McIntosh MA 6500 reliability etc....

Hi Folks,
I am considering a Mcintosh MA 6500 integrated amp. Do any of you have one? How is the reliability and how do you like the sound? How is their gear in general for the long haul? I have a Cambridge Audio 840 A V2, and am considering a move in this direction. Any thoughts would be helpful in aiding my decision. Thanks so much...Brian.

PS: How is the company with backing their products should failure occur? Any dealings that way? I would be buying new from a registered dealer.
Apparently you are new to the scene because McIntosh is famous for reliability and customer service. I had a 6500 for a while and it was awesome. A buddy of mine had one too and it powered his Revels in big room with surprising ease. It has a lot of power despite the modest ratings. If you have speakers with proper resolution, it will be a huge improvement over your 840 (as it should be for the extra cost). I think the 6500 is one of the best deals out there.

arthur is correct...mac wrote the book
Awesome Guys...thanks! I have Magnepan MG 12 speakers, and Transparent wiring throughout. Appreciate your insight/opinions VERY much.
McIntosh sets the standard for product quality, reliability, customer service and holding value over time. That, plus the involving musicality of their preamps, amps and integrated makes them a superb choice.
As others have said, McIntosh wrote the book. You can send McIntosh pretty much anything they've ever made, and they'll be able to bring it back up to original specs, if not better. Its not cheap, but you get what you pay for. Look at the Mac gear being sold here. See how well it retains its value. A lot of the stuff is far older that it seems. For info on anything Mac made, check out He's a former engineer.

A Mac dealer friend of mine had a customer whose house burned down. Everything was destroyed. My friend contacted McIntosh to see if the piece could be refurbished. McIntosh brought it back to original specs and cleaned it up and made it look brand new again. If that doesn't say enough about Mac, maybe this will...

They didn't charge him. It wasn't a piece anywhere near warantee. Mac told my friend 'We don't need his money. He's probably got too many other things to worry about.' It safe to say that they turned him into a customer for life. Obviously they're not going to fix everyone's stuff for free, but they're a great company who goes the extra mile.
Thanks Guys...a remarkable company for sure! How long do their products take to burn in?
My experience is burn in time for Mcintosh amps and preamps is zero. Sound great out of the crate (and they do basically come in a crate), sound the same months later - still great. And the rather ancient models I have heard sound great after 30 years. Don't be afraid to call McIntosh as to such questions - I have found them to be professional, knowledgable, and willing to answer questions or get back to you with questions involving technical matters. Furthemore, you don't get a hard sell from them - likely because their products sell themselves.
I have 8 pieces of McIntosh gear - only one was purchased new. Aside from McIntosh, you can send used equipment to and they will bring it up to spec.

Audio Classics has the best customer service I've ever experienced.
Thanks again for your support Guys. Do you leave yours powered up all the time, or should I shut it down when not in use? I have one and LOVE it. Bought from authorized dealer locally.
The "leave it on, turn it off" debate will never end. Try it both ways yourself and if you hear a difference leaving it on, so be it. For me, I don't hear any difference with my Mac gear so I shut it off; I have had other gear that I felt the results were different.
I just bought a 6500 from Audio Classics this week...AMAZING customer service and knowledge. The price was great, and I will always use them for Mac in the future.
If you are going to power Magnepans, forgot the 6500 and get something with more 4ohm power. My friends 6900 barely (the speakers never opened up) powered Magnepan 1.6's.
MA6500 has more power (into 4 Ohms) than 6900. It also sounds more dynamic and "in control" than the bigger brother. The 6900 uses their autorormer technology, which brings some midrange magic and HF refinement, but at an expense of dynamics.
Having had a 6500 and knowing the 6900 very well, I have to say it does seem like the 6500 has more power, and is more dynamic. We used the 6500 for a while with Revel F30s in a room that is 35x18 and it was crazy how the 6500 had zero strain at very high volume levels playing techno.

Give it a try for a while and see if you think you need more power. It really depends on what volume level you like to listen to as to how much power you really need.

My Mac MA230 has been plugging along for 40 years. It will probably outlast me!
I owned a MA6500 for a while. Great amp. Very powerful and dynamic. Sold it and immediately wished I had it back. Had to go to tubes to get the same smooth sound at a fraction of the power. Oh well.

If you buy new, you should have no problem with service. Read the threads: even used, reliability is unquestioned.
Hi Folks,
Mine is having no trouble feeding the Maggies. They never sounded better actually. Deepest stage and dynamics I've yet heard. Imaging is great too. I can understand the differences with the 6900 however. It's neat to read all of your observations. I really am falling more in love with this integrated all the time. I just wish their pricing weren't so high. Like everything else, the high end is seeing fairly large increases lately in everything. Cardas Cross cables for 1 meter are close to $600 now. Wow! Anyway, I'm having fun with the amp and appreciate all your comments. Thank you again!