Vintage vs. new McIntosh amps long

Some background first. My system consists of a Basis 2001/Graham 2.2/Benz Micro Ruby 3 and a Rega Planet as sources. A Pass Xono, c-j PF2 and c-j MF2200 are the electronics driving B&W N802s. All except the Xono I've had for 8+ years. I really have no experience with other electronics on the 802s. I had always planned to replace the c-j gear with something more on par with my analog rig and speakers. I listen to LPs 90% of the time and mainly to jazz, rock, blues, classical and acoustic instrumental.

Posts I've read recommended McIntosh amps as good matches for the N802s. I was able to borrow a friends vintage 70's MC 2205. The authority it drives the 802's woofers with really put my c-j to shame. Much deeper and solid bass resulting in a larger soundstage. It also takes the stridency out of the sound I've been fighting for longer than I care to remember.

Unfortunately, the amp has some condition issues. The meters illuminate but don't work, the power mode lights don't light so I can't say that circuitry works for sure. Add a fair amount of rust on the chassis and silkscreen lettering issues. Can't say I'm thrilled with the wimpy power cord, speaker terminal strips or the input connectors. But man it sings, and if I forgo remote volume control, I wouldn't need a preamp since it has individual volume controls.

Now my question. What differences in sound can I expect between a vintage amp like this vs. a newer Mac - say something built in this millenium? It appears to me Mac experienced something of a revival since the dog years after they were sold. I'm trying to decide if it's worth living with a known vintage piece with it's issues and or buying new.

Relax, have a Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA and listen to Harry James....
new old stock mc352's can still be had at a great price(it was replaced by the 402.which is a baby step better), and 'for the money' are just about as good as any mac of any vintage. the mc275 would also sound similar in character, even though its a tube favorite of the vintage stuff is the mc7300. all the new designs are great
Having owned the 2125, 2155,2205, 2255, 2002, and my all-time favorite-the MC7200, you will find a big difference between the model you tried and the 7200. Personally, I have never been enamored of Mac's amps with the autoformers, the bass sounding flabby and not crisp and tight. My 7200 is direct-coupled, with great bass. I have not tried the new amps, as cost is prohibitive in retirement!
The problems you described with lighting could just be that-sounds like bulbs need to be replaced. Some Mac amps of that vintage had a circuit board for each meter, and sometimes they needed to be pulled out of their mounting slots and contacts cleaned, and re-inserted. I had a lot of trouble with one 2155's meters doing what you describe, as I recall. The power cord can be changed, but Mac felt it was fine at the time, so that would'nt be an issue with me. Rust is another issue, however, depending on what/where it is.
Everyone seems to rave about the new stuff, although I sure see a lot of them going up for sale here on the 'Gon. If you want more expert advice, contact "Aball" (Arthur) here on Audiogon-he's tried lots of Mac gear, and has some pretty sound advice.
i have a current 275. the bass is not flabby. it is the modern tube design. it sounds almost like solid state.
it's too detailed for me. i will be selling soon.

the older gear (60's) sounds more tube like and is certainly euphonic, compared to the current mac gear, which is virtually neutral.
Thanks for the inputs, guys! I'll be checking the prices on other used units and contacting Arthur.

Relax, have a Fuller's London Porter and listen to some FZ......
I compared a demo MC402 to the vintage 2205. The 402 was undoubtedly the better of the two. It had marginally deeper, tighter bass. The soundstage had considerably more depth and more dynamic range (150 extra watts helps, I'm sure). The largest difference I found was the tonality. The 2205 was somewhat dark on the top end. I'd say it's a rich sound, but not very transparent. The 402 is much more open. Very natural (realistic) sounding. I was so convinced, I bought a new 402. It's breaking in as I type. Thanks again for all the responses!

Relax, have a Thomas Hardy's Ale and listen to some Duke Ellington...
I see my reputation precedes me. :) Glad you are happy with your new amp! The MC402 is pretty much the best solid-state amp I have ever heard. No matter the speakers, the sound is always seductive and incredibly "right."

Relax, have an EKU 28 and listen to some Badly Drawn Boy...

This has been interesting as I have been saving/wanting to buy a McIntosh amp for some time,thanks again all.Relax with a Chimay or Duval and some ABB,cheers,Bob
I found the 402 to be the most "real" sounding amp. I have been the SET route with 5 different amps, PP tube route, and both were closer to real than any solid state I could find. But the 402 just sounds more realistic than any of them. And 400 wpc doesn't hurt either!