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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Old Mac or New NAD?

    I am considering spending a few dollars to get my old solid state McIntosh MA6100 integrated amped tweaked for my bedroom system. I also recently heard the NAD C320BEE amp which blew me away for the price. I have grown accustomed to the warmth of the Mac over the years but really appreciated the open, dynamic sound of the NAD. Any advice pro or con would be appreciated. Also, what about a good pair of (under $1,000.00) bookshelf speakers to mate to either one of these amps.


    PS The Mac just needs a good going over, less than $100.00 total.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    The C-320 BEE is a very good integrated.....


    Trying to give you some idea. It is really a very good integrated with an excellent sound. You can setup it with B&W speakers orParadigms Studio. The B&W DM-602 S3 and Paradigm Studio 20 V3 can be great candidates.
    Good Luck,

  3. #3
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I can't say I've heard your Mac, if you can bring it up to tip top shape for $100.00 I'd probably keep it. The NAD is very nice but not a world beater and I would rather have the extra money for speakers.

    If you can find an Audio Note dealer I would give a listen to The AN K Spe. They retail for $1950US but last years model can be had NEW(with full warranty of course) from Soundhounds for $1500.00Cdn. The conversion will be around $1100.00US.

    I doubt you'll be able to find a better speakerunder 2k US, certainly none of the "Major Names" that I have heard can match them really in any area of sound reproduction.

    Reviewers for Hi-fi Choice, Stereophile and for a start actually own Audio Note speakers which IMO is more telling than writing a nice little review of a speaker of what they think others might like. Owning them themselves tells me that they can stand listening to them for more than the review period. Their speakers range oin price from ~$400.00 to $35, 000.00 and can be internally upgraded at later times.

    Reviews not on the Audio note site

    Of other models with very similar sound

    The usual brands of Paradigm, Energy, B&W all make solid speakers for 1k...but your budget allows for something considerably more refined so why not take advantage of that.

    In the end let your ears guide you, and seek out the lesser names and not just the advertising innundated to death brands.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Old Mac or New NAD?-k-beach.jpg  

  4. #4
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I would go for the NAD. I own it and I know how good it is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    In my opinion NAD has never made anything in the league of McIntosh. I would spend the $100. and hang on to a good amp. You can get a pair of Dynaaudio Audience 42's for around $700. pair or a pair of 52's at $900. I would always recommend Dyn's if they are in your budget. You will find them extremely neutral, revealing and an extended frequency response for their size. If you didn't want to spend that much Acoustic Energy offers a fine speaker at a very reasonable price.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    You have to remember that the 320BEE is in a completely different range then the Mac. NAD is renown for it’s everything you need nothing you don't philosophy. The BEE stands for Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, whose innovative engineering for NAD dates back to the famous 3020, the world’s best-selling amplifier. Erik’s 10/10 Rule states that the ideal for high value products is achieved when it costs 10 times more money to get only a 10% increase in performance. So his thinking is more toward the budget amp with good performance, then the “cost is no object” approach

    It would be no contest in my opinion but then again you are comparing two very different amps.

    Me personally? I would get the 320. But I am an NAD nut so why listen to me.

    For speakers try out the new PSB platinum M2 I think they might be a little over your price range but not by much. I heard these a few weeks ago and they are by far the best monitor sized speakers I have heard at this price range or ten times the price to be honest. You can also try out PSB's stratus Mini which is just at your 1000 price range but I have seen them go for around 700 -850 before.

    Happy listening

  7. #7
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Talking My vote always MAC

    For 100.00 you stay with MAC- it will sound good in ten years... for a few bucks more go with the 6200. Found one in a garage last week rusted and cover all smashed- cleaned it up and it ran fine. Sold it repaired on e-bay - the buyer real happy at 350.00. Been trading MAC for 30 years- never lost a dime. Bedroom with the lights off in the eve... very warm to see the blue glow...chances are you wont want to rock the walls at 2 am... so mac sounds best fro 0 to 120... no noise and it warms your soul that you can leave it to your grandkids.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    As far as the amplifier goes, I think that is a decision that you have to make. You said that you enjoy the warm sound you get out of your McIntosh and the open dynamic sound that you heard from the NAD C320BEE. Its dificult to make a decision like this because both have unique things to offer. So, goodluck with that.

    As far as speakers go, I have been on the hunt for the $1,000.00 bookshelf for several months and I think I'm getting close to the finish. I have auditioned every bookshelf within my price range and several tower speakers. I must say that so far, the Quad 12L bookshelf speakers have been in a league of their own. Other speakers, like the Dynaudio Audience 52, Focal Chorus 707S, Cyrus CLS 50, PSB Stratus Mini, Epos M12.2, Monitor Audio Gr10, and the ProAc Tablettes, were all extremly impresive in their own ways. Each had its own distinguishing factor. For example, the ProAc Tablette speakers had a mild and smooth mid-range which blended seemlessly with the treeble. It was truly impressive. However, it lacked the bass response and authority that other speakers in this range had. The Quad 12L (And 11L for that matter.) was simply a different story. This speaker reproduced the sound without any distinguishing characteristics. For the first time in my short but enthusiastic HiFi career I truly heard the music sound as if it was right in front of me. Each instrument sounded just as it would in real life. You didn't hear simply the notes in the song, you heard the characteristics of each instrument and each note. The difference for me, between the Quad 12L and the smaller 11L, was that the 12L had better bass response and more depth. This is rare in a bookshelf as I'm sure you have found out. But, in addition to its improved low-frequency performance, the 12L also seemed to be less congested than the 11L. Sound seemed to from freely from it and the sound staging and imaging was simply more impresive. I would highly recomend these speakers. However, if you don't take a liking to them (Which I doubt will be the case.) Any of the other speakers which I listed above are also great performers. I would recomend any of them over the Paradigm Studio 20 and the B&W DM600-602. These speakers are talked about quite a bit, but you should realize that their is much better sound out there. IMO of course.


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