1. Time for some upgrades in server hardware and software to enhance security and take AK to the next level. Please contribute what you can to sales@audiokarma.org at PayPal.com - Thanks from the AK Team
    Dismiss Notice

MC 250 vs MC 7106

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by Normo, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Normo

    Normo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    727
    Some years ago I had picked up the mc250 on the cheap. I am being gifted a supposedly working mc7106, so between the two I have very little money invested in them. I know they come from different eras and have different designs. I am a two channel guy. Assuming both are repaired/restored and working as they should, is there much of a difference in sound? I was looking at eBay prices and while price is not always an indicator of quality or sound, the MC250 is nearly 2X the cost of the MC7106. Is the mc250 a more highly respected amp? Thanks. Norm
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. techguy0192

    techguy0192 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    950
    The 250 uses autoformers, while the 7106 is direct coupled. The 250 has a more traditional Mac sound. The 7106 will sound faster and tighter in the bottom end. The MC250 is a great amp. If it has not been serviced, it's overdue; the 7106 should still be okay. For non-HT use, most people would go for the 250. However, the 7106 offers more flexibility for bridging and bi-amping due to the fact that it is a 6 channel amp. I've always wanted to own a 7106 and wish McIntosh would go back to that style of meters for their HT amps.
     
  3. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,612
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    I’d take an MC7106 over an MC250 all day long ...
     
  4. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,226
    Location:
    west Texas
    7106 bridged using 4 channels to make two will run circles around a 250 all day long. Much lower distortion, more signal to noise, much more power and you will have two channels left over to play with. Remote speakers, rear speakers, a center channel if you wish, with a rear speaker or not. Its true with non Mcintosh speakers the bass will be tighter and faster. The high end is better defined too.

    A 7106 will give you 300 watts+ per channel bridged compared to the 250 50 + watts. Signal to noise for a 7106 is 113 db and only 95 as I remember for a 250. Those two figures alone are like night in day difference. The distortion typically of a 25o is about .05 in the mid frequencies, a 7106 about .002% The 7106 will almost give you a black black back ground where a 250 will making noise along with the music using efficient speakers, which you will need to achieve concert level reproduction. Your choice of speakers is pretty limited with the 250 compared to almost anything with the 7106. I Installed quite a few 7106 using them as intended for HT systems or as bi and tri amps for JBL, Altec, EV and Bozak systems. They really cleaned up Bozak woofers bi amped over amps with autoformers. Its why I use 206 and 207 amps today.

    I. too, like the vertical LED power meters. I am a traditionalist, but how do you put 6 or 7 useful VU meters of sufficient size on a 207. Maybe they will figure something out for a 309. How many channels do you need for Atmos, three in the front, a MC 303, 4 for the rear and sides, and do you need 4 for the ceiling or will two do to run 4 speakers in parallel? Thats 6 or 8 more channels. Yep is time to replace the 207. I guess you could use 3 303's and a 302. No wonder I don't hear anyone shouting Atmos from the rafters.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  5. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,612
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Just me ... But it's fallen on deaf ears ... ;)
     
  6. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Super Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Location:
    TX
    Is there an ATMOS streaming service or does it up mix? Or you get onen demo disc with your processor and wait for a betamax like revolution?
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,612
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Come on man ... sheesh ...

    /off topic
     
  8. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Super Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Location:
    TX
    Not trying to offend. agree that MC7106 is a great amp and love mine. I used to get amp noise in my rearchannels at referrence level. Immediately gone with MC7106. Agree OP should make it his primary of the two.

    I am still curious about ATMOS. Your comment about deaf ears seems few studios release many titles. It has been out four years. Apparently it takes too much bandwidth for mass market streaming service interests. Given the wave is to streaming movies that makes an upmix technology the way of most sources are delivered for convenience and cost over an ATMOS disc.

    How do the processsors do with that upmix? Since you own one and other fine equipment for sound production you can be one to trust with assessment . Is it still way better even if upmixing the non ATMOS multichannel sources or is ATMOS source always necessity?
     
  9. tcdriver

    tcdriver AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,382
    Location:
    Valley of Heart's Delight
    :dunno:


    In my experience, having a Dolby ATMOS encoded source renders the best result. That being said, the ATMOS processor can take a two channel source and create an immersive sound field that, IMHO, is mind-blowingly good :jump:.

    At its best Dolby ATMOS goes way beyond what I have experienced with Dolby Pro-Logic II. Just as with all matrix decoders, the original source material is key. Some two-channel stereo recordings will produce great results and other sources will just be really screwed up when run through the processor. In the later case, just switch to two-channel stereo and enjoy the music that way.
     
  10. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,226
    Location:
    west Texas
    Atmos is just another attempt to get the consumer to scrap his well proven excellent sounding HT system for something new. You realize when 8K comes along there will be another scheme to make us throw are money away. Lets see I saw on the news companies are installing new digital Antennae on top of power poles to get closer to consumers so they can increase bandwidth. They will effectively make broadcast stations and satellite dishes obsolete. Its time for new technology any way. The only issue becomes our choices in service providers gets smaller. How do we contain prices then?

    And I was hoping to get rid of power poles and all the ugly wires and transformers.
     
  11. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,245
    Location:
    West Michigan
    I think the pricing reflects the collectors new interest in the early Mac transistor designs as well as the general degrading of pricing for theater units that for some nonsensical reason are considered obsolete.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. scmagner

    scmagner New Member

    Messages:
    1
    The new toys shine the brightest but with the 4K experience and hdcp coding all the old theater units are obsolete. No hdmi no 4k I am amazed that they bring as much as they do. The market drop for these has some how affected the early multichannel macs. I believe the best mac for the buck money lies with some of these units -especially used theater preamps with good 2 channel capability and the aforementioned multichannel theater amps that have the flexibility of the mc7106. The older amps have and should keep their value.
     
  13. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,226
    Location:
    west Texas
    When the summer olympics come along the folks in the Orient will be watching in 8K.. Everybody ready to realize their new shinny 4k atmos stuff is obsolete. 5G telephones will be here soon, too. Opps all are new 10X phones that we paid a $1000+ for will be worth nothing soon, too. How will we see 8K, streaming of course. The networks and the satellite people will have no way to compete. Are we all ready for this. I'm not. I have a 4K LED set and it doesn't look as good as my Ellite Plasma. Its like looking a Kodachrome. Remember what that was? Now comes 8K. Ready to swap all your stereos, etc. Guess what I saw LPs in a Walmart store, I guess there is a little hope left.
     
  14. avguytx

    avguytx AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,972
    Location:
    Central AR
    I'm so glad to be out of the A/V industry (from 1985 to 2009) and not having to tell dealers that the stuff they have in stock is obsolete because of "new and improved" crap. I'm perfectly happy with my 1080p tv's and no surround stuff...just 2 channel and basic channels. Hell, we hardly ever rent a movie. Fine with me, though.
     
  15. techguy0192

    techguy0192 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    950
    Agreed. Still enjoying my decade old Panasonic plasma TV. No surround sound, but I do have a 3.0 setup....no subwoofer works out fine as we typically don't watch movies.
     
    sberger likes this.
  16. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,612
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    You been preaching this doomsday stuff far too long twiiii ... For someone that is pretty worldly with audio, you owe it to yourself to learn more about the difference between object based and traditional surround formats. As far as I can tell, 8k hasn't even been discussed here in the US.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,226
    Location:
    west Texas
    When It comes to serious listening 2 channel Stereo is all I need , too. I still have my Thorens TT, Rabco arm and latest Dynavector 20X2. The only reason for HT sound is that it is the consistently best digital sound out there. Sure, with all the tech movies the effects get in the way, but when you listen to John Williams stuff reordered by Sky Walker Sound, and other top notch selections, you wonder why Deutsche Grammophone and other labels can't get the message. Telarc is gone, leaving Reference Recordings to pick up the gauntlet. I listened to some of my favoriteSheffield recordings on iTunes the other day what a disappointment. The guys doing the transfers definitely need better monitor speakers..
     
  18. chef free

    chef free AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,252
    Location:
    Hayward, Ca
    The MC7106 is a superior amp by any measure, sell that 250 and buy yourself a nice McIntosh preamp, that's where the Mac Magic hides...
     

Share This Page