I have a MC7100 and I find it to be truly excellent. I have had several amps through my system and the 7100 is still here. It has a distictly full body to its sound with excellent bass (noticibly more powerful than the specs - it has trumped much-higher-rated-power amps in A/B tests in my system), smooth treble, and a midrange that just knocks my socks off. The soundstage and coherence are excellent. A friend of mine finds it a little too laid back but I like the soundstage to be presented in front of me, not slapping my face, so I am satisfied. It is a sleeper of an amp - one that most people don't even know exists since it doesn't have autoformers or meters. I would like to get a second one too. Anyway, I obviously highly recommend it. FOr the price, it is very hard to beat if you like this type of sound. Problem is it only sounds fantastic when mated to a McIntosh preamp (mine is C712 - the matched mate) despite having tried three preamps and even bypassing it. The MC122 can't match it in sound and doesn't even have balanced connectors. Only downside to the 7100 is that it can have a tinge of glare in the upper registers on some recordings but then again I have heard similar in Pass and Proceed amps and may be from the CDP anyway. Incidentally, I had a MC240 for a few weeks and compared to the 7100, the dynamics sound flat and the highs muddy, but the mids are definately on par. Anyway, for like $700 used, you can't beat the 7100 IMO. Feel free to email me if you have more detailed questions about it. Take care - Arthur
I also have one (7100 Balanced Inputs Etc..) Like it very much. I think it easly outpreforms my Rotel (RB976) musicaly with the exception of maybe bass performance. I'm running mine with cheap Parasound ph/850 pre-amp can wait til I mate it with nice Mcintosh (like Aball's) or some tube option to boost the performance more. Try one out...if you don't like it you can easly get what you paid for it here on audiogon. But, don't forget to Mate with equal or better quality pre.
Hey Jalen - Right now on ebay is a McIntosh C710 preamp with a buy-it-now price of $450. It is the same identical pre as mine but for a much better price (mine tends to go for $700 range). The C710 is extremely rare but is identical to C712 except for missing CD and Tuner control ports which you can't use unless you have a McIntosh CD or tuner anyway. It is a steal for a great little preamp that has no apparent faults and benefit of balanced connectors. Just a thought - I don't know anything about the seller or his item. Arthur
Wow,,,thanks for the info....I have been told for example that maybe I should go for a MC2100 which is about the same price and has autoformers....and that it may match better with my Berning TF-10 tubed preamp...
BUT, I like the looks of the 7100, and its considerable newer....I wonder how do you guys think it will match with the Berning TF-10 pre...
here is a link of a Stereophile review back in the days of bell bottoms...
Well since your preamp is a hybrid with no feedback, it probably does have a highish output impedance and the 2100 has a 10x higher input impedance than the 7100 but I think that in terms of the overall affect, the lack of dynamics of the 2100 will be a far greater impact than any possible impedance mismatches you may encounter with the 7100. I bought a 2100 one one time for a ridiculous deal on ebay. It was nice, as was the 2125, but not as satisfying as the 7100 IMO. The little 7100 is really a very nice amp.
Things have changed since the 70s in terms of part quality and so the sound has effectively "cleaned up." This is one fo the first things I notice when comparing an older amp to a much newer one in the same system. It cannot really be overlooked. I will spare all the details but the upshot is that I would still suggest you would be happier with the 7100 (and you are right - it is very slick looking - like my C712). Let us know what you decide! The 2100 is indeed cheap if you want to experiment with it and see what you think - resale is not a problem with McIntoshes. Good luck! Arthur
Thanks for the good input Aball,,,,Have you listened to a Berning TF-10 pre? if yes, what did you think?
PS:Besides the sentimental and emotional want of having a Mc in my system, I wonder if in terms of SQ its not a ssideways move. My current amp is a Kineregetics Chiro C200, source is Parasound CDP-2000, and speakers are JBL L-96's
ABall, Thanks for the tip....
I owned (for a very short time) an MC-7150 and a C-712. They were both HORRIBLE. Thick is probably the best way to describe their sound. Of course they looked gorgeous but their performance was truly lackluster.
I picked them up used (here) from their original owner as a set. They had just been to the factory for a once-over and had about $350 worth of maintenance performed, so I know that they were up to spec and in proper operating condition.
Compared to the Classe DR-9 and Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 that they replaced, they were dreadful.
The MC-7100 is the same amp as the MC-7150 minus 50 watts and the cool meters. I would follow the advice regarding the older "2" series with the autoformers. I believe that the "7" series was produced during the transition period after being purchased by Clarion.
Again, it depends what type of sound you like. Some people don't like McIntosh, just like some people don't like ML, don't like Classe, don't like ARC, don't like Pass Labs, etc... To each his own. Gullahisland is proof that you need to audition for yourself.
As an alternate note, Gullahisland is totally wrong about the 7100 being the same as the 7150. They probably sound similar but the topology is quite different between the two since the 7150 has autoformers and the 7100 is direct-coupled. The 7100 was derived from the 7200 actually and the 7150 from the 7270.
Another correction is that the 7xxx series began before Clarion even came into the picture. The 7270 came out in 1985 and Clarion bought McIntosh in 1990. The inital design stage for the 7xxx series probably began in the early 1980s so this argument is out the window.
In addition, Clarion, per McIntosh employees I have spoken with at length (they are really cool guys and will just chat on the phone with you), did basically nothing to McIntosh. In other words, things didn't change and the designs continued as they would have normally but they got more money to build things like a better anechoic chamber and testing equipment. The Japanese essentially worship McIntosh and so Oyamada saw it like a feather in his hat when he bought the company.
I think that is the end of the corrections so far. Anyway, experiment and see if Mc suits your tastes. As Gullah says, If you want thin sound, then Mc won't be for you....
The Mc Crusader ;)
Nice job Aball.
I'm clearly not very well-versed on McIntosh. I just knew that I had always wanted to own McIntosh gear and jumped at the opportunity to buy a matching amp/preamp in such superb condition. It clearly wasn't my cup of tea.
The good news, however, is that you can experiment with little to no risk. The stuff holds its' value and is EASY to sell if you don't like it. I actually made a tidy profit ($400) when I sold mine.
If the sound floats your boat, you'll be set - 'cuz there's nothing more beautiful than McIntosh blue.
After all this trouble,,,if I dont get a MC2100 I may go for a pair of Monarchy Audio SM70 monoblocks.
I have had a McIntosh MC7100 for about 8 years now, and love it. Mine is mated with a PS Audio 6.2 preamp. To my ears, there is plenty of detail to the sound and I currently have no desire to upgrade. I would highly recommend this amp.
i have a mc7100 with peachtree decco2 and i love it
Does any one know the idle power consumption of the MC7100? Just curious if its a major power hog when not being used. I am considering buying an older version without an on/off switch from a friend.