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MX-117 versus C-28

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by cjmustang69, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Does anyone have experience with a MX-117 and C-28 and have opinion as to how they compare? I currently have a very nice C-28 (serviced by Audio Classics several years ago) and use with my MC-2105 amp. I like the idea of having tuner/preamp in 1 unit and am thinking of purchasing a MX-117 to replace my C-28. I could use the MX-117 with my MC-2105 amp or my MC-7300 amp. I'd appreciate any thoughts on how they compare.
     

     

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  2. cnolanh

    cnolanh Ad astra Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,863
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    The MX117 is a generation newer than the C28. The MX has electronic source switching like the C33, 4100, etc. In my experience the MX117 sounds (or disappears) just like the C33, which I'd say is high praise.

    I have an MX117 and love it, but I have not had a C28 so can't give you a direct sonic comparison.
     
  3. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,192
    Location:
    West Michigan
    The MX117 was a superior unit when introduced back in the early 80s to all previous MX units and the C26 and 28.

    They are getting up there in age though and will benefit from a restoration just like it's siblings the C33 and C32 do.
     
    cnolanh likes this.
  4. chef free

    chef free AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,232
    Location:
    Hayward, Ca
    A friend has a C504 which is the pre amp used in the MX117 and I think it sounds great, especially the phono section.
     
    cnolanh likes this.
  5. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,066
    Location:
    west Texas
    A friend of mine Had a MX117 while I had a C-29. He was using a 7200 amp and I was using DC-300'a's. I know for sure the 7200 was a better amp but that said I also know my C-29 was a big step up from my C-28 in the Phono section. In fact I preferred the c-29 phono section to that of my C-34. Now a MX117 falls in between the C-`34 and my C-29. I thought the MX 117 sounded great with my Friends TD 125 with a Grace F9E. Another friend using the same Grace model with the same arm and a C-28 just wasn't quite as good, it wasn't bad far from it, just not great!. And I much preferred the tone controls on the 117. That mid control was a real winner. So with all the permutations of possibilities I would choose the 117. That is unless you like bright phono cartridges from audio technica and clear audio. Then I would lean toward the C-28, which has a smoother softer phono section. My main turn off for the C-28 is the poor tracking volume control and the broad 4db steps of the tone controls. I much prefer the variable graphic controls of the 117 and C-34 and the precision tracking volume control. . If I have to use stepped tone controls, bass and treble, then give me one db steps. The main reason for having a mPI-4 and amps with meters was to insure proper balance between left and right channels on C-20, C-22 and 28. I do miss being able to adjust the tone controls of the channels individually, but once you get the volume balance issue corrected using the different tone controls isn't near as big an issue. I will say digital recordings whether CD's or down loaded off the internet are more consistent in tonal balance from left to right as compared to LP. .In fact its almost a non-issue.
     
    ron-c likes this.
  6. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Thank you for comments. It seems the MX-117 is favored over the C-28, which I suspected based on search I had done regarding the MX-117. I've agreed to buy a MX-117 from seller in Pa. I will be driving to Audio Classics with my MC-7300 amp on May 15th and intend to pick the MX-117 on my way to Vestal, NY. Ryan will have work done on my MC-7300 amp by Friday, May 19th - when I intend to drive back to Chapel Hill. I'll ask Ryan if possible for them to look at the MX-117 at same time. I can't speak highly enough regarding service from Ryan and AudioClassics.
     

     

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  7. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Getting ready for trip north on Monday morning. Getting excited about getting the MC-7300 back into my system and hoping the MX-117 can be gone over by Ryan next week also. I'd like to compare my C-28 to a properly maintained MX-117 to hear any differences between them.
     
  8. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Well, completed my trip North yesterday. The good news is I picked up the MX-117 wiith no issues. The seller was a great guy and the MX-117 is as nice as it was described. The BAD news is Audio Classics wasn't able to complete the repair to my MC-7300 prior to my drive home yesterday. They are still diagnosing what the issue is. I'm certain they will get it fixed and will have to ship amp to me. I can't overstate how much I appreciate AudioClassics and the service they provide. On a side note - while picking up the MX-117 - I also bought an extremely nice pair of ADS-570 speakers. They sound very nice. I have a difficult time passing up ADS speakers in nice condition
     
  9. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I put the MX-117 into system with MC-2105 amp this morning to ensure all functions perform ok. First impression is favorable. Listened to tuner and phono for a few hours. The phono section sounded very nice. Having the tuner/preamp in same unit is going to be a big advantage once I move it and MC-7300 amp to my other stand - under television. IMG_0984.JPG
     
    seacliffe301 and 62caddy like this.
  10. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,442
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    OOC, what's up with your MC7300? Mine has a sticky meter on the left channel that I have yet to dig into.
     
  11. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    AudioClassics is still troubleshooting root cause - but what I experienced was left channel output became unstable once meter displayed approximately .3 watts ( left meter would begin to jump and left channel powerguard light would flash on). I could also hear distortion in left channel as this was occurring. I hope to hear from Ryan this week so I can get amp back soon.
     

     

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  12. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Well, heard back from Ryan. Issue is a bad output transformer. Not what I wanted to hear as they are no longer available from McIntosh. Trying to determine options available. Hopefully there are options which will be practical.
     
  13. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,333
    Location:
    NEPA
    See if Ryan can answer whether the same OT was used in other models which would help in the search. Hopefully L/R makes no difference.

    McIntosh OTs do come up the auction site fairly regularly.
     
  14. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,442
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    That sucks! One came up for an MC2600 a while ago on eBay and I sure considered buying it as a spare ...
    I wish you luck!
     
  15. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    It is very disappointing, as amp is in near mint condition, having been recently refurbished. Ryan got back to me and said the output transformer can be rewound - expensive - but it resolve issue. I expect to get it back in about 4 to 6 weeks.
     
  16. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Thought I would update this thread with latest information. There were several “hiccups” getting the output transformer rewound, but heard from Ryan earlier this week and he believes the output transformer is now properly repaired. I believe I’ll have the amp back in 2 to 3 weeks after it is thoroughly tested by AudioClassics. It has taken some time to get this amp repaired, but can’t overstate how fortunate I feel to have AudioClassics available to work on McIntosh equipment.
     
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  17. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,442
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    That’s good news. Did McIntosh rewind it?
     
  18. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    No - company which Ryan/AudioClassics has used for over 20 years rewound it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  19. cjmustang69

    cjmustang69 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    In anticipation of getting my MC-7300 amp back soon, I brought the MX-117 out and put it in system with my MC-2105 amp. Combination sounds nice through the Quads. I intend to match the MC-7300 with the MX-117 and either drive the Quads or pair of ESS AMT-1D speakers. Really looking forward to getting the MC-7300 back.

    McIntosh and Quad.JPG
     
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  20. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,442
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    As much as I enjoy my MC7300, I think I enjoyed my last MC2105 more. Both are excellent power amps.
     

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