Moscode 402au vs Butler TDB2250 vs McIntosh MC275

I am using a McIntosh MC275 with an Aesthetix Calypso preamplifier and Sehring 703 speakers (86dB at 8 ohms). The Mac has great mid-range timbre, detail, and high end extension, but the bass and soundstage width could be better. I primarily am a fan of rock music, but find I mainly listen to more laid back music (Norah Jones, Feist) with the Mac because hard rock doesn't sound all that convincing. So I am looking to buy either the Moscode 402au or the Butler TDB2250 to replace the Mac, having read good comments about both hybrids, hoping for better bass and soundstage without sacrificing too much mid-range warmth.

OK, long preamble over...has anyone compared the MC275 to the Moscode or Butler? Any thoughts or advice?
Another option is to buy another MC275 and run them as mono at 150W each. If you like the Mac mid range, it might be something to consider.
I’m curious too…. Tvad once had a 401 Moscode, I believe. He might chime in on what he liked or disliked about it…

I have a TDB 5150. I use it as a 2ch amp now and then. I like what it does overall. I even thought about getting the TDB 2250. The Butler hybrid amps offer a good deal of bass on my Sonata IIIs in a closed off 2400 cu ft room approximately. I really do not need to use my sub, though often I will…. As it’s my preff. Though it’s actually not in fact prerequsite.

I will say from a “Gee I sure do like flexiblity” stand point, the MosCode amp always looked good to me on paper given the ability for user tube rolling.

The Butler doesn’t allow for any user tube replacements, even though it uses one in each amp, though not for gain purposes. They also need to be biased by Mr. Butler. So with the Butler it’s pretty much a what you see is what you get…. Akin to an SS amp.

The Butlers however are cost effective…. Or not terribly pricey… except the one he makes using the 300b tubes.

It’s an easy amp to listen to, own, and operate. Rock steady performance, and not pricey. It should mate with your Calypso easily. It will rock too. Your current tube setup in your preamp and the power cord on the amp should enable you a very quick, fast feel, for R&R music. I play a little Def Lep, ZZ Top, and so forth thru mine. No probs.

It comes down to what you really want/need. Flexibility? Hands off operation? Your tastes, and budget.
what kind of speakers do you have?
Leben CS-300 with Sylvania driver and output tubes, plus Zu Mother power cord, Zu Varial IC, Zu Druid and Zu Method Sub.

Right now, listening ZZ Top, Billy F. Gibbons´s guitar bites your shoulder.

Jaybo, my speakers are Sehring 703s. Sehring is a German brand that is not currently distributed in the US. Sensitivity is 86 db at 8 ohms. Frequency response is 38Hz to 27kHz. Sound signature leans more towards "analytical" than "warm", and for that reason reviewers have suggested that they sound better with tube than solid state amplification. That said, they did sound quite good powered by a now defunct B&K 4420 solid state amp, offering great bass and soundstage width/imaging.

I really do like the Sehrings quite a lot and don't want to change them. In a lot of ways, I view them as the best componenet in my system. I have heard them deliver tremendous bass and a phenomenal soundstage with the B&K 4420. I also am awed by how they sound with the MC275 with music that isn't that dynamically challenging. Unfortunately, I don't have enough space for monoblocks or a massive solid state stereo amp like Pass Labs or Classe. I live in a medium-size New York apartment. The appeal of Butler and Moscode is that they have tubes in the signal path, output a lot of power, and are relatively compact in size. The only other amp I have thought about has been a Modwright KWA 100SE. However, I am a little suspicious that the Modwrights are not quite living up to the glowing reviews, seeing how many have come up for sale here in the last few months.
I used to have an MC275 MK V with NOS signal tubes paired with the Calypso preamp with NOS tubes. It was the best combination of separates I have ever owned. If you are like me, you will miss them when they are gone. If you can swing it, you really should consider getting a second MC275 as I think they are very special amps and offer great bang for the buck. I only switched because I wanted to go with a one box integrated amp, and I did not care for the awkward appearance / ergonomics of the MC275. I'm currently in the process of moving back to tube separates because I want more power to drive my big Harbeth's.

If you must go with solid state, suggest you consider staying with McIntosh (maybe MC352 or 402) so you can keep the Mac midrange & fullness.
Pdreher, thanks for your comments. Can I ask what integrated you are using now?

In any case, you may well be right, as the Mac does sound great in most respects. If I ever move into a bigger space, I could then buy a second MC275.

In the short run, one option is to buy a good used solid state amp that is fairly inexpensive and hear if the Mac can really be improved upon with a more powerful amp. I also could take Moscode up on the offer of a 33 day free trial and see if it is really better...


So.... what did you decide?
Mcondon - The first integrated I tried after separates was a Musical Fidelity Nuvista M3... a big disappointment. I knew instantly that it was all bling, with little substance... I listed it within 3 days of getting it. Even ended up paying the next owner to get it's caps replaced, even though the guy I had bought it from had just had similar repairs done 6 months prior.

Next, I went back to McIntosh and used the MA2275 tube integrated for about 3 months. The MA2275 is a very nice integrated. I really liked it... excellent build quality and very good sound. It just did not provide enough drive for my big Harbeth's and did not have the transparency or soundstage that I had grown accustomed to with my previous favorite separates setup (MC275 MKV & Aesthetix Calypso). I doubt I will ever down-grade again unless it's out of financial necessity.
A friend had a Moscode 401 and upgraded to a 275 and was very happy. Like you he thought the 275 had a weaker bass. He also bought a second 275 so he could run them mono.

Well, I switched to speaker cables from Clear Day Cables and placed the MC275 on a Mapleshade amp platform. Those changes, which were fairly inexpensive, have significantly improved the bass and dynamics of my system. So for now I am happy with the Mac and Aesthetix. They really are transporting with well recorded music.

The Moscode still appeals to me, mostly because the extra watts would help with my relatively inefficient speakers. But for now, the Mac is fine...


Honestly. inproving upon the transparency control, and dynamics of the MC 275 is easily done by going with The Butler TDB 2250, or better yet, the Dodd 120wpc mono blocks like the MK II's or later. both are more affordable than the new Moscodes. Both IMHO outperform the MC 275.... I have a Mac dealer in town... and why I now own both Dodd and Butler amps instead of the MAc.

That said, I do really like their SS amps, 402 & especially the 602. I feel the 602 or 500 wpc monos are life time amps. Really no need to go anywhere from them... in SS of course.

It's good you are digging the Mac amp. And discovering various iso gizmos very well can & do contribute to altering the sonic product. A Nice amp stand or small tuned rack from someone like Sound anchor will still further elevate the audio presentation... or such was my own exp. I have both amp stands and a towering 6 level filled rack, from Sound Anchor. Couldn't be happier with either. Also a pr of tall speaker stands. All helped improve coherency and presentation imaging.

Blindjim, I appreciate your insights and recommendations. I have read great things about the Butler TDB2250 and you are the second person who has said they prefer it to the MC275. That said, these impressions were at dealerships with stock tubes installed. The MC275 becomes a different animal with NOS tubes...much more transparent and airy than in stock form, which sounds thick and slow in comparison. In any case I spent about 10 hours listening to music this weekend very very contented. The cable change really made a surprising amount of difference. But I will keep my eye out for a Butler. Maybe I will even try it for a 10 day money back trial period. The Dodd looks like a great amp, but I don't have space for them.