions - then you will always end up on the road to disappointment.
Take the time to do your own homework and trust your ears.
Yeah Taters, I'm sure that you are correct. McIntosh has built their reputation on selling muddy sounding amps.
If somebody told somebody who knows somebody who told that McIntosh sounds too slow compared to the other brands, such conclusion that probably based on visual specification comparison where direct-coupled amp would have much faster rise time than one transformer or capacitor coupled, doesn't mean that you or anyone else will experience same.
Paul, The McIntosh lost out a long time ago. The golden age happened in the 70's. Some of the best amps in existence were built then. Just about Everything on the market today is a result of the design breakthroughs that occurred back then.
Csontos....you are probably correct. I am just so impressed when I get to listen to a high-quality system. Be it McIntosh, Cary, Carver, MBL or even some of the Chinese brands (Audio Space, Antique Sound) I am blown away. My point was the design quality is so great, people should just go listen and let their ears guide them.
Taters - Get a life and a clue!!
Your statement makes no sense, and I wonder what you even know about how sounded then let alone now.
I think the "golden age" is now since well designed new stuff sounds a LOT better than most older designs, and is generally much less expensive now relative to quality...and I do remember the 70's gear well.
Mac must be doing sonething right.
YOUR ALL STILL TALKING ABOUT THEM
I guess it all depends on how you look at it, Wolf. Imo, the 70's were the heyday. Lots of hi end shops, buzz and excitement. HI-FI going mainstream with the majority of the baby boomers coming of age. I have a pair of Meridian 105 monos that would spank lots of new gear out there, including McIntosh. Incidentally Roxy, it was against a McIntosh I decided in favor of the Meridians in 1978. Don't remember the model but it sounded seriously challenged in every way. The Hafler which was close behind also easily beat it along with Kenwood, Sansui, Bedini, Sumo, etc. Nothing out there could match the speed of the Meridians, though. Immediate first impression was as if the record was sped up a bit.
I hate my Mac 501's - thats why I listen to them everyday - to punish myself.
...it all depends. I've heard Mac gear sound better than so called "State of the Art" designs. The important point is the sound that comes to your ears. Everything in a system contributes to that sound. To MY ears, Macs are very "forgiving"...which may be a good thing if speakers, amp, cables, are bright and forward...anyone, or all which may contribute to the overall sonic picture. To me, I would prefer to get components that are more faithful...its very, very difficult to put together a system with components that are trying to sing with different voices.
J-stereo, I'm not a total hater. I have a mint Mr-78.
Okay, you're forgiven. But watch it next time!