Review: McIntosh MA-6400 Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

This component started life driving my main system which consisted of Klipschorns, MSB link DAC III, sony changers (I am a couch potatoe) and a vintage TT. while it sounded big and alive in that setup it was just too powerful for the k-horns and I oculd not really get any fine control over volume levels. Moved up to my bedroom system and paired with the more demanding load provided by a pair of Klipsch Reference 3 bookshelf speakers (though by no means power soakers themselves) it now really shines. I am sure this unit will drive happpily less efficient speakers to volumes beyond tolerance! Its primary positive qualities are the dynamic slam it provides, from the deep bass all way throught the midrange you can feel it straining at the reigns, like a greyhound...with more heft...perhaps a rottweiler?...the highs are clear and extended, really a pleasure to listen to. while I won't go into detail about its feature list (see that at roger russell's site let me confirm that this is a real McIntosh, which means it has every convienience you would hope for. Feature Laden they call it. Extensive switching options, tone controls, even a loudness control, everything accesable via remote control. Late a night, listening to anything from Miles Davis to Led Zeppelin, the front panel meters waving happily as I dance around in my underwear a la Tom Cruise (forgive the literary license)...that is what it is all about...that is what this unit gives you, the feel of the music, clear and powerful, like no other integrated I have auditioned. If you can find one (why would anyone let one go?) for the price there is nothing to equal it, enjoy!

Associated gear
Klipsch Reference 3 bookshelf speakers

A Phillips CDR-775 dubbing recorder

Creek OBH-11 headphone amp and Grado SR80 headphones

Monster M550i interconnects and Audioquest type 4 speaker cables

Similar products
Creek, Adcom, Rega
I agree. I have liked every McIntosh integrated amp I listened to including the MA6200, 6450, 6500, 6900. I own the separates that make up the 6400 (the MC7100 and C712) and although they are more powerful, the 6400 never felt like it lacked much if anything. For the used price, these integrates are mighty fine in all aspects.
You’ve got a real music lover’s system there (as opposed to an audiophile showpiece). I had an older 1970s vintage Mac integrated briefly which I sadly threw away when it died. It had lots of rust and cosmetic damage and probably wouldn’t have been salvageable, or worth the cost of a restoration since there’s a lot of well preserved vintage Mac out there. I also have the Philips CDR-785, and it’s a surprisingly smooth-sounding CD player, though the CD-R drive is broken. It's been my primary CD source for years. And the Creek OBH-11 is the best value headphone amp out there; I loved mine. My only suggestions would be (a) spring for the OBH-2 regulated power supply, it really makes a difference, and (b) do yourself a favor and try the Creek with a set of Sennheiser HD580, HD600 or HD650 headphones instead of the Grados. I’ve had SR60 and SR80 Grados and neither could hold a candle to the Senns in sound quality or especially comfort.
thanks for the reponses. I had initially tried a sennheisers but one thing turned me off, I had constant problems with the cables...I kept having the music cutting out due to an intermittant I went with the grado (they were also VERY economical)...I may upgrade to something more pricey in the future, but for now...I am enjoyinh the music...check out my main system to see what I listen to most of the time. regards, tony