Most reliable McIntosh SS amps

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by grillebilly, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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    I'm thinking of picking up a used McIntosh SS amp. I have a 275 MKVI tube amp and I want to compare it to a SS amp. I have been doing some homework and many people are saying the generation of MC ##2, such as a 352, I believe starting production in 1998, is a great place to start without breaking the bank.
    I don't want one that uses cooling fans. 300 WPC or more is a target. I would like to keep costs around $4k. I want a stereo amp, not monoblocks.
    The rest of my gear is basic but it works and sounds great.
    My limited knowledge and homework has led me to the MC352.
    Anyone care to chime in on if that is a good choice or not?
    I won't be able to read replies for a day or so so thanks for your patience if asking questions.

    Rick
     

     

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  2. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

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    One choice might be a MC7300. Stellar sounding amp, powerful, reliable and affordable. Well under the $4K mark. I would still have mine if I didn't get a 302 in place of it. It was and continues to be that good. When I was looking at amps the folks at Audio Classic suggested the 352 as one they really liked and from the forum posts I've read is very well thought of.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  3. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    MC402 would fit the bill, and 400 wpc will cover a vast amount of speaker choices.
     
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  4. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Buy that MC2600 in BT! Twice the amp an MC352 will ever be. And, you'll never hear the fans as it's impossible to kick them on in a domestic setting.
     
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  5. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Also a great call - the MC7300 is a spectacular power amp, half the size of its bigger brother and with a full glass face. I've got one of those as well.
     
  6. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

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    A 352 over at AC that is listed in their "almost like new" B1condition:

    http://www.audioclassics.com/detail?detail=MC352

    The reason I called out the 7300 is not only that I think it's an excellent amp and value is because you mentioned the 352. Which I believe is similar in sound signature as the 7300. Whereas my 302 and the "newer" amps might not be as "warmish" if that's the right term, as the older ones. Probably due to the new type transistors. I do know my 302 is a bit more "open" sounding than the 7300 was but that would be splitting hairs and after all, it's all about your entire signal chain that will really matter in the end. And not to muddy the mix but if you're going to spend up to 4K why not consider adding a bit more and getting a 452?
     

     

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  7. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    I have done significant listening with MC250, MC2205, MC352, and of course the MC452. The best sounding amp out of the lot of them I found, is the MC452. Its Effortless, Velvety, smooth, detailed, warm yet so clear.....
    I didn't find the older amps to be warmer necessarily ...

    But the MC2205 definitely punches well above its weight.....I'll be sad to see my one go...

    I enjoyed the MC352 when I had it, I think they are a great amp, they are actually Quad Balanced, they're a sleeper and good buying. (called double balanced push pull at the time, Mc hadn't coined the Quad Balanced phrase at that time).

    But most of all I enjoy the MC452, its one heck of an amplifier.....worth finding a bit extra coin for...
     
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  8. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    First Mc amp to return to the traditional old school look after the Clarion era.
    First Mc amp to use the now standard Stainless steel chassis
    First Quad balanced Mc amp (as far as I am aware).

    The MC352 was the first serious Mc amp I bought, it was a B1 condition from Audio Classics, it turned up and might as well have been brand new.....
    As I said in my other post, I think they are a great amp, if you are after a couple of three hundred watts, hard to beat a 352.....
    When AC bench tested my one before they sent it out to me, it was making 442 watts per channel
     
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  9. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    The first Mac amp with the newer sound is the MC 7200. It doesn't use autoformers. If you have 4 ohm speakers it will blow a 7300 away, 540 watts peak, and at 3 and 2 ohms the margin gets even wider. 7200 doesn't have the black back ground of a 352 and there fore some folks might think you will loose small details, which might be true with efficient speakers. But if your speakers have less than 88 db sensitivity you will never hear any noise from the amp. If you are bi-amping they make a great bass amp with the high damping factor with out any passive cross over components in the circuit. They have a sweet high end that is a touch more revealing than the 7300 and 2255. Because they do not have the autoformers they may have to be externally cooled with speakers running close to 1 ohm, but then they will put out over 700 watts. It was designed to drive paneled speakers with low impedances in the high frequencies with grace. They do very well. Are they a 352 402 or 501, no, they come from completely different period of time with different challenges of that time. I would be looking for a pre-owned MC 152 my self if I didn't need big power or extreme signal to noise. Its rated 150 watts will put out over 225 and will drive a 1 ohm load from the 2 ohm tap without distress. If you don't need big power and your speakers are over 96 db in sensitivity you should be just fine. The amp would give 119 db at 1 meter and thats plenty for most folks. Where you are going to really hear the difference is in the bass reproduction of your 275. The older the SS amps the closer they come to your tube sound. So maybe a 2125 and your 275. A well restored 2105 and your 275. But if you want to really hear a difference, pick a 7100 or 7200. Especially used with older horn and reflex speakers. Speakers with their own controlled damping, like early ML series Macs don't depend on the amps for woofer control. PMC speakers and other with tuned labyrinths and ports can be quite demanding on amplifiers, and thats a 7200's cup of tea. Friends of mine with Bi amped Altec A7's and JBL 300's couldn't believe the difference when I would pull their Dynas, Mac or Marantz tube amps even Mac amps with autoformers and install A DC 300 A, before the 7200 came along. It was like a fog had been lifted from their woofers. 7200's does that too, but with much more grace. DC- 300 A's can be brutal with low impedances above 1000hz, as can some of the later Crowns. That's why I couldn't wait to go back to Mac amps after hearing the 7200. But space was always an issue. But having 2 207's and a 206 have solved all my issues. If you are thinking about needing more channels. Don't discount the 207 or 205 power amps. They are Mac amps after all with a little some thing extra. They aren't rated below 4 ohms , but they do perform very well on the edges of the envelope. The MC300 and 500 have very high Damping factors with autoformers. But I have heard there are issues from folks I trust and thats why the new technology and topologies of the 352, 402 were so widely accepted with open arms so quickly.

    Its similar to how amps with KT-88's have that family sound, be they 275's or 2301 or 2000's. Just listen to a MC 3500 some time if you ever get the chance. Its a different sound, not an identical twin sound but as if coming from a very close cousin. I f I won the lottery Steve R and I would be having some serious discussions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
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  10. mdewire

    mdewire AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You can't go wrong with the MC352. I bought mine new in the box from Audio Classics about 5 years ago when they were discontinued and they were selling at a great price. I installed the LED kit in mine as well so it has the same look and reliability as their newer amps. I have never even come close to hitting the power guard on it. It sounds great with my C2500 tube preamp.
     
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  11. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

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    Another vote here for the MC352. Outstanding amplifier.
     
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  12. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the replies. My speakers are 4 ohm 90 db. If I had very efficient speakers I probably wouldn't be looking for a SS amp. With the tube amp it's at half volume most of the time when playing records. With my old SS system half volume would shake the pictures on the wall. I could be shopping for speakers but why not get an amp that will drive most anything.
     
  13. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    4Ω 90db, your speakers are begging for a MC352!!
    I was running a pair of JBL L7's off my 352, I think they are around the 90db efficient mark....Very very good results!! Only surpassed by the MC452....
     
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  14. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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    Might just have to.
     
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  15. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    :no:

    I'm coming back in with the MC402 with 400wpc
    And the sweet thing is bridging it :naughty: with 4 ohm speakers you can use two mono blocked at 800 wpc...

    Go big or go home... run what ya brung and all that gear head stuff LOL

    Oh Rick did I tell you that the mac forum is full of enablers?
    I'd still go for the 402 as it's much newer, more powerful and in your price point and the last stereo amp at this power that can be bridged
     
  16. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    50 watts more than a 352...? Not that much more powerful......:biggrin:
     
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  17. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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    I want to keep my audio stand and there's no room for 2 amps. I like keeping things simple, too.
     
  18. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Well then one will work, but you might want it on the floor, big mac SS are heavy
    Weight 110.5 pounds (50.1kg) net, 143.5 pounds (65.1kg) in shipping carton


    Specifications

    Power Output Stereo
    Minimum sine wave continuous average power output per
    channel, all channels operating is:
    400 watts into 2 ohm load
    400 watts into 4 ohm load
    400 watts into 8 ohm load

    Power Output Mono Parallel
    Minimum sine wave continuous average power output is:
    800 watts into 1 ohm load
    800 watts into 2 ohm load
    800 watts into 4 ohm load
     
  19. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

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    We aren't talking about monoblocks in this thread, right?

    MC501s...just sayin'... :D
     
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  20. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    Just get the 352, you're not trying to fill Madison Square Garden with Audio......(says the guy with the active bi-amped system with a Crown Macro-tech driving the low end)....
     

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