Bridged amps usually don’t sound as good as a mono blocks. Why not use the McIntosh receiver as it was intended, as an amp, preamp and tuner? I would start there.
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Probably my naivety. The NAD 2200's have a bridge switch that makes them monophonic. Dedicated amp to left and right channel which creates a more natural bass response. Is that not the same as a mono block? Current connections are NAD's to my Mac 6700 to input 2 powering my Paradigm 11se mk3's using audioquest type four cables. The Mac powers my Paradigm Studio Series 100 v.5 off input one. Using Sony DVP-S7700 for my source. Sorry old school.
Trust me, I am sure when I pull the plug on the Horns w the Mac it will solve a lot of my issues. Just hope the Horns sound as good as they did back in the 80's with all their improvements over the years.
You got a number of things going on here that are contributing to your dissatisfaction. Or should I say preventing your satisfaction?
While McIntosh are generally better than Yamaha, separates are always better than receivers, so that is a top contender for upgrade/replacement.
Klipschorns were great back in the day when nobody knew how to make amps sound good with more than a few watts. You can do a lot better. For less. And with much greater placement flexibility.
NAD, can do a lot better. You don't need hundreds of watts. Nobody does. 30-60 will do you just fine. Here have a look- read the comments, and realize that Melody is a 50 watt tube amp. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367
You can do a lot better than what you have now, and have a whole system for less than even a pair of K-horns.
The greatest value in amps is a good tube integrated amp like you can get from Raven for about $3-4k. https://www.ravenaudio.com/product/nighthawk-mk3-tube-amplifier/ This will be so much better than what you have now it will be staggering. You will not be complaining about lack of fidelity- or volume either! Hundreds of watts simply are not necessary, not unless you want to use really inefficient speakers.
Your Sony source, saved the worst for last?
Good to hear you prefer a turntable. This just means you will want to be thinking about a phono stage to go with the integrated. But that is getting way ahead of ourselves. What we need to know now is budget, and long term plans? In other words are you looking to buy a more or less complete system now, or use this as a base and buy components as and when you can afford?
Current connections are NAD’s to my Mac 6700 to input 2 powering my Paradigm 11se mk3’s using audioquest type four cables.
I’m confused. Are you using the Mac as a preamp?
The Mac preamp-out would connect to the NAD left and right monos via interconnects. The NAD's would drive the speakers.
Am I missing something?
I came out of that same era, heard a lot of that same stuff, even pursued your same course for a while. At one point even hunted down a pair of K-horns to audition. More than once. So I totally get where you’re coming from.
Thing of it is, I wasted more than a full year searching around listening to stuff like receivers and other stuff that was in my head as the way to go simply because there was no one around to advise otherwise. More than a full year. Probably more like two years! Driving around listening. Dragging stuff home to audition. Reading reviews. Lots and lots of reviews.
Reviewers of course will never tell you receivers suck. Or anything else for that matter. Everything in reviews is just the greatest thing since sliced bread. Only some are even better! (At this point I am pretty sure you can cure cancer with a REL sub.) No reviewer ever came out and said look, you buy a receiver, you’re buying a pipe dream. Its not the brand, its not the designer, its just the physical reality of trying to cram too much stuff into one box. Me, I can say that. No one else here, either has the guts or the experience. Not sure which it is. Little of both probably.
But look, seriously, what you do is you get first of all some sort of plan. Because if your plan is to have a system like mine some day that is way different than if you want something complete and balanced in one fell swoop and then sit back and enjoy it for years. Its your system. I don’t care which way you go. Just need to know in order to give quality advice.
Because this is an area I know well, and one of the most important things I know is a system encompasses a whole lot more than just the three things everyone thinks matters- speakers, amp, source. That’s 90% of what you’ll hear but in reality accounts for only about a half - if that - of what makes a great system.
There are in my book three main approaches. One is you want a whole system now and know what you can afford to spend on it right now. Next is you know you want a truly great system some day and intend to keep at it rather methodically and as funds allow over the years. (That’s me.) Finally we have buy whatever catches your eye whenever you can afford it with no real overarching plan or guide. This is the worst approach by far in terms of value, and also the most popular by far and what many here will be goading you into.
There. Not sure how polite that was but at least now you know I don’t play favorites, I’m an equal opportunity insulter.