Rogue Cronus Magnum II vs McIntosh

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Guy Gadbois, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    I visited a high end audio dealer yesterday...something I should never, ever do...and he was telling me all about th Rogue Cronus Magnum II, which he had for sale for $2500. He just went on and on about it, and said that McIntosh gear (specifically my MC 275) is like Bose gear compared to the Rogue.

    Two things I didn't like about the Rogue are: 1) No mono switch 2) No tone controls.

    Has anyone ever owned both or compared them? Thoughts?
    Bananas&blow likes this.
  2. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    I wouldn't believe anything from a salesman that states McIntosh is similiar to Bose.
  3. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    I have owned a CM1 but no Macintosh gear, though I've listened to it a fair bit. That sounds like something my local dealer would say as he is a Rogue dealer, but dislikes Mc gear to the point where he has been offered the line many times and turns it down.

    I don't think the characterization is fair, but I will say that at current market prices, I would take the CMII over a 275 and a Mac preamp. $2500 vs well over $5000. But then I have zero interest in either a mono switch or tone controls. Honestly, that's not a dis on McIntosh, just that Rogue gear is very good and a probably the best value in the hobby.
  4. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    Well said!
    Simon A and Dennis0675 like this.
  5. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    I'm just really hung up on both things. I have loads of mono albums, so a mono switch is important. And I always feel the need to tweek the tone a bit here and there.
    Simon A likes this.
  6. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Doesn't the mono source deliver mono to the outputs? Not trying to be a coy, I've just never given it much thought. All of my preamps do have have mono switches including the Rogue RP5 I am listening to right now, so I am sure there is something to it! :)
  7. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    Far as I know the mono switch/button is essential for true mono
    Trbnado, Manimal and Dennis0675 like this.
  8. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 District Champ

    I think they both make fine equipment but the MC gear is much better. I auditioned an Rouge Preamp back in January and I can tell you was no McIntosh.

    This is why I dislike going to audio stores, ask them about something they don't carry and they are extremely insulting about it. I went to shop to see if the had a phono stage and they guy went on and on about how only idiots listen to analog.
  9. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    That's why we have many brands! I haven't heard a Mac that I would trade my Rogue or ARC preamps for. As to the analog statement, he may be right, but as a dealer, he's certainly the idiot! I know I've been listening to a lot of digital lately and keep looking at the wall full of analog and thinking I must be an idiot for keeping it around for the last 40+ years.

    OTOH, I just dropped a Ramsey Lewis lp on a minute ago and remembered! :)
    timind likes this.
  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    I have the Rogue CM II and with some judicious tube rolling it sounds incredible. I heard the MC 275 quite extensively and thought it sounded good but no wow factor and not worth the $ IMHO.
    The higher level Rogue separates - especially the RP-5 preamp paired with the Stereo 100 amplifier are a significant step up as they should be and make for a very serious high end sound.
    However, I am very happy with the CM II.
    If you want a really fine high end sound for the $ try the Raven Audio Nighthawk or Osprey. You should not need tone controls for any of these choices. You get a supreme, refined sound with no issues.
  11. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    I can tell you that the RP5 pairs really, really well with a nice SS amp. I run it with my D240mkII and the result is stunning!
  12. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    @avanti1960 What tubes did you get for the change? Also, how is the phono stage?
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  13. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Even the owner of Rogue will tell you that their gear can sound much better with some tube rolling, but they must sell them with new tubes and as such are limited by that. I am always surprised that dealers don't demo them with NOS tubes and offer the upgrade as a value added service. The RCA clear top 12AU7's (below) really brought my RP5 to life.

    Rogue Sphinx owners »
  14. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    FYI for those playing at home...

    Rogue specs:

    General Features and Specifications:

    - 100 WPC
    - 20Hz-30KHz bandwidth
    - 4 and 8 ohm transformer taps
    - Slow start turn on sequencing

    - Massive high storage linear (!) power supply
    - (2) 12AX7, (3) 12AU7, (4) KT120 output tubes
    - Gold plated RCA inputs
    - Gold plated binding posts
    - Machined aluminum faceplate
    - 4 inputs (phono, line 1,2,3)
    - 44 dB gain phono input +/- 0.1 dB 20Hz - 20KHz
    - 1W Headphone amplifier
    - Remote with volume and mute
    - Buffered variable outputs (great for subwoofers)! - Active outputs for subwoofer or biamping
    - 4 RCA inputs (phono, line1, line 2, line3)- All precision components
    - Heavy (2 ounce) copper circuit board
    - Full tube cage/cover (optional)
    - Fully tested, burned-in, and auditioned
    - Detachable IEC power cord
    - 18" W x 17"D X 5.5" H (actual)
    - 25" W x22"D X 11" H x 55 LBs (shipping dimensions)
    - power requirements: 120V/240V - 50/60Hz
    - Entirely designed and hand built in the USA

    McIntosh C 2200 Specs (my preamp)

    Frequency Response +0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz

    Total Harmonic Distortion 0.08% from 20Hz to 20,000Hz

    Signal To Noise Ratio Phono, 80dB High Level, 93dB

    Maximum Voltage Output 8Vrms

    Unbalanced, 16Vrms

    Balanced Output

    Impedance 250 ohms

    Unbalanced, 500 ohms

    Balanced Sensitivity

    Phono MM, 4.4mV for 2.5V rated output

    High Level, 450mV for 2.5V rated output

    Input Impedance Phono MM, 47K ohms, 65pF

    High Level, 22K Unbalanced, 44K

    Balanced Maximum Input Signal Phono MM, 50mV @ 1,000Hz

    High Level, 5V Unbalanced, 10V

    Balanced Power Requirements 100 Volts, 50/60Hz at 75 watts 110 Volts, 50/60Hz at 75 watts 120 Volts, 50/60Hz at 75 watts 220 Volts, 50/60Hz at 75 watts 230 Volts, 50/60Hz at 75 watts 240 Volts, 50/60Hz at 75 watts

    Note: Refer to the rear panel of the C2200 for the correct voltage.

    McIntosh MC 275 specs

    Description: Two-channel, tubed power amplifier with unbalanced and balanced input jacks.

    Tube Compliment: (3) 12AX7, (4)12AT7, (4) KT-88/6550.

    Rated output power: 75Wpc into 4/8/16 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz.

    S/N ratio: 100dB A-weighted.

    Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz, +0/–0.5dB, 10Hz–70kHz, +0/–3dB.

    Sensitivity: 1.2V unbalanced, 2.5V balanced.

    Maximum THD from 250mW to rated power: 0.5%.

    Maximum Intermodulation Distortion if instantaneous peak output per channel does not exceed twice the rated output, for any combination of frequencies, 20Hz–20kHz, with both channels operating: 0.5%.

    Wide-band damping factor: >14.

    Power requirements: 120V, 50/60Hz, 3.6A.
    Dimensions: 8.25" (210mm) H x 16.5" (420mm) W x 12" (305mm) D. Weight: 67 lbs (30.5kg) net, 75 lbs (34.1kg) boxed.
    Read more at McIntosh MC 275 Commemorative power amplifier Specifications »
  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    here you go Guy-

    12AX7 Phase Drivers- Sylvania JHS 5751 triple mica, black plates (front row)

    12AU7 Preamp tube- Amperex Bugle Boy, Holland, treble clef logo (middle tube)

    12AU7 Amp drivers- RCA 5963 blackplates, prem ind grd, two mica (rear row)

    I don't use the phono stage because I have a Lehmann Black Cube SE ii. From what I have heard the CM II has a decent stage.
  16. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Not sure what the specs have to do with anything when comparing a $2500 integrated with $9000ish separates??? It's tube gear anyway. If I want to win a spec war I would be all Asian sourced solid state. Lol

    I think it kind of makes the point that even if you love the Mac, what Rogue offers for $2500 is pretty amazing. It's just over half of what a MA5200 costs.

    Edit: guessing you were pointing out the tubes for rolling.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  17. Potential Energy

    Potential Energy Forum Resident

    I auditioned a CM2 earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Very crisp, clear sound.

    I didn't go that route for 3 reasons, lack of mono switch and if you use the headphone jack, it still outputs sound to attached speakers. This was a strange thing in my mind. There's no way to get around this. Also, I needed something a bit more spouse-friendly. the CM2 is built like a tank and looks like it as well. I dig the look but found a different amp that checked all the boxes.

    The dealer did tell me that he could order a custom unit with a mono switch added in the back but I had already made my decision by then.

    Great amp though.
  18. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Hmm. Pretty sure my CM1 muted the speakers when the headphones were plugged in. Didn't matter as the headphone amp and Phono section in the gen1 were not great. Both are supposed to be better in gen2. My RP5 does not mute the speakers. I have to turn off the power amp.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  19. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    CT, USA
  20. Clay B

    Clay B Forum Resident

    The salesman is crap. Head firmly where the sun doesn't shine. I have heard a Chronus Magnum II into a pair of Dynaudio standmounts using Nordost Cable. Sounded great, really excellent. I have listened extensively to the MC 275 VI into Wilson speakers (Sasha, Alexis, Duettas) using Transparent Cable. You know what, it sounded great as well. Two excellent amps from two excellent manufacturers. The Chronus is a great deal. The 275 is a updated classic beautifully made and to compare it to Bose is complete nonsense. The prospective buyer should listen to both and decide which you prefer or which you can afford but neither will disappoint.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  21. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    CT, USA
    :agree: Bose is basically mid-fi in my book at best. It sells mass market speakers and now headphones and it has always had great marketing ...
  22. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    I tried the Rogue for a few days but it was outshined by my Conrad Johnson SA 250 Parasound rig. It was nice but I found out real quick I would have to go farther up the chain. Kinda just wanted to see how my old system stacked up to the modern integrated. Nowhere near as musical.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  23. costerdock

    costerdock Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ, USA
    Sales guy is full of crap.
  24. Easy-E

    Easy-E Forum Resident

    what was that?
  25. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
    Having owned an original Cronus Magnum, I can see where this is an exceptional tube arrangement. The Cronus responds very well to tube rolling, with only 1 preamp tube it can also be "affordable".
    SandAndGlass likes this.

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