McCormack DNA-750

I have noticed that recently some pairs of these mono amps with 650 watts/channel/8 ohms have come up for sale. I had not heard of these before but they seem like a good value product at the prices listed. I also understand that these amps were designed by the Conrad Johnson folks, not Steve McCormack. Has anyone heard these? I have liked the C-J Premier 350 in the past and wonder if the DNAs are similar. Any information or experience you have with these would be appreciated. I am looking for a high power amp with a bit of a warm sound. I am considering a BAT 600se and a Premier 350 as well.
These have been introduced very quietly. No reviews that I am aware of although they seem like they could be similar to a pair of bridged DNA 225 monos. I do have a picture of the insides and there are a few of the CJ capacitors in them. CJ also offers an option to fully upgrade capacitors - as indicated on the CJ website and by one of the current sellers on this site. I would like to see more information about these amps.

The other amps you may consider are the new monoblocks by Cary - SP500.1. These are a post-Dennis Had design and include some power supply upgrades and a modular design/construction approach. The folks at Cary say they sound better than the former MB500's, while maintaining a similar warm sound with better resolution. Again, no review information that I am aware of except a very short comment on the S'phile blog from CES 2011.
Hi Teeshot,

Any update here? Have justed started to investigate and would appreciate learning anything from your pursuit. Thanks!!!
LLOYDELEE: I gave up on these because there was virtually no market information about them. Conrad Johnson's person said he thought they were inferior to the Premier 350 unless you did the cap upgrade. I purchased Marantz Reference monoblocs instead and am quite happy with them. I strongly considered Cary 500MB amps (about $3000 used) and Classe CAM400s (about $5800 used) before settling on the Marantz.
Thanks Teeshot. i have emailed CJ about this...if i thought they were going to be stupendous, i would consider buying a demo pair at a big discount and then upgrading them to "CJ spec"...but only if i thought this would make them "SOTA keepers"...will speak with CJ next week about this.
BTW, Teeshot, i also have heard from a major distributor of McCormack they dont compare to the 350SA (which was also more expensive as a stereo than the mono).

Still, i also know CJ are super-great on service...and since they own both companies and do upgrades to older equipment...i am very intrigued to find out if they feel a "fully tricked out" pair of 750 monos would be superior to 350SA...or even superior to "350SA monos" if you know what i mean.
Tee I own the VK-600 and it sounds amazing in my setup. Effortless & Elegant sound producer
FYI - I spoke with CJ...there is no cap upgrade on these. They originally thought there would be and nearly made written announcements about it. But the cap upgrade was not particularly good in their opinion when they listened to they dropped the idea.
Too bad. From what I see, CJ really doesn't seem to have it together with their new McCormack gear. Maybe they view McCormack as their HT arm. For as long as this DNA 750 has been out, it seems a company as influential as CJ would have been able to arrange some more publication reviews and to promote it more. There is little technical information on the website. Also selling these new at a deep discount raises questions to me since that is sort of an HT type selling strategy. I hate to sound harsh but, at best, it seems to be a poor marketing effort. I still haven't seen the question answered as to whether this is really a good-sounding amp, and how it compares to other high powered SS amps of comparable price.
I agree with Mitch. Given there is no marketing, I was very concerned about resale value on these units. BTW, the Marantz Reference monos are great. They have lifted my Thiel 3.7s to a much higher level with better bass , dynamics and transparency. One of my better purchases aon Agon.
Are these fully balanced amps or, like the DNA-500, only a difference circuit on the input?
The DNA-500 and DNA-750 monoblocks are fully balanced, fully differential designs. The inputs are transformer-coupled which allows (among other things) the use of both balanced and unbalanced input drive.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack
SMc Audio
Hi Steve. I understand that you and c-j staff codesigned these; is that correct?

How would you compare the sounds of the '750s v. the DNA-500?
Mitch2, could you pls send those pics of the '750 to jeffreybehr(at)cox(dot)net?

Hello Jeffrey,
Pictures are zipped and sent.
I find it discouraging the lack of attention and reviews of big iron amps these days. Neither the DNA-750 or the new Cary SA-500.1 monos have had a single professional review that I have seen, and they have both been out for a while now. Think about 10 years ago, we had the DNA-500, CJ 350, Halo JC-`s,Cary MB500s, Belles 350A Ref., and others I am sure to be missing, that were all well covered in the audio press. It's almost like they are trying to keep these DNA-750s (and the new Cary amps) a secret, either that or they really suck. 10-Audio did do a recent review of the smaller Cary SA-200.1 and had some good things to say. If these companies really want to sell some amps, IMO it would help them to generate some press coverage. BTW, I doubt Steve had much to do with the design of the DNA-750s, except what they borrowed from his earlier designs, but I could be wrong. The last picture I sent to you showed a shot of the insides with the CJ capacitor upgrade. You should call CJ directly to find out whether they still offer that upgrade. I believe the capacitor upgrade option was on their website. Please post your findings if you get to hear a pair of either the McCormacks or the Carys.
Mitch, TYVM for the pics.

I will indeed be hearing the '750s, as I bought a refurb'd pair from c-j, and they'll be here Monday. They'll be driving V'steen '5Bs'.
I've had my pair of '750s for over a week, and I'm VERY happy with them. The sounds of the system with the '750s driving my V'steen 5Bs are very effortless, natural, 'organic', musical, attractive. They have the 'wholesomeness' that is the trademark of c-j's 'It Just Sounds Right' but with even more power than the Premier 350 and in monoamps, which fit much better in my system.

I love 'em.
The pictures here and on AA are great - keep them coming. I am curious as to your choice of the SoniCaps, did you have those laying around or have you had success with them on other projects? No judgement here either way, just curious.
Mitch, thx for you comments on my pics.

I've been using SoniCaps for several years, always with great results. Since I've chosen to afford them, I've been using Platinums; everything I install them in turns out to sound excellent, and my system continues to sound better with every equipment improvement.
Off topic, forgive me, but are you still interested in selling your Thiel 3.7s ?
I thought McCormacks were out of production? Are they still being made? If so, who are selling them?
Bendrad: "Off topic, forgive me, but are you still interested in selling your Thiel 3.7s?"

Who, pray tell, is 'you'?
Wadav: 'I thought McCormacks were out of production? Are they still being made? If so, who are selling them?"

Conrad-johnson design bought the assets of McCormack Audio of California several years ago, formed McCormack Audio of Virginia, and is now designing and building McCormack-branded equipment. I'm sure they have dealers other than Spearit Sound...