Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 46
  1. #1
    AR Newbie
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    1

    Why don't audiophiles like Mcintosh?

    I used to own a modest Jolida integrated tube amp and cd player driving Dynaudio Audience speakers and was quite pleased. However, I am ready to trade up to my first true high end system and was seriously considering the 200wpc Mcintosh MA6900 integrated amp, Mcintosh MCD205 CD player and Martin Logan Aeon speakers. I have about $12k to play with. I like a musical sounding amp and was told that Mcintosh is harsh and grainy. Most audiophiles scoff at their name but I think their equipment is timeless, sort of like owning a Rolex. I listen mostly to classic rock. What advice can you give me towards this combination? Could I do much better in this price range?

  2. #2
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,619

    You're talking to the wrong audiophiles

    Quote Originally Posted by samplermike
    I used to own a modest Jolida integrated tube amp and cd player driving Dynaudio Audience speakers and was quite pleased. However, I am ready to trade up to my first true high end system and was seriously considering the 200wpc Mcintosh MA6900 integrated amp, Mcintosh MCD205 CD player and Martin Logan Aeon speakers. I have about $12k to play with. I like a musical sounding amp and was told that Mcintosh is harsh and grainy. Most audiophiles scoff at their name but I think their equipment is timeless, sort of like owning a Rolex. I listen mostly to classic rock. What advice can you give me towards this combination? Could I do much better in this price range?
    Our hobby is purely subjective and opinions on equipment are like a**holes, everyone has one. Paul Seydor at TAS thinks Mac's latest tube and ss amps are some of the very best extant, regardless of price. He drives his Quad 989's with them for his reference system. Considering the Quads are one of the most transparent and revealing speakers ever made, it would seem safe to assume that if Mac's were "harsh and grainy," these speakers would be the first to proclaim it.

    As with everything else, let your own ears decide for you and leave the posturing to everyone else. $12 large will buy you just about anything you want. The last CES had a display where (unbeknownst to the listeners) a pair of $11,500 Wilson Sophia's driven by a $1k Parasound amp and Apple iPod w/ Radio Shack patch cords clearly trounced a set of competitors $16K speakers being driven by $35K worth of Krell. The point wasn't that the Sophias were far superior, simply that your return on investment is better represented by great speakers instead of $1000 cables. I'd find my speakers first and then worry about finding a nice synergistic match with the front end. If the Aeons are your bag and you like the way they sound with Mac's, who are we, or anybody else for that matter, to say you're wrong?

    It's your money.

  3. #3
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    3,417

    Mac fans ar the most rabid of the Audiophiles that I know

    Quote Originally Posted by samplermike
    I used to own a modest Jolida integrated tube amp and cd player driving Dynaudio Audience speakers and was quite pleased. However, I am ready to trade up to my first true high end system and was seriously considering the 200wpc Mcintosh MA6900 integrated amp, Mcintosh MCD205 CD player and Martin Logan Aeon speakers. I have about $12k to play with. I like a musical sounding amp and was told that Mcintosh is harsh and grainy. Most audiophiles scoff at their name but I think their equipment is timeless, sort of like owning a Rolex. I listen mostly to classic rock. What advice can you give me towards this combination? Could I do much better in this price range?
    To them it's Mac or nothing. That could be the reason that "all the rest" of the audiophiles shy away from them. I've got a lot of respect for Mac gear. It was some of the first high end equipment that I heard, and it kind of sent me on my quest. For me though I find that the're a bit overpriced, and while built like tanks, don't offer any of the latest technology. That doesn't mean I don't like them. Eric posted some pics from the CEDIA show and Mac was showing a 1200 watt mono-block with the biggest meter I've ever seen on an amp. I would love to have a pair of those puppies driving my maggies.

    If you've got 12k to spend my advise is to spend at least a month, if not more, auditioning speakers. Fully 1/2 of that 12k budget is best spent on speakers, and some would say 2/3's would be even better.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  4. #4
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by samplermike
    I used to own a modest Jolida integrated tube amp and cd player driving Dynaudio Audience speakers and was quite pleased. However, I am ready to trade up to my first true high end system and was seriously considering the 200wpc Mcintosh MA6900 integrated amp, Mcintosh MCD205 CD player and Martin Logan Aeon speakers. I have about $12k to play with. I like a musical sounding amp and was told that Mcintosh is harsh and grainy. Most audiophiles scoff at their name but I think their equipment is timeless, sort of like owning a Rolex. I listen mostly to classic rock. What advice can you give me towards this combination? Could I do much better in this price range?
    I presume you like the Martin Logan Aeon i speakers better than anything else you can afford. From the specs, they require a stable amp since the impedance is said to go down to 1.32 ohms at 20 kHz, and may go lower higher than that. However, there is not much up that high in music so it should not be a problem with a good amp, but some amps may have trouble with such a speaker. I imagine a McIntosh would have no trouble.

    I would want a good subwoofer with them, too. The specs indicate good bass response for most music, but I like to get the deep bass to below 20 Hz, too. So, consider a good subwoofer.

    I have no knowledge of the current models, but in the past, McIntosh amps have measured very well and sound pretty much like any other good solid state amp with a low output impedance, flat frequency response, low distortion and noise, and a high input impedance. Just what "better" might mean in this connection is open to question. There are many other reasons for buying expensive equipment. McIntosh has a reputation for reliability and service, and of course, there is the styling, which I like.

    I wouldn't mind having McIntosh equipment. I see no reason to get a really expensive CD player in this multi-player market, since there are universal DVD players available which will play CD , DVD-A, possibly SACD, as well as DVD videos.

    Anyway, my first advice is to make sure you like your speakers, then get an amp that can drive them, and an appropriate preamp, if needed (you wouldn't since an integrated amp has one built in), and something to play your software with.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  5. #5
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,469
    Quote Originally Posted by samplermike
    I I like a musical sounding amp and was told that Mcintosh is harsh and grainy. Most audiophiles scoff at their name but I think their equipment is timeless, sort of like owning a Rolex. I listen mostly to classic rock. What advice can you give me towards this combination? Could I do much better in this price range?
    I would never have called Mac equipment harsh and grainy. Possessing lower resolution than can be had for equivalent quality and investment, yes - at least to these ears, but not harsh. I am also not a particular fan of a design that goes to the expense of including a limiter circuit for those who can't hear up to 14 db of clipping. They have experienced, however, a bit of a renaissance in the past couple of years with the re-introduction of a couple of tube based products.

    What's most important in the long run, of course, is what you think. I would recommend auditioning the 6900 to a comparably priced amp with less fussy (and presumably less costly) cosmetics and determine for yourself. If your source(s) are high level only and can be located close to the amp, then you may find that you could use a power amp with attenuators instead of an integrated. I have a particular fondness for the works of Nelson Pass, having owned a Threshold Stasis for twenty some years. The current Pass Labs X-150 would be in a similar price range for a power amp alone.

    rw
    Last edited by E-Stat; 09-29-2004 at 04:39 PM.

  6. #6
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1
    McIntosh MA6900 is a perfect sound amplifier system to your preferred loudspeaker model.

    _________________
    McIntosh MA6900 Integrated Amplifier - Download the MA6900 Integrated Amplifier Catalog by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    9,607
    I really like Martin Logan, especially with tube gear. Have you heard the models with the powered bass module? I heard the Flagship driven by T+A electronics and it was very impressive.

    My opinion of Mac is that they are over priced. I prefer Krell or Levinson in the same price range. Mac is more of a warmer sound though. I feel it is very good equipment and I wonder if the person who called them grainy ever heard Mac, they do not sound grainy. Mac is a hot item on the used market and the resale price holds pretty high. I do wonder if their products are as good since they were bought by Clarion some years back.

    If you like a "musical" amp you should listen to Conrad Johnson. You can get a pre and power amp for the price of the 6900. CJ to me seemed to add soul or a groove to my music like no other gear I've heard.

    I disagree with the advice of spending 1/2 your budget on speakers and don't spend much on a CD player. Contrary, your source, is, your most important piece. No speaker, or anything, down stream will reproduce what isn't in the signal in the first place. You have to start with a good signal, then maintain it throughout the system.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  8. #8
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Registered Member Dusty Chalk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    below the noise floor
    Posts
    3,637
    They don't?

    I think the Mac/Martin Logan system will be fine, but if you can afford to spend that kind of dough, I'd be prepared to buy things for in-home listening for extended periods of time, and then sell them off if they don't synergize with the rest of your equipment and your listening habits.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  9. #9
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5,198
    a great amp/speaker combination makes all the difference. I heard my PSB Platinum's for the first time being driven by Classe monoblocks and was blown away...ever since then I have wanted that combination. I now have my PSB's and am waiting patiently to save up for the Classe's. In the meantime I am driving them with a Parasound Halo amp, which works fine, but I also know the potential of these speakers and can't wait to get those amps to really drive these babies like they deserve to be. I have also seen/heard some great McIntosh setups at shows and such and I think they are truly timeless and very sweet looking and sounding. I am trying to think of what speakers I have heard connected to these....I am thinking it was the flagship B&W speakers and Tyler Acoustics top of the line models. Whatever it was....very good! Plus, I like the glowing blue lights! HAhah.

  10. #10
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,226
    I don't own a mcintosh amp or so,
    but,
    if I had such money, it would be spent on mcintosh gear, (speakers, source, cables would be from other brands) but, really, Mcintosh is the top of the line,

    and you definately talked to the wrong audiophiles,
    Mcintosh sounds warm, powerful, and everything else you wish...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  11. #11
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    down there
    Posts
    7,124

    well shucks...

    ...I'll just turn in my locker key and membership card at the desk.

    I use a Mac/ML pairing and I love it. An MC7205 recently replaced a Rotel model and within minutes I was feelin' the love. Bass tighter, coherent soundstage, and an end to any symptoms of fatigue.Will it compete with SOTA systems like th ebig Soundlabs, or VS11s or Flo's Apogees? Probably not, but it sure presents music the way I want to hear it.
    Someone around here, maybe BillyB, recently made a comment about grating systems making him want to repeatedly turn down the volume. My current system gives me just the opposite reaction and, as such, I have found myself getting louder and louder of late.

    Great synergy between Mac and ML, so I say go for it Mike.

    Rawk on

  12. #12
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    9,607
    Which ML's do you have? With the right amp they do sing.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  13. #13
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5,198
    Yeah, the Mcintosh cool blue could fool you as they sound so warm and cozy.

  14. #14
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    down there
    Posts
    7,124
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Which ML's do you have? With the right amp they do sing.
    cinema i~ center
    SL3~ front right and left
    montages~ surrounds

    That's the current line up, although my audio pimp has hinted that there may be a pair of Summits to be available soon. That could skew things a bit. I may soon have a set of Montages and a Rotel amp for sale--or I may just set up yet another system. Maybe one in the bathroom,hehe.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    9,607
    That's nice ML set up.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  16. #16
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    down there
    Posts
    7,124
    Gracias, Mr.P. They work well together and well with the room. I would say that the Montages are sort of a joke of a speaker. I bought them in order to maintain tonal equality for multi-channel music, but in hindsight, I wouldn't buy them again. They're simply not a very good speaker and for the money they're really not a good speaker.
    If a pair of Prodigys or Summits came about at a good price I'd snap 'em up, and while they might be a bit much for the current room it would be a solid move for the future.

    Back on topic, the Rotel works with B&W, we all know that. I heard a Rotel paired with some Danes that sounded absolutely great (made me wonder why nobody ever talks about that pairing). The Mac takes the ML to a different level of presentation. To say it was uncolored would be a lie but the loss of absolute neutrality in favor of a more listenable experience is IMO worth it.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    11
    I don't think so. Mac has such a good rep in giving so much power.

    ______________
    McIntosh MA6900 Integrated Amplifier - Download the MA6900 Integrated Amplifier Catalog by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.

  18. #18
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    7,858

    Hi, poweredamp

    Quote Originally Posted by poweredamp
    I don't think so. Mac has such a good rep in giving so much power.

    ....
    Welcome to AR Forums.


    Yeah, I'd love pretty much any Mac component made since 1995. Used prices bring a lot of that equipment into the semi-affordable range. Something like an MA6850 is almost a bargain on that basis.

  19. #19
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1

    Post Yamaha yst sw-305 powered subwooffer.

    Hello everyone: I just joined the site today. My first question is finding a yamaha yst sw-30 5 powered subwoofer. I will purchase this item in used condition as long as it works. I have been all over ebay and amazom .com with no luck. In addition, I called yamaha for info with no luck. I love this subwoofer and I would love to purchase it again. Thanks.

    -Smiddy400

  20. #20
    Suspended Registered Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    276
    McIntosh had a difficult time moving from tubes to transistors, As a matter of fact McIntosh was one of the few companies that continued to use tranformers with their transistors power amps. Marantz never really made a good transistor pre amp or power amp.

    How good is Mac? today well it all depends on what type of music you listen to and the speakers you use. Remember in the golden age of audio , music was softer and more detailed than today. Speakers though less focused was more detailed as well.
    Times have changed , Mac and Marantz was not really designed for rock music.

    Analog or records are more detailed than digital , digital has more dynamics.
    The old tube Mac and Marantz was designed in the days for analog. Listen to a Sinatra recording using older equipment and listen using the new digital equipment.
    There is a difference. Listening to rock the digital music will favor the rock.

    Finally I have owned a McIntosh MC275 for 45 years and it is still sounding great.
    But than I don't listen to rock. Those who dislike Mac. equipment or rock listeners.

  21. #21
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,469
    Quote Originally Posted by melvin walker
    McIntosh had a difficult time moving from tubes to transistors,
    You bet. I liken them to Cadillac. Both companies were the standard of excellence in the 50s and 60s and lost their mojo in the 70s. Since that is about when I got on board, I was introduced to McIntosh with the insipid C-28 and 2105. Bad timing. Instead, I gravitated towards companies like Audio Research, Conrad-Johnson, and Threshold whose products were far more musical than Mac in those days. While those brands lacked the laser show illumination, they were built every bit as well. They got my business.

    Today, McIntosh (producing tube gear again) and Cadillac (finally competitive with German/Japanese counterparts) have enjoyed a revival and returned to their performance roots. Both brands lost any allure to me, however, during their dark era. I can only think of Cadillacs from my teen years as a bad joke.

    Wow, you have quite a stellar collection of vintage gear. I'm sure the 10B/7C/275 combo remains a killer system today.

    rw

  22. #22
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1

    mcintosh harsh and grainey?

    the mcintosh amps that i have owned and heard have been quite the opposite. you spoke of a true hifi system, with 12k to play with i wouldnt settle on intergrades i would separate as much as i can(preamp,power supply and so on) if you trust the things you have heard about macs well i would turn to bryston. if you are looking for a thick and smooth sound, mac and bryston has that. but your preanp and you cabling will play a huge role to your taste of sound. also if you are stuck on intergraded amps, i would take a listen to the nad m-3 it is class A .

  23. #23
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    9,607
    ARC and CJ have quite a different sound. I'm not sure how it was in the 80's back. ARC's recent gear has turned me away. I've heard their stuff mostly with B&W and a bit with Martin Logan. It's difficult to put into words but the ARC gave me a feeling of gray and industrial. The operative word is "recent", I heard a VT-100 driving a pair of ML ReQuests, not sure the pre and I think the source was a Wadia rig, this system gave a presence that was down right scary.

    I think when Mac started building transistor gear they tried to keep as close to the sound of their tube gear as possible. It may have been the set up to blame, when I heard Mac's expensive HT processor I was not impressed. Listened to a Anthem AVM-30 at the same visit and it sounded much better. I've heard some great Mac stereo gear though. Mac is also one of the hottest products on the used market. From what I can tell Mac and CJ have in common, both have a certain "house", or signature, sound and try to stick with that as much as possible no matter the product.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  24. #24
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    9,607
    Melvin, you are probably aware but a couple of those Marantz pieces are pretty valuable on the resale market. Not many pieces of hi fi gear end up selling used many times their original retail.

    From earlier comments about analog sounding better than digital, I don't want to open that debate, but I notice you use Sony ES changers, have you ever heard a high end cd player on your system or used a higher level DAC on the changers. I'm not a hard liner one way or the other, I use, and like both, however I'd have to give the edge to digital for detail. With that being said, I've heard ultra high end CD playback, where I've heard the high end turntables none have been to the extreme heights in price as my digital experiences.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  25. #25
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,226
    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Both brands lost any allure to me, however, during their dark era. I can only think of Cadillacs from my teen years as a bad joke.

    you should hear a new one though, yes, their vintage SS gear might not have been the best (like Mr Peabody said, they tried to keep it as close to their tube gear, and they both have a real house sound). Their new gear sounds fantastic.

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 2 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 2 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. McIntosh MA 6800
    By Wei De in forum Speakers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-25-2005, 10:12 AM
  2. Selling McIntosh MX110
    By ComputerDude5565 in forum Amps/Preamps
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-19-2004, 08:49 AM
  3. Two pairs of speakers to McIntosh 2200 ?
    By macb363 in forum General Audio
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-19-2004, 12:35 PM
  4. Two Types of Audiophiles? Which one are you?
    By kexodusc in forum General Audio
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 03-01-2004, 01:41 PM
  5. Where are all the audiophiles?
    By topspeed in forum General Audio
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 12-15-2003, 12:45 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest AudioReview Articles

Hot Deals

Latest News

AudioReview on Facebook