What 2 channel should I get? And is McIntosh overated? - Page 11 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #301 of 326 Old 06-05-2014, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rlhaudio View Post

And salespeople can claim plausible deniability when they make statements that McIntosh units use more expensive components and bla bla bla. I guess Representatives for the companies can use the same claim. *sarcasm of course* In reality they may not be privy to that information themselves. I had a B&W rep demoing the 800 Diamond series speakers. He was justifying "why" they cost so much more than the competitors. I recall him stating the Diamond Tweeter costs B&W $5,000 for that single component. I of course asked if he was sure or was B&W misleading him. He stood by his word stating he was actually in England at the facility where they are built and is 100% certain. This was stated in front of a crowd of 20 or so people at a Hi-End store. So my next question was "If they cost $5,000 then B&W is giving away free speakers because the 805D at that time msrp for $5,000 per pair. Hmmmm

(I hope that didn't sound argumentative, I really am curious)

Are the representatives that work for these companies mislead which in turn inform the sales people which inform us? Who do we blame for the misinformation or when an item is re badged and sold? I'm just curious. I didn't mean to drag my point on but it would not have made sense otherwise.

There are incompetent people in every profession.

Sales reps are generally the best informed individuals in the industry for various reasons and a tremendous free consultant opportunity for an independent brick and motor.

This guy was a dolt no doubt. If the diamond cost 5 grand in addition to what you pointed out, all of the pricing would stand out as inexplicable.

What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
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post #302 of 326 Old 06-06-2014, 12:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post


There are incompetent people in every profession.

Agreed.
Quote:
Sales reps are generally the best informed individuals in the industry for various reasons and a tremendous free consultant opportunity for an independent brick and motor.

Sales reps vary a great deal in terms of their technical expertise. Part of that variation comes with the kind of sales jobs that they are in. For example sales reps that sell to technical people in industry are often very technically competent, but their expertise may be more or less than that of their customers. Millions of dollars can be at stake and it can make business sense to put some of your best people out front.

Sales reps usually have technical contacts working for the companies they represent backing them up, and these people are usually the real technical power houses.

The sales reps and the customers tend to move around between both groups somewhat fluidly, so on the average many of them are pretty comparable.

IME sales reps that work with retailers aren't always the sharpest knives in the drawer. Usually not nearly as much money is at stake.

Some people sell based on effective schmoozing, and some sell based on product knowledge, but most people are someplace in between.
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post #303 of 326 Old 06-15-2014, 12:30 PM
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Well that was money I was saving for a house deposit... but the photo of those cables does have a darker background and they also come in a velvet lined wooden box..



And a reviewer had this to say...

"If you are looking for a fairly subtle improvement from Odin you'll be wrong. The differences are massive." Alvin Gold, Hi-Fi Choice, The Collection 2007

So surely they are going to give me a much more natural organic sound than all the other cheaper rubbish..???
If money is no object, I'd buy the $600 cables AND the $38K cables.

Install the $600 cables and place the wooden box in the middle of your listening area on a pedestal with a soft light shining on them. If you can encase them like a fine piece of jewelry, then that would be even better.

Open up a bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 and sip and enjoy!

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post #304 of 326 Old 03-05-2016, 05:30 PM
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Well gents that was an interesting and entertaining read for the night. But was the poor guy's question answered?

Bed Room - B&W 805, Marantz Pearl Integrated Amp. (Current) B&W 805, McIntosh mc-275,Mark Levinson 390S as CD transport and Pre-Amp (Previous)
Theater Room - Klipsche Ultra II spks, Sunfire TS-EQ12 Dual 12" Sub, McIntosh mx-151, Bryston 9BSST THX, Oppo BDP-105DJPL, Sony VPL-520SE, SMX 120" 2.37:1 screen, ISCO ANAMORPHIC LENS(Current)
(Coming soon) Steinway and Lyndoff 2xS-15, 3xIW-26V, 2xModel LS
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post #305 of 326 Old 03-05-2016, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stephen_bj View Post
Well gents that was an interesting and entertaining read for the night. But was the poor guy's question answered?
42

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post #306 of 326 Old 03-06-2016, 09:12 AM
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There is nothing wrong with wanting something. The fact that the product won't perform any better than lesser priced products shouldn't deter you. Just like some people like expensive watches that don't tell time any better, some people like expensive amplifiers that don't perform better. If a Macintosh will make you happy, then have one. They make lots of other people happy.
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post #307 of 326 Old 05-09-2016, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by stephen_bj View Post
Well gents that was an interesting and entertaining read for the night.
No kidding. I'd also add bizarre to the list of adjectives. I came here looking for some information - possibly some wisdom. I don't know about the OP's Q - let's hope he got something out of it.

I recently picked up an MC152 - pretty low end for McI stuff, but what I needed. Are there suitable amps for less money that sound as good? I think the NAD M25 I just added sounds as good - maybe better in some ways. I think the Marantz MM8077 that I replaced was dreadful in comparison. Did I have a preconceived bias? No - actually it took me well over a year of dissatisfied listening to decide that the "way cool" marketed MM8077 that I thought would be the bomb was not so way cool for my setup.

Now I am really enjoying the system - what changed? The amp - that's all. That all amps sounds the same seems like some diabolical insider gag to vex people. You have a box full of components, with all sorts of competing topologies, various layouts, attention to detail or not - how could they possibly all sound the same? And someone attributes that to the speakers? Seriously, if I connect my same speakers to two different amps, all things being equal, and one system sounds better than the other - because of speaker interaction or not, it still comes down to something different with the amp - something I hear - I'll call it sound - and I'll call it different sound. At some point we're going to have connect them to some speakers, so how they interact is important.

So was the M152 worth it? Yes. Overrated - perhaps, depends on who is rating it. Was it expensive - "ish", but not crazy - not $38K cable crazy. There's crazy audio stuff, but McI is not that crazy (OK, their cables seem crazy too!).

And I was buying more than the MC152 amp - I knew that was going to be solid - too many years in a competitive industry at some point would have otherwise exposed the emperor's new clothes by now most likely. Solid amp, no B.S., but I was also buying into the heritage, the styling, those cool meters (which some don't like and that's fine, but I do). When I brought in the NAD to fill out the other channels, I tested it out for a few weeks also powering the mains and it was fantastic - as nice as the MC152. Had I purchased it before the McI, I probably would have stuck with it all the way around - but I am fond of the meters and for no good reason other than I like them and the amp sounds great and is built beautifully (as is the NAD for that matter). I had no bias there either - never even paid any attention to NAD products, but I was looking for an amp and it came up on the short list and all the research I did was encouraging - I got a 60 trial and it's a keeper.

So now I'm considering a C47 or a C52 to raise the game on my 2-channel listening - not whether to, but which. I was hoping this post would be helpful. Oh well...
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post #308 of 326 Old 05-11-2016, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by stevepow View Post
I recently picked up an MC152 - pretty low end for McI stuff, but what I needed. Are there suitable amps for less money that sound as good? I think the NAD M25 I just added sounds as good - maybe better in some ways. I think the Marantz MM8077 that I replaced was dreadful in comparison. Did I have a preconceived bias? No - actually it took me well over a year of dissatisfied listening to decide that the "way cool" marketed MM8077 that I thought would be the bomb was not so way cool for my setup.....

....So now I'm considering a C47 or a C52 to raise the game on my 2-channel listening - not whether to, but which. I was hoping this post would be helpful. Oh well...
Agree with this post and the statements earlier by FMW (watch comparison). I would equate a McIntosh or Bryston with a Tag-Heuer watch. Money well-spent on a quality product with pride of ownership.

Like many, planning the next upgrade. McIntosh is definitely on the list, but so is Diavalet. Old school vs new age.

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post #309 of 326 Old 05-11-2016, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by clpetersen View Post
Agree with this post and the statements earlier by FMW (watch comparison). I would equate a McIntosh or Bryston with a Tag-Heuer watch. Money well-spent on a quality product with pride of ownership. Don't mortgage the house or raid the kids college fund, but enjoy the hobby. Skip the diamond encrusted Rolex.

Like many, planning the next upgrade. McIntosh is definitely on the list, but so is Diavalet. Old school vs new age.
Interesting comparison with luxury watches. As a serious watch hobbyist TAG Heuer is a fairly mediocre brand at that level. Macintosh is much more like Rolex. Conservative, well built and recognizable.
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post #310 of 326 Old 05-11-2016, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
Interesting comparison with luxury watches. As a serious watch hobbyist TAG Heuer is a fairly mediocre brand at that level. Macintosh is much more like Rolex. Conservative, well built and recognizable.
Sounds like a fun tangent to go off on...

Yes, I would agree, I would equate TAG Heuer with maybe Pioneer or Denon. But then, one man's ceiling is always another man's floor.

Can start hanging out over here: https://www.hodinkee.com/
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post #311 of 326 Old 05-11-2016, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by stevepow View Post
So now I'm considering a C47 or a C52 to raise the game on my 2-channel listening - not whether to, but which. I was hoping this post would be helpful. Oh well...
I thought the C52 was impressive and I would most likely have bought it if I wanted to go SS. If you don't need the flexibility or connectivity options (or meters ) that the C52 provides, the C47 is a very nice option at an attractive price point.
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post #312 of 326 Old 05-11-2016, 09:42 PM
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Sounds like a fun tangent to go off on...

Yes, I would agree, I would equate TAG Heuer with maybe Pioneer or Denon. But then, one man's ceiling is always another man's floor.

Can start hanging out over here: https://www.hodinkee.com/
Watches are for the most part, after a point, jewelry - most of us have cell phones with damn good clocks. Not sure that applies to the McI, but in some ways it may. I have from Timex to Rolex and some Tags and Breitlings and others in between - and my phone. A good quartz will keep time like nothing else, but sometimes that is not the point. With audio, though, I'm not looking for some sort of quaint inaccuracy - but bullet proof performance with a killer pedigree like Rolex (not my fav watch otherwise) - there's something to be said for that.

I come from pro-audio where names like GML, Manley, Neve, SSL, Meyer Sound, Apogee, Mytek, Shure, Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, etc. are the go to components - brilliant pieces - with hundreds of feet of Mogami and Canare cables - the bits that all the recordings are made from in the first place. They sound right because they are right; like the right tools, they get the job done well. You buy them and use them and you are done - they deliver always, professionally. Consumer audio is a different world!

Stephen Powell | Marantz AV8802a | McIntosh MC152 | NAD M27 | Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 | ML Motion C/SL/SR | REL R-328 | Oppo BDP-105 | Sonos Connect
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post #313 of 326 Old 05-12-2016, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
Interesting comparison with luxury watches. As a serious watch hobbyist TAG Heuer is a fairly mediocre brand at that level. Macintosh is much more like Rolex. Conservative, well built and recognizable.
Good point. Clearly I am not a well-informed watch enthusiast. (btw, McIntosh). Which is somehow funny because I think Tag Heuer is expensive for watches, but McIntosh is not unreasonable for high-end audio.
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post #314 of 326 Old 05-12-2016, 10:53 AM
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Good point. Clearly I am not a well-informed watch enthusiast. (btw, McIntosh). Which is somehow funny because I think Tag Heuer is expensive for watches, but McIntosh is not unreasonable for high-end audio.
TAG is just scratching the surface...


Click image for larger version

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You can pick up a nice Urwerk UR-210 in the $175K - $200K range.

Or a UR- 1001 for around $400K.

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Last edited by b curry; 05-12-2016 at 11:02 AM.
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post #315 of 326 Old 05-12-2016, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by b curry View Post
TAG is just scratching the surface...


Attachment 1435282

You can pick up a nice Urwerk UR-210 in the $175K - $200K range.

Or a UR- 1001 for around $400K.

Attachment 1435290
Yes but TAG Heuer while being a well known and well made watch is definitely in a low tier among luxury mechanicals. For example, nicer brands with offerings under $10K include IWC, JLC, Zenith, Rolex, Girard Perregaux, Panerai among others. These are brands equivalent to say Marantz, Parasound, Denon, NAD and the like. Sorry, I'm not so up to date on modern electronics. Urwerk is more like D'Agostino.
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post #316 of 326 Old 05-12-2016, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
Yes but TAG Heuer while being a well known and well made watch is definitely in a low tier among luxury mechanicals. For example, nicer brands with offerings under $10K include IWC, JLC, Zenith, Rolex, Girard Perregaux, Panerai among others. These are brands equivalent to say Marantz, Parasound, Denon, NAD and the like. Sorry, I'm not so up to date on modern electronics. Urwerk is more like D'Agostino.
I think that was my point...
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post #317 of 326 Old 05-13-2016, 08:17 AM
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I think that was my point...
Just trying to give non-horology fans some perspective.
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post #318 of 326 Old 05-15-2016, 01:07 AM
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Quote:Originally Posted by Custom AudioDo tell us about how you raised your evaluations of these fine amplifiers above rank amateur status, and matched levels +/- 0.1 dB , provided quick switching at listener discretion, and made the tests double blind.
OMG - Another damned "measurer." Your own ears are more sensitive and accurate than all the measuring equipment in the world. Want proof? You're walking down the street & hear music from two streets over (in spite of the traffic & background noise), and you know INSTANTLY whether it's live or a recording. No doubt, no hesitation. Your ears can TELL. No measuring equipment in the world can come close to doing that, yet the "measurers" insist on the usual garbage again and again. A pox on them all!
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post #319 of 326 Old 05-15-2016, 01:12 AM
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I've owned McIntosh (and conrad-johnson, and Audio Research, and a bunch of other brands). Yes, some Mac gear DOES sound better (but only some, and you have to listen for yourself). That said, nobody can argue with McIntosh's quality. They work forever, give little trouble, and have authorized repair centers that can fix whatever breaks. Show me another make with a large chain of authorized repair centers - much less one that stocks parts for most everything they've ever made...

The cost isn't for everyone - the looks aren't for everyone (I prefer silver, myself) - but most say (and I agree) that "once you go Mac, you don't go back."
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post #320 of 326 Old 05-15-2016, 10:17 AM
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That is the great thing about McIntosh; they are kind of like BMW with their motorcycles.

Take in a bike from the 1960's and they have no problem repairing it unlike virtually every other brand out there.

Walk into a dealer with a 1960's Honda motorcycle, for example, and you'll hear, "we don't work on those anymore."

Never owned Mac but my Dad always did as I was growing up and they were mighty impressive whether in tube or transistor form.
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post #321 of 326 Old 05-17-2016, 09:41 AM
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I've owned some Mcintosh gear, the C2500 and MC452, and I'll share my humble opinion.

The found the styling among my favorites in market, however I have my gear in a cabinet so I dont look at it a whole lot.
I think for the money you can do better soundwise.
Resale value owning from new is no better than other higher end brands, so pretty crappy.

Quality is not extra ordinary in my book, I had numerous problems with my gear - some small annoying gremlins like a DAC freezing up and my C2500 died twice with the same error within 7-8 months of ownership, one of the repairs took more than a month.
When communicating with Mcintosh on several some well known issues, they could have been more honest and direct about their problems.
I feel a brand like Parasound has better and more honest customer service.

"Once you go Mac, you dont go back" does not apply for me, I will most likely never own a Mcintosh product again.

Im biased towards Audio research now, which has a policy of pushing towards new improvements every few years in most of their gear.
Some like this, some do not - however its pretty good for second hand owners.

On a lower budget, I'd find some Audio Research gear a few generations old in great condition for a huge discount towards retail instead of the latest & greatest.
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post #322 of 326 Old 05-17-2016, 09:56 AM
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you buy McIntosh because of the brand and the build quality not the sound quality. You can buy stuff half the price that sounds equally better but doesn't have the build or the prestige of ownership.
One day Id like to own all McIntosh

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post #323 of 326 Old 05-19-2016, 03:43 AM
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you buy McIntosh because of the brand and the build quality not the sound quality. You can buy stuff half the price that sounds equally better but doesn't have the build or the prestige of ownership.
One day Id like to own all McIntosh
I disagree - You might be able to find something that sounds as good, but probably NOT at half the price. Mac gear does sound really good. You could also spend as much or more and get something that DOESN'T sound as good as the Mac.

Your money, your choice.
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post #324 of 326 Old 05-19-2016, 10:22 AM
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I recently moved to a McIntosh tube pre-amp and, based on sound quality alone, it will not be leaving my rack. It is very, very quiet and extremely detailed with excellent imaging. We'll see how their newer models stand up over time, but initial impressions (about 50 hours so far) are quite favorable.
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post #325 of 326 Old 05-20-2016, 04:29 AM
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Quote:Originally Posted by shortyg83

IMHO, how your system ultimately sounds will have little to nothing to do with your choice in amplifier. ..Separates, AVR's (without room correction), integrateds, am/fm receivers (still a few being made) will ALL sound the same provided they are not being over-driven into distortion. ..This will come sooner for lower powered units than higher ones, but unless you buy some horrifically inefficient speakers, even a 50 watt amp is likely to be more than enough. ..The quality of your system has much more to do with your choice in speakers AND (even more importantly) your listening environment, and how you integrate the two. There are lots of articles on the web about getting the most out of your speakers. ..CD players, DAC's, Satellite tuners, etc.. at least to this audiophile all sound pretty much the same these days.

If you prefer the ergonomics of an integrated amplifier (selector switches and dials on faceplate, etc) to the drap look of an A/V Receiver, the you'll probably end up paying more. ..Good reasonably affordable choices include Onkyo, NAD, Rotel, etc.. ..If you only looking to maximize SQ at minimal cost, then go with an inexpensive A/V Receiver.

Really strange how people perceive sound differently. I notice a really big difference in sound quality between my Marantz sr6010 receiver and Hegel H80 integrated amp and I'm by no means an audiofile. I bought the Hegel mainly to get the full atmos experience, but was really shocked about the difference in sound quality when listening to two channel music. Virtually no listening fatigue with the Hegel compared to the Marantz's shrill sound. The difference is between acceptable quality and wow.


To say that there is no difference in sound quality between a low end receiver and high end integrated amp or high end separates is wrong. However the difference in sound quality is probably only incremental if you compare with a quality integrated amp and expensive high end amp/separates. I also completely agree that the speakers and room are more important than the electronics. The best upgrade I've done was to acoustically treat my room.
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post #326 of 326 Old 05-20-2016, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Sallex View Post
Really strange how people perceive sound differently. I notice a really big difference in sound quality between my Marantz sr6010 receiver and Hegel H80 integrated amp and I'm by no means an audiofile. I bought the Hegel mainly to get the full atmos experience, but was really shocked about the difference in sound quality when listening to two channel music. Virtually no listening fatigue with the Hegel compared to the Marantz's shrill sound. The difference is between acceptable quality and wow.


To say that there is no difference in sound quality between a low end receiver and high end integrated amp or high end separates is wrong. However the difference in sound quality is probably only incremental if you compare with a quality integrated amp and expensive high end amp/separates. I also completely agree that the speakers and room are more important than the electronics. The best upgrade I've done was to acoustically treat my room.

I bought a Hegel H100 about a year ago and have been very very pleased with how it sounds. Now, maybe it's a little too 'no frills' for me, but I'm actually considering a H360.


And for those looking at ARC, new or used, it's probably best to stick with their tube stuff. Their solid state stuff has never been that highly regarded. Some of their hybrid pre amps are fine, but amps .... tube. That's their core competency.
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