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McIntosh MA252

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by welcomdmat, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    UgHH!

    I am only half serious. That does make it challenging to folks that have entered the audio world through vintage pieces (it was 5 preamplifiers and 3 amplifiers before I got to the McIntosh units that I have now). STILL -- I understand that everything has to move on and it is hard to compare testing done 30 years ago to testing done last month.

    Please don't take my frustration as too terribly serious. I am always trying to learn the things that I do not know.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017

     

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  2. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Oh good grief! Sorry OP!
     
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  3. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    All speculation before a schematic is available or at least a hood open picture......but I would speculate

    Digital controlled resistive step volume control IC with built in balance, treble and bass sub paths....

    Tube phono preamp gain stage and EQ with tube buffer and gain stage for the digital tone and volume circuits (tube circuits most likely cause of higher noise floor)

    Speculated output amp stage......

    Hits all the high notes for the mail order and online sellers......

    Measurement are all done with the same parameters available years ago, but do expect the merchandising people to present what best serves them. I do anticipate they expect to ship these out the door as fast as hotcakes (or would it be Iphones in today's vernacular) via online retailers with little to no face to face contact let alone actual listening.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  4. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I think the thought kind of pulls a couple of threads together. It could be that most people are aging out of high end because high end is lowering the bar. They realize they don't have to stand the test of a showroom, so they lower their standards. This makes it so 70 is the average age of the repeat McIntosh customer, and the average age of someone at a high-fi show is retirement. These are the only folks paying high enough to benefit from and have experienced the difference in the technology.

    Hopefully the ideas on the MA252 do not turn out to be true. Hopefully it is an amazing product that captures a new generation of music lovers. Captures a new generation of McIntosh enthusiasts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  5. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Let's cut to the chase.
    How does the phono thru your present preamp sound?
    Is space at a premium?
     
  6. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    It sounds better than my old system did. Space is an issue, but my current system is in my avatar — it is not large. Power is not important (98dB sensitivity speakers).

    I noticed an upgraded with my current setup. I have “rolled cartridges”. I see this as an upgrade I can afford and hoped Mc wouldn’t go trolling for mall tail as it were (young folks who didn’t know any better)
     

     

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  7. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    An alternative "upgrade" I can see is to keep the preamp, and try an MC7100 amp in place of the 2100 if you want to stay in the Mac fold. The 7100 is a fairly simple "modern" Mac amp.
     
  8. ron-c

    ron-c AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    McIntosh is using CEA490 noise specification which is part of the latest Audio Precision measurement system. Older phono S/N numbers will not compare to this. MA252 Phono section has the same S/N as the new MP100 stand alone phono section.

    New is new...

    Thanks,
    Ron-C
     
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  9. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    That can certainly add confusion if there is no universal standard.

    In any case, I've never been overly concerned about specs other than for reasons of compatibility.
     
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  10. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    If you want to get a better understanding of why noise measurements are weighted just google noise measurement weighting.

    Weighting in basic basic form is puttin your thumb on the scale to measure more like our hearing "hears".

    Because modern measurement test gear is inherently quieter than older gear it can delve deeper into the quietest quiet.....
     
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  11. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Digital media made that significant, analogue media typically had a higher noise floor, tho signal information extends into the 'grass' of the noise.
     

     

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  12. smartin53

    smartin53 Well-Known Member

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    So I'm gonna make a slightly unrelated comment...is anyone else annoyed by the MA252/MC252 naming? The two don't seem to have any relation but they used the same numbering....nor does the MA252 seem to fit within McIntosh's naming scheme when it comes to cape and power. I'm sure I am nitpicking but I wanted to say it.

    Here's a kitten to make up for it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    The MC252 looks like a whole lotta more amp for similar money, and includes the autoformer outputs for those who value that feature. If you are already satisfied with your preamp, another upgrade path.
     
  14. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have continued to watch this piece (not that surprisingly).

    Can someone explain to me the expense saved by not having autoformers? It seems like a really cool thing that could have been added. Would the MA252 have required a substantially higher price point, or is the autoformer technology growing a reputation as dated?
     
  15. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Much higher price first, then increased weight and size, none of which suit this product.
     
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  16. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Note to the OP.
    The MC2100 was Mac's statement modern solid state domestic replacement for the beloved TOTL domestic MC275 (which required periodic tube replacement maintainance to keep in optimal performance). That so many 2100s survive, many unserviced since built, working satusfactorily is a testament to Mac's approach going forward, and it's durability.
    I expect the MA252 will sound different, and the only way to know for certain if this is your sonic and esthetic path forward is to try one for a couple months, swapping between systems.
     
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  17. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I am continuing to learn.

    It seems that the MA252 is a junior offering by McIntosh.

    I find it very interesting, and I would really like to learn more.

    This forum has a lot of experience, and it seems that anyone interested in the MA252 should cool-it.

    My hope was to be an early adopter, but it sounds like that is best left to the lucky few who are given examples instead of those of us who pay for examples. I am thankful to more knowledgable who have steered me away from buying new McIntosh product.

    I will keep an eye on how McIntosh decides to market their products. I hope they are able to create something that their older dealers recommend without so many "but"s
     
  18. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    OP, has your 2100 been professionally overhauled?
     
  19. welcomdmat

    welcomdmat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes. It was a professional guitar amp designer/ builder, but he has a pretty strong understanding of how things work.

    His guitar amps are well regarded.
     
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  20. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Good! If you like the look and the sound, it's probably a keeper.
     

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