Help to settle a query between my wife and I, MX 160 VS MX122.

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by macman007, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. macman007

    macman007 Mcintosh..Made In USA

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    Location:
    Suburbs, north of Baltimore
    Currently, we have both 2 channel and multi channel analog and digital media room running with/thru our trusty MX135 bought new about 12 years ago. With all the newest available technologies in both audio/video, analog and digital, we're looking for a replacement/upgraded preamp/processor. The MX-135 will go into another room/system. The new unit in theory (right now both are off the table for us due to cost) needs to provide the ability to enjoy the newest formats that evolved since the MX-135 was released. However, we want to be able to keep and use all our older gear with component video, balanced and unbalanced audio and digital audio sources. Its a given we would be using the MPV-901 or it's slated replacement to bridge to the newer media formats. I also want to continue to use pass thru mode to allow integration of the MC-2300 2 channel tube pre-amp.

    I feel the MX-122 is a better choice, since it offers the ability to bridge our existing audio/video processor and setup, with the best bang for the buck. The MX-160 while being much more expensive, doesn't seem to me to offer the flexibility in our situation the MX-122 does, especially considering the MX-160 is almost DOUBLE the price of the MX-122. We listen a lot of analog 2 channel, FM Radio, LP's, analog tape.. cassette, and open reel, at least a 60/40 mix, maybe even more on the analog / music side. Most of the digital sourced music is 2 channel analog, SACD / multi channel audio, multi channel DVD/ BluRay audio/video. We use a 4K ultra projector for the video media.

    Below is a direct quote from my wife with her questions:

    "The MX-160 is twice the cost of MX-122. While I hear and HALF understand my husbands tech answer, what I really hear him saying is that Millennials are stupid and will buy anything that has a higher or larger model number in the name, and an inflated sticker price. Being the parent of a 17 and 19 Y/O, I get that assumption. However I thought McIntosh was specifically geared toward true audiophile listeners. My children wouldn't know the sonic difference between a MP-3 or a Vinyl LP. If McIntosh is indeed moving toward catering to the dim-witted, I am truly disappointed. I can't see any real significant gain or difference between the (approx) 7500$ MX-122 and the (approx) 14,000$ MX-160 ,not a 7000$ plus difference, just because it has more HDMI inputs. For 7000$ plus extra, shouldn't McIntosh be able to combine all the different features of both the MX-122 AND the MX-160 into one unit?"

    I agree with her, and for once it seems as if the lower $$ unit is better for our uses, and has more bang for the buck. I myself admittedly out of the mainstream of technology a few years, and do not see the 7000 difference either and chose the MX-122. It just doesn't seem to justify the difference. Its' not the prices in question, it is the why of it . Why were 2 units that are supposed to be so similar so different and released so close together.

    Help!
     
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  2. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Personally I would also choose the MX122.
     
  3. Wvnyc@Ct

    Wvnyc@Ct AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Westport CT
    I made the same choice and am 100 percent satisfied with the MX-122 for both surround and 2-channel use.
     
  4. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    Lets see the MX 160 uses room perfect for its channels, the MX 122 uses Odyssey. The questions is how much is that worth to you. Why do you need component if you are using a 901 player, it does everything with HDMI cables. I kept my 861 to play CD and SACD via the balanced inputs as the sound in some cases is more to my liking. The component cables are still hooked up but I don't use that input on my display anymore. I am currently using my MX 119, the kid has the 120. I'm looking for a 151 or updated 150, same machine. Atmos doesn't do a thing for me. You need specific designed speakers for ATMOS and your ears are placed on the sides of our head. Decerning sound origination in the vertical plain is a farce. 4K will soon be replaced by 8K so I'll keep my 891 for a while. I can see saving buck, you are going to find the new 8K displays very pricey for a few years.

    I use one of my 5 HDMI on the display for the signal from the 891 by passing the 119, you could do the same thing. Lets see I use the S input for programming the MX 119 and playing Laser discs and S vhs tape, one HDMI for Apple TV, One for satellite signal, one for the 891, and a computer input for my portable Macbook pro. Component also for Dvd recorder, 861, and Laser disc via the 119 when required. Soon the JVC S=vhs, Laser player will be gone as will be the 119. Life will be so much more simple. I may pt one of my professional Ampexs on display again or dig out my F-4460 for the right compartment of my Hifi cabinet. .
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  5. macman007

    macman007 Mcintosh..Made In USA

    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    Suburbs, north of Baltimore
    To answer Twiii's question, the reason I still want a preamp/processor that will still handle component video is 2 fold. I have several of the MS units here that display the GUI menus best in component video, and I use them quite a bit, along with a MVP 861 that sounds awesome when decoding 192/24 bit, as well as SACD,CD, DVD-A, HDCD, and the multi channel and 2 channel discs in those formats. Not to mention it is still a kick butt DVD player. As a region-free multi player, IMO the picture isffar superior to all other DVD units I have owned before and after it. Yes, I know, the DVP 901 is a newer better unit in theory and in specs. I love the MVP-861's audio quality and multiple format ability, especially when using it's built in processor with balanced outputs. To my ears it sounds by far and away better than Spdif Coax or Toslink digital signals processed by the MX-135. The MX-135 does other Spdif Coax/Toslink decoding for multi channel digital sources really really well, beyond me expectations from day one. The dedicated analog out multi channel SACD again, sounds better from the 861 than any other SACD player I ever heard. Regarding other 2 channel audio, the balanced outputs the the MX-135 using the MVP-861's internal 194/ 24 bit processing on board can't be beat.

    I'm sure there a folks rolling their eyes as they read this, but remember, I'm the one that needs to be happy. Picking up a MVP-901 is only to be able to enjoy the newer formats that have come along since 2006, as well as BluRay and 4K Ultra video, and the newer of the multi channel digital audio formats currently popular. I'm not particularly interested in the 3D abilities, unless the technology has progressed well past the point it was about 7 years ago, as I found it not overly impressive for the cost . I do not plan on replacing many of my existing DVD video discs, only certain favorites here and there. I still have and even buy and enjoy Laser Discs on my MLD-7020. Also, I plan to continue to buy new discs when available with both Blu-Ray and DVD copy's in the same package. If not available with both, I buy the titles in Blu-Ray or 4K only. Another thing I like about the 901, is its ability to stream high resolution audio and play back high resolution music from flash drive. I think the marriage of the old with the new (MVP-901/MX-122) is a match made in heaven, certainly the cost is more than fair considering what you are getting for your money.

    But back to the original query, what in the MX-160 is better than the MX-122 that necessitates the extra 7K$ bump in price. Usually with McIntosh in the past, higher model number and cost meant you were getting more than a lower model number/ cost unit. So what gives here. As a long time Mc owners that currently have no less than 30 pieces of Mc kit, not counting the speakers, we just don't understand. Can someone please break it down for us in terms we/she can understand. My wife is driving me NUTS about this. She thinks I'm crazy picking a lesser expensive model for once in a lifetime of buying Mc gear. and saying it's the better choice (for us anyway) !!
     
  6. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

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    "She thinks I'm crazy picking a lesser expensive model for once in a lifetime of buying Mc gear."

    I wish my wife had ANY interest in audio.
     
  7. macman007

    macman007 Mcintosh..Made In USA

    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    Suburbs, north of Baltimore
    Shes into audio AND video, We have a nice if smallish media room with the big chairs a power recliner and sofa/futon. We've been here over a year now, and I'm just getting round to hooking everything up again. The old house had a dedicated theater/ man-cave in the basement. She made me promise when we got this place to set it up in a room we both can use, and streamline the power up-set up . So I set up everything to where she can enjoy it if I'm out, or doing something else. A big promise was hooking up the MR-74 Tuner, ( don't ask, lol !) so she can listen to FM Stereo, since we have a 40 foot pole with Winegard antenna at the top. Even the UHD projector is a one touch affair, as are any of the other listening/viewing modes when using the Logitech Harmony remote controller. Push the button corresponding to the activity you wish to enjoy, and it powers everything up and sets the sources, amps and pre amp-processor and speakers to use. Install a disc or put on any LP/Tape, Digital Media, etc, and enjoy!

    My ex-wife of 7 years hated this stuff. Jessie loves it ,.. and always has for the 25+ years we have been best friends, and then married after the fact!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  8. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,540
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    I don't see enough owners of either unit around here to comment a whole lot more. What is the dealer telling you?

    Ron Cornelius of McIntosh participates here as ron-c. Maybe he can enlighten us all ...

    Jessie is a keeper.
     
  9. macman007

    macman007 Mcintosh..Made In USA

    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    Suburbs, north of Baltimore
    I haven't asked the dealer yet. I don't ever go in until I have made a decision to buy and got all the information I need to make a decision. I then go in and listen to the pitch and the price, to see if they are really telling me the truth, selling me what I really need, and giving me a good deal, or jerking me off for just another high dollar sale to a stupid 'audiophile' geek. Ron-C has helped me out many times before when trying to make a decision buying new and used McIntosh, or whether to wait, as a new model is coming out, or the one I'm looking at is about to be replaced discontinued. Ivan is another guy that helped me out a lot in deciding what was best for my needs.

    Yes sir, Jessie is indeed a keeper. All the fellows freak out when she goes to the tours with me, to shows, even factories (we went to ATR Magnetics here in York, Pa, just before Christmas for a tour and ended up being there half the day..A very nice tour of how audio tape is made from its elements to the end when it is shipped. Dan @ ATR gave us a super nice tour, along with another audio geek friend of ours. We got to see the Ampex ATR-102 open reel decks, along with others that they modify and sell/service for clients all over the glob, including some of the best and most popular mastering houses and studios all over the country/world.
     

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