Mcintosh MC501 or MC 352 for Sonus Faber Cremona

Read tons of review but still can't make up my mind.

The Cremona speaker can only handle 300W @ 4ohm. However, I never listen very loud. So I "hope" it is not an issue.

The MC501 is 500w @ 4ohm. ~$6000 501 is a Fully balanced quad-differential design in mono block and have very nice review. ... index.html It is nice to have mono block. But I just worry will it be too powerful. And it is current model (2004-).

The MC352 is 350w @ 4ohm. ~$4500. a lot cheaper. It is a Double-balanced push-pull design. It is a little older design (1998). The power rating is more suitable to my Cremona. Review is also good too but not as good as the 501.

I mostly listen to Classical (mostly piano), jazz and pop.
Current system, BAT VK30SE, Oppo BDP-95, Krell KSA-200S and Sonus Faber Cremona.

thanks ahead.

One thing I know for sure that if you don't plan to pick up one of your Macs locally, you'll have to allocate even more for shipping of monoblocks that weigh same or heavier than whole MC352.

As many posts you find about overpowering speakers all of them in one voice will spell that it's better than underpowering, but in your particular case with domination of slow and mild music you don't have to go crazy and can easily go to less pricey unit.

To say that it's an upgrade to your current Krell is more of your personal preference. I found Krell's been doing a great job for jazz. Many would say that Mac uses pre-historic autoformer technology that can be jeopardised by modern direct coupled circuits, but on my experience they show opposite. They sound great with any speaker you choose with any style of music. No DC to speaker issues either.

As far as input design goes, it's upto date in both of these Macs. Double balanced differencial vs. Fully balanced differencial have little to no differences performancewise and you can easily consider them both as balanced amplifiers.
IMO,I wouldnt buy either.The cremona is not a fast speaker,its lacking in detail and not coherant.Pairing an amp with similar sonics would be way too much of a bad thing.If I owned those speakers I would look for an amp that was faster for sure with better controll of bass,again just my opinion.
If you can afford it go with the 501's, if budget is the issue then the 352 is a good amp. I owned one for yrs. If you can swing a 402 it does have abetter power supply thna that used in the 352. But the 501's will sound the best.
I have heard Cremonas with the MC352 in a friend's system. Nice set up, and far more than powerful enough. Not lacking in detail or slow (I often feel the two are related), in my opinion. Coherency? Could be a point.
I use a Levinson 432 with my Cremona and it delivers 400 watts at 8 ohms and 800 watts at 4 ohms. Works fine. Based on my experience, he MC501 would not be to powerful. Based on my experience choosing amps for the Cremona, more power is better, but I have never tried MACs with them.

One thing to look at is the overall gain in the system. If the preamp and power amp together have a large gain, you end up using only a small portion of the volume control. My preamp can attenuate the input signal and I use that to give me more range on the volume control. So, I would check out the gain of the 2 MACs versus your Krell, just to be sure.
as I said on CAM if you like Krell, you will not like the McIntosh...but the MC501s are better choice....not saying the MC 352 is bad amplifier, but I would go for the MC501s...
I have heard the 501s on your speaker and they sounded better than any other audition of Macs that I have heard. I would go for them. plus I think the resale is better heavier and all. An excellent choice I would say.
Your statement is only partially right except that speed of Mac(that is I agree slower than any direct-coupled amp by nearly 100...1000 times) has nothing to do with driving Cremonas or any other speaker you can think of.
MC501 conclusively over MC352, but I have to point out that as illogical as it might seem, the truly magic driver for Cremona is MC1201 or MC1.2kw in the Mac line.

I recently purchased some Arion HS-500 amps:

The guy that got them in for me uses Mac 501's as his reference amp and nothing in the past had really been able to show it a clean pair of heels. I went down to really give them a good listen and see what difference putting in a Duelund capacitor would make - its uses a Cardas Golden Ratio as the capacitor coupling the valve input stage and the digital output stage. Its a good capacitor but the Duelund should easily best it.

Using some new speakers the person whose system we heard it on had developed (they are very very transparent easily being the best speakers I had ever heard - I got a pair virtually on the spot - but that's another story) me and a couple of other guys did a comparison to the Mac 501's. On some material we felt the Mac's were better, and on others the Arion's. That was a consensus view - I personally preferred the Arion's on all material - more real sounding and organic to my ears. Now the Duelund was put in. Bloody hell - it now smoked the Mac's on all material - clearer, cleaner, faster, purer, but still very organic - awesome sound. It exposed the Mac's weaknesses bare - the thought was it was the transparency of the new speakers that allowed it to be so easily heard.

With the Duelund no amp I have ever heard can touch this thing - and its not even run in yet - its supposed to improve considerably with run in. In fact the guy that makes them doesnt even like people to hear them not run in for at least 200 hours.

Anyway they are being run in right now and can hardly wait until that finished - they should be AWESOME.

After hearing this comparison I wouldn't even consider 501's - especially taking into the price difference. But do get the coupling capacitor changed to a Duelund VSF Copper by a competent tech - which the guy that did it for me at the listening session was.

Do you happen to know which type of Duelunds are in your Arion amps bhobba?