Mac's are great but sound more SS than tube. I have a Cary 120's Cary Slp98P with all Linn sources and a Teac X1000R RR. I love the sound. I had the V12R but you need a big room they run so hot. Good luck.
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agree with polk432 mac's sound more ss than tube. i have the 120 put jensen caps in it and using for output tube's 5932's and round plates for the 6sn7 tubes my pre is cary slp-05 and with all up-grade tube's with altec 6048g speaker ...good luck ... the price on the 120's are cheap.. but then you better spent about 600.00 800.00 to retube it ...120 is really nice for it's price point..
OK, I don't have many tools for the task, but I'll chime in to defend Mc :-)
Just kidding! You know us Mc owners are supposed to be fanatics and thus have to honor that stereotype :-)
I never heard Cary so can't compare. I do have a MC275, and prior to purchasing I auditioned it in the same system side by side with a SS McIntosh MC252, and preferred the 275. This is to say the 275 doesn't sound like Mc SS. However, the above posters didn't say so either; they said "more SS than tubes". Maybe the Carys sound more like tubes indeed. Maybe that's good for you, Camcocel, maybe it isn't. Keep in mind some people prefer SS over tubes. I think you should try to listen to both before buying.
My two cents until someone more knowledgeable chimes in for Mc!!