First Mcintosh purchase

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by Go Giants, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    Hello all. I'd like to purchase a Mcintosh receiver or perhaps an integrated amp. I see a 1700 for sale that looks to be in very good condition. Given it's relatively inexpensive price... $500.00...what can I expect in performance?

    I have some other receivers that sound very nice...pioneer sx 650...sansui 4000....hk 430. Would I hear noticeable improvement in sound over those receivers? Or, would the difference be marginal?

    If marginal, which model would I need to move to in order to get noticeable improvement?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jeff
     
  2. chef free

    chef free AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,020
    Location:
    Oakland! What?!
    The answers to your questions depend on the condition of the receivers. The receivers you mentioned are 35, 45 and 25 watts per channel respectively. The MAC 1700, at 40 watts, is not going to overpower the other receivers. If all of these receivers are in good working condition and have replaced electrolytic caps, the biggest difference will be the brand's "signature sound". To me, the sound of the McIntosh is more pleasing.

    If you want to step up to the next level, you must at least DOUBLE the power output. Even this will only make your speakers a little louder (about 3dB). The MAC 4100 is 75w into 8ohms and 100 into 4ohms, plus it has a bunch of great features, five band equalizer, variable loudness, a better tuner, two tape monitors and more. It's going to be more expensive than the 1700 (like twice as much), however...
     
  3. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    Thanks Chef. By signature sound I assume you mean east coast/laid back...somewhat warm and tube like?
     
  4. chef free

    chef free AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    To me the "McIntosh Sound" is very even frequency response with a consistent sound at any volume. I'm so impressed at the way Mc amps sound the same at any level, as you turn them up the ONLY change is volume. Most amps have a sweet spot, a volume at which they sound best, not so with McIntosh.
     
    mrz80 likes this.
  5. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    I'm not too concerned about volume...I have a few other more powerful amps and receivers for that, but I'd love to hear the sound you describe and I'd like to do it without spending a ton of money.

    Do you happen to know if the 1700 is made with discreet components? My Sansui 4000 is and the amp section on that receiver is fantastic. My guess is that they probably are discreet as the unit was manufactured before IC's became popular.
     
  6. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,492
    Location:
    West Michigan
    ;)Even back in the day when all these units were new making a blanket statement about a receivers sound was a "fools errand" on the sales floor because the variables were too great.....

    However once a Mac receiver went home with a new owner they seldom, if ever, came back until the new Mac owner was ready to get on the slippery slope of upgrading to separates.

    Might be cheaper to just buy some Mac separates and save the intermediate cost of the journey......;)
     
  7. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

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    1,774
    Not to stir the pot but there's a beautiful MC250 in Barter Town right now. Pair that with a C712 or other affordable preamp, or use the preamp out on a receiver in the meantime and have a pretty nice setup. The MC250 is rated at 50 watts per channel but I think specs out closer to 70 watts per channel and has the warmer, tube sound of the tube Mac amps that predated it. Great way to wade into the McIntosh river w/o busting the budget right off. :)
     
    Go Giants likes this.
  8. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    Understood, but I already have a bunch of equipment and I'm trying to do this on a low budget.
     
  9. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    5,492
    Location:
    West Michigan
    Just remember you are talking to a bunch of enablers here.......a 1700 will give you a taste of the late 60s early 70s McIntosh.....followed by the MAC1900 which was done by 1978, when the MAC4100 was introduced.
     
    mrz80 likes this.
  10. seacliffe301

    seacliffe301 Active Member

    Messages:
    441
    Location:
    Michigan
    Personally
    Personally, I love the 1700. Underrated at 40w/ch, mine has always clocked in at a respectable 62w/ch, which works fine with any quality hi efficiency speakers. I still use one to this day.
    Not much in the way of lots of bells & whistles, it does deliver that classic Mac sound with it's combination of tube tuner and solid state preamp & amp section.
    $500 seems like a decent price, if in nice shape. I've seen them go for considerably more.
    FWIW, I also once owned a 1900. When the second receiver was no longer needed, it was the 1700 that won out. It really does have a sound all it's own.
     
    62caddy likes this.
  11. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Mac 1700 would be my choice, great sound and looks beautiful... Al
     
  12. motorstereo

    motorstereo the wonder of it all Subscriber

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    I think this is a great way of getting your feet wet with some vintage Mac gear. The 1700 is a fine receiver that has an outstanding sounding fm section which is what I mostly used mine for.
     
  13. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    Ha...enablers....that's soo true. It's in our nature to seek a little different sound. I try to do my research and buy high quality equipment on a budget.

    I get a kick out of vintage equipment...the look....the build quality etc. I bought a Fisher 500b about 2 years ago. I enjoy that more than any of my newer receivers or amps.

    I realize the 1700 is very modest compared to other Mcintosh gear, but it's a great looking piece and I may pursue it further.
     
  14. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    I believe power ratings in that time were very understated. I'm quite sure my Sansui 4000 from 1969 puts out considerably more than it's rated 40 wpc.
     
  15. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I've had a few 1700s. I think you'll be quite pleased with one as an introduction to McIntosh. I'd want to be sure that whatever you invested in has been recently serviced and performing to spec.
     
  16. W9TR

    W9TR Active Member

    Messages:
    445
    Location:
    The Neutral Zone
    +1 to making sure it has been recently restored. The 1700 is now at least 45 years old. It will need all the TLC a unit of this age requires. Replacing all the electrolytic capacitors, checking bias on the power amps, etc. It also has a tube tuner, so all the tubes will need to be checked and the tuner aligned. Expect to double your investment to get the work done.

    This is NOT a self help group!

    I really like the clean looks and elegance of this piece. I'm sure you'll love it.

    Tom
     
  17. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    Self Help Group...too funny!

    I will attempt to determine what, if any work has been done on the 1700. According to the posting it 'sounds great". In addition, I'm hope to give it a listen before buying. Understood about TLC. It wouldn't be a daily driver, but I would like to ensure I'm getting the most out of it.

    And regarding the looks, I fully agree with W9TR....she's a looker.

    Jeff
     
  18. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,152
    Location:
    NEPA
    That's a reasonable price for a MAC1700 if it's in nice condition. They are realistically closer to 60 wpc or better into 8 ohms and most owners seem well satisfied with them. Prices of MAC1700 seem to have risen lately.

    MAC1700's preamp & main amp sections are SS; tuner is tube.

    Good luck with it.
     
  19. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    We agreed on a price so hopefully I'll get it soon. I'll provide my opinions once I have it and get it up and running. I'll have to sneak it into my spare bedroom rig so wifey doesn't ask any questions...as in - :wtf:
     
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  20. Go Giants

    Go Giants Active Member

    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    New Haven
    Got it for $400.00 which I believe is a good price. Took a bit of a leap of faith that the receiver works...I've only had time to power it up so far. Looks like the lamp is out for the tuning meter...all other lights work. The on/off knob works fine...I've read these go bad quite often. Based on the serial number, I believe the receiver was manufactured in 1973...the last year for this model.

    Physically, it's in mint condition...no marks on the face and no marks on the wooden case. Bought it from a woman...was her recently deceased husband's and she said he was very meticulous with his gear. The woman seemed completely legit, so I'm hoping the receiver is legit too.

    Fingers crossed...hopefully I'll have time to test it out further tonight.
     
    John James likes this.

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