McCormack DNA 125 vs. DNA .5

Has anybody had the opertunity to compare the hugely acclaimed DNA .5 to the new model the DNA 125. The DNA .5 has been called by some the best amp at any price (with its upgrades) is the 125 an improvement or regression?

Eric Baer
Hi Eric -

While you are waiting to see what owners have to say on the subject, keep in mind that you can run searches for these amps here on Audiogon, and that will give you quite a bit of background information. You also might want to vist the site and run a search for "McCormack" which will turn-up both the DNA-0.5 and DNA-125 (among others). This won't necessarily answer your question, but at least you can read what owners have to say about their experience with these amps.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack
While I can't halp with the comparison, I can chime in. I purchased a DNA 1 dlx from a local reseller a few months ago. I'm still getting to know the amp but am so impressed with it. The amp runs hot enough to poach an egg - and I don't dare leave it on when I am away from home - but board members assure me the heat is normal.

If you prefer new equipment get the 125 and enjoy. Otherwise search out a suitable .5. A pre-owned .5 will be much easier on your budget, too, if cost is a consideration.

I'll spend a few more months with my 1 before deciding when to send for upgrades. I want to have plenty of time enjoying what Ive got before I go changing it.
The bluebook on the std 0.5 is $700 and the 125 $900 - not a big difference. The 125 stock sounds better than the unmodified 0.5. In fact, the basic rev C upgrade for the 0.5 primarily brings that amp's topology to match the 125, and costs $450 + 2-way shipping. And the 0.5 (mfg'd '93-'99) can potentially be 10 years older than a 125. Stock for stock, $ for $, buy the 125 - upgrades are now available for that amp too should you want to chase the best possible sound.

I had my '99 0.5 deluxe modded to rev C, though the 'deluxe' parts selection makes it somewhere between a rev C and B. Steve suggests my sound to be "slightly more transparent" than a 125; I've no complaints about the sonics or his work. Descriptions of a modded 0.5 being "the best at any price" apply to >>$1K work. The 125 has the potential to be every bit as good.
I bought the DNA 0.5 Rev-A last year and is still amazed by its ability in music reproduction. Enough had been said about the legendery 0.5 and it really is that good, considering its lower price in the 2nd hand market.

I suggest that you try out a used 0.5 rev-A (about $1300 used) and if you don't like it, just put it back for sale in the audiogon, it should sell quickly.
But then again, you probably would keep it.(IMO)