Choosing MA252 vs. MA5300 / MA7200?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by ericedelman, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. ericedelman

    ericedelman New Member

    Messages:
    1
    I am planning to purchase either the MA252 or MA5300 / MA7200 for a 2 channel system to power a set of Klipsch Cornwall speakers.

    I would like to connect the McIntosh MT5 turntable, a Bluesound Node 2, and my TV / cable box to the amplifier as well. We listen to classic rock, folk, some country, a little modern pop.

    Is there a compelling reason to pick the MA252 over the MA5300? Is the MA7200 overkill for the Cornwalls?

    Appreciate any insights / advice.
     

     

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  2. JWJW

    JWJW Bun E. Carlos

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    I love my 252. :)
     
  3. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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  4. JWJW

    JWJW Bun E. Carlos

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    IN
    The 252 would be plenty for your Corns. A match made in Mc heaven....
     
  5. gregswaim

    gregswaim Neutral Organic Sound

    Tube amplification with your vintage Klipsch Cornwalls will sound best- in my opinion. Those speakers are very high efficiency and don't require much power. Tubes with those speakers will give a more natural sound vs solid state. Again, just my opinion. :)
     
  6. Macallan

    Macallan New Member

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    I am looking at the same integrateds the MA252 vs the MA7200, i have the Martin Logan Ethos speaker. What would be the pros/cons of each set up.

    MA/252 (cheaper, Tube front end+) Direct Coupled (is this better or worse for Ethos?)
    MA7200 (more expensive, DAC section +, Autoformers (is this better or worse for Ethos?)
     

     

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  7. eedork

    eedork Super Member

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    1,573
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    If it were me I'd go with the MA7200. I had an MA6600 for many years and it was excellent. The MA7200 should be even better because it has an excellent onboard DAC and many new preamp features that the MA6600 lacked, including an excellent MM/MC phono stage, headphone HXD, HT passthru, and more input naming flexibility.

    The MA5300 is also very interesting. No autoformers and less power than the MA7200, but it should be otherwise very similar. The MA5300 sees like a real bargain.

    -Matt
     
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  8. TSmith8605

    TSmith8605 Senile Member Subscriber

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    Both the MA5300 and MA7200 have digital inputs which means they include a built-in DAC. If you're TV cable box has a digital audio output (I don't mean HDMI, I mean coax or optical audio only), you could use that into one of these two and likely get superior sound from the TV using the McIntosh built-in DAC.

    The Bluesound also has a built-in DAC and digital output. I that case the McIntosh DAC might also sound better than the Bluesound DAC; you could experiment to see.

    With the MA252, you would be using the DAC built into the cable box which is likely pretty cheap. But you could get the MA252 and if you don't like the TV (or even the Bluesound) DAC sound, you could buy a nice external DAC.
     
  9. Macallan

    Macallan New Member

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    I have he Channel Islands VDA-2 Dac so based solely on the preamp / amp would the ma252 be better with the Logan’s? They are have powered bass.
     
  10. eedork

    eedork Super Member

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    1,573
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    The MA7200 should be much more stout than the MA252. My MA6600 was a beast and sounded great.

    -Matt
     
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  11. TSmith8605

    TSmith8605 Senile Member Subscriber

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    I found a handy tool that will let you answer this (how much power you need for the Logans) quantitatively - or at least get you close.

    If you know the speakers sensitivity (dB at one meter driven by 1 Watt), how far you sit from the speakers in meters, and how loud you want the music in dB, this tool will tell you how much power you need. You can also experiment to see how loud it will go given the power level from an amp.

    I recommend adding about 10 dB for Amplifier headroom: https://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/tools/calculators#amp_power_required
     

     

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  12. Donny

    Donny Big Damn Hero Subscriber

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    I am new to McIntosh so I haven't heard the other amps. I will say this. I love my ma252. For me it's only downfall is a lack of pre in and out. the ma 252 seems to be a hot item. While I was speaker shopping over the weekend I met another happy 252 owner and another person considering buying a 252
     
  13. Anup Roy

    Anup Roy New Member

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    I have a similar question. am stuck between MA252 and MA5300. I already have a auralic vega DAC. http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/auralic-vega-digital-audio-processor-1/. I may sell my DAC for some money and get the MA5300. So price wise its kinda similar for me. But from sound perspective which will be better? I have quad 23L speakers. And is there a way I can drive my sub too ( velodyne 10) in the MA5300? I listen to bollywood mostly ( which is a mix of all genres), country and modern pop. I like warm music and not much of a fan of treble ( or sharp music).
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  14. TAliyev

    TAliyev New Member

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    Based on my personal experience with MA252, I'd suggest going with MA5300.
    MA252 is a beauty, but lacks many useful features, and quality control appears to be flaky. I regret my purchase. Should have bought MA5300... But got blinded by beautiful lights!
     
  15. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    The 20wpc (realistically 25 wpc) internal monitor amplifier of the McIntosh C33, C34 or C40 preamplifier has more than enough power than would ever likely be needed with a pair of CWs.

    That's what I would use.
     
  16. wstrickland1

    wstrickland1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I may be listing a MAC6700 in Barter Town very soon.
     

     

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  17. Chubba

    Chubba Well-Known Member

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    I like my 252.Oops sorry wrong 252.
     
  18. ODS123

    ODS123 Well-Known Member

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    679
    I have an MA6600 driving my Cornwall III's. Specs-size my amp seems to be identical the MA7200, though lacks the built-in DAC. ..I can't say if the MA7200 is overkill, but I will say that I can barely get my wattage meters to 10 watts driving my 1 year old Cornwall III's without inviting a visit from the police. Usually, I'm well under 2 watts!! And my room is 16' by 30' (sofa 16' from speakers) w/ 10' ceilings. You gotta love high-efficiency compression driver horns. I love both my CW IIIs and my Mac.

    I bought the amp before the speakers. If I were to buy the amp today, I'd probably get the MA5300 to save money. ..I'm not keen on the look of the 252.

    cornwallleft.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  19. charne@sprin

    charne@sprin Fell in love with music, then hiked the tech trail Subscriber

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    Location:
    Madison, WI and Bristol, England
    With that MA6600, you can slot in a TU2 tuner module and get HDFM radio. We have lots of content on those HD subchannels, particularly from Wisconsin Public Radio, which I listen to a lot during the day That capability would not be available on the MA5300.
     
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  20. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    6,704
    Location:
    west Texas
    In my experience if you have series 1 Cornwalls the higher the Damping factor the better for the bass and depending on which crossover you have early or later the power handling can be from only 35 watts to close to 75 watts. The later models with the third order crossovers and Klipsch rather than EV tweeters are brighter and you may want the tubes to tame them down a bit. But then I would want 240's MC 30's or MC 225 power amps if you want real tube amps. Or something like a C220 and a MC7100 to control the bass with a high damping factor and the C220 tube pre-amp to slow things down a bit. Another. choice might be a MC 122 and a C2200. That's the most current warmest tube pre-amp and then you could choose a MK iV 275, or something like a restored pair of MC 75's. T here are so many choices. On the surface the MA 252 seems like an easy choice. But anything worth doing is never the easiest choice has been my experience.. If you have a local dealer try to get an audition. It will save you tons of money in the long run. At least with separates you are not stuck with your choice. When I had to choose speakers I drove 800 miles to audition a pair of Klipsch horns driven by a 275 or a pair of Cocert Grands pushed by two MC 3500's. Guess which I chose. Yes I lived with Cornwalls for almost a year and half while attending college, They were series I being pushed by a 2105 and a C-28. We were very popular on the college party. scene. I will say I preferred my B-4000 pushed by 2 MC 240's at. the time, but they weren't the party speakers I had at home compared to my room mates Cornwalls near the University..
     

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