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Mc 30 vs 225 for my system

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by sancho22, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. sancho22

    sancho22 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I just am picked up a fully restored MX110Z (by Audio Classics) and will use it with a Thorens TD-124/A23 SUT and either Quad ESL 63 (these need servicing first) or Altec Flamenco. I also have a few high efficiency WLM speakers.

    I am thorn between MC30 and the 225. based on posts on AK and other sites, I think the 225 runs cooler, may be have a bit less noise, better/tigther bass (?) and of course much less space and essentially an "upgrade" of the MC30 with solid state rectification - right? Then mid range is supposedly best with the Mc 30 - i do listen to all sort of music but mostly jazz/vocals/classic rock.
    i dont seem to identify a clear "winner" although think that with the Altecs the Mc30 may work better - at least differently.
    Which one you recommend?
     

     

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  2. Crestwood23

    Crestwood23 keep on chooglin' Subscriber

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    I've never heard 30's, but had an MC225 with my Quad 57's and it was very nice. I also have a set of 63's that need to be repaired, so I've been dreaming about an amp for them too. From what I've read the 63's will work better with a more powerful amp than either of these Macs. But either should be more than enough power for the Valencias. Should be fantastic with the MX110 + 124 + A23 (and I assume there's a DL103 in there too?).
     
  3. WhiteSE

    WhiteSE Is Lute Gluten Free?? Subscriber

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    I would think that having an all tube vintage preamp ala MX-110, maybe the 225 proves the more flexible option due to the SS rectification...I only compared SS to tube rectification with Pilot amps...The 260 is a 7591 amp with tube rectification and the 264 same with SS rect...I thought the 264 had a crisper snap and control over bass and heavy layered music...
     
  4. ron-c

    ron-c AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    30s, no contest. You will have a wide selection of output tubes to chose from and more power.

    Ron-C
     
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  5. sancho22

    sancho22 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Thanks guys!
    Yes a Denon 103 is already mounted but I have a few other superb carts like Supex 900, rebuilt Fidelity Reserach FR-1 MK III and surprisingly killer Grace F-8L with aluminum body and upgraded stylus...
    I am not sure which way to go but my wife really likes the look of the MC30 (she LOVES tubes); they will likely cost more too.
    There is a 225 available locally fully rebuilt...decisions, decisions - LOL first world problems!
     
  6. excabincrew

    excabincrew Member

    Messages:
    74
    Leave the wife s opinion alone when choosing amplifier. This is different from shopping purses, but do consider the people on the forum that already voiced out their opinion to your question. Don't be offended, but this is my saying after a couple of beers tonight,Lol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  7. motorstereo

    motorstereo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    ^^^^^^^On the flip side of that coin always take the wife's opinion into consideration on which amp or amps to bring home as you do not have to live with the members here. I'll take peace on the homestead over an amp purchase 9 days a week. Case in point my wife's opinion is a good part of the reason recently that some 1201 mono-blocks for sale locally are not coming home with me.
     
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  8. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    A locally available plug and play ready 225 is really an attractive proposition. Aside from limited tuberolling of output tubes, other advantages include no shipping, the simplest Unity Coupled Mac amp signal path, with solid state rectification and reputedly the best sound of the tube Mac amps.
     
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  9. sancho22

    sancho22 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    yeah, but I need to say that if I wait just a bit, there will be a pair of MC 30 available locally as well - both with 1 year warranty...
     
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  10. sancho22

    sancho22 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    My wife is active muisc listener, LP purchaser and most of the time comes along on trips to pick up or check out gear.
    We spend a lot of time listening to vinyl together. She also has better hearing which is pretty useful.
    BUT I do appreciate and will seriosuly take into account everyone's "professional" input.
     
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  11. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Buy both
    Keep them or flip your lesser favorite.
    It doesn't seem you can get hurt (price wise)
    during the audition period.
    On a not quite apples to apples parallel, I have a 225 coming that needs a little TLC.
    After the update, I'll compare to my 60s.
    I'll report back with my impressions
     
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  12. radioactive

    radioactive tube gear fanatic Subscriber

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    The mx110 and Mc30's are a great combo and I used the exact setup until I completed my Fairchild system.if it wasn't for the Fairchild system I would of kept the McIntosh system it was that good.i'd wait for the mc30's myself if i were you unless of course another pair of fairchilds pop up and then all bets are off:D
     
  13. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

    Messages:
    1,812
    I have not heard either and am curious about which one sounds better.

    If paired with an MX110, how would one describe the sonic differences on efficient speakers between the MC225 vs the MC30s?

    Seems like the 5 wpc power difference is insignificant if using efficient speakers.

    The MC30 mono block approach means no crosstalk and one channel is not stressed by a dynamic peak in the other channel. But the trade off is having a 2nd amp -- more space, more tubes, more heat, double the weight. Then there is the question of solid state rectifiers vs tube and 7591 vs 6L6.

    Does the MC30 sound more "tubey" and the MC225 sound more "solid state?"
     
  14. seacliffe301

    seacliffe301 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Will the MC30’s have been rebuilt comparably to the 225? I have to admit everything that’s been said here regarding this 225 would have me leaning in that direction. A rebuilt 110 coupled with a rebuilt 225 feeding a pair of Flamenco’s (which I have & love) is a hard combo to pass up. Being that the 225 is local, would the seller by willing to bring it by for an audition with your system. Offer a few dollars to compensate his time if you don’t buy the unit. You may have nothing to lose.
     
  15. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    1,812
    Not to throw a wrench in the works, but is the MC240 voiced similarly to the MC30? They both use 6L6 output tubes but the 240 is on a single chassis. Of course the 240 is about 20 pounds heavier than the 225, so the added weight could be a potential downside.
     
  16. BillWojo

    BillWojo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I can't add much to help, but I have rebuilt MC40 monoblocks feeding HeathKit AS101 speakers. Basically Altec Valencias in nicer cabinetry. I want for nothing! They are a match made in heaven.
    If I had to choose between MC30's and a MC225 I'd go for the MC30's. Three reasons, being monoblocks they will have better channel separation, each channel has it's own massive power supply and last but certainly not least is the availability of 6L6 style tubes. Sure, NOS tubes are a bit pricey BUT, a properly rebuilt set of MC30's might have the tubes out live you. It's not unusual for old Mac's to still have the original tubes, they don't run them near the ragged edge like some amps do.
    One thing for sure, either way your going to be happy.
    PS, your wife sounds like a keeper! Remember her on Valentines day.

    BillWojo
     

     

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  17. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    McIntosh products are not "voiced" and never were. This is common misconception. There is only one aim in the design of any McIntosh product - the least amount of coloration possible.

    No problem getting modern 6L6GCs either. Readily available from JJ, Tung-Sol etc, unless limiting search to OEM vintage tubes - that will certainly set you back some $$$ - depending on brand, test quality, cosmetic condition and so forth. Same goes for 7591.

    I've done a lot of serious A/Bing between MC30s, MC240 and MC2505 by instantaneous A/B switching - not by unhooking one amp and hooking another up again and trying to hear differences. After careful calibration that any two amplifiers being compared are producing the exact same loudness, I'm damned if I can hear any noticeable differences between the three. For good measure, I even compared those three against a MAC1500 - and even that was a challenge.

    Assuming all equipment is serviced and operating to spec, this is just as it should be - with McIntosh.
     
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  18. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Humbling, ain’t it?
     
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  19. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Well, I’d likely choose the 30s here as well. Why? Simple - because when the lights are off, you’ve got more glowing tubes to look at. And I guarantee that plays into perceived sonic differences.
     
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  20. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Humbling...even frustrating, it wouldn't be too far to say. :mad:

    Of course when I got my first tube amplifier, the MC240 years ago - I was absolutely convinced it was the best amplifier I ever heard. Until I "took all the fun out of it" as you might say by doing a head-to-head against the 2505. Everybody said the MC30 the holy grail - so when a superlative pair turns up, I grab 'em - dutifully send them off to our friends in Vestal for the full monte. Match 'em up against the standard bearer MC2505 - again, nothing. Had friends over, played every kind of music from Mozart to Metallica, test tones and even pink noise- nada, nada, nada. Hearing test confirmed - 4dB @ 17k which the ENT said ranks top 10% for 52 year old man.

    Only thing I could detect was bass seemed ever so slightly better on the 2505 compared with the tube models - but even that I was unable to prove to myself beyond any doubt.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
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