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Recommend a McIntosh or Fisher tube integrated amp

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by Onebean, Dec 5, 2018 at 11:13 PM.

  1. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So I'm falling head over heels for vintage tube gear. I'm really enjoying the Scott 222B I recently purchased, and it has me wondering what a vintage McIntosh and Fisher tube integrated might sound like. I'm doing just fine with the 12ish watts the 222B puts out, so I'm looking for recommendations in the 12 watt or higher range. The Scott is tube amp and preamp, and I think that's what I would like in a McIntosh / Fisher, but it's not set in stone. What is your favorite and why?

    I also have a Scott 299C out for service and recap, and I'm anxious to hear how it will sound with nearly triple the power output.

    Onebean
     

     

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  2. Galaxie65

    Galaxie65 Always looking for new gear to try Subscriber

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    Well I'll be honest, I have an affinity for the Scott gear. I use to run a Scott 280 with a LK pre from the same era. It was heavenly but I think it was because of the metal based 6550s lol.

    I know a lot of people love the Mcintosh gear and for right reasons I'm sure. Although the Fisher pieces I've had in the past have always left me satisfied and happy. I haven't had enough time with the Mc pieces to give an honest reply.

    Are you only wanting to dabble with these two brands only?
     
  3. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Not many options with McIntosh - the MA230 or MA2275. The MA230 is the vintage choice and is 7591 based. I've personally never heard either.
     
  4. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Galaxie, thanks for the response. No, I'm not exclusive to these two brands. I'd take opinions on any of the tube gear from the era of my Scott's. I'm curious about separates too. I picked up a Fisher SA-100 that's waiting for a rehab, so I'd like a preamp to pair with it. The Fisher 400-CX is a beauty, but likely untouchable due to price.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 11:43 PM
  5. Galaxie65

    Galaxie65 Always looking for new gear to try Subscriber

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    Well I would say that if you can I would try some gear from Bell, Sherwood and Luxman (Naturally more expensive). I have tried all of these and some others and currently I'm really in love with the Luxman setup. It's just really full, rich, and open for me. But then again it all depends on what your using it on. Currently I'm using some Cornwall's right now and I'm talking with a buddy about picking up some Tannoys..
     
  6. primosounds

    primosounds Powered with pure tube sounds. Subscriber

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    The SA100 is a very good amplifier one of the best of the el84 push pull amps. While i have a fondness for vintage preamps i do believe that modern preamps are clearer sounding with more resolving power because of their superior circuitry. Cary preamps are excellent along with Audio Research, and CJ, along with BAT, and others.
     

     

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  7. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Fisher x202 (Any version), x200, Scott LK72, 299, (again any version)
    I had a 230 , restored by Terry D (so I'm sure it was performing up to spec. I preferred a Fisher x200 to it YMMV.
    There,are some Sherwoods that are highly respected. I could never get past the looks
    (Ok I'm shallow that way:dunno:)
    Not as pretty as a Fisher or a Scott but worlds prettier than the Sherwood, if you can find a professional series Eico (2080,2050,2035) you'll be pleasantly surprised. Probably at the bottom of this list, Dynaco SCA35
    There are other gems in the mix.
    Happy hunting

    There are many, these are common. If I left out someone's favorite, no offense
     
  8. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The idea of pairing the Fisher with a more modern preamp has crossed my mind. As I started doing research, I quickly realized there are so many models and versions of models, and opinions to go with them, that it's difficult to know where to even start looking. I wouldn't be opposed to an older CJ, AR, Cary, BAT, Juicy Music, Quicksilver, and many others, but being in Nebraska, there are no places to demo this kind of stuff. I'm stuck with the buy and try method.
     
  9. Dave451

    Dave451 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    My integrated amp line up right now includes Scott 299B, Scott LK-72 (very similar to the 299C), and Fisher X-200.

    For an EL84 type (7189) amp, the 299B is hard to beat and will get you about 20WPC. Highs and mids are startling and bass is good and tight. I've owned an LK-48B (basically 222D), restored a 222B, and completely rebuilt a Dynaco SCA-35. All were very good, but I have consistently preferred the 299B.

    For >30WPC from 7591's, I have the Scott LK-72 and the Fisher X-200. The X-200 is my favorite integrated amp right now. It pretty much has it all--clarity, sound stage, highs, lows and plenty of very tight bass. I've been playing it in a set of Bozak 302A Century speakers I'm refurbishing and it sounds wonderful. Every time it's put back in the rotation, I say "wow!" So, +1 on nj phoenix endorsement of the X-200.

    The LK-72 has consistently sounded darker than the Fisher (both have big output iron), and I did a little tube rolling and ended up swapping a set of Mullard 12AX7 line amp tubes for the Telefunkens that were installed and it made a big difference. Continuing the LK-72/X-200 shoot out in the Bozak's and my Klipsch KG-4's, but the Fisher remains on top, at least for now!

    One final thought--I have a Sherwood S8000 IV receiver with a 7868-based 30WPC power amp and it sounds very nice indeed, even compared to stiff competition from the X-200 and LK-72. I've had to do a lot of work on the tuner, which has distracted from the pure listening, but I wouldn't discount Sherwood gear at all.

    One final thought (for sure this time): I've heard much positive about the Fisher SA-100 as about the best EL84 amp around and it may be true. Then there's the Fisher SA-300 EL34 amp. I restored an SA-300B and it was awesome. I imagine it would be even more so with a good pre amp.

    So many choices! Of all the types described in these posts, there are no wrong answers, I think. Try 'em out, look for the best match with speakers and see what sounds right to you. Happy hunting!
     
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  10. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Dave, thank you for the great info. Interestingly enough, I just bought a pair of the Bozak 302's in Barzilay cabinets. They need a few small things before installing them in my system, but your shared experiences have hit home with me.
     
  11. primosounds

    primosounds Powered with pure tube sounds. Subscriber

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    The reason i like to pair a modern preamp with a vintage amp is that sometimes 2 vintage pieces can be too much of a good thing. In terms of warmth and 2nd harmonics. I find that modern type of tubed preamps to be more neutral sounding and that lets the tube amplifier do its thing.
     

     

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  12. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Unless modded, most vintage integrated (I'm talking specifically about the era of the integrateds discussed ) don't have pre out / amp in jack.
    In fact the x202b I had that Dave Gillespie modded had an OP Amp buffer to allow it to be used that way.
    My point being , nothing wrong with using a tube pre with a SS amp or visa versa, just that these units discussed wouldn't be plug and play for that application .
    And in fact IIRC Terry D did a similar mod on the 230.(No OP Amp involved in this)
    I don't remember but I think it utilized tape head and TT2 jacks as pre out amp in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 8:46 AM
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  13. jdsalinger

    jdsalinger AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If I were you, I’d pursue the SA-100. Having recapped an LK-72, I found it wasn’t my cup of tea. Not dark, but just kinda “ho hum”. I really wanted to like it, with the huge XFMRs. Good sound stage & bass but I think I favor single ended magic. I think it may just be the 7591’s. I bet the 222 sounds great.

    Haven’t heard a Fisher tube amp yet, but if it’s anything like my 500T, they gotta be amazing.

    My Pilot 402 has the head-turning musical quality I need. Many Pilot owners comment that they out perform the Fisher gear they’ve heard.
     
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  14. mcgjohn

    mcgjohn Active Member

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    If you are rebuilding the Fisher SA 100, be sure to install the SDS labs power supply board. very well done. Link below.

    You can buy the artwork or the finished PCB and populate it yourself with parts from mouser or digikey.

    https://www.quadesl.com/refurb/refurb_fisherSA100.html
     
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  15. sslade43

    sslade43 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The SA-100 and CX2 are a fantastic combo. Just keep your eye out for that Fisher pre. I found mine for a decent price considering what they sell for. You won’t be disappointed in the pair.
     
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  16. notdigital

    notdigital AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You don't have to go to the CX's. The 400C pre will get you "there" at a grand less than Fisher's TOTL CX-2. I have both and rotate them every few months. To my ear, there are differences but not enough to make me try to figure it out. Sorta like, "who cares....."

    And both pair wonderfully with the SA-100.
     
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