New MC 452, First Impressions

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by JosephH, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Velocityboat

    Velocityboat Super Member

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    I have experienced this with MC2500 and MC1000. I always attributed it to Mcintosh Line Array speakers. Mabe it is just the amps?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018

     

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  2. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

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    Sounds like you made the right choice. May you have years of listening enjoyment for your new gear. I did have a similar if somewhat less powerful experience when I swapped out the 7300 for the 302. I loved the sound of the 7300 but the 302 was a step up in sound stage and I wonder if like the 452, some of that is due to the Thermal Trak output transistors these both use?
     
  3. rxonmymind

    rxonmymind AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Congrats. Now you have a multi purpose amplifier. One can do curls while listening to music. :D
     
  4. JosephH

    JosephH AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks! As you can tell by the paint chips I was going to go with a gray or darker blue from the same palette as the walls are now.
     
  5. JosephH

    JosephH AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That is an excellent way to phrase it! Right on the money too!
     
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  6. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    The MC452 has undoubtedly carved a niche for itself as one of McIntosh's best received stereo SS amplifiers of all time. I've seen and heard them on numerous occasion and they've always impressed. I've not yet owned one so its hard to know how it would compare to amplifiers that I own at present or have owned - like the MC500 for example.

    Interestingly enough, when I connected my MC225 last, my fiancé (ex now) came into the room and remarked how lively the music sounded. So much so that she asked me to play multiple CDs of hers. I had to agree - the sound was quite engaging. I haven't used that amp since and she never asked again to hear her music ....

    We've all had those moments where you think - can it get any better? Almost all of mine have been with McIntosh products. Well, almost ...
     

     

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  7. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    I liked 2205's on some speakers, they were a flop on mine in the bass. To soft and mushy. The did very well with Klipsch, Altec, JBL and most importantly with Mac speakers. 2505, 2105 and 2300's get nasty real fast when approaching higher out put levels almost if not starting to clip. 2205 were smooth and nice. I liked 2255's even more, so. And when the 7200 came along I new Mac had something very special when used with speakers that required a lot of current. I guess it wasn't until the 352 came along that I was starting to hear something really better. To me a 402 was just a 352 with more out puts. I loved the 501's. I'm just guessing but I imagine when push comes to shove a 452 would give a pair of 501's a real challenge. Everyone talks about 601's and I assume 301's are just as good, but smaller. But if you have space issues like I do and you are stereo person a 452 is a great choice. Now if it came with a gorilla to help install, it would make life so much easier. I use to complain about 275's and then 3500's and 2300's came along. Even my little 2505 can give me a twinge if I'm not thinking when I handle it. What would I do with three 1201's. But if you got the money for them you can afford that gorilla. Can you believe a Magico S7 weights over 300 lbs. OH my aching back.
     
  8. JosephH

    JosephH AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    OK, I have encountered my first big problem with the MC452.....
    It is turning me into an insomniac! I cannot bring myself to turn it off and go to bed at night! :boring:
    I was listening to a series of GRP and Telarc digital master jazz recordings for hours last night. It was absolutely sublime through the Oppo-McIntosh combination! Amazing depth and clarity. The volume kept creeping up all night. Its a good thing my house is on a 3/4 acre lot!
     
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  9. JosephH

    JosephH AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I always liked the 2205's smooth almost tube like warm sound. They did an amazing job driving my JBL 240ti and ADS 1530s. They clearly struggled a bit with the hard to drive Vifa woofers in the Aerial 10T speakers. The MC452 is a completely different animal. It has tightened the mid and low bass considerably, and really makes the 10Ts shine. I was always happy with the 10Ts but now they are breathtaking. One thing I have noticed, you had better have good source materials, as the system highlights any recording deficiencies. While still enjoyable, my 1970's live recordings show their limitations!
    I was surprised what a handful the MC452 was to remove from the SUV and deploy. The size of the box was a part of that, but I was being EXTREMELY careful not to damage the unit, and that amp is not something that facilitates a delicate touch. Of course I couldn't wait a day or two for help, so I took my time and encountered no problems. After dancing with the MC452, carrying two 2205s and one 2200 into the basement was a piece of cake!
     
  10. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    I liked ML-2's even though they could be a little edgy, I liked them. I loved them stacked driven by a 2300. I could see owning that combination. ML-4's stacked was just to much for me. What really improved the sound for ML-2's was the 2205 and its cousin the the 2200. We all loved meters so we didn't sell 2200's to consumers. But we did a brisk business with them in commercial systems. They could drive Altec speakers way beyond the ratings with out any sign of stress. Klipsch woofers died all the time because the voice coil leads were to short or if not couldn't take the strain. So we cut the edges off Altec 16 inch woofers and replaced the Eminence Klipsch woofers. Eventually Mac discontinued 2205's and we learned to love 2255's and its cousin the 2250. A 2255 could power anything a 2300 but with so much grace. Then came the 2500 and the 2300 officially was placed to rest. The poor 2205 was one of the first amps to have power guard which I embraced upon first hearing. It allowed speakers to go beyond without fear of destruction. Lots of folks didn't like 2205's because they never got that sound some folks liked at loud levels, they just remained neutral. The highs didn't become austere and there wasn't any distortion on set that some people love at louder levels. Some folks complained when the Power Guard activated the sound changed. Duh! Yes it changed sounding like a Rock FM station. Thats what a form of compression or limiting does folks.

    Todays listeners are more sophisticated and understand an occasional flash if a Power Guard light is not the worlds worst issue. If you want more and your speakers can handle it you buy a bigger amp. That is what a 452 is. A better mouse trap. It is also blessed with better semi conductors, better Autoformers, and higher quality long term components. The 7200 was the first of the Mac amps to reveal what was possible after the 2000 series amplifiers were transitioning to the 7000 series. Now not all 7000 series were a big improvement over the 2000. I didn't think a 7270 was really a big jump. The century series didn't really impress me either. MC 150, MC 300 and MC 500. But when the MC352 and 501 came along with their new circuitry, I was really impressed. Now the 452 is to the 402 as a 7200 was to a 2255. There is most definitely a difference, maybe not as radical. A 452 wont put out 3 times its rated power into 2 ohms like at 7200, but it is an improvement with most speakers. Likes its big brother the 601 there are a few out their that don't benefit from a 452. Where some folks might prefer and do prefer 2301's and I have learned to respect that. I have heard it myself with Snell and Magico speakers. Just makes me want to find a pair of 3500's for restoration. But for most folks out there a 452 is a game changing amp built on one chassis that will full fill almost everyones desires. I imagine it could do the job of a pair of 501's driving a pair of XR 290's all day. Is a 452 a 1201, no or a 1.2K no or a smaller 1.25 K well maybe. 1201s have a particular sound I really like. at 2 watt levels or 20 watt levels there is something special going on. It may not be what a 1.2k does, and I haven't heard the 1.25 to make a comment. But if Steve called me tomorrow and said I have a pair of 290's for you, and now that I'm on a fixed income,I wouldn't hesitate to buy a pre-owned 452. Sure I would prefer 1201's but where would I put them and the electrician would have to put in a new sub panel and transfer the entire entertainment system to the dedicated box. So a 452 would be my choice, too with no hesitation. Its a great amp. Will it push XRT 28's and 30's to my satisfaction, no. Did I mention 1201's? Is it to much for anything Klipsch I'd say so . Though Paul was to have said a Klipschorn can handle 500 watt peaks. Thats 132 db folks, before compression. But a pair of JBL DD67000 would be a perfect match according to JBL and me for the 452. Remember JBL uses Mcintosh patented low distortion design for their cone speakers as does a few other companies. Who would have thought back in the 60's that a MC 452 would be a middle of the line-up Mcintosh amp. We were being bowled over by the 3500. 450 watts of beautiful sound. What goes around comes around. In this case 50 years later.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  11. JosephH

    JosephH AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for your perspective and experience Twiiii! I greatly appreciate your contributions to this thread and the McIntosh forum! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018 at 10:16 PM
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  12. gtech

    gtech New Member

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    I heard on Friday from the local McIntosh dealer that the 452 is being discontinued soon.
    Aaron
     
  13. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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    Thanks for your review. I have yet to see any negative comments about the 452. Not even close...just happy customers.
     
  14. quartersaw

    quartersaw Well-Known Member

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    Mine will never be 'discontinued'. :)
     
  15. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    MC552 is gonna be spectacular!
     
  16. JosephH

    JosephH AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great, I'm obsolete in less than a month! Anyone want to buy a shiny boat anchor??? o_O

    Actually, I feel as Bob does, this amp will never be 'discontinued' for me! It has a permanent place in my system.
    Actually, I think for my dollars invested into audio there is virtually nothing you can buy that is more 'obsolescence proof' than a quality amplifier and pair of speakers. While we have seen tremendous technical churn in source formats, processors and video display options, you still have to drive output to your speakers. I am quite comfortable with the investment in this amplifier.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018 at 9:41 AM

     

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  17. quartersaw

    quartersaw Well-Known Member

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    There will always be the latest version of 'bright, and shiny' to supplant the previous generation.
    I can certainly live with that, considering what I am hearing from this amplifier. :)
     
  18. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    A 502, no they have done that, maybe a 452.5, no to many numbers. I guess if there is a change its a parts availability issue. Or maybe like the 611 they want a higher peak and impedance mismatch capability. Speaker manufacturers are really fudging on specs today. They don't even blink anymore when their 8 ohms speakers have 3 ohm loads over the spectrum. That's not fare to the consumer. That like saying you can get 40mpg at 55 mph but once you go above 70 it drops to 18mpg. In Texas we have 80 mph speed limits and everyone drives 85. What's an amp supposed to do when asked to put out twice the current its rated at with an 8ohm load. Call the speaker an Honest 4 ohm speaker and subtract 3 db from the sensitivity. Let's be honest folks. Tube amps with their lack of current reserve are particularly effected by speaker companies dishonesty. That something people don't realize about Roger Russell's speaker designs. If you run a graph of the ML and XR series speakers the impedance curves they are all so smooth. His speakers were very easy to drive, Yes they were in efficient, but you didn't have amps running warm to hot under normal operation. Even when asked to deliver extra power because of the MQ equalizers the amps weren't having to deal with complex speaker loads in addition.
     
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  19. quartersaw

    quartersaw Well-Known Member

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    I have the same issue with the volume. I keep creeping the preamp volume up into blinking power guard light territory.
    Interestingly, I was watching a few youtube videos on my computer, and the ragged volume from my computer speakers actually hurt my ears.
    Cranking the '452 up to THUNDER is quite painless. (Except, maybe for my wife) :)
     
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  20. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    Hahaha, that is an excellent quote!!
     
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