MX114 and MC250 Question

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by AlTinkster92, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. sberger

    sberger Hard Core Geezer Subscriber

    I suppose you're right. It simply never occurred to me that with all the discussion here about the necessities of recapping older equipment that a company so well regarded as AC is might be selling gear that is still all, or nearly all, stock/original if they claim it meets/exceeds spec. And obviously, as in the case of the OP, that gear might very well be in need of further work to actually sound good.
     
  2. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Is AC an AK member?
     
  3. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Guys, guys, guys . . . let's not get caught up in re-capping vs. restoring.

    Either a unit meets original specifications or it doesn't. If Audio Classics tells you that a unit does in fact meet original published specifications then you can take that to the bank. Steve Rowell and team are first class in every respect.

    I don't think it would be possible to build a successful business model around swapping every 40 year old part in every vintage unit - who's going to pay for that? Such a job on an MX114 could add $1,000 in labor - more than it's market value.
     
  4. sberger

    sberger Hard Core Geezer Subscriber

    All true. However, when somebody sends their unit in asking for "a detailed analysis on what it would take to make this brand new electronically", then perhaps they should be given options from least expensive to most expensive, and why. That's kind of what a "detailed analysis" is. I guess the question is, would a complete recap improve the sound on a unit this old or not? From countless threads on this forum, it would seem the answer is yes. That Audio Classics felt it wasn't necessary seems to go against what most say is a basic requirement of bringing old units up to their original glory.
     
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  5. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Well, it either met spec or didn't ...
     
  6. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Audio Classics is not a member however they do monitor AK . That I know for certain. Steve was a nice fellow to speak with however i would never do business there again, my 2 cents. For those who have had a good experience I'm glad.
     
  7. sberger

    sberger Hard Core Geezer Subscriber

    So if it meets spec, then recapping is not necessary, even if it's 40 years old? Seems to go against pretty much everything that I've read on these forums over the years.
     
  8. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Correct. These two in particular:

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: +/- .5db 20 - 20,000 Hz
    DISTORTION: Less than 0.1% at 2.5V input, 20 - 20,000 Hz

    Found on page 7 of the OM - http://akdatabase.org/AKview/albums/userpics/10004/MX114 Owners.pdf

    The measuring equipment cares not about the brand, make, or age of the capacitors ...
     
  9. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Here, the objective and subjective meet, and diverge. Good numbers is good engineering, good sound with good numbers is where the magic dwells.
     
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  10. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Very well said.
     
  11. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    I do not think I would enjoy watching the Count in Vegas, or the guy in Texas restore cars if they were doing used car tie rod tightening, spritzing the interior with new car smell, or wiping down the old finish with kerosene to flip cars.......unless it was a sting operation.

    I hope that, at least in this forum, it is about advancing the sound, improving the value of vintage Mac gear and educating those that visit this site in how those goals can be achieved and a general idea of the local costs of doing so.

    I received my new Scientific America in the mail a few weeks ago......images from Cassini are shown.......anyone here ever see Gailillo's hand drawn image of Saturn?

    A disc with fuzzy apendeges on either side. Audio might just be somewhere
    inbetween those two images itself. Members here are hearing differences they believe, to me it is therefore interesting to investigate.

    The cost of restorations (mostly labor cots) posted here are greatly exaggerated even for the most costly labor market rate areas of the U.S. I have ( for example) no idea what the Sansui techs in Japan charge for their Sansui restorations or what rates might apply elsewhere in the world.
     
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  12. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    @AlTinkster92 -

    When comparing the units, are all tone controls being set to flat without loudness compensation being turned on? Reason I mention this is because in the MX114, only the low frequencies are increased.

    If the APT's loudness affects both lows AND high frequencies, then the preamplifiers will sound VERY different and consistent with the comparisons you observe.
     
  13. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    I'm sending my next restoration project to you Chris! :D
     
  14. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    There are 6 electrolytic caps that need replacing on the preamp boards. Once you have done a few of the power supply upgrades should not take more than 3-4 hours at whatever your local professional labor rates are.

    If previous postings about swapping out the Mylar caps prove true will have to add some more hours of bench time. I have not yet hade the chance to verify the tone module replacement but, not knowing what is inside the cement encapsulation it would be a prime suspect in the OP's situation.

    The restoration/ upgrading of these late 60s, early 70s, units is in flux still at this time with many who still doubt the value of doing it. So be it.
     
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  15. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hi Caddy, yes I always run both Pre's with the tone controls set at the middle, or flat. I hate the loudness control :). Another thing I notice is when I have the 114 hooked to the MC250 with recapped LaScalas I have to increase the treble and bass to at least 2 o'clock to make it listenable. The 250 was redone by a fellow AK er, amp sounds fine on its own. I've been all over Youtube today trying to learn about Pre Amps.

    I know my 114 might be old, outdated certainly but I just really like the thing and want it to have new caps and work as designed is all Thanks Al
     
  16. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    No need to apologize for the MX114. I recently got an MX113 (slightly later version of MX114 + AM section) which I'm enjoying very much.

    Why it's apparently performing so poorly after being certified by Audio Classics is quite a headscratcher. 20 - 20,000 Hz +0/ -0.5dB at 0.5%THD and 85 dB S/N is pretty straightforward. Either it's doing it or it isn't. [​IMG]
     
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  17. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just re read your post , Gail at Mcintosh parts has replacement volume controls for the 114, perhaps it might fit the 115? Just passing that along and thanks. Al
     
  18. sberger

    sberger Hard Core Geezer Subscriber

    I'm scratching my head on how 40 year old caps can still be in spec. Goes against everything I've learned on this forum.
     
  19. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    You'd be surprised in some cases. All main caps in the SS McIntosh amplifiers in my sig are original to the units - all 8 of 'em - and none are needed. Go figure...:dunno:
     
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  20. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    Call Ryan and or Steve and tell them you are not happy with the situation. They should bend over backwards to make it right. Usually Ryan double checks every unit before it leaves the shop. Now if you are looking a bright zinging sound with lots of air, you'll never be happy with the combo you have. Mac just doesn't do forward and Zippy.
     
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