Yamaha cx-a5100 vs. mcintosh mx135 processor

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by JerryD99, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. JerryD99

    JerryD99 Member

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    Location:
    South of Jacksonville Florida
    Hi
    I have never used McIntosh gear but know of it's quality. I have been using Yamaha stuff and for the last 20 or so years, I have been using a Yamaha DSP-A1, even though for music I preferred the sound of a Pioneer SX828.
    I am just curious as I am look to upgrade my stereo and home theater system. Have to go with a used McIntosh MX135 or should I go with a Yamaha cx-a5100. Not able to listen to either one, so asking your advise. 50% Music 50% HT. I also need tape monitors and the 5100 can not give me that and the Mx135 can only give me 2.
    I know if I choose the mx135 I will have to connect the video directly to TV and it is a 4K TV.
    I have heard the McIntosh gear should sound better, but it is older technology than the cx-a5100 which is their current model of pre amp.
    Would like to heard your experiences with these 2 models.
    Thanks
    Jerry
     

     

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  2. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Personally, there is no way that I would purchase an MX135 over any modern pre/pro. That Yammie looks like one helluva nice pre/pro and its both Dolby Atmos and dts:X compatible.

    While the MX135 may have been a nice unit in its day, it's a Commodore Vic-20 today.
     
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  3. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Keep in mind that you should be thinking dual preamps for a 50% music system. That way you can have your cake and eat it too. This is where McIntosh shines - with a feature called Home Theater Pass Thru offered on upper end stereo preamplifiers. I'm also a tape guy so I use a C200 preamp and an Integra DHC-80.6 together. Tape decks, turntable, and all other analog sources are connected to the C200. Bluray, cable box, and other digital sources connected to the 80.6.

    Read up on how the feature works. Many threads here in the Mc forum detail it.
     
  4. JerryD99

    JerryD99 Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    South of Jacksonville Florida
    Thanks I will check that c200 out. What I was going to do is have the HT as main unit and take a tape loop from and older unit (For now DSP-A1) and feed it to the new HT unit by tape loop. That way I could go either way for recording purposes.

    Thanks
    Jerry
     
  5. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    lots of Mc stereo preamps have this feature.
     
  6. MACKIE1975

    MACKIE1975 Well-Known Member

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    "You Can’t Eat Your Cake and Have it Too" - Unabomber :banana:
     

     

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  7. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    You can, actually, in this case.

    For some while I used a Proceed PRE in front of a Levinson No. 23 amp to power my front speakers in a combo 2-ch/HT setup. The Proceed PRE has a unity gain HT passthough like damacman mentioned.

    With the passthough disabled, you played 2-ch gear through the Proceed PRE like any other 2-ch pre amp and amp combo. When the HT bypass was engaged, the front left and right of the HT system then was routed to the Levinson and front speakers.

    The true HT bypass is way better because then you don't need to mess with two volume controls and throwing off your calibrated levels, as is often the case when trying to accomplish HT bypass using aux inputs, pre outs, etc.

    That said, I only used the HT bypass setup for a while as the HT sounded pretty good by itself in direct mode, plenty good enough for how often I listened to straight 2-ch on that system.

    Also, if I may be so bold, while the Yamaha is a nice unit for sure, may want to give a look at the Marantz pre/pros too. That's what I've been running for 6 or 7 years and I've been very satisifed with it. Granted, it doesn't have the very newest stuff given its age, but nary a problem and the sound is good for a modestly-priced unit.

    And, FWIW just for the record, I do have some Yamaha AV and stereo stuff too so nothing inherently against it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  8. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    the Yamaha is one of their current units where a MX 135 is many years past its prime. You should really be looking for a pre- owned MX 122. That said I know a MX 135 in good working order will sound great with a stereo analog source or basic Dolby or DTS processing.. But it won't handle 4K video or accepted 4k sound formats. It won't even handle any form of HDMI/ It doesn't have any room processing either. But if just basic HT sound is all you need it will do that quite well. Its like comparing an 80's Lincoln with todays BMW 740i. You are so used to using so much of todays advanced programing and processing using a MX 135 with its no frills anything will really disappoint you. Now people my age who would prefer a lot of todays communication systems would just go away might really appreciate a MX 135.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018

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