McIntosh, your experience?

McIntosh is a name that has been around the high end for a very long time.  I have not owned any of this brand and am considering various brands of used units on A'goN.  If any have previous or current experience I would appreciate your input.  Thanks
50 years I've used them.. Yes they are wonderful. Do you're research on what you want to do first. Stereo, HT, Both.
New or Vintage, and go from there.

There is quite a community, for Mac users around the world..

You can almost always find a part if you wait long enough.

Their service and network of service centers is pretty impressive..
I've never waited over 3-4 weeks, 3  times, out of 35 or so piece in 40 years of using their services.


Thanks.  I have owned much, but not McIntosh and doing my research ahead of any buying.

McIntosh, your experience?
Made great tube amps, back when.
Then lost the way and compromised trying to make SS amps and putting output autoformers on the rear end of them, to make them "bullet proof".
Very much like using a "O" Autoformer on amps that can’t take certain loads to make them handle those loads and be compromised.

THE REAL FIX!!! Just get the right amp to start with for that speaker.

Cheers George
I have owned many Mc amps as well as Pre-amps, Processors and one DVD player. I still keep two amps in my system one MC402 and MC205 for 2 channel and 5 channel respectively. I would suggest you do a little research on which model will meet your needs best. I know as you will learn, there is a group of Anti-McIntosh that will try to talk you out of McIntosh. But if you decide to pursue a McIntosh Amp, you will find 1st of all they are built like a tank, they do a great job, they hold their value, you may fall in love with the meters as well. But be forewarned, they are heavy. 
Try to find one new enough to have LED lighting or check with to see if they offer a retro fit LED light kit. 

Good luck
i bought my first mcintosh unit, an mc2205 power amp back in the early 2000's! i later bought an mc 602 power amp in 2011. i used to have a marantz 4300 quad reciever for a pre amp tuner but it was too noisy. in 2013 i bought a mx132 home theater unit to use as a tuner pre amp to match my mc602. i only listen in the 2 chanell mode. i'm not an audiophile so i don't know the difference that many audiophiles know. some say that other units are better sounding but if you have'nt heard them you don't know what your're missing! this is where i stand!
whatjd, you really haven't given us with enough information to provide you with a useful answer. McIntosh is a manufacturer who has been in business for a long time. They have made a variety of gear in all types. Are you interested in new mac gear, classic mac solid state amps, vintage mac tube gear or ???

I'm not a mac solid state fan. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with this gear; it's just not for me. But I have owned several vintage mac tube amps and they were excellent. What are you looking for, specifically? If you can narrow if down a bit I think you will see more reponses

br3098,  Thanks for your input.  I would be using any electronics in one of two systems.  The main system would be with Maggie 20 and the second system would be with Quads.  I have used several different source units, but I also listen to 2 great college FM stations, one classical and one just superb classic Jazz.  I do listen to some stations off the internet, but not many,.  

Having been a fan of much in the world of music, I started my audio journey in my teen years and have enjoyed the journey since then.  In the early years it was the Rock & Roll of the day.  Starting in my 20s I became a fan of great American Jazz and some classical and have followed that since.  Some of the best live American Jazz I have enjoyed was in Jazz bars in Copenhagen at 2 a.m. 

Take care, Jim

You’re going to get a variety of answers here, some of them from people who have never owned a Mac, some from others who have limited experience that led to a strong prejudice.

My two suggestions: First, consider that for McIntosh to have thrived in the audio business for more than 70 years, the company must be doing something right.

Second, if you want to gauge the experience others have had with Mac, go to a site where you’ll find lots of ’em. Audio Aficionado is one of the best but one note of caution - that site doesn’t tolerate some of the trash talk that’s become common here. But that means the responses you get at AA will be more likely to be responsive to your inquiry.
cleeds is on a roll. This is good dependable gear from a good dependable company. I have owned several of their tuners over the years and they were SOTA. If you want a no hassle experience, bullet proof equipment and are not after the last 5% of sound quality Mac is the way to go except for one thing, the speakers. They are awful.
I had been on the Audio merry go round since I was 15, always buying and selling for supposedly the next best thing. When I retired in 2017, I wanted to upgrade my Parasound Halo Integrated in my secondary system which I listen to 80% of the time since it is in my home office. After doing a lot of research, I decided on a second hand McIntosh integrated from Audio Classics. Within 15 minutes of firing up the Mac at home, I knew it was a keeper. Within 2 more months, I had also purchased a McIntosh SACD player and FM Tuner. I was and still am in Audio heaven.

Meanwhile, my main system had also been going through changes, mainly replacing my speakers with the brand new GE Triton Reference speakers. I had already changed amps from a tricked out Odyssey Kismet amp to a Conrad Johnson 250wpc amp. I was very unhappy with the sound. On Jan 2, 2018, I purchased a McIntosh tube preamp, top of the line tuner, and a 300wpc amp, all McIntosh. The system has been transformed! If you had told me 10 years ago I would own mostly Mac gear, I would have said no way.

I had a lot of good equipment over the years, 3 different Audible Illusions tube preamps, 4 Magnum Dynalab tuners, 2 Classe amps, 2 Odyssey amps, a Conrad Johnson amp, a Rogue Audio RP5 tube preamp, Marantz SACD player, 3 VPI turntables, DeVore speakers, Kismet Reference speakers, Von Schweikert speakers Paragiadm speakers, the list is endless. I came full circle to embrace McIntosh. It isn’t just the sound, it’s the pride of ownership, the silky feeling of the rotary controls, the smooth acting switches and the bulletproof reliability.

Don’t listen to the naysayers, most who hate Mac either never heard them or listened for a few minutes with the intention of not liking them. The auto transformers are there for a reason, it is what gives the McIntosh that magical house sound. I bought all my McIntosh equipment from Audio Classics and all second hand.  Everything looks and plays like brand new. Let your own ears be your guide.
Mc fans are diehard.  I'd say go and audition them at dealers and compare them against comparatively priced competitors, and let your ears decide.  Don't base a decision on forum feedback.

If you have a rowboat, and over the years you gradually replace each and every piece of wood that the boat is made of, at the end of that process, is it the same rowboat?

If you have an audio company where all the original principals retired, others have come and gone, and which has changed hands and become part of some multinational it the same company?

Does that company's track history in the past apply to the present?


If you have an audio company where all the original principals retired, others have come and gone, and which has changed hands and become part of some multinational it the same company?

No, it isn’t the same company.

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man." (Heralitus)

But you can evaluate a company for its adherence to design principles, innovation, use of institutional knowledge, customer service, and so on. By those metrics, McIntosh remains true to its roots. Whether that satisfies you is another matter entirely.

Many storied companies have flourished long after its founders have passed, e.g. Leica, Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Tiffany.
I agree with @kren0006’s post above. You really need to audition the McIntosh products at your dealer and compare them against comparatively priced products. You then need to let your ears and budget decide what to buy. 

As you obviously already know, everyone has a different opinion on McIntosh products. They either like them or not.

Reading products reviews, Audiogon posts, etc. are interesting but a McIntosh listening session is the best way to decide what to purchase. This applies to McIntosh products and any other audio product.
I’ve owned Pioneer, Yamaha, NAD, Counterpoint, ARC, Pass Labs, and presently have all Mcintosh. The Mac stuff sounds great, looks great, is well built and dependable. It also holds it’s value better than most and I hear the service is very good. I’ve had mine for years and have never needed a repair. The Pass Labs stuff is very good also, and their customer service is fantastic.
ARC makes good sounding equipment but in my experience it blows up a lot.
I have owned several pieces of McIntosh equipment. To quote a previous responder, "’s good dependable gear from a good dependable company." Is it as good as Burmester or mbl? I don’t know, because I can’t afford to buy those two brands for a test. I don’t think you will go wrong with any McIntosh products. Try to audition them before purchase, and trust your ears. Resale will be better than most brands when it comes to that.
never owned,
never hated, always loved the gear !!

 amazing audio !!!

 trust to purchase !!

 had the scratch, would buy immediately !!

 would buy 1000W monos if i could !!!
Admired the look of McIntosh from afar for many years.  For the life of me I don't know why I haven't owned any until recently.  I've been through a ton of gear the last 35 years and finally did a MAC home audition a few months ago.  I was able to A/B a C2700 and MC462 with a PS Audio BHK pre and BHK 300 monoblocks.  I was so impressed that I ordered the C2700 and MC611's.  Beautiful sounding (and looking) gear that I feel I'll be happy with for years to come.
It's been 25 years at least since McIntosh got its speaker expertise in hand.  The stereotype about that is way outdated.  Similarly with the tube vs SS comparison.  Late-model Mac SS amps deliver a faultless and extraordinarily accurate sound. 

All of these are just words, and opinions.  Go listen for yourself.
I bought my first (two) pieces of kit from McIntosh earlier this year. It has been nothing short of a wonderful experience. I felt like I got the real white glove treatment. It’s sold me on the idea of buying my equipment brand new, if it makes sense.

I just got into the hobby 3 years ago, in the summer of 2017. So to say I've come a long way since then, and have a long way to go still is a bit of an understatement!
I've been into audio since 1984 and recently purchased my first Mcintosh equipment.  What's my experience?  Well I'm pissed, I wasted a lot of money on so called "Giant Killers".
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I guess that you're pissed at yourself. You could have tested it before you bought it.