Does anyone drive an MC275 Mk VI directly from an Oppo BDP-105 (i.e., no preamp)?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by robert_kc, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    The reason I ask is that I sometimes drive my Scott LK-150 power amp directly from my Oppo BDP-105, using the Oppo’s variable output to control the volume, and I’m very pleased with the sound. I’m wondering about how well the Oppo’s variable output would drive the MC275. Also, I’m curious if the balanced connections make a difference. Speakers are Klipsch Palladium P-37F (TV room), or Snell Type CV (living room). The rooms aren't large, and I don't listen terribly loud.

    Separately, I’m also thinking about a vintage MC240. Has anyone driven an MC240 directly from an Oppo?
     
  2. ecsrun

    ecsrun New Member

    Messages:
    19
    I just brought home a BDP 105 to test the DAC.. I tried two setups:

    1) BDP105 paired directly to the MC275mkVI with XLR cables

    2) BDP105 to a McIntosh C50 preamp via XLR, which then goes out to the MC275 via XLR

    It sounded identical to me, i.e. great. Also, the DAC inside the 105 sounded as good (identical?) to the DAC built in to the C50 when I did further testing.

    My speakers are SF Cremona M if that helps.
     
  3. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    ecsrun: Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s very helpful.

    I’m often satisfied with connecting a digital source component that features a variable output (e.g., Oppo) directly to a power amp, except for the lack of tone controls. When I’m not satisfied with the tonal balance, then I’ll use an integrated amp and engage the tone controls. My desire for tone controls might be based on the recording, or my mood (or who knows what affects perceived sound).

    I’m considering buying a new tube amp rather than another vintage tube amp. My only reason for buying an integrated amp would be for tone controls, a feature that most modern tube amps lack. (Yes, I do own a turntable - it’s connected to my Scott 296 – so I’m covered for the rare occasion when I play LPS.) The McIntosh MA2275 has tone controls, but I’d prefer to not spend that much. I might wait to see if McIntosh updates the MA2275 to include the improvements associated with the MK VI version of the MC275. Or, I might buy a MC275 MK VI, and use it only for recordings that don’t require tone correction.

    I wish that Oppo would add defeatable tone controls to its future audiophile-grade players.
     
  4. efhjr

    efhjr Can you be more specific?

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Well, I drove my MC30s straight from my Oppo BDP-95, into my Klipsch Cornwalls. Silver RCA interconnects. It sounded marvelous.
     
  5. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Here’s a quick update. I now have my Oppo BDP-105 direct connected via balanced connections to a McIntosh MC275 Mk V and Snell Type CV speakers, and my BDP-95 direct connected via RCA connections to my McIntosh MC240 and Klipsch PF-37F. I’m very pleased with both set-ups. In each system this represents the most accurate and neutral sound, compared with my other vintage tube amps that don’t have defeatable tone controls. The lack of tone controls is of course a double edge sword when it comes to recordings that require correction – but generally I’m pleased with the sound of the McIntosh power amps direct connected to the Oppo. The other potential issue concerns the gain available. In my experience classical orchestral recordings have dramatically more dynamic range compared with most pop recordings, and the “average” sound level is much lower, particularly on SACD and hi-res FLAC recordings. For such recordings, I often must turn up the Oppo’s volume control to 100% (particularly with the MC240) - but the good news is that I am always able to achieve satisfactory volume levels. Bottom line, I’m very pleased with this arrangement. It would be nice if Oppo have defeatable tone controls – for me that would completely eliminate the need for a pre-amp, except for playing LPs.
     
  6. krisjay

    krisjay Super Member

    Messages:
    2,470
    Location:
    Waterville, Maine
    For me I hope Oppo never adds tone controls, but thats me. I rarely if ever use any type of tone or EQ type of thing, I find it just gets in the way of what is really being presented in the music. I am not however militant about it, if you want to use EQ or tone controls for your music, why should anyone else care. I just would rather not see it as a feature on an Oppo.
     
  7. rubenuhw

    rubenuhw New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    Thanks for all this much needed info. I am going to hook my Oppo 105 to a MC 275 tonight. My C39 needs repair and I was just wondering if I could actually hook them up. Just yesterday someone at AA told me to activate the volume control in the Oppo before I turn on the amp. I will be using 50 feet of XLR to do this hook. Has anybody used the OPPO with two amps? One of them using XLR the other using its RCA outputs?
     
  8. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Yes, I'm set up with the Oppo BDP-105's balanced connection to my McIntosh MC275 Mk V, and at the same time the Oppos' RCA stereo output to another amp. (Actually I connect the Oppo's stereo RCA output to a Niles AXP-1 switch, which allows me to select from one of many amps.) I verified with Oppo that its OK to connect to both the balanced and unbalanced outputs at the same time - they said yes they're both active at all times - and in fact it works.

    And yes - be careful to turn down the Oppo's variable output before you turn on your power amp. Depending on the sensitivity of your speakers, and the music you're playing, it might be too loud with the Oppo set at 100% volume. For quiet passages in classical it might be OK - but with pop recordings you might destroy your speakers at full volume.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  9. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I listen to classical and opera. My goal is for the music to sound as natural as possible. However, sometimes the recording is too "bright", or too "thin", in which case I find tone controls to be useful.
     
  10. rubenuhw

    rubenuhw New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    Do you get a hum?

    It happens to me when I do the 275 XLR and the 162 RCA?
     
  11. rubenuhw

    rubenuhw New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    The sound is kind of thin without the preamp. Bass does sound lacking with the 275.
     
  12. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    That's why I have multiple amps in 3 of my systems. In my living room system, the MC 275 (via balanced connections direct to Opp BDP-105) is the most "accurate" or "neutral", which sometimes I like, for some recordings. (It is also important to know that my Snell Type CV speakers have a volume control for the tweeters, which I have turned down somewhat.) The solid state amp is also neutral.

    At the other extreme are the Pilot HF-56s, which have the most overtly "tube-i-licious" sound - lush, ripe, powerful bass. In the middle are the Scott 296, and the Scott LK150 driven by the McIntosh MX110. Of course all of the tube amp setups except the MC 275 have tone controls that can't be defeated - so how the tone controls are set is a major factor in the amp's sound.

    Based on the recording, and my mood, I'll decide which amp to play. Sometimes I'll choose a particular amp for a particular movement of a symphony, or Act of an opera.
     
  13. rajoo

    rajoo Less pixels more decibels Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,470
    Location:
    SF East Bay, CA
    With my Scott LK-150 or MC-275, I do not use an active preamp but just a passive attenuator. cdp or FLAC --> dac --> amp --> DQ-20's or A-25's. I also use a small active sub. Next I plan to add a TT/phono preamp to this setup.
     
  14. rubenuhw

    rubenuhw New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    I only have one system for music. I was trying it just for the heck of it. I also have a TT, so I will get a preamp when I can afford a good one. In the meantime I am going to use a C39. I think a C 45 pr newer will do.
     

Share This Page