Want McIntosh sound, but can't afford the MDA1000?

After many years of trying other brands I returned to McIntosh and really happy I did. I mainly listen to LP's, but have a serious collection of CD. Given the advances in digital streaming I decided to purchase a Logitech Duet and stream music from my computer. As good as the Duet is, it left me wishing for something better and thereby my adventure into DAC's. After trying several of the models out there, and reading many reviews I wanted the McIntosh MDA1000. However, given the economic environment I really did not think $8K for a DAC was the right thing to do, at least for now. I noticed McIntosh produces the MDA5000 DAC for car audio and wondered how would it sound on a home system in combination with a duet. I decided I wanted to try it and purchased a new MDA5000 plus an AC/DC transformer. At just over $1K is one of the best investments I have ever made. The MDA5000 is really a great DAC and betters the sound coming from the Duet over all the others I tried. I cannot tell you, and would not expect it to sound as good as the MDA1000. But for the investment it is truely a bargain. Sure McIntosh will consider increasing the price once this gets out there. If you like the McIntosh sound and have been regreting not having an MDA1000, try this one and you will be surprised.
Thanks for the post. Can I ask what DACs you did compare it to? Why did you prefer the MDA5000 over them? Also, how did you buy it? From an audio dealer? A car stereo shop? How would you characterise the McIntosh DAC sound? TIA.
What were the other DAC's you tried and didn't like?
Mac car audio...shure it's not Clarion in cognito ?
I will answer all questions with this post. I have tried five DAC's with different results. None were bad, I just liked the McIntosh MDA5000 more. I will not list the other DAC's as it would be unfair to the many professionals and hardworkers who produce/sell these equipments to be judged by the opinion of one person and set-up. In an hobby where a simple round piece of ebony wood, or a black diamond cone can bring differences to the sound characteristics and quality it's only fair to judge a particular equipment/tweak in the context of the room and set-up.

If it helps in any way, my system is composed of the following: 2 McIntosh MC501; McIntosh C-2300; Acoustic Signature Mambo; Graham 2.2 tonearm with Nightingale Cartridge; Klipsch Cornwalls III and the Logitech Duet with the MDA5000. If the MDA5000 does not feel shy next to these, in my opinion it must have something going.

My intention with the origianl post was not to establish which one is better, but to make the reader think out of the box and realize there are other options which might not be immediately apparent.

As for it being a Clarion, I don't know, but if it where it certainly is a good product.
I cannot agree with your rational for not telling what else you used. What good is the info. if we have no point of reference? I am curious if you have used these forums to garner the very thoughts of others that you will not participate in. Give us credit for being able to realize not all things are equal for everyone.

Sorry if I am coming off harsh, not my intent, I simply do not agree with your decision and hope you reconsider.
I couldn't agree with Brianmgracom more. We had a post a while ago where someone advised just how bad their experience was with a compoent, but wouldn't say what brand it was as they didn't want to hurt the manufacturer. What possible benefit could that possibly be? While I appreciate, enjoy and may even relate to other members experience with a piece of gear, their opinions are not the end all and be all to effect my buying (or not buying) the component. Looking at the Esoteric X03-SE, for example (as I own it), there are posts who rave about it, and posts that do not. Doesn't change MY opinion of it as system synergy, cables, power cords, isolation devices, line conditioners, etc., all play a role in the listeners experience (as well as break in, warm up, etc). Leaving out the other dacs is a disservice to all of us as we may learn from your experience, and, may even be able to offer assistance as to why a certain experience to one of the dacs occurred (someone may say, yeah, it sounded thin, but if you use a so and so cable, it sounds great (and all of us can take advantage of the hours, frustrations and money another member went through). Going back to the Esoteric, one member had sent it back as he didnt't like it, only to find out from other members of the rediculously long break in time and ended up wanting to try it again as it hadn't been suffeciently burned in. Now, not mentioning the brand---that would have hurt the manufacturer.
Thanks for your opinions, however I stand behind my principles. As stated in my post, the intention was not to start a comparison thread, but to make readers realized they can consider an equipment designed for car audio in home audio. I wonder how many of you had thought of that, or actually done it before. In that my posts adds value to this forum and believe I don't deserve your harsh comments.
Sorry you feel the words were harsh Dserran, as I stated this wasn't my intent; I also stand behind what I say and do not agree or understand your logic in not posting the other DAC's. While you say your intent was not for a comparison thread, yet that is what you did, compared several setups and chose one. There is nothing sinister in this or sharing the details about it.
Dserran - care to answer my earlier question - where did you buy the DAC, at a car stereo dealer? Thanks!
The MDA5000 was purchased NEW through the web from a Car stereo dealer. Google the item and it will quickly show up.
Can you please tell me what AC/DC transformer you used ?
Trip-lite 13.8v 3.0 amp transformer.
Me too.... agree Dserran what he shared regarding MDA5000. Yes, MDA5000 may over kill many2 DAC around in market. I would like suggest better listen it before give any comments (before you listen to MDA5000 )I own Mcintosh car system & home system.(MCD7009,MDA5000, C46, MC7300 / MCC602TM ) Small investment what Dserran said...U won't regret with the performance.