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What are your feelings about McIntosh?

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

  1. JCConthehill

    JCConthehill New Member

    Hey folks Johnny here new today but lurking for awhile. Boy after reading through the thread I'm wondering if I went wrong. So have a 275 mkv and couple krell kav 250's pushing bw 804's and 805s' but had older Krell 5.1 HTS so just bought - gulp - a new Mac mx 123 from sudio classics retunred after 2 days from buyer who went with 170 - good deal but still many large $. I liked it hads phone section plus eARC HDMI and other stuff spotify Connect so as not to have to stream from iphone. But sheesh just read Marantz review and the damn thing seems identical inso many ways and I presume but don't know its a couple large less $.

    Any body thoughts on Mac AVP's in general and then vs Marantz? My thought was always with Macto stay between source and speaker so amp and processor / controller only.
  2. OUTRUN70

    OUTRUN70 Member

    Yes i noticed that ,my friend told me to watch this amazon programme called Bosch cos he had a mcintosh set up, series was brilliant, loved his single speaker set up,I'm guessing for mono jazz, i have bought the MA252 and love it, my first real high end bit of kit, traded my linn classik in, was sceptical at first, boy o boy was i not sceptical once i turned it on, everything sounded so much clearer and with punch, just bought some Meridian A500 off the Bay, sound very good, until i can afford audio vector QR5'S,OR KLIPSH FORTE III,anyway one step at a time , i do want my wife to stay!
    The Pinhead likes this.
  3. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ
    Love McIntosh - love my C220.
    McLover likes this.
  4. ogdens_sliced

    ogdens_sliced Walnut Plug

    I have a modern McIntosh amp (5200) in a second system. Sounds a bit thin & brittle on all speakers I've driven with it.
    I picked it up used at a very low price.
    I still have it for 4 main reasons, non of which are sound quality related:
    1) Eye Candy
    2) MM phono / DAC inside
    3) Easy for wife to use as inputs can be renamed.
    4) Front glass is easy to wipe down when the dog shakes his slavachops over it.
  5. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Forum Resident

    I have a MA6300, 10+ years.
    Sounds good to me, specs are good too.
    Basic integrated amp, no frills.

    it looks cool, vintage vibe, modern performance. I like the heritage of the brand also. I see no need to upgrade but if I do.
    -MAC7200 receiver
    -bi-amp with MC275 and my 6300
    McLover likes this.
  6. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    My McIntosh may not go deep sea diving, but it can take me into worlds of musical pleasure, and virtually to musical venues I will never be able to attend the world over. And can do this any time I desire to. It can also give me musical slices of recorded time and bygone eras on command. Like time in a bottle captured and rendered for generations to come. McIntosh is for lovers of music, for lovers of impeccable engineering, craftsmanship, great sound, and those who love reliable sound which lives for generations with a modicum of care. I can also say that McIntosh has been some of the least expensive equipment I have owned over the years of time, and among the most trouble free to own. I am no doctor or lawyer, either. McIntosh has cost me less to acquire than many spend on high end TV sets, AV receivers, and other short lived, things in our lives which are soon forgotten.
    Dax_Frost, OUTRUN70, Razakoz and 8 others like this.
  7. sberger

    sberger Grumpy(but grateful) geezer

  8. C30's(and on occasion MC225)
    Gently serviced by Terry DeWick a few years before his "last" retirement....he's had many but probably his last this time.

    Vintage tubes make this pairing devine with my 1976 LaScala's

    Kind to the tubes

    What more could you ask?
  9. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    That you lived near Terry DeWick, he's near me. And I am near Tom Manley. Both are friends of mine, and great to enjoy their company.
  10. Didn't live near him, drove from Texas to deliver and pick-up, though. Several good visits in his cramped work space.
    Ingenieur and McLover like this.
  11. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    I think McIntosh is a nay.
    Because I don’t care about aesthetics other than good readability of scales and having a clear interface.
  12. sberger

    sberger Grumpy(but grateful) geezer

    Love my Mc's!! Current set up. Gear that just gets better with age.



  13. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    Wouldn't buy it but love to look at it. And it's cool that it's made in the USA.
  14. nicholas029

    nicholas029 Forum Resident

    Christmas Day, circa 1973, I spent the afternoon after a late lunch in the demo room at the Klipsch factory in Hope, Arkansas. My aunt and uncle knew someone in management with a key. Two corner horns with a La Scala in the middle driven by McIntosh tube amps. Post war tubes still easily available. I don't remember the model number, but damn...when my time machine is operational, I will get that information for you.
  15. JorgeGvb

    JorgeGvb Forum Resident

    Virginia Beach
    I am a long time McIntosh owner over the last 15 years. I had a MA6200 that I actually bought here from a fellow forum member that I owned for around 10 years and sold it. I figured it was getting older and I did not want to pour money into it, so I sold it. I really loved the sound of it and have some regrets about selling it.


    I purchased a MAC6700 from Audio Classics in NY about 5 years ago and I have been pleased with it. It has a more modern look and sounds a bit different than my MA6200.


    Here are a couple of pictures I took at Audio Classic when I was there about 5 years ago. Their store is very close to the McIntosh factory and is heaven for McIntosh lovers. You can see in the first picture below to the right that they have shelves of dozens of used units that are for sale.

  16. attym

    attym Forum Resident

    Maybe I’m mesmerized by the blue lights but I’m a Mac guy for life. I love the sound and build quality.
  17. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Most people against McIntosh probably can’t afford it. Anyone saying it doesn’t sound great has no clue. It does.
  18. fortherecord

    fortherecord Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY
    Their vintage tube amps restored to spec, stand up to anything contemporary.
    okc_craft, BillWojo and Ingenieur like this.
  19. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    In the 70s and early 80s I was a huge McIntosh fan. I worked part time for a dealer, and acquired a system of used separates and McIntosh speakers. I can't remember the model numbers anymore. I know the tuner was a MR78. I don't remember other model numbers but the amp was 160 WPC, plus some preamp and a 5-band equalizer. The speakers were XR5s. I used to haul the amp and preamp to a dealer anytime the McIntosh clinic made its way to town, where I would get the thumbs up from the McIntosh techs that my amp and pre were like new, once they cleaned all the switches and proved the amp shined with blazingly great numbers on their test bench. I was in heaven. I had the best I could have.

    Then in the mid-80s I went to work for Music Systems, Ltd. dba Import Audio in St. Louis. I took a part-time job to manage Music System's retail record business while I worked on my undergraduate music history degree, ever proud of my McIntosh system (and Thorens TT with a SME arm). Music Systems was the local Linn/Naim dealer, and Import Audio was the U.S. Rega and Goldring importer of the day. I didn't care about all that gear. I was there for the records, and I already had my Thorens and McIntosh.

    One day the owner sent me home for the weekend with a $500 18 WPC Naim Nait, a little half-chassis integrated with nothing more than a selector switch and volume control. I laughed that he would expect me to compare it to my McIntosh system, but I worked for him so I decided to humor him and took it home. I hooked it up to my Thorens and McIntosh speakers. My wife and I were floored! The Naim Nait didn't just sound better, it totally smoked my fancy-pants system. There was no contest. We noticed immediately, and couldn't stop playing music on the Nait all weekend. Our feet got sore from constant toe-tapping. After that weekend I listed my entire McIntosh system in the paper, sold it within a week, and bought a Naim 42.5/HiCap/140 system with a Linn Sondek LP12 and Linn SARA Isobarik speakers.

    That was such an awesome system, and I kept it unchanged for another 15 years until I sold it to get a 5.1 multichannel system for home theater. That was a mistake, and I returned to a Naim 2-channel system within another 5 years. I still have Naim to this day and never looked back.
  20. ogdens_sliced

    ogdens_sliced Walnut Plug

    I have one of the newer MA5200.
    It's an average sounding amp at best when compared to something like the Primaluna Evo 400i at the same price point. I also own that amp, and that is a great sounding amp.
    Will also add that amps like the Rega Elex and Elicit have worked and sound better for me than the MA5200 and they are both far cheaper amps.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    Echoes Myron and VinylSoul like this.
  21. dudley07726

    dudley07726 Forum Resident

    My brother had the same using Omega Compact Hemp speakers. He thought the Mac sounded like crap. He sold it and got a flea powered Integrated Amp and now only uses one of Cambridge Audio Integrated Amps and he says it sounds fantastic.
    ogdens_sliced likes this.
  22. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Sound and build quality will do it.
    attym likes this.
  23. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    That’s a pretty silly statement. Lots of us have gear costing more that we prefer. I don’t particularly like it as I think it’s a bit of form over function. I think it’s become the ultimate “lifestyle” product. Not that I think it doesn’t sound great, but I think there are better options at the price. I also think they have gotten carried away trying to put their look on everything.

    Just look at the new MA252 and 352. I am sure the Mc fans love them, but to me they are hideous.

    Doesn’t mean it’s bad, just not for me.
  24. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I agree with you. Both his statements are silly.

    I told my story above about how I moved on from McIntosh to Naim, and I could have a really lovely McIntosh system for what my Naim costs, but I don't want to. Last time I heard a Mac system it didn't sound bad, but it didn't excite me either. It seemed more on the boring side compared to other things I've heard in recent years (Naim, Arcam, Simaudio, Boulder), but I didn't spend serious audition time with it. I also wouldn't care now for the presentation of the McIntosh gear. All the green lights and dials are rather too in-your-face for me. Even the TT has a green backlit gauge for the speed control, which really seems over the top to me. I guess it was better when I was in my 20s and wanted to impress my friends. I like the understated design of my Naim gear much better.
  25. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    I honestly would never buy any McIntosh other than a amp or pre amp... that’s what they are known for... I own a C34v and an MC300... both great! Built to last...
    The Beave likes this.

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