Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: mid-atlantic region of US
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..Or perhaps an NAD C375Bee for 1/2 the price of the Krell, or maybe an Onkyo A/V receiver for 1/2 the price of the NAD, or even an AudioSource for 1/2 the price of the Onkyo!
My personal feeling is that there are lot's of offerings that are far less than the McIntosh that sound the same. Indeed, so it goes these days: ..modern amps when operating within their design limits sound pretty much alike. Still... there are some solid reasons for buying McIntosh. To wit:
- Build quality. The unique feel of the knobs, switches, metal-work, glass-panel, etc.. is unmistakeable. Like those who buy an expensive watch even though they know it's no better at time-keeping, I enjoy the stellar fit/finish of this beautiful McIntosh amp every time I use it.
- Wattage Meters: Though perhaps not 100% accurate (McIntosh claims them to be >98% accurate) and often dismissed as needless, I love being able to refer to the meters to make sure that I'm well below the danger zone with respect to my speakers. ..But as I've said, thus far I have yet to move them past 30 watts and at that level it is crazy loud.
- Bass/ Treble/ Balance/ Mono controls are included with EVERY pre-amp and integrated amp. I can't fathom how any music-lover could abide owning gear that doesn't have this. ..The often made claim that these features negatively affect the sound, even when they are not in use, is pure audiophile quackery. ..When zero'd or off, they do NO harm, but when listening to a poorly recorded song (or a song with gimmicky stereo imaging) they can make the music soooo much more enjoyable.
- Heritage. I absolutely love the fact that Mac gear has been made for so long and through all the years a common aesthetic has been preserved. To me, the black glass face, silver-edged knobs, and backlit green lettering is striking without being gaudy.
- Hand-built in the USA. I'm no "Made In China" basher; indeed, I own tons of foreign built stuff and make no apologies for it. …That said, it's nice to own something built here in the US just 3 hours from my home.