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Revelation
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Joined: Jun 25 2021 - 4:19pm
Macintosh MC152 opinions for those who spent time with it.

How similar is this solid state amp to their tube models.

What makes Macintosh amps sound unique over other brands? Obviously they have a classic look with the VU meters. But a lot of company's out there like NAD c298 have good amps at lower prices. What makes the Macs unique and a better option.

I was only able to hear a tube Macintosh amp in a stereo store with similar Focal speakers that I have. The first thing I noticed is that it provides a pleasant sound. Smooth, detailed, and full sounding. The Audio Control amp in comparison had a brighter top end. After a while it was a little fatiguing. I actually preferred my Adcom 555 over it.

The Macintosh did have a tube like character to it. I can understand why some people don't care for its sound. It has a rounder sound and the high end is not enhanced. Some may want a more open or enhanced top end. Depending on your pre amp, speakers and room size will help determine what amp is best for you. I personally like the sound a lot, but a more neutral class D amp I can see some preferring, especially with class D amps getting better.

It is like some like API, some prefer Neve, while others like the cleaner sound of SSL recording gear. I really want to hear the Mac MC152 to confirm if this would be one of the better choices for me to replace my Adcom.

Old Audiophile
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My Two Cents

I see, from another post, that you have Focal Aria 926? Those are very sensitive or efficient speakers. You won't need a lot of power or current to drive those to their fullest capacity. That being said, IMHO, there is never any harm in getting more amp than your speakers need because, of course, of the future upgrade possibilities. If you liked your Adcom, chances are good you'll like McIntosh. You can't argue with a THD of 0.005% at 20Hz to 20,000Hz and the other performance specs. MAC's are also built like tanks and have great trade-in or resale value. You would likely like Luxman, as well. There are other choices, of course, but only YOUR ears will be able to tell you what sounds best TO YOU. Who cares what other people like? It's your money and you're the one who has to live with whatever you buy. MAC SS amps sound a bit warmer than most other SS amps; more like a tube amp. MAC tube amps generally have a lot of juice (i.e. good current supply) and are capable of driving less sensitive or less efficient speakers. As for "an enhanced top end" or "enhancing" any of the frequency range(s), my preference has always been to avoid "enhancing" as much as possible, in deference to hearing whatever is on any given recording. Generally speaking, the best audio components get out of the way of the music and let you hear the recording(s). Of course, the trade-off is that this will likely drive you to replace some of your less than optimum recordings. Good luck in your hunt!

Revelation
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You know there are those that

You know there are those that love a particular amp and those who don't. No one is right or wrong, it all comes down to personal preference. I have been thinking about the newer Class D amps like the PS Audio M7 which are light and apparently have received some positive reviews. But my heart is with the Macintosh who makes their products at their facility from start to finish. I like the gentle smoothing of the music while providing a great sound stage and detail that makes you smile. Plus those famous meters.

Here are 16 people all who have the MC152 and all of them are very happy with their purchase. (I am actually surprised there is no review in Stereophile on the MC152). I think I will just start saving and hopefully at the right time, I will be part of the Macintosh family myself. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_958MC152/McIntosh-MC152.html

Old Audiophile
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Just an Opinion

I've been avidly reading reviews of stereo equipment since Christ was a corporal. My impression of why McIntosh amps aren't reviewed more often, these days, is because their stuff has been so damn consistently good for so many years that reviewers automatically assume any new amp they debut is going to be a knock out! Too bad, really, because even McIntosh shouldn't get a free pass, no matter how great they've been and continue to be. Even though I am a thoroughly satisfied MAC owner, I've heard a few amps recently that made me wonder if I would have made the same decision if I'd heard them before I bought my MAC. Of course, you're right about virtually all of audiophilia coming "down to personal preference". You're also right about those VU meters and that beautiful glass faceplate. Not only are those meters beautiful but they are also functional. However, I have to respectfully disagree with the "gentle smoothing of the music" remark. I submit that what you are hearing there is accuracy without distortion and isn't that what it's all about?

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