Originally Posted by raded
How is the MX150 for 2 channel playback? Would you recommend a pre amp w/pass through or is the MX150 sufficient alone???
The overall quality and features of the 151 makes it a superb high-end two channel preamp, though you will have divergent views on digital vs analog among other topics.
The 151 converts all signals to digital, including analog inputs. The benefit of this is the ability to use Room Perfect, which I find as important for two channel as I do for multi. This also permits use of the 151 crossovers and subs. Some argue they desire a pure analog path, which you will not get with the 151. And unless you have enormously capable full range mains, the use of well-integrated subs is important, especially if you listen to more contemporary mixes that go deep (I listen to Brian Eno, for example, and his mixes on a number of his more recent releases exercise my subs frequently).
Some prefer a tube-like sound; if so, then using the HT bypass modes of a mac tube amp, or anyone else's for that matter, is an option of course. But you're losing your subs and room perfect. (Well, you can add the 2 channel MEN-220 from McIntosh after the tube preamp to regain Room Perfect, but you're adding about $4,500 to your system course, introducing a/d/a conversion - you might as well stay in the 151 domain from the start).
I use a McIntosh D100 DAC to feed the 151 aiff files from a Mac mini, and enjoy it immensely.