Mcintosh - Love Em' or Hate Em' ......Why?

I have owned new and old Mcintosh and loved my experiences with the product. Right now I have a MC-162 in my system and it sounds great! Very transparent and not too anylitical or fatiguing. It seems that everyone has such strong opinions about different Mcintosh products good and bad. I have had all positive experiences. I would like for people to share their opinions and experiences good and bad.
I own a Mac C100 preamp and a MC2000 amp and the best equipment I have purchased. I Love Em'!!! Probably the ones that Hate Em', are the ones that can't Afford Em'!!!
Those transformer outputs on their solid state equipment are enough to scare anyone away.
I always disliked their equipment because I found it to be very distorted and unclear. Through a recent post someone commented that this happens when they are pushed to a high volume. I cant say that is the reason for sure but its quite possible. I like my music VERY LOUD.

I love Martin Logans but I never bought them for the same reason. At lower volumes they are magical but that large flat tweeter doesnt like the compresion created by loud volume.

For years I used two Mc 2105's to drive my speakers. I then tried one Krell KST100. This, at the time, was the smallest and cheapest amp that Krell had made. Comparing the two was a "no-brainer" ... The Krell blew away the Mac's.

I have owned Krell ever since! I now use two big stereo Krell amps along with my other Krell gear. I could never go back!

While i don't know anyone running Mac tube gear, the folks that i know that have tried their SS power amps found them to be pathetically poor performers. As Bob mentioned, it may be the fact that they use output transformers ala tube gear. Either way, it's like anything else. Listen to it in your system and see if it floats your boat. Sean
As I said before, I find Mc equipement wonderful. I love the look and I love the sound. I like Krell, and ML, ok but I find they have a generally dry sound compared to Mc. That said, I think dismissing a maker altogether is ridiculous.

Also, many of you just don't understand electronics. Maybe I have been dealing with it way more than most as an electronics engineer but the Mcintosh Autoformers are an incredible concept and IMO work incredibly well. Wound bifilar wire can have fantastic properties if well designed (a difficult thing to maintain excellent bandwidth) and the fact that it can be tapped for no power drop (although this is also circuit related) at any ohms is incredible! I think most "audiophiles" believe that transformers are old-fashioned (guess what your power supply is?). Well if that is the case, why are tubes still used at all? Ignorance is bliss and I will forever argue in Mcintosh's defense.

To Drrdiamond: I also find the Mc2105s as not too good but nothing is perfect - a fact to remember.

If you want to by staus pay for MAc.If you buy with your ears you will get more soound for less $in many brands.
Classe,Sim Audio,Rogue,Sonic Frontiers.
I have always loved Mac amps but unable to afford them. Additionally they did not seem practical in a sort-of budget hometheater context. In light of this I am using Parasound amps to power McIntosh THX speakers which I fell in love with the day I heard them. Took a while to save up for them...but again, I had to have them. To me nothing else compared (at that price range).IMO
I love McIntosh!! They have really cool blue meters things that are great to look at!!
Arthur, i've found that i prefer the sound of SS amps that use minimal to no output inductance. While this can make the amp somewhat unstable into some loads ( easily compensated for ), i think that it sounds so much more "liquid". Having ALL of the signal fed through a HUGE inductor can't help matters. The fact that most speakers are not one specific impedance across the band also compounds problems somewhat. While the "Autoformer" may keep power constant from tap to tap, it can't compensate for the various current draws that occur within each tap at various impedances. Td ( Time Delay ) of a circuit like that can't be very good either.

My opinion is that large transformers should be at the beginning of the power supply chain and no where else. That includes tube amps also, as the Atma Sphere OTL ( Output Transformer-Less ) are the best that i've heard ( so far ). Sean
Sean, so knowledgable and informative as always, thanks.

I still have a pair of MC-60's that have been modified with upgraded parts and were good enough for my ears that I ran them for 10 years straight without nary a thought of any change. Ignorance is bliss, right?

I still love them because they always represented to me what reproduced music could sound like. This is a dated statement, from the late 60's early 70's to be exact. I feel MAC represents solid engineering with a history of technical support that has never been equaled and should be be a model for the rest of the industry. Their workshops are legendary. There is more to reproduced audio than just SOTA sound. I know for certain that my MC-60 are no longer Class A Recommended Components (Stereophile 1964 along with the Marantz 9's) but they are a classic product that are still musically satisfying and will probably survive my grandkids.

I personally love what this company represents, value, good engineering and customer support. They still understand the value of customer loyalty. If most of the rest of American Industry could say the same. Maybe I'm just too old-fashioned but these things are very important to me. Thumbs Up to MAC!
I have owned McIntosh gear since 1984. My current system consists of 2 MC7150 amps, C42 pre-amp, MVP831 dvd, MCD7008 cd changer, MR78 tuner modified, MQ101 equalizer to go with my ML2C speakers modified with Mac tweeter towers, + Sonus Faber Grand Piano's. I'm addicted to Mac. The sound, look, quality, engineering, and the company itself. Audiophiles go one way or the other with their opinions of Mac gear. That's perfectly fine with me. The products and company work for me. Their durablity is also is remarkable, which to me is very important. I've heard to many horror stories about guy's spending a good deal on a component only to have it being fixed a short time later. My problems with their products since 1984 have been minimal.
I, too, used to think -- McIntosh?? But since being exposed to a friend's Mac equipment, I changed my opinion. His MC2000 tube amp is quite good, although I still like my VT100 MkII better. My friend also had a MC 352, huge solid state amp, with the autotransformers. I liked the sound, rich and big, a little soft on the high end. But, hey, no amp's perfect.

I don't know about the transformer argument. Most tube amps have transformers, and they can sound more transparent and clear than solid state.
Hate the sound, love the looks.
They are great for weight traning and boat anchors however.
I am probably the "Latest" McIntosh owner posting here -
just moved up to McIntosh from Adcom in the past six months - and I love the sound of my system & so does just
about everyone else who listens!
I have an MC150 Amp, a C712 Pre, MR-73 Tuner (which my
local Mac repair service restored to it's original glory!)
and drive Thiel 3.5 speakers. My CD is the new Music Hall
MMF-25 and everything - even DVDs sound just wonderful.
I am enjoying a very smooth, detailed sound which I can
listen to for hours on end.
Perhaps of equal importance - I'm more interested in
the music I'm playing than the equipment I'm playing it
Nope... I think *I* am the latest McIntosh owner!!

Before I purchased my LAMM M1.1's, I had a MC2102 in my system for a while. It seemed to run out of steam with my 89db speakers but sounded quite good most of the time. The performance of the 2102 was good enough that it convinced me to put some money on the bigger MC2000. A direct comparison between the LAMMs and the MC2000 enlightened me to the fact that the McIntosh can truly produce a world class amplifier.

The MC2000 is outstanding in all respects.
The LAMMs have been sold!
Perfect timing for this thread! I am considering MC440M, 6 ch car amplifier. Any one has opinion on their car amps? I have Classe Ca-400 for home and PPI amps for my other car.
Their car amps are very good. Actually that is what popped in my head when I read the title to this thread. I was not haapy when my CA dealer stopped carrying Mac. Cited the reason as Mac not being hip or cheap enough for the kiddies. I am not as impressed by Mac's home audio, but that is more competitive arena.
I sold 2 MC 352's and bought an mc 2000 I love it.
I sold my C42 and bought a C100 I love it even more.
My cat knocked my mcd 751 (I think that is the number) 5 feet onto a tile floor. Broke the face plate...but I still love it. Can't wait to get it back from Mcintosh. I have listened to a lot of equip but I have not been moved to change course. Current set up is ML requests, Ml descent sub mc 2000, c100, mc 751 cd with the mac dac. Mit 750 shotgun biwired cables and a dedicated circuit to power it all.

If you like what you hear then trust your ears and be happy. If you want what others tell you is good, save your money and get a good book.
Hey Gtejr - Welcome to the MC2000 club! It's a great amplifier however I have a local amp manufacturer who says he can do a modification to the power supply which will make the McIntosh MC2000 UNREAL! (apparently all McIntosh amps have an "old" and outdated power supply design).

While I have been tempted - I haven't not committed to doing the mod. I don't want to effect the value of the amp because I have a feeling that this one will eventually increase in price - there are only 559 of them in the world!!
Once you buy McIntosh you don't have to look back. Safe, secure, relaible, beautiful, and the sound is the kicker. Beautiful, sweet, warm music. Mc has been in my family for a very long time. No need for the upgrade bug with a Mc.
BUDREW: Have you compared the MC gear with other units?
You say that once you have MC, you dont need the "upgrade bug" the amp in my system is from 1978, I am fully into the "do it right and do it once" mentality, but I am curious what models you have and what speakers they are driving.
Well, I've owned Mac gear since 1984. I since have a MC7150, and an MC352 power amps. I have aa C42 pre, an MR78 tuner, a MC861 DVD player, an MCD 205 CD changer hooked up to an Electrocompaniet Dac, all hooked into a Tice power conditioner. I have Mac ML2C speakers with Mac tweeter towers with 16 tweeters, modified by Roger Russel, the designer of the speakers. I have Sonus Faber Grand Painos and Sonus Faber Concertino speakers. It sounds awesome, truly awesome, and all my friends tell me so!I love their reliability, look, sound and just everything about them.
The C-22 tube preamp and the Mc 275 are the most beautiful components ever made BUT are the worst sounding components ever made. Made for "look-o-philes"
"The C-22 tube preamp and the Mc 275 are the most beautiful components ever made BUT are the worst sounding components ever made. Made for "look-o-philes."

This coming from someone using Home Depot cables. Have you actually listend to these pieces????
I have owned a dozen mint Mac C22 and Mc75. I could not stand to hear over 60 seconds of these. Pure noise, no music. The worst of the worst. These were made for photos in decorating magazines. Luckily I sold them all to overseas buyers who pay top dollar for these hissing room warmers.
I just purchased my first Mac. It is the C31V preamp. Wow what a difference, I had an adcom and the Mac is sweet. I am a Mac man now. What a treat to own.
They are not as liquid as Krell - or panasonic sa-xr70 (only $370 on the web) Even Krell integrated 300 model sounds better ($1200 used)

But if liquidity is not your thing, then a Mac
A few comments,
I think I may be the newest Mc convert at this time. Just bought an MC2000 six days ago. To Mint604 "I have owned a dozen mint Mac C22 and Mc75. I could not stand to hear over 60 seconds of these. Pure noise, no music. The worst of the worst." Funny you should have owned a dozen sets as much as you seem to dislike them. ;)
My experience is more like the following quotes from above.
"Beautiful, sweet, warm music." "The MC2000 is outstanding in all respects."
"Their car amps are very good." Funny thing about this. About a month ago I bought a new Subaru with Mc car audio. I loved the sound so much I could no longer stand my home receiver (dime-store quality). I went to the nearest Mc dealer to audition the MA6900. I liked the sound but couldn't see spending the money. I bought a used NAD 761 (450$) and on my way out the door asked if the MC2000 on display was for sale or for show (it's for sale). The dealer said he had a used unit for sale. I loved the display unit and did some research... bought the 2000 two days later. After setting it up, my B&W 704's sounded great, but not up to par with the 2000. I ended up buying a demo set of LS360's and can't imagine being more pleased!!!
if its made by mcintosh chances are that ive owned it at some point & my current rig is all mac.

ive tried a ton of gear & in all cases i prefered the "mcintosh sound" over other gear ive ran with the exception of some krell class a amps i tried but in the end the horrible looks of the krell's brought me back to mac.

you asked why? here's my reasons.

1 it sounds fantastic.

2 extremly dependable.

3 built to last 10 life times.

4 unbeatable factory service.

5 best lookin gear on the planet.

6 mac's resale value holds like no other gear.

7 lotsa saftey features built into the gear to prevent accidental burn out.

8 not a snowballs chance in hell of the company going under like so many others & leaving me holding a bunch of unservicable gear.

im not a "purist" when it comes to hifi & alot of the reasons some people snub their noses at mac gear are the exact same reasons that keep me buying mac like autoformers & powergaurd.

i couldnt imagine spending this much cash on gear that offered no protection from somthing as simple as a crossed wire or overheating all for the sake of keeping the signal path pure & short.

i trade alot of gear so i will always try new & different gear but mcintosh gear will always be in my home.

I have stuck with McIntosh over the years because of their
integrity. They do their homework, they treat their customers
well, they stand behind their product, even really old items.
Moreover, if autotransformers did not improve or enable their
amplifiers to sound good, McIntosh would drop them instantly.
They are not in the "iron and steel" business, as some sales
reps like to say disparagingly. I have found that Mac amps
can drive a wider range of speakers than most amplifiers and
can hold up when interfaced with difficult loads. There are
other good amps on the market, but overall, Mac is a
unique and reliable and excellent sounding product.,,,C. Miller
mint must be an idiot to buy something he hates so much 12 times, or just bitter about something, I am sure tht it is one of the 2
I kept buying tube Mac to find out what all the big "stink" from tube freaks about these sounding fantastic. It actually took 12 Mac tube items to find out the truth,it wqs ALL terrable. ALL Mac is owned by nearly deaf morons like Chaldnliz, every long term user of Mac tube gear that I have met wears hearing aids. Chaldniz SYSTEM (click it on) must be the worst sounding in the world, only an idiot would spend hard earned money the brands he listens to, he must have believed all the idiots that sold him his crud.
atleast it didnt take me 12 times to like my sound, wear a helmet and try not to lick the windows on the short bus
MINT604,bite me you pinhead,ive tried a ton of other gear & im not deaf,anybody who makes a statement like the one you just made must be a moron,before you go around with your chest all puffed out running down another guys rig you better post some pics of your gear first.

ok i feel better now! on to the point,your mistake with mac gear was buying all vintage gear i mean get real,how can anybody expect gear with 60 year old caps to hold its own against modern gear,try getting some modern mac gear & doing a side by side with the gear your currently running then make an informed statement.

Believe it or not? After I invested quite a bit of money in my system, the only amp got to stay is a pair of McIntosh MC-275. I don't think this is by chance. I have the Avalon Ediolon speakers, though it might not be the best and most expensive speakers around, but it is definitely one of the finest speakers. I have owned two turntables with four arms altogether and back up with not less than seven top of the range cartridges. I have also within the same system, six phono stages;namely ASR Exclusive,TomEvan The Groove, Whest 2.0,47Lab Phonocube,AudioResearch Ref Phono coupled with its Ref Pre 2 MkII, and EAR834P. For digital front, i have the Burmester 969/970 combo. All these, depend on the configuration from time to time for my listening pleasure,will link to my Ultimate CAT pre. I run MC-275 in mono for my Ediolon. Irregardless of whichever configuration I have, MC-275 has always made my system sing. I enjoy the way it renders decay in instrumental notes and voice. It has deep bass with good extension and it is the 3 demensionality in its presentation that makes it so special compared to other amps I owned before. Those amps that come and go include Jadis 500A, AudioResearch VT-100mkII,VTL ichiban,VTL300,VTL Tinytriode,Jadis 300B,Hurricane ASL etc...
Not sure if this will be lost, like a radio signal in space, when there is no one left behind to hear. But 10 years after my last post I am happy to say i am still loving my MAC suff. Have kept the mc 2000, added the C1000(c) a mda 1000 and an mcd 1000 ( few years ago). put in a mmf9.1 turntable with a low output goldring eroica lx mc cartridge. put it all on a dedicated circuit to reduce any noise and added a ac-dc-ac converter. Got rid of my martin logans ( do miss em) and replaced with Eggelston Andra II's. still have the old gear c100 / mc275 / mcd 751 and mda 700 music hall mmf 3 with grado phono stage running some sonus faber conchiertos. How may of you guys have found a stable sonic preference by now? i know we all had to compromise on certain issues and equip over the years, But can u sit down at night and put on an album and say...damn i still love this stuff.

pleased to hear.
I love mc and it came down to personal taste; mc402/c45. goal is 2x mc 275 and B&w802d
I fell in love with Mac gear back in 1978, with a C32 Pre, MR78 Tuner, and MC2205 amp. I've owned many Mac's over the years, with my current setup being the C48 Pre and MC7200 Amp. I couldn't be happier with this setup! Nothing is as gorgeous as the Mac gear turned on in a dark room. Reliability is another benefit. My only complaint is their cd players, which always seem to be behind the curve of other manufacturers' players. The two I've owned, the MCD7000 and the MVP-861, a universal player, have proved to be very un-reliable, to the point that I probably won't buy any more of their players. But all-in-all, Mac is a great company, and I hope they continue on for many more years.
What a great sound from the golden era. My father had the MC275 from 1961 to 2001. Never had a single problem with it. I love the MC240 even more, from 1959. They go for $3k if you can find one used. Tubey magic. Beach Boys mixed down on those.

I think vintage McIntosh is the best value around, expecially the old tuners (67 and 71) and integrated amps (1500 and 1700). Can't speak for the new ones.

Only a vintage Dynaco amp 416 or the Luxman 3045 rivals it, and I never seen these come up often.

The only new amps I have seen the rival the new MC275 are the Leben 300 from Japan.
Neither! They make some very good products and some poor cost/performance models. Their cult followers are much more dislikable then the MAC gear. When I wanted to demo an Eminent Technology LFT-8B the sales guy only wanted to talk about how great MAC gear was with ET. After critizing my Valve Audio Predator even thou he was not familiar with it I decided to cancel my demo. I thought about contacting Bruce about this but thought it was a waste of time. I do believe there is some form of hypnosis or brainwashing if you stare at those tacky blue meters for an extended time!
I bought a demo (recently superceded model) Mac CD/DVD player from Magnolia Audio. I was told it came with full manufacturer warranty. I sent in the warranty card immediately and received a letter back from McIntosh telling me they would not honor the warranty because the store had a limited time to sell discontinued models and then the warranty would be void. Any company worth anything would have given a reduced warranty period, not voided it completely. It felt like they were happy to wiggle out of the warranty rather than honor it, even for a reduced duration. Just bad customer service!