First McIntosh Purchase, Don’t Laugh Because It’s Old

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by DaWoofer, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. DaWoofer

    DaWoofer Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Elkhart IN
    On the day that my Dyna FM3 arrives (still not unboxed) I go by my favorite vintage and new stereo store which is named, “Audio Exchange.” This place is a treasure trove for people like us. From used McIntosh and Accustats to the newest of McIntosh and B&W. They carry many used tape decks, preamps, turntables and even a Keith Monks record cleaner. The bad news is their going out of business with one week left and I’m about as broke as you can get.
    So I go in looking for that beautiful receiver that I’ve been dreaming about ever since I saw it, a Sansui G-801 in museum quality shape just to see what the price is on it. You see, I never asked because it was out of my league as far as cost wise. I go in and it’s gone. I ask the owner of the store what happened to it and he said it sold on that auction site yesterday to a gentleman in Hammond, IN. I hoping it was someone from our site but that is yet to be determined. I told him I new it was out of my league so he asked me what I thought it was worth as far as what the auction site would bring. I told him it would be at least $650 to $700 and he says “Nope, $350.” I was shocked to say the least and told him so and he said, “I hear ya, so am I.” I told him I would have easily paid that price and I’m still a little disheartened over that news.
    Well anyway, back to the McIntosh. I was looking at a McCormack Preamp, it is the one that is passive or active but we wasn’t sure if it had the phono circuit board in it so I passed and was looking at some Fishers like the 700 and a Bogen. I just had to buy something at this going out of business store even if I can’t afford it. So way on the other side of the room here sets the Mac. No cover but the antenna wire is hooked up so I ask about it. He tells me that he was trying to find out what the problem was because all the tubes light up and the signal meter works. He said one or two of the tubes were microphonic while throwing in the quip about how he had thought there “goes the tweeters.” So he says, “Make me an offer.” Ya see I don’t know what model it is or anything about its worth and say $25”, hoping for some out of touch hope he would go for it. I was wrong and said, “Alright $45.” He looks at the ceiling and said, “ Come on, I got more into it never mind all those tubes in there, I’ll check in my paperwork and see what bottom line is on it.” Well, he says, “$125 is all I can do.” I pause and tell him, “I don’t have that cash on me.” He says, “Put it on layaway.” So that is what I decided to do but at the last minute I put it on the credit card to get it over with.
    You know, I don’t know what this thing is worth or if it sounds good or even if it is stereo or not. And I really don’t need people telling me how I got ripped off on it or that it’s junk because I don’t care. I plan on fixing whatever is wrong with it and that is that. It is my first Mac and you know what, I’m learning while doing it. Here is something else this purchase does for me. There is no doubt about it now, I’m a McIntosh owner and there is only one way to go from this point but up in the chain of their equipment. It may take forever but who knows, maybe someday I might just have one of those beautiful all tube Macs.
    I just had to start somewhere to get me rolling in that direction. Thanks for listening gentleman and by the way, I’m going to need some insight and help in getting this MR-55 singing again. Didn’t mean to carry on forever in this thread, but what the hell right? I don’t mind reading long threads myself, sometimes.
     
    Bill Ferris and John James like this.
  2. Victor

    Victor Super Member

    Messages:
    4,652
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    Congrats on your "new" tuner. :thmbsp:

    The MR55 is the first McIntosh tuner, you got a true piece of history. :yes: It is a mono tuner.

    The MR55 was made from 1957-1959. There was also a MR55A, I'm not sure what the difference between the 2 MR55s is.
     
  3. jdandy

    jdandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,237
    Hey, welcome to the McIntosh club. It's a big club, and I think I can safely say, we love it when someone new joins the group.

    The MR55 is a mono AM/FM tuner. Sold for $249 when new back in 1958. And you're right. It's a great place to start, so have fun, hang in there, and start saving you money. The McIntosh club can run up a serious tab in a hurry.
     
  4. DaWoofer

    DaWoofer Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Elkhart IN
    I was surprised to see that it had a phono section and the ability to hook up a multiplex to it, not all is lost.
     
  5. jwrosenthal

    jwrosenthal Super Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Congrats on your first Mac...considering you're starting at the beginning of Mac History, it's all new to you!!! Your tuner is a serious piece of history and there is no reason it shouldn't sound wonderful once you get it all buttoned up. And for what it's worth....I'd buy MR55's all day for $125!.

    Get yourself a C4 or C8, a single MC30 amp, a vintage idler turntable and a single Klipschorn, and you will have a mono system that any audiophile would lust after.

    Enjoy.....and the addiction begins here!!

    James R.
     
  6. jdandy

    jdandy Super Member

    Messages:
    4,237
    This tuner is unique in many ways. Those were the days of AM listening. FM was still fringe broadcasting, and not very many stations. The MR55 has three selectable filter slopes for AM tuning. With the right antenna this tuner is probably an AM DXing monster.

    DaWoofer...You've got a classic. If you cannot restore it yourself, get it into the hands of someone who can. I imagine the FM would sound good, too, even in mono. No mutipath to worry about, no channel blending to try to clean up distant stations. I'd love to hear this tuner once it is restored.
     
  7. exracer

    exracer music speaks

    Messages:
    1,512
    Location:
    bc
    :worthless
     
  8. Vintage Pete

    Vintage Pete Mixing classic & current

    Messages:
    939
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    You're off on the journey!

    Starting at the beginning of MAC history like this, this fellow could get really, REALLY hooked! What a great place to start and at least collect the whole happy fleet of MAC Tuners.

    What am I saying? If he does that, then I'll be very jealous! :yes:

    Welcome to the club, DaWoofer. And a wonderful club it is. Have a blast!


    Pete
     
  9. DaWoofer

    DaWoofer Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Elkhart IN
    Thanks guys for the encouragement. I have to apologize as mine is the MR-55A. I was unaware until now. I know it's early in the morning but I just watched the USA basketball team win the gold.
     
  10. Jem666

    Jem666 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Belgium, Europe
    Welcome...great story DaWoofer...THX 4 sharing.

    Maybe you can post some pictures of the restoration process.:scratch2:

    Those vintage Mc Tuners are true gems.:yes:
     
  11. Inamelotone

    Inamelotone Active Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    England
    Hi DaWoofer
    Congratulations it sounds like a great find, I also have an old valve Mc tuner and would never part with it. I just wish there were more of these stores near where I live! I just thought you might be interested in this link, where you can download the user and service manuals:

    http://www.berners.ch/McIntosh/en/Frame_Matrix.htm



    Enjoy your new find!

    Inamelotone
     
  12. chuckworkb

    chuckworkb AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,271
    Location:
    CT
    Welcome DaWoofer,

    Trust me no one would ever laugh at an older McIntosh. They would probably cry because you got it instead of them.

    Now that you got started on your McIntosh collection your in good company here.

    Lots of folks here can help you.

    If you can, load up some pictures as you get it running like new.

    Check out Roger Russell's site on McIntosh
    http://www.roger-russell.com/tuners.htm
     
  13. DaWoofer

    DaWoofer Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Elkhart IN
    Thanks for the links gentlemen, I sent an e-mail to the "favor" in hopes he will allow me to download the SM and OM, I sure will need them. Now on to my second most favorable tuner in the pack at the moment, the Dyna FM3. There seems to be an upgrade mod that really is supposed to make it shine.
     
  14. skippy_ps

    skippy_ps AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    24,166
    Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
    Those files at Berners site are open to the public - just dl them. That MR-55 is a great piece of history and a cool find.

    Murray
     
  15. DaWoofer

    DaWoofer Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Elkhart IN
    That site asks for a username and password.
     
  16. wajobu

    wajobu Boing Boom Tschak Subscriber

    Yes, for some files there are passwords (I suppose that one is privy to a password if one donates to the site or donates manuals). Anyway, a VERY pretty tuner!
     
  17. DaWoofer

    DaWoofer Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Elkhart IN
    What is the purpose of multiplex out? Roger-Rusell mentions that the multiplex unit is for the MR-65 & the A model. He doesn't even mention this jack on the back of the 55 like he does the 65. It would seem that the 55 is capable of excepting the MA-5 multiplex unit. Are all units that have this jack on the back able to play stereo with a multiplex adapter. I know these seem like very novice questions but that's what I am at this point with these type of tuners. My old Globe SET is a multicast with the MPX but I though you need two outputs, one from the MPX jack and another output jack. Is that what the two outputs besides the MPX out is for. Is that what the "extra" output is for? Just to clarify, the 55 has two outputs PLUS the MPX output.
     
  18. skippy_ps

    skippy_ps AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    24,166
    Location:
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    Huh. I have all the files here now. Give me your em address and I'll send them to you.

    Murray
     
  19. jwrosenthal

    jwrosenthal Super Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Not to push, but you really need to post pic's of the front display, the back terminal panel, and the naked chassis from above. These pic's will help us identify what you have, and any modifications that had been done during the lifetime of this tuner. From what you describe, it is possible that your tuner may have been modified to do stereo (although in a primitive way) at some time during it's life. I may be way off base, but I have seen other equipment that was factory upgraded when a new technology was available shortly after the products release. If your tuner was modified for stereo, then scratch the C4 and get a C20...then you'll really be rockin' and rollin'!!

    James R.
     
  20. DaWoofer

    DaWoofer Super Member

    Messages:
    4,697
    Location:
    Elkhart IN
    JWRosenthal- As soon as grandma gets back this afternoon with the camera I'll get them up ASAP.
     

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