I have the MA252 running Maggie 1.7s; I also have a Sony HAP Z1ES digital player (and vinyl too). The MA252's sound is slightly warm and creamy smooth. A decent amount of detail too. Since I'm running Maggies, I have to turn the volume up to 60+ to "rock out". I listen to a lot of jazz and alternative rock. This integrated is the real deal, but it might not be the best fit for my power-hungry 1.7s. I'm considering an upgrade the the MA352. With efficient speakers, the MA252 could be a really nice option. As has been mentioned above, the look of McIntosh equipment is part of its appeal, but sound-wise, the equipment that I've heard delivers the goods. By the way, I have a Best Buy Magnolia near me, so I've had the opportunity to listen to some of their BIG solid state & tube amps. The blue meters are something to behold.