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Perhaps one of the reasons the MC-1201 sounds so good is that McIntosh and other high end amplifier manufacturers have conducted extensive listening tests that indicate that given similar circuit topologies and tolerance of parts (a higher power amplifier uses more components and must have even tighter tolerances), a higher power amplifier always sound better than a lower power one. Even when one is listening at very low levels. I concur with your enthusiasm and have found that the big solid state McIntoshes are amongst some of my favorite power amps. Not only do the McIntoshes do not offend in the highs, they do have great rhythm and pace. I find them very exciting to listen to music with. Remember the Mark Levinson brochures using the words, "Power and Majesty" to promote their amplifiers? Well, the big Macs certainly do have them!