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bdwg's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Jul 31 2013 - 7:40am
Vintage McIntosh first setup

I am in the market for some vintage McIntosh stuff and after doing some research I think what I want is a combo of tube preamp and solid-state power amp (so I can get the tube warmth with the less expensive future tube replacement costs). This has brought me to wanting to match the MX110 –Z tube preamp with the MC2205 solid-state amp.

I particularly like this option because the preamp has a tuner. I plan to hook a DAC up to the AUX and my Technics 1200 to the phono 1. Also, I like this option because my future-wife should approve of the appearance of them, so I can have hifi equipment in the open and she won’t consider it an eyesore.

Any thoughts on this matchup? Should these two perform well together? This is my first attempt to get into the hifi market. Not sure about speakers yet, but I was thinking about B&W CM5’s; any input on speakers would be appreciated too.


commsysman's picture
Last seen: 1 day 8 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

If sound quality is a primary issue, you would be better off with an Audio Research preamp, from my experience.

Flexibility is also a good reason.

My AR LS-26 preamp has 6 inputs plus a tape loop, all of which have both balanced and unbalanced inputs.and also multiple balanced and unbalanced outputs. For more details, see the ARCDB database.

It also has 102 volume control settings plus 3 gain range settings, all displayed on the display and remote controllable.

It also has a tube hours monitor and a whole list of other features. It is very nice-looking, too, and the display can be dimmed in 7 steps or shut off completely (comes back on when you hit any button on the remote). It only has two tubes, which are good for around 1000 hours between replacements.

The sound quality, with my Bryston 3B-SST2 amplifier, is to die for; the best I have ever heard.

I don't think the quality or reliability of old McIntosh gear is any where near as good, and the sound quality isn't even close.

You would also be better off with a separate phono preamp, like the Musical Fidelity V-LPS, which sounds very good and is very small and can be located out of sight.

As far as speakers, go, it is imposssible to recommend speakers unltil you state the physical size you need, the kind of listening you have in mind, your price range, and other requirements.

In general, I find that many B & W speakers are way overpriced relative to better-sounding competetive models from Vandersteen, PSB, Monitor Audio,  KEF, and others.

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