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  1. #1

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    Default McIntosh Tube Amps.?

    I'm pretty much a rookie when it comes to tube amps. I have a Rogue amp that I like very well. Are Macs. really the bomb when it comes to amps?? Had a friend who had a couple of vintage MC-30's but, never got my ear on them at the time. He claimed they were magnificant to the ear. I'm getting the itch to upgrade my tube amp. What can anyone tell me about McIntosh? Is there anything better??

  2. #2
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    MC does make good amps, but the more important question is what preamp and speakers are you running? The best amp sometimes is simply the best amp for your speakers; and price range. Which Rogue amp do you currently have because they are also very good. What are you looking to gain by upgrading your amp?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    MC does make good amps, but the more important question is what preamp and speakers are you running? The best amp sometimes is simply the best amp for your speakers; and price range. Which Rogue amp do you currently have because they are also very good. What are you looking to gain by upgrading your amp?
    I have the Cronus Magnum integrated with 15TL's & Denon CD player. It has a wonderful sound. I was just curious what Mac's were all about. Would I be upgrading sound with a good Mac integrated? I know next to nothing about Hi-Fi. I just go by what I read about gear and what my ears tell me. I went with the Rogue because I had to trust what my dealer told me about them and I couldn't find a bad review on the Cronus Mag. I knew I didn't want to go the over-seas route on an amp. Are the Mac's a better quality than the Rogue?

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    Mcintosh has been making quality audio equipment for a long time. They have many excellent amps in their history and there are a few different eras that produced groups of amps with similar sounds. You need to actually listen to the one you are interested in. Many of the older amps could need to be updated to perform as designed since the capacitors have reached the end of their best life. Mcintosh does hold its value as well or better than most pieces of audio equipment.
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    MC-30, MC-60, and MC-225 are amplifiers for the ages. The MC-275 (up through the current models) are quite respectable, too.
    There have been very few push-pull amps that were any better. McIntosh, in most of these amps, ran the tubes quite conservatively; the tubes in them last a long, long time and even run (comparatively) cool.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    You would spend a lot of money on the Macs to get a better sound than you have on the Rogue. I would hold the Rogue amp. I own a few pieces of Mac gear and love the sound. For the money, the Rogue is a better bang for your buck. I would upgrade your source. The Denon is decent but there are a lot better CD players or a transport with one of the newer DACs would give you a noticeable improvement for a lot less money than you would spend to get a good Mac tube amp.
    Carl

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    So I assume you are wanting a new integrated amp? Or are you wanting to get into separates with a dedicated tube amp?

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    I think for now I'm just pipe dreaming. I've always heard people say that Mac's were really awsome. I'm pretty happy with my Rogue and 15TL's for my listening space. I will someday probably upgrade my CDP since my Denon was bottom of the line for back in 91.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charley95 View Post
    I think for now I'm just pipe dreaming. I've always heard people say that Mac's were really awsome. I'm pretty happy with my Rogue and 15TL's for my listening space. I will someday probably upgrade my CDP since my Denon was bottom of the line for back in 91.
    probably still has better DAC's than most of the mid line today. Might as well hop on the SACD bandwagon if you do replace.

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    What exactly is SACD?

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    SuperAudio CD, a proprietary (Sony-developed) high-resolution hardware (similar to DVD polycarbonate disc) digital music format.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    SuperAudio CD, a proprietary (Sony-developed) high-resolution hardware (similar to DVD polycarbonate disc) digital music format.
    Do I have to buy SACD's to get the best audio quality?

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    No, you need to buy vinyl records or 15 ips half-track tapes.

    ;-)

    EDIT: In all seriousness, good old "redbook" CDs and any of the lossless/high-res digital audio formats are capable of delivering perfectly respectable fidelity... if (and only if) the original recording and production were, shall we say, empathetic.
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 03-06-2013 at 09:05 PM.
    all the best,
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    Quote Originally Posted by charley95 View Post
    I'm pretty much a rookie when it comes to tube amps. I have a Rogue amp that I like very well. Are Macs. really the bomb when it comes to amps?? Had a friend who had a couple of vintage MC-30's but, never got my ear on them at the time. He claimed they were magnificant to the ear. I'm getting the itch to upgrade my tube amp. What can anyone tell me about McIntosh? Is there anything better??
    Most all McIntosh tube amps of the era of late '50s until the late '60s are considered legendary and are highly collected by Mc partisans.

    That said, there are a couple of items you might want to consider:

    1. Unless the MC 30s have been properly serviced & tended by someone like Terry DeWick, Audio Classics or any other number of Mc experts, they're probably going to need it if it hasn't been done within the last 10 years or so.

    2. The cost of servicing and tubes is not cheap so this might also be something to consider.

    3. A couple of McIntosh owners well acquainted with a great variety of McIntosh amplifiers, have confided that although excellent units, they felt the MC 30 were a tad lacking in deep bass punch. YMMV.

    4. Choice of speakers. While the MC 30 and other McIntosh tube gear will work well in a variety of applications, I feel the choice of speakers should be made carefully. I don't know what speakers you intend to use, but I don't think I'd recommend McIntosh tube amps for use with most Polk speakers.

    My 2 cents.
    McIntosh: MC 2155, MC 2125, MC 2505, MR 80, C 30, MQ 101
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    Quote Originally Posted by 62caddy View Post
    Most all McIntosh tube amps of the era of late '50s until the late '60s are considered legendary and are highly collected by Mc partisans.

    That said, there are a couple of items you might want to consider:

    1. Unless the MC 30s have been properly serviced & tended by someone like Terry DeWick, Audio Classics or any other number of Mc experts, they're probably going to need it if it hasn't been done within the last 10 years or so.

    2. The cost of servicing and tubes is not cheap so this might also be something to consider.

    3. A couple of McIntosh owners well acquainted with a great variety of McIntosh amplifiers, have confided that although excellent units, they felt the MC 30 were a tad lacking in deep bass punch. YMMV.

    4. Choice of speakers. While the MC 30 and other McIntosh tube gear will work well in a variety of applications, I feel the choice of speakers should be made carefully. I don't know what speakers you intend to use, but I don't think I'd recommend McIntosh tube amps for use with most Polk speakers.

    My 2 cents.
    I think if you follow Terry DeWick's suggestions for upping the capacitance in the power supply, it improves the low end.

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