This is a hard question to answer. I have a all BAT system, but some of the McIntosh gear is pretty darn good to. What's the rest of your system? What model Mac vs BAT...
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Jfrech, I am using a MC352 for the front channels and a MC7205 5 channel amp for the ctr and rr's. Just using 3 of the 5 channels there. Using an MX134 as pre/pro. Speakers are Revel Performa F32's C32 and M22's. Sources Linn Ikemi CD,Marantz DV8400 universal, Pioneer PDR19RW as a burner, Rega P25 Lrya cart and Naim Stagleline all Cardas Golden Ref IC and Naim Speaker cable. My motive is to get down to one amp so I can gain some real estate in a new cabinet I want to build. I love the MC352 but the MC7205 doesn't have the same detail or punch. It seems that McIntosh amps aren't as good without the autoformers. How long have you had the BAT equipment and any problems?
I've had BAT stuff for years now. Several Amps...VK200, vk 60, now a VK75SE. One preamp, VK50SE that's now a 51se, and 2 phono stages...now a P10SE. No problems, great service. Very highly recommended.
Sounds like you want a good 5 channel amp? The VK6200 is one of the best. What I can't help you with is matching with your MacIntosh gear. Seriously, call BAT and ask them.
I've heard and read, that the Autoformers really make some of the Mac amps awesome.
Good luck to you.
Right now I have a mc352 it was mated w/ a c42 for about 2 1/2 years. I felt the preformance of the c42 was about 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, so I upgraded to a BAT vk51SE, what a huge differance. Remember MAC is known for their amplcation not so much for their preamplication. As for the mc352 I am very pleased w/ it`s preformance mated w/ the vk 51SE. I to am going the BAT direction not that I am dissatisfied w/ the mc352 I just want to give a vk75SE a try, by the way I do plan to keep the mc352 for the garage system. David
The latest Stereophile magazine reviewed the McIntosh C200 preamp and said it tied the VK-51SE overall, but is less expensive as a bonus. I think the Mc preamps are very good and to be fair, Cylinderking shouldn't compare a design that is several years old (C42) with one that is new and costs 3X more! You have better hope you get an improvement for that! lol. Comparing apples to apples, the McIntosh preamps are definately on par with their peers - no doubt in my mind - and they generally are more flexible which I like a lot.
Anyway, I have had several McIntosh and have to disagree with the comment that only the autoformer versions are good. It depends on the model in question. I have a 7200 right now that is absolutely terrific and has no autoformers.
You could see if you can audition the new MC207 which looks really cool with the transformers exposed - it would totally match your MC352. Your 7205 is not Mc's latest and greatest multichannel amp anymore - it was replaced by the MC206 and now the MC207 so you still have a couple options in the McIntosh line. The latest Mcs are killer.
But give the BAT a try too if you feel like a change. I have been impressed by the VK-5i with VK-200 playing Dynaudio speakers in the past. Let us know what you decide. Good luck! Arthur
BAT vs MC very nice very close, but I can help. The deciding factor is your speakers. I have NHT 2.9 and used BAT VK300se for a month 240+ hours (good to be retired) and they sounded great, the bass control still hasn't been matched. My only reservation was a slight metallic edge on the highs, the 6922 tube version allows more voiceing flex than supertube 6h30 but u lose some detail. Victor and MC both provide +++ support. Moved on to mac 6900 and 2275(ss and tube integrated) loved the 2275 but needed a little more omph so I went c2200+mc2102. Linn cd sounds great with either but more "analog" on the mcs.The 2275 is cheaper if you need to save space and money over the combo and comes close in sound. The c2200 performs wonders with any mac amp and probably equally well with BAT tube amp (only 1/2 hour experience) and betters BAT for smooth liquidity and inner detail. The BAT vk300 (6922)and ma6900 are equals, 6900 smoother ,vk300-6922 punchier, 6h30(se) more detail and retains punchier but less smooth.MA2275 is better in all respects but has less power.The MC2102 is better in all respects but is not as powerful as Bat ss unless you spend $6100 more and run the 2102 as monoblocks and I don't have enough time on BAT tube amps in direct comparison vs mc tube amps to speak there. Autoformers increase amp- speaker- cable compatibility a very big + and should extend amp life. Some expensive BAT's might still include the original 6h30 and it doesn't have the glare(slight and less than almost all ss) of current production super tubes.The last sentence is controversal as Mr K says there is no difference and he is THE expert on BAT and has my respect.Hook up the Linn, speakers and cables and have some real good music.
I haven't really heard the BAT amps, so i canno't comment on them. However i too own a Mac MC352 partnered to a Supratek Chardonnay. Source Linn Genki soon to be upgraded to Ikemi maybe...This combo sounds fantastic. The only problem being the supratek will not offer you much flexibilty in HT (it has a bypass )unless you want to seperate the two.
Good luck !
I was a BAT dealer and had two VK-150se amps with both VK-40 and VK-51se preamps. While I absolutely loved the sound of this system the amps sounded lacking when compared to a Belles 350-A amp, and I mean lacking in bass slam, natural tones, fine detail, black background, etc. I then got a set of 350-A monoblocks at about 1500 watts each into 8 ohms and all of the qualities were multiplied. These sound like the best tube amp with way better tonal character and bass detail, and are truly fatigue free. Try a 350-A and you'll never go back to the tubes except for preamp purposes. Also the 21-A at $3000 smokes either of the best BAT preamps by being profoundly more open and dynamic, I used the BAT stuff to do A/B comparison demos.
I have the MC352, I have heard comments about it being one of the 5 best amps in the world. Are you thinking of BAT becuse you want to get into tubes?
My McIntosh MDA1000 DAC feeding directly into the MC352 can drive the MC352 with complete clearty into concert SPL Levels with out breaking a sweat or play Jazz so real you would swear they are right there.
Mark, at the time I was considering the BAT due to a A/B comparison at a dealer between the MC501's vs a Bat amp (forget the model number..old age). I too have the MC352 running the front with a MX135. I love the sound but you know the quest for the Audio Holy Grail. One of the other motives was space. I use the MC7205 as a 3 channel and thought I could down to one box. But I love Mc Look and sound to much to switch. I would say the BAT sounds better on the bass but may be too analytical over time. I am now thinking of tring the MC207 7 channel amp. Have you ever listened to it? Every dealer that has it doesn't have its set up for good music only theater.
No I have not heard the MC207, I wonder if you can call a dealer and have them set one up. Some dealers will do that for you.
I wanted to try the MC1201's with the C200 but no dealer in New England have the MC1201's in stock. They are all pushing the C2200 and the MC2102, I think they are hot sellers.
I tried to set up a demo at the local dealer and he told me he would be happy to, but that if I owned the MC352 that I would not like it unless I was going to use it strictly fro HT and not 2 channel and needed to deperately save space. So I guess I am where I am for amps right now.
Another dealr is quitting business and has a good deal on the MC501's but that is more than I want to spend but damn they are beautiful! I heard the 1201's at the Rocky Mtn Audio Fest through the Mc Speakers and whoa theyre were amazing. What speed and articulation. Unfortunately McIntosh charges extra for the forklift.