Mcintosh MA2275 what's better

I listen to mostly rock but love all music if it's good.... I'm looking for options in the tube integrated realm because of space ( apartment ) also I don't listen at loud levels. I love my Mac but I miss the sound of my classic Audio Research gear I owned in the past. ARC's integrated is on my list. One specific problem I have with the Mac is that drums do not come alive, Just a hair too laid back.
The mac's do have a laid back sound, I will agree with that. I would not say that ARC is better, it is definitely a different sound. CAT Amps have a very good sound. I would say probably better than McIntosh, but quite a bit more. If you can afford I would listen to them. They are wonderful. I have also heard very good things about Lamm Audio as well. As far as the drums go, what kind of source are you using?
I have a MC275 with similar tube compliment as your 2275.

You might try upgrading from the stock tubes which are mediocre at best.

I suggest replacing the KT88 power tunes with Genalex Gold Lions and the 12AX7 and 12AT7 tunes with Mullards, Amperex or Telefunkens. The Full Music brand 12AX7 tubes have been getting excellent reviews.
The result of the tube upgrade is greater detail and clarity, significantly improved dynamics and dramatic and tight bass. The tube upgrade improvements are not subtl and makes you wonder how the 275 series can get such good reviews without them. With them the Mc gear is far from laid bac;, although ont in-your-face either.
I agree totally on the tube rolling, I did that and could not believe the difference it made..... How they can demo these amps in the showrooms with the stock tubes is beyond me..... Now I once hooked up a cd player directly to the amp in section bypassing the preamp section and that sounded better, tighter, focused and more real,
as far my source it's weak. I sold my Basis TT to buy a Linn which I have not acquired and I'm using a cheap ES sony sacd player, it gets me by..... I've been saving up for speakers too, my old Thiels are a complete miss match for the Mac, but I have tried easy to drive monitors and still get too much of a laid back sound but I will say for Classical music it's been amazing.
Before you do any tube rolling, what have you done to improve the acoustics of your room? What have you done as far as speaker positioning? Changes here may give you massive improvements in sound quality at practically no cost.
I have both MC 275 and ARC VT 100. With all tubes changed with Telefunken and E.A.T. ( KT 88 ) the Mac sound us more refined and dynamic. Plus the vol. attenuators allows to direct connect ( S.E.) the phonopreamp to the amp, it makes it a wonderful analog amp. Also the XLR connections for line preamp makes it one of the most flexible amps available, can also be transformed into a 150 Watts monoblock just with a switch. This is for the MKII version, the MK3 dropped the attenuators, witch IMO is sad for the vinyl setups.
I agree that the amp with the attenuators is the one to get. They also have the gold plated xlr connections which were also dropped. I think the Mark 1V is the one with all of the goodies and earlier models. I can see where he is saying that the Mc's have a laid back sound compared to ARC. It to me has a fantastic musical presentation. Much better than almost everything I have ever heard. Maybe it could be something else in your system that needs tweaking.