McIntosh newbie...purchased MC7106 and MX119...questions

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by CAllen, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    NJ
    hello all...very happy to be a Mcintosh owner finally.

    I've begun trying to build/install the gear and have read on this forum and noted that I need to be careful with static charges on the 119.

    Also would like to confirm that the 7106 needs to be directly plugged into a wall outlet, and not into a secondary unit such as a Furman power conditioner...which I have the 119 and my external eq, bbe processor, denon turntable, and spectrum display/analyzer connected to.

    I'm hoping to be able to integrate the external rack gear through the 119's record or record out circuit, just like I was able to do with my previous Onkyo receiver...meaning I'd like to have the eq in play with my A sources. I previously 'flattened' my listening room via the eq and spectrum analyzer, and found this made a remarkable difference...
    So in reading the Mcintosh manuals...I don't get a definitive answer or direction on how to achieve this with the 119...maybe I'm missing something....or maybe I bought the wrong gear.

    Finally, I've ordered a generic 25 pin cable to connect the 7106 and the 119...for 5.1 surround...and hopefully for 2 channel stereo. Is this the only connection I need or do I need to connect the rca unbalanced cables as well?

    Thank you for any help or direction you all can give me....I'm excited to get things going!!

    Chris
     
  2. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Location:
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    The DB25 cable is all you need between the two units.

    As for your EQ question, @twiiii could readily answer this for you.
     
  3. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

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    1,779
    I spoke to Chuck at McIntosh when I got my MC7300 and he recommended going direct into the outlet. I know some guys are using power strips, and I use those for everything else. But the amp goes direct. Just my 2c's. YMMV. :)
     
  4. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks guys...
     
  5. feinstei

    feinstei AK Member

    Messages:
    271
    Congratulations on a very fine system. I had that same combination for several years until I upgraded to an MX-121 and MC-275 tube amp (I still use the 7106 bridged for the center and rear channels). The phono section of the MX-119 is excellent. Does yours have the (very mediocre) TM-1 FM/AM tuner module in it?
     
  6. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    NJ
    Yes, I'm excited to hear how my vinyl is going to sound.
    I believe there is the tuner module included, as I do see some info when I go to the tuner as a source. I'm not using a tuner...not necessarily a fan of over the air, except in the car.
    C
     
  7. jdcarlson

    jdcarlson Not Good Enough for Jazz Subscriber

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Pensacola, Fl
    I believe the reason McIntosh recommends plugging the power amps straight into the wall is because many "power conditioners" do not have the capacity for sudden transients or crescendos. McIntosh builds VERY robust power supplies into all of their gear (with the notable exception of the MS300 and MS750), and they do not worry about direct connection the the power grid.
    However - living on the Gulf Coast (yes we are watching IRMA, but so far we are far enough west that we might get a little rain and 20 mph gusts), I worry about afternoon thunderstorms that like to come onshore in the afternoons (especially in the summer). Also, there is considerable "noise" on the local power grid from a paper mill, chemical plants, military aircraft maintenance shops, etc. So, I have three levels of filtering on my system. I pay the power company $10 a month for a "whole house" surge protector for my 400 amp service. I have the audio closet on a dedicated 20 amp circuit. I have a Brick Wall (https://www.brickwall.com/pages/the-worlds-best-surge-protectors) surge protector followed by a 3000va Liebert Dual Conversion Power supply, with a power strip coming from the dual conversion unit where all audio equipment is plugged in. To me a dual conversion power supply is the key (provided you get one with sufficient capacity). The dual conversion takes the A/C from the wall, converts that to D/C, and sends that to a battery array. Then it takes the D/C from the battery array and converts that to regulated sine wave A/C.
    We had many "undiagnosable" problems with our computer network at our office that neither we nor our IT contractor could figure out. When I finally let go of enough money to get dual conversion power supplies for the computers, all of these little "gremlin" problems went away. So, I concluded that if the dual conversion cleared up the computer network issues, it should also help the audio system.
    Most computers use "switching" power supplies, which can be very sensitive to "switch over" time when the power goes out and the battery kicks in. With dual conversion the power is ALWAYS coming from the battery so there is no "switch over" time (whether measured in milliseconds, nanoseconds, or whatever). McIntosh uses "old fashioned" power supplies with big transformers and huge capacitors in their power supply. These are not nearly as sensitive to "switch over" time as switching power supplies. But, with my "belt AND suspenders" outlook, I decided to go to the dual conversion power supply with my audio gear (which also adds a third layer of surge protection).
    Another advantage of what I have done is that all audio equipment is running on the same circuit, so that everything has the same ground path (other than different lengths of power cords for various pieces of equipment). I used to have constant "ground loop" problems until I put everything on a dedicated 20 amp circuit.
    Take a look at some of the industrial dual conversion power supplies. They are much more affordable that the "audiophile" dual conversion units. But, they still give you regulated sine wave A/C. Just be sure you get one with enough power capacity. And remember, dual conversion power supplies are, at best, only 90% efficient. So, my 3000va units really have only 2700 watts of output.
    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  8. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

    Messages:
    4,579
    Location:
    west Texas
    Yes just plug the 7106 into a wall circuit. Preferably rated at 20 amps, with 3 wires. hot, neutral and ground. Everything else should go to a second circuit hooked up to the same phase as the amplifier in the circuit breaker box. Then just connect your signal lines and a power control cable from the 119 to the 7106. The 7106 wasn't my favorite amp, but then it was being used most of the time with MX 130 or MX 132. The 119 is a much better sounding unit, especially in the Pure Stereo mode, analog all the way. I used two inputs for my MVP player. One for the balanced output to the MVP player and the other for the digital output. There is just an added smoothness there in the balanced mode using the Pure Stereo mode for analog sound from the MVP players I have owned. That goes for the MX 151 that replaced my 119 too. I suspect my issues with 7106 were the fault of the MX 130 and 132. But then it could have also been the older MVP players. I've never heard a Mac amp that had an edgy high end, but thats what I heard every time with the 7106 especially with THX DVD's and Laser discs. I used a MAC-3 with laser discs because it had the THX switch. The MAC-3 was plugged into the direct input of the 119. .

    The 119 has a very smooth high end which I grew quite fond of over a ten year period. The only thing I would make sure of is that your speakers be absolutely equal distant from your seating location as the 119 can only correct time arrivals to the nearest foot. This will guarantee a strong highly focused center channel.

    Some times I would use one of the cinema modes, Cinema 1 or 2 or Music 1 or 2 to decode a stereo source to have a center channel mix. And it would work really well. But you have to set the parameters in the music 1 or 2 modes to get the right width and depth out of the center channel mix. I have a few opera DVDs that are basically 3.0 recorded in the 5.1 for mat Dolby. Three channel is great sound. I use full range speakers and no subs, and the 119 allows for such option giving very realistic sound. One error I made with the 119 was not using digital inputs for my Apple TV input. Its so much better than an analog connection. The only issue I had with the 119 other than static electricity, was in connecting a cable TV feed to my system. It caused significant back ground white noise. That's when I changed to Direct TV satellite, no noise and no ground loop issues. I loved the 1 db step tone controls. I wish the 151 had the range the 119 had.

    I am old school and I like the fact you can do everything you wish with the front controls of the 119. These units where you have to use the remote to access all functions, just rubs me the wrong way. Its a hand eye coordination thing with me. I hate B&K, Yamaha, Marantz, Sony etc processors for that reason, besides the fact they just don't have the sound quality I'm after.
     
  9. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

    Messages:
    4,579
    Location:
    west Texas
    The 119 doesn't have a record selector or tape monitor switch so the processors will have to be installed between the 119 and 7106. It would be more like an adjust and for get set up. Because if you change a setting then you have to go back and recalibrate the system for balance between channels. Thats why I use separate parametric EQ's to voice the speakers between the the 151 and 207's. The graphic EQ, DBX processors , etc are connected to my C-34V analog pre-amp record processor loop for analog correction during normal listening or while making copies, Casette or CD. To dub a CD or DVD I use direct connections between the MVP player and the Pioneer DVD and Marantz CD recorders digitally. I have a switch so the C-34 drives the L&R speaker amplification chain directly or thru the MX 151 if I want to play with the signal using processing modes. Unfortunately, none of the flexible older stereo pre-amps have a pass thru mode. I didn't use the phono input of the 119 as my TT was connected to the C-34V. No tuner card either as the MR-80 is connected to the C-34v.

    My only regret in giving up the 119 is that the night switch worked perfectly every time with the 119, not so with the 151.
     
  10. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks for all the support. I was able to figure out how to get the external rack gear in play and have gone through and flattened my room with my dbx 231, BBE 362, and spectrum display with pink noise generator. I'm enjoying how things sound with the Yamaha NS-10's and may tweak just a bit more concerning the subwoofer.

    Now...I can't get either of my TT's to play through on the Aux/Phono input on the 119. Do I need a phono pre-amp?
    Turntables played fine on my previous Onkyo receiver...

    Chris
     
  11. feinstei

    feinstei AK Member

    Messages:
    271
    Did you go into Setup and set the phono/aux input to be a phono (high gain) input instead of an aux (low gain) input (see page 35 of the MX-119 manual)?
     
  12. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    NJ
    Oh duh...how quickly I forget about the setup menu via tv. I'll check it out.
    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  13. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    NJ
    Ok..I'm back. Went into the Inputs on the Setup menu and made the change from RCA to Phono at the Anolog input setting for the #1 Aux/phono input. Followed the manual instructions describing things for TT setup.
    So, the TT plays fine out of the Zone A side...but in my setup I'm running the external gear so I'd like the TT signal to follow the same path as the CD player and TV...through external gear and back. These two sources work fine through the external gear...but the TT will not.
    To allow the external gear to play I have the MX119 feeding out via the REC OUT output: this leads to the gear and that's looped back to the Tape Input. For playback I have Zone A input selected to Tape: With Zone B I select my source that will loop out to the gear and back, and I monitor this loop with the gear in play.
    Again, this works for the TV and CD...but why not the TT? The TT is heard when the volume is cranked up to 70 or 80 but sounds like it's not getting the gain needed.
    Hmmmmm..
     
  14. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    You may consider pairing a McIntosh stereo preamplifier with HT PASSTHRU with your MX119 to achieve the flexibility you're after.
     
  15. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    NJ
    Understood...I guess I could also upgrade to another MX series unit that has more flexibility and sell the MX119, but I'm going to try a phono preamp and see how that works

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  16. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    My suggestion has less to do with the MX119's phono preamp and more to do with having traditional tape loops to offer the flexibility you desire with the processors, etc. I use an Integra 80.6 pre/pro and a C200 for exactly that reason. The C200 has two tape loops and record and listen processor loops for two channel listening. Switch on the 80.6 and it automatically switches to PASSTHRU and the MC2600s/XRT22s are now the L & R of a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos home theater.
     
  17. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    NJ
    Thanks again for all the suggestions and help. I emailed Mcintosh and Ron Cornelious touched base with me concerning the circuitry with the 119...Zone A has the phono preamp with a boost of 40db...Zone B doesn't get the same, and seeing as I was doing outboard gear through Zone B...no phono preamp in that routing.
    So I did some research and chose a Pro-Ject tube box ds phono preamp which I found on sale. Wish I could drop the grand or so on the new Mac phono preamp, but I'm pretty happy with my purchase. Vinyl sound is very impressive and I get to route things through the outboard gear.
    Oh and I decided to purchase a tuner as well...didn't think I would like it but why not. Sansui TU-717...old school rules.
    I'm pretty psyched...and am loving my 'new' Mac gear.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  18. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    There you go - nice solution!
     
  19. CAllen

    CAllen New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
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    Thank you again...
     

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