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What are your feelings about McIntosh?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Lebowski, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. Actually, men used to have more jewelry: cuff links, tie bars, etc. and more accessories, like hats and the like. So that’s relative.
  2. Hendertuckie

    Hendertuckie Forum Resident

    Henderson, Nevada
    A few years ago I went looking for a new full function pre-amp. My list of candidates was short: VTL, AR & CJ all used. I added Mcintosh because NOS stock was for sale on Agon. I got the NOS C2500 and love it. The phono section is outstanding, it great having MM & MC input. Mcintosh is a hit with me.
    snorker likes this.
  3. Sorry! Forgot what we were discussing here...back to Mac!

    I think their customer service is really top-notch...Ron Cornelius and Chuck Hinton in particular. Extremely responsive and helpful.
    McLover likes this.
  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Back in the middle 70's, a friend of mine had an interesting digital watch.

    Unlike the majority of thick watches, like the one in the photo, it was thin like a dress watch and had a round case and a dark glass face.

    He would shake his wrist and the watch had tiny red LED's that would light up for several seconds.

    It was the only one that I ever saw that was like that. Not sure what the brand/model was.
  5. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Yeah, but while you can love Mac's, you can't wear them every day...
  6. Jujigatame

    Jujigatame Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    That's nothing. I have the Sea Dweller Deep Sea. Probably about twice the mass of the regular Sea Dweller. Good down to 12,800 ft. It's totally ridiculous and I absolutely love it.
    MichaelArcane and snorker like this.
  7. MisterBritt

    MisterBritt Forum Resident

    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    I had previously posted a couple pictures from both STAX and F.A.M.E. Studios. Here are some more classic era studio shots from the Memphis Muscle Shoals studios.



    Here are a couple of recent photos I had alluded to at Jimi Hendrix' Electric Lady Studios in New York City.

    This I think is the lobby. It wasn't exactly a photo taken of the McIntosh gear, but you can make out the top of what looks to me to be Mc-75 amps from the 60th Anniversary offering.


    Here's some more modern McIntosh gear in Studio D of Electric Lady Studios. Very chill!

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  8. Ezd

    Ezd Forum Resident

    I think you made a good point about modern tube amp companies... Prior to transistors, most tubes amps (not all) had some version of protection over the tubes and designers usually placed them out of sight. Modern design places the glowing tubes front and center for sales purposes.

    I have always worked with my hands for a living and I appreciate the engineering and craftsmanship of a quality mechanical watch, very, very impressive... I think what off-puts me about the current state of mechanical watch collecting is their association with being more about showing off ownership of a coveted brand then just appealing to watch gearheads who appreciate them for their mechanical movement. To many of their owners, the brand name on the watch is as important, if not more than the complexity of the movement inside... And, as has been pointed out, a $10 digital actually performs the task of time keeping better.

    I agree with an earlier poster who felt it was telling that this thread so seamlessly morphed from a discussion about people's impressions of McIntosh into a discussion of mechanical watches and the most coveted brands. It does appear both have become synonymous with "lifestyle choices". It makes me think there is probably truth to the old belief that McIntosh was the preferred audio brand of doctors and lawyers.

    None of the above relates to the current or past quality of McIntosh audio gear, but I would guess it is more frequently purchased than other quality audio brands without the magic name..
    avanti1960 and SandAndGlass like this.
  9. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    This thread has been interesting.

    I have a cousin who has his dad's 70s pre and power hooked up to some 70s speakers. It cranks. Cool system, but it has limits.

    I also saw this today:

    McIntosh MTI100 Integrated Turntable
  10. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    One of our members inherited a system from his father.

    It is a pair of Altec Lansing A7's that are driven by a pair of McIntosh MC-30's.
    MisterBritt likes this.
  11. rl1856

    rl1856 Forum Resident

    Expensive watches are tangible symbols of individuality and status that can be taken with you and displayed to others. I am not a fan of bling Rolex, but I have thought about a vintage bubble, an early oyster, or a "Prince" because I understand how good these watches were when new, and still are today. They are not ostentatious, and would likely go unnoticed by the majority of people one would encounter.

    MAC equipment may never be the absolute cutting edge best, but most pieces are very good. MAC in general makes very durable equipment that just plays and plays, with a minimum of trouble, and enjoys excellent resale value. MAC has a distinctive appearance that lends itself to display by the owner, as object of pride as well as performance.
    McLover, Alan G and MisterBritt like this.
  12. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    I see a lot of McIntosh product placement on TV. In the last week I believe some gear popped up on Prodigal Son.

    Or it could be producers are just showing McIntosh gear as a status symbol.
    MisterBritt likes this.
  13. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    McIntosh is vastly superior to Bose. They're the real deal, but ridiculously overpriced. You can get almost as good for a lot less, and unless you have golden ears spend the difference on better speakers. Any delta between McIntosh and less expensive amps, tuners, preamps or receivers is going to be far less than the difference between cheaper and more expensive speakers.

    I've always seen McIntosh gear as a status symbol for physicians. If you have enough money to afford it, you won't go wrong with it. That having been said, McIntosh equipment does maintain a high resale value, whereas pretty much any other audio brand does not. So how expensive is it really?


    One thing I will say - and I'm glad somebody else mentioned it upthread - their gear is breathtakingly fugly. I mean, I get the retro aesthetic. I just think it's a blindingly ugly retro aesthetic.

    Dear God, we're back to 1960 and the record player.

  14. + Thorens 125
    McLover, Jimi Floyd and MisterBritt like this.
  15. MBT68

    MBT68 I remember dates, names, numbers...

    I have always been enamored with the look and what I had believed, hoped was the best sound but I did some testing this past year and am no longer of the belief that I must have Mac equipment.

    I bought a vintage C22 thinking it was gonna be amazing and found it to be OK.. liked a couple of the features on it but found the sound to be not as full as I was hoping for. So I tried the MA252 unit and again I found the sound rather plain and lacking , yes there was detail but no soul, very medicinal?. Finally I tried the C2600 thinking this must be the answer... I found it to be pretty ok. Good sound by lacking in depth and warmth to my ears. All in all I found all three to be ok but I didn’t get anything that made me say I had to spend the cash that those units required. I had always hoped I would be absolute floored by the Mac sound and I just wasn’t. I was very glad I was able to rerun each unit based on the cost of each.. range of 3500.00 to 7500.00

    It may sound crazy to some but my Audible Illusions Mod C and my Quicksiler Mono Blocks blow my doors off and provide an amazing soundstage in a way the Mac could not... for my ears. When I play the setup with my Heresy IIIs and Thorens TD160 super I feel like I am wrapped up in tube heaven.
    Ontheone and Rolltide like this.
  16. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    McIntosh components are capable of producing best in class, world class sound quality. I have had few unimpressive demos- their BOTL amplifier MAC5300 sounded strained driving a set of B&W diamond tower speakers in a mid sized room. The next step up amplifier the MAC7200 (200WPC) is where the fun really begins. It drove those same B&W towers effortlessly with impressive drive and stunning clarity. Among the best demos I have ever heard.
    I did not care for the sound of the MC275 tube power amplifier either. It sounded rounded at top and bottom with bass too abundant and transparency lacking for my tastes.
    A demo with the recently introduced hybrid integrated (MA252, affectionately known as the "Rangetop" ) sounded outstanding driving the Klipsch Forte III speakers.
    Among the best systems I have ever heard was driven by a pair of 1KW Mac monoblocs fed by a current model tube preamp and DAC feeding Magico towers.
    The clarity and power of that system stands alone among the best I have ever heard. If the bass had not have been tainted by some poorly integrated Magico subwoofers it would have been.
    As for appearances they can be a dividing factor.
    If the newly introduced hybrid integrated MA352 (big brother of Rangetop) had a more conventional appearance I would be all over it as my next amplifier based on sound alone. Still might be but at that price separate pre / power components from other brands will likely win out.
  17. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    A lot of those red led watches were made by Texas Instrument so there is a good chance it was one of theirs. One of the ones we had had a round face plate but the actual watch wasn't round. Here is one of them:


    BTW sorry for going of topic, going back to it now.

    I really like the look of McIntosh but to this point I haven't owned anything made by them.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  18. dudley07726

    dudley07726 Forum Resident

    I remember that watch.
  19. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Very similar, but more of a dress watch and there was no "window" the LED's just appeared through the smoked glass and they looked like tiny individual small dots, that formed the numbers.
  20. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Sorry for the long delay, ok it might not be the one but in regard of the numbers if my memory serves me right the numbers were made up by lines of tiny, little dots on the TI watches (not enough resolution on the photo?), I don't think they were made out of long illuminated segments. I also recall that type of display being used on early Melcor calculators and some lose displays my father had which I believe were made by Motorola in the very early 70's.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  21. LitHum05

    LitHum05 American Expat Audiophile

    Taipei, Taiwan
    Yeah but those lights are real purdy...:love:
  22. MisterBritt

    MisterBritt Forum Resident

    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    We have previously documented the implementation of McIntosh in such studios as F.A.M.E., Memphis Muscle Shoals, Stax and Electric Lady. Here are a couple photos which add Blue Note Records and Caribou Ranch .

    Carribou Ranch. Everyone from Joe Walsh and Dan Fogelberg to Elton John and Chicago recorded here. Yeah, the grand piano in the snow photograph on Supertramp's Even in the Quietest Moments, that was the "front lawn" of Caribou Ranch.


    Blue Note Records. Producer (and I believe president, upon the death of Alfred Lion in 1972), here is George Butler in his office with a period correct C-28 preamp.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  23. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Brookline, MA
    Bought one.
  24. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Iconic brand.
    The early stuff was mil-spec, like early Marantz and a few other brands.
    I never focused on McI for my main system, but somehow, over the years, I've owned a fair number of pieces of their gear.
    The company successfully rebooted- what, 20 years ago or more, from a staid, '60s era company with a legacy to new lines of big power amps, revised editions of their classic tube gear and home theatre. I gather that they have been successful in doing so-- think about all the other brands from that era that are gone, or have been transformed into more mainstream products with a few more 'elite' offerings, e.g. Marantz.
    I use one of their multichannel solid state amps to support a small home theatre in my 'lounge' and use a restored, retubed MX110z as the preamp for my vintage Quad ESL system. So, despite the fact that I never put them at the top of my list of cutting edge high end audio gear, I've been a pretty faithful customer over the years. I needed packing for the amp when I moved from NY a few years ago. Done in a phone call. I suspect if I needed a schematic or help with a part, there's probably still somebody around.
    FWIW, I chose to use Bill Thalmann to restore my MX 110z. He's good (used to be the head of tech at C-J).
    PS: back in the day, Audio Research was referred to as ARC, not AR, simply to distinguish it from the old Edgar V./H. Kloss acoustic suspension speaker company. I don't know if that 'AR' is still in business in some form. This is probably quibbling.
    Clay B likes this.
  25. HairyWeimer

    HairyWeimer I can resist anything but temptation.

    Just been watching Bosch on Amazon, spotted he's got McIntosh 240, looks really cool...

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