@runwell What does? I have listened to manufacture's tests systems comprised of their top tier components and super hi-end speakers, that retail well over $600k. They sounded mighty dams good, but the sound still was no where near the real thing.
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Well that depends...
One if you believe in that break in occurs in the first place. Solid State amps I think sound good out of the box. Others find that you need about 100- 300 hours for them to open up. The tube stuff needs some time. The sonic character mellows a bit as the tubes get some hour on them. They age like a light bulb does so the sound changes a bit.
Well,it is somewhat complicated. If you want to know the detail,I can explain.
There is live sound performance and amplifier re-produced sound.
so what is the standard of good amplifier? Original,if the amplifier can make the soundstage as near as live,it is the good,but it is also very difficult.
so let see the main points of the live soundstage we have,
With live soundstage , we have
3d space ,
There are bunch of amplifiers we love and still not near to the live soundstage. Why? The bottom line is the speed. If the sound is very slow,it must be strong flavor to grip the listener ----- that are the old school tube amplifier did.
Another line is the high,mid,bass balance
This brand is just have fat bass and slow. they just break the point 1 and point 2.
and left flavor only. Unless you are gripped by the their flavor, you will be happy with it.
Have I replied your question?
In fact,I do not want to say,as it will hurt the fans.
@walkertm I believe McIntosh uses output transformers (like tubes) on some or all of its SS amps to give it that “house” sound. So it will take longer for a SS McIntosh amp to break in due to the output transformers.
I really get your sentiment regarding an amp being able to reproduce that live your are there feeling. I have had my share of SS amps over the years and some Euro tube amps as well. These were all mated to B&W 800s.
When I purchased my McIntosh MC2301s (300 watt tubes) and hooked them up to my B&Ws the sound took a leap forward. Bass was way better and the rest of the sound spectrum was also way better. When I sold the B&W 800s and demoed them with the MC2301s, the buyer thought I had subs turned on as the 2301s were easily able to drive the bass drivers.
But, ignorance is bliss. I did not have this live stage feeling with the B&Ws mated to to the 2301s. After hearing the Classic Audio Loudspeakers T 1.5 reference field coil speakers, 101db efficiency, 16 ohms, 18” downward paper cone deep bass, 15” forward facing paper cone mid bass, beryllium tweeter, and Edgar designed horn, at the Capital Audio Fest, wow, I heard it…the live sound and musician in room or you at close on stage feeling. I had been on a hunt for a few years to replace the B&Ws, and found the sound that you mentioned and that of which I never experienced before.
I now own the Classic Audio T 1.5 reference speakers. Mated to my MC2301 tube amps, it is well, like listening to a live music event, exhibiting that live you are there sensation. Recording after recording sounds so much different and much better due to the pairing of these speakers with the McIntosh MC2301 amps that I listen into the late evening and hear my records sound anew. The spatial and acoustic space is so mesmerizing that it seems enchanting to me. To sit back and close your eyes and hear the musician or group in the recording venue or on a stage in your listening room is such an incredible feeling. One, that sadly, many audiophiles never experience to its fullest extent. Myself included with all of my gear over the years.
Bottom line, this live sound feeling was achieved due to better speaker amp matching which gave me this live you are or they are there feeling. I have never heard it before on a home stereo and now that I have, it does emulate what I hear at live venues, that is why I get your point. Once you experience that type of sound, you will have a new reference point in terms of music playback. But, I would not categorically stereotype McIntosh as not having the ability to convey this type of live feeling as the 2301s can do that in spades when matched with the Classic Audio T 1.5 reference speakers. Therefore, it seems amps should be matched properly with a speaker in order to play optimally or else, any amp, will sound like it has flabby bass. That’s been my experience after 35 years of listening.
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