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Yamaha A-S1100 or McIntosh MA5200

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by matrix-6, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    People also seem to be anti Mac for two reasons. One the hype and brand, and two the price. I get made in the USA, hand made and components cost more so I respect the extra asking price for Macs. So strip all that crap away and look at the product and what you get irrespective of price. Again if someone were giving them away for free, which would you take knowing you would have to live with it literally forever?
     
    Humbuster likes this.
  2. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Without hearing these pieces in your home system, the chances are not favorable that you will do this once and get the perfect thing for you. Music Direct has a good return policy try them.
     
    Slimwhit33 likes this.
  3. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Incisive Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    So let me get the premise of your thread: you live in a vortex utopian society where money is irrelevant and you want us to make flippy floppy with you? The price difference cannot be ignored.
     
  4. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Ignoring the price was the premise of this thread.
     
  5. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Incisive Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Yeah, that's what I said.
     
    jusbe and Slimwhit33 like this.
  6. lobo

    lobo Music has always been a matter of Energy to me...

    Location:
    Germany
    Just buy the Mac and be done with it. You obviously already have decided which one you like better, so why ask other people's opinions of you will disregard them anyway?
     
    Charlie-2 and Slimwhit33 like this.
  7. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Here's how I see price based on experience. I've spent money on things to only upgrade later thinking I would have been better off having a little patience and just saving up for the better item. I don't want to get on the upgrade marry-go-round, so to me the price difference goes in the favor of the Mac - if it is better. I'd rather save $2500 on the Mac than spend it on the S1100 only to upgrade later. I will say this. I was set on buying the A-S1100. I love what I've read about it. I love how it looks, better than the MA5200. I am still leaning towards the A-S1100. But... I realize if I buy it I will likely never get a Mac. That is why I posted here. To get the opinion regardless of price, because I can't afford to make that mistake. I should have worded the question differently. I should have said if someone where to give you either for free what would you chose?

    Anyway, I researched the hell out of the A-S1100. I'm just starting with the MA5200. It's stuff like the following that makes me wonder if I should go for it. Can the same be said about the A-S1100?

    McIntosh MA5200 integrated amplifier

    "It’s very ‘infra-dig’ in some audiophile circles to like McIntosh or to consider McIntosh a worthwhile partner for some of the better quality loudspeakers out there. This is brand bigotry, pure and simple. I’d be perfectly happy to see the MA5200 on the end of a good pair of Avalon or Magico or Wilson loudspeakers, and I think it would work perfectly, but we’d rather ignore the ‘Big Mc’ in favour of less established, sometimes more kitchen table brands because they are more ‘real’. This shouldn’t be considered ‘only’ a McIntosh, it’s an outstanding amplifier with a beguiling sound quality and a build quality that is off the scale next to many of its rivals.

    In part, I mention this because I’m as guilty as the next enthusiast in unjustly pigeonholing McIntosh before this review. It was one of those ‘nice product, but you’d never catch me using one!’ brands. And how wrong I was. I could sit in front of this and listen, and listen and listen without fatigue or struggle. I’d feel no compulsion to change cables, fiddle with sources, worry about supports or any of the things those infected with audiophile nervosa seem to focus on. Perhaps that’s why McIntosh does so well with music lovers and is almost side-lined by enthusiasts. It’s so good at its job, it exhausts the opportunities for audio enthusiasm through tweaking and you’re left with the music loving.

    For me though, the McIntosh MA5200 was something of a revelation. It’s not just a good amp – I expected ‘good’ – it’s an excellent amplifier, with a fine DAC and a refreshing ‘get things done’ approach that is the polar opposite of audiophile tweakery. That’s hard not to love, and probably why McIntosh owners remain McIntosh owners for life."
     
  8. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I'm set on getting the AS-1100. Curious if I should put the money towards the Mac. The problem as Bananas said above, you can't ignore the cost difference. I'm trying to weed that out so I don't blow $2500 that could have gone to the Mac.
     
  9. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Thanks! I do need inputs for CD, tape and receiver as well. I have a Yamaha R-N602, was thinking of going to the R-N803, moved onto the A-S1100, and thought I'd get some opinions on the MA5200.
     
  10. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Thanks! I'm not sure which does. I know the A-S1100 is solid, not sure on the MA5200.
     
  11. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    This is exactly what I'm looking for. How would you describe the differences between the two?
     
  12. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Incisive Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    You are set on buying a $2500 amp that you think costs $3500? You don't even have the model number right. I love this thread. I wonder what we could turn it into.

    [​IMG]
     
    Benzion, bradleyc, Charlie-2 and 3 others like this.
  13. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Hahaha! Good one.

    BTW, apologies if I come across as a bit terse. I'm more frustrated with myself in how I asked. I knew it when I posted it and then I lost power and internet so I'm stuck trying to get back to the main point of my question.
     
  14. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
     
  15. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Incisive Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    This wasn't terse.

     
  16. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Incisive Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    "
    Dude, stop trolling. You aren't helping."


    This was. See the difference? Yammie.
     
  17. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    There's also this from that review:

    "Like all McIntosh products, it produces a ‘big’ sound, but not ‘big and brash’, just big. Images are not overlarge, but the soundstage the MA5200 presents is far larger than most. It has an grand sense of scale to the presentation, which manages to just get the right side of not enlarging everything fed to it. So you don’t get a 50ft wide piano played by an 18ft tall Alfred Brendel and neither do you get a 100ft tall Billy Gibbons (perish the thought… imagine the potential for beard entanglement). But what you get instead is Mozart’s Piano Sonatas played on a grand piano in a grand space and ZZ Top playing in a studio setting with great drama and a lot of energy. That’s the big thing of the ‘big’ sound – it gives the music space to breathe."
     
  18. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Incisive Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I think you should get the A-s9111
     
  19. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Regarding the phono on the Mac (not compared to the A-S1100) via 6moons audio reviews: McIntosh MA5200

    "I was less impressed with the MM phono module. It's okay and doesn't deserve real complaints but compared to an outboard solution like my SAC Gamma with Shelter 201 cartridge, its limitations weighed rather heavier than the DAC swap. And here the added cost was four times lower! Tonally the MM input duplicated the general MA5200 sound but on dynamics, soundstaging and ability to separate during dense louder passages quite a lot remained under the table.

    Take Scott Niblett's passionate song "Gun" from It's up to Emma. As percussion and electrical guitar build up against one another, the Mac's phono clearly clumped together far more than my external phonostage which resolved more differentiated detail. If you only crank up your table occasionally, what's here should be plenty good enough. If you're deeply into vinyl however, a separate phono stage will be in your future. "

    Bah, that isn't good.
     
  20. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Incisive Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    If it wasn't for me, you would have 9 posts in a row. You're welcome. I hope everyone is getting as much out of this thread as me.
     
    ThorensSme likes this.
  21. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Are you the official site troll? Just curious as I'm new here.
     
  22. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Incisive Member

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Wow I've been eyeing an A-s1100 for a bit now. I did not know the phono was that good! It's a gorgeous piece. That only entices me more. I own an A-s801 now and have wondered for a while now how the 1100 sounds in comparison.

    Hey @matrix-6 . I was just having a little fun with you. Welcome to the forum bud.
     
  23. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    I've owned and auditioned a lot of integrateds in the $2K to $3.5K range. The A-S1100 is the only solid state amp that has stood the test of time (other than my A-S500). Every other was either unremarkable or became grating in some way over time. The 1100 is the only one that can come within a stones throw of producing a tube-like midrange. It also produces the greatest bass depth. It wiped the floor with one very popular $3.5K integrated. It sort of embarrasses another ultra mega buck unit - name starts with a "D" and ends with "et."

    I haven't heard the particular Mac you're considering, but based on my experiences, I'd wager it doesn't sound better than the Yammie but merely different. The thing about Yamahas is their tone is unique, they sound like no other brand. It's very like their instruments. Compare a Yamaha piano or guitar to their competition, and if you have a keen ear, you'll notice Yamahas have a more saturated tone, more "color." Accurate or inaccurate, I don't know, but I like it, I like it a lot.
    [​IMG]
     
    Benzion, bradleyc, George P and 4 others like this.
  24. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Thanks! :) The phono is definitely a big part of why I want the A-S1100. I'm curious if it's different than the one in the RN-602 and RN-803. I would assume so, but then maybe it's cheaper for Yamaha to just use the same? The one on my RN-602 is decent but lower in volume than my vp29. Sounds just as good, but you do have to turn it up a little.
     
  25. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Yes, the 1100's phono stage is at least equal to the Lounge LCR but no question it's a lot quieter than the LCR.
     
    Bananas&blow and ThorensSme like this.

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