You would need to hear them side by side. I happen to love the McIntosh sound so I would be biased towards them. Is the Theata a switching amp or conventional AB?
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I own Theta Citadel 1.5, and owned the 1.0 versions prior. The 501 doesn’t have the output and control of the Citadel. I found you had to go to the 601 or higher really for the Mcintosh gear to open up. The 501 only makes 500watts, whereas the Citadel makes 950watts into 2ohm, and has huge current reserves. Each Theta monoblock is 125 lbs of powersupply.. definitely not switching. the Mcintosh definitely doesn't have the better bottom end, as even the Ayre MXR aren't even close to the Citadel. The best upgrade you can do is have a 20amp dedicated AC circuit dropped it for the amps. You will be amazed how cheap that upgrade reduces noise and gives the citadels the current they can use.