McIntosh MX-121 - any thoughts? - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 651 Old 03-11-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racer59 View Post


I'd love to get this unit myself, yet the fear that the possibility exists about a rebadge has me concerned.

If you are interested in A/B when you get your 121 feel free to PM me as I own a 7005 and am in San Diego.

Let's do it. PM ON THE WAY.

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post #152 of 651 Old 03-11-2012, 10:40 AM
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I just compared all the specs in the manuals of the marantz av7005 and the mx121....they're very different. Not to mention rear layout is different and the Mac chassis is larger, over 3 inches deeper and 8 pounds heavier.

I can see why people might think tha based on the huge price reduction, but unless I'm missing something, the components in these pieces are very different (Freq response, SN ratio, rated output, input sensitivity, d/a output)..

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post #153 of 651 Old 03-11-2012, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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It was merely a rumor that isn't true, but it spread because that is what rumors do.

The components are quite different. They may have a few ancillary things in common, like the remote, or the menu layout, etc., but when it comes to that which matters - the audio-producing/processing hardware itself - these are very different beasts.
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post #154 of 651 Old 03-12-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

We just received 2 of 3 ordered MX-121 processors today. I might have to open one and see what it looks like (one is sold and the other...maybe).

B.

Ok, so we got our 3rd unit in this morning. Looks like all those waiting should be getting them real soon (as that unit was ordered in 2012). I haven't heard back from one of the customers so I'll be opening it up today.

If anyone in the L.A. area is interested I have one new in the box for you if you want...We are the dealer with "Ah" as the first two letters in the store name.

I'll try and post some pictures.

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post #155 of 651 Old 03-13-2012, 05:20 PM
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I received a call from my dealer today that my unit is in. i am having it and the MC205 delivered and installed along with new B&W 805D's on Friday.
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post #156 of 651 Old 03-13-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robryan View Post

I received a call from my dealer today that my unit is in. i am having it and the MC205 delivered and installed along with new B&W 805D's on Friday.

Awesome, congrats! Let us know how it is, and take pix!

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post #157 of 651 Old 03-13-2012, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

Looks like all those waiting should be getting them real soon.

Indeed. I have the tracking number for my 121 - it arrives this morning (Wed).
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post #158 of 651 Old 03-13-2012, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post


Indeed. I have the tracking number for my 121 - it arrives this morning (Wed).

Soooo, we can expect a review and pix by noon???

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post #159 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

Indeed. I have the tracking number for my 121 - it arrives this morning (Wed).

Great, I think I speak of all when we are waiting for a full write up on this unit in comparison to what you had.

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post #160 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robryan View Post

I received a call from my dealer today that my unit is in. i am having it and the MC205 delivered and installed along with new B&W 805D's on Friday.

You will love the combo of the Mac gear with the B&W speakers. I use to own the MC207, the 119 and B&W 803's and they jammed to together. The best sounding combo I have ever owned and still regret to this day selling them off especially the amp and the B&W's.

Enjoy and send pics when you get everything hooked up and running.
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post #161 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 01:14 PM
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I guess I'm not able to post pictures directly to the forum anymore. If anyone is interested in hosting some pictures of the inside of the preamp, PM me and I'll email you the pictures.

B.
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post #162 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 01:53 PM
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Here are the interior pix:
LL
LL

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post #163 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
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121 is in the house and being set up (using the web interface makes this a breeze). I had to stop for a bit but listened for 10 minutes. First impressions are very good. It's being used with a Krell amp and my reference track sounds great. It's warmer than the Krell it's replacing, which is to be expected. Is it better? Way to early to say, but it's going to be a close race, I know that much. The Marantz I had for a day isn't even in this league - those wondering if the 121 is a re-badge can rest assured.

Two things to point out during the install - the remote takes AAA batteries but the unit shipped with AA. Doh!

Also, the box is huge, but there's a box within a box within a box (the hardware for the microphone is in its own box within the shipping carton), and the unit itself is a typical size/weight.

More to come...
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post #164 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

121 is in the house and being set up (using the web interface makes this a breeze). I had to stop for a bit but listened for 10 minutes. First impressions are very good. It's being used with a Krell amp and my reference track sounds great. It's warmer than the Krell it's replacing, which is to be expected. Is it better? Way to early to say, but it's going to be a close race, I know that much. The Marantz I had for a day isn't even in this league - those wondering if the 121 is a re-badge can rest assured.

Two things to point out during the install - the remote takes AAA batteries but the unit shipped with AA. Doh!

Also, the box is huge, but there's a box within a box within a box (the hardware for the microphone is in its own box within the shipping carton), and the unit itself is a typical size/weight.

More to come...

HELL YEAH. I'm sending a PM your way...

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post #165 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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So far I'm a fan of the video scaler. Everything looks better. Sound is definitely softer than the Krell. Still deciding if that's bad, good, or neither.

Switching between HDMI sources takes about 7 seconds for both audio and video to switch, configure, and stabilize. With certain "Auto" video functionality turned off it would likely be faster, but I prefer having this on.
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post #166 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

It's warmer than the Krell it's replacing, which is to be expected. Is it better? Way to early to say, but it's going to be a close race, I know that much.

You expected it, therefore you "heard" it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

The Marantz I had for a day isn't even in this league - those wondering if the 121 is a re-badge can rest assured.

While it's clearly not a rebadge (Prof. Rubinson posted a pic of the back panel early in this thread, and it's clearly a different layout), I'd bet money that nobody would hear the slightest difference between them without knowing in advance which one was playing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

(the hardware for the microphone is in its own box within the shipping carton)

.

That's an interesting observation. Does McIntosh supply a nicer-looking mic than the typical Audyssey tower. Or an Anthem ARC-style package with a tripod and such? That would be a nice value-add.

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post #167 of 651 Old 03-14-2012, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
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My life would be so much simpler if I could succumb to that type of negligence. For that reason, I sometimes envy the Luddite's logic, but I'm thankful that my radar casts a larger net. Life is less simple, but much, much better. However, I do have ears deaf from one axiom: "it's all in your head." That's an ignorant assumption shouted from darkness.

To those interested in the point of this thread, I intend to fire up the room correction software tomorrow and see where it takes me. I'd originally intended to keep the 121 stock for a few days - sans eq - to compare, but what's the point. I'm anxious to get where I'm going, less interested in the road itself.
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post #168 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

My life would be so much simpler if I could succumb to that type of negligence.

First, I notice you didn't answer an actual question about the product: you wrote that "(the hardware for the microphone is in its own box within the shipping carton)." I asked for clarification. After all, the same could be said about the $400 MSRP Denon 1712. (Which, at least on efficient and easy to drive speakers, won't sound different from the Mac 121 if the same care is used in calibrating their common Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction software. Though there are many obvious non-sonic reasons to prefer the Mac part over the cheap AVR, I feel compelled to add as a caveat.) But that's quite different from the separate box that comes with an Anthem ARC-bearing product, which includes the microphone, software, a tripod, etc.

Instead of answering an actual question, you went off with some half-cocked flight-of-fancy nonsense. Also, unfortunately your grasp of audio is not exceeded by your grasp of English.

Do you actually know what "negligence" means?

It means, to paraphrase, "breach of a duty to use due care, which actually and proximately causes an injury, resulting in damages."

Please tell me where any of those elements appear above?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

However, I do have ears deaf from one axiom: "it's all in your head." That's an ignorant assumption shouted from darkness.

Again, your command of English diction is proving shaky.

Since you mentioned "ignorance," let's look at some actual facts. The things that audiophools routinely claim to "hear" all of a sudden disappear when they don't actually know what they're listening to. That has happened every time it has been tested, except when there has been an actual and fairly large compared to tolerances on modern gear measurable difference in FR, noise, broadband level, bit depth (14-bit or lower, compared to 16-bit or higher) or some other similar factor.

Here is a representative data point. Perhaps you were not around to read the late Mr. Zipser's puffery before the test, but it was amusing. (Yes, that was Pass Labs parts, and not Mac parts. Do you really think the outcome would be any different if it had been Mac parts instead of Pass parts?)

However, when sonic differences actually exist, such listening tests have also proven to be the most resolving way of identifying them reliably and repeatably. A good example here is the body of work that has established the existence of bona fide audible differences in various lossy digital audio compression codecs, under various circumstances.

Based on that body of facts, what I wrote was therefore not an assumption, but a reasonable inference. And "ignorance" is simply being unaware of the data, or worse being aware of it and willfully pretending it doesn't exist.

Words matter. Use them with due care. It is not, however, "negligence" in this case, because the breach of your duty to use them with due care does not result in anything that can reasonably called an "injury."

That said, enjoy your McIntosh part. It's one of the more attractive-looking processor out there (aesthetics do, of course, vary, unlike sonics with modern audio electronics not intended to be signal processors), and the company certainly builds its parts to a high standard.

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post #169 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
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These are some of the strangest diatribes I've ever read, and I've read some mind-blowers. Sorry, but your bait, however persistent, isn't enticing enough for me to consider readdressing a post which requires no revisions or amendments. Maybe someone else will play with you.

To others: many forums have an ignore feature. If possible here, how?
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post #170 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

These are some of the strangest diatribes I've ever read, and I've read some mind-blowers. Sorry, but your bait, however persistent, isn't enticing enough for me to consider readdressing a post which requires no revisions or amendments. Maybe someone else will play with you.

To others: many forums have an ignore feature. If possible here, how?

Bizarre is right. DS-21, since you don't have this product, and clearly you're not interested in it, maybe you shouldn't post in this thread? Just a thought...

Elambo, keep it up...I, for one, am very interested in your findings and thoughts. They're your feelings on the MX-121 and I don't see how someone else can tell you what "you're thinking"...

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post #171 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
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To others: many forums have an ignore feature. If possible here, how?

it's in the User CP, on the left side.

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post #172 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

That's an interesting observation. Does McIntosh supply a nicer-looking mic than the typical Audyssey tower. Or an Anthem ARC-style package with a tripod and such? That would be a nice value-add.

It's black, looks the same although I don't know if it is calibrated differently and comes with a black, metal, good quality standard microphone stand.

B.
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post #173 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post


It's black, looks the same although I don't know if it is calibrated differently and comes with a black, metal, good quality standard microphone stand.

B.

I think there's a stand or a tripod also.
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post #174 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

These are some of the strangest diatribes I've ever read, and I've read some mind-blowers. Sorry, but your bait, however persistent, isn't enticing enough for me to consider readdressing a post which requires no revisions or amendments. Maybe someone else will play with you.

To others: many forums have an ignore feature. If possible here, how?

Just ignore DS-21. He treats everyone on these forums (and others) like garbage. I pity him.

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post #175 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, it does come with a mic stand. I was pleasantly surprised.
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post #176 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Truth be told, I've been struggling... searching for ways to make this thing sound better. It has been a bit veiled and even thin at times. I mentioned that it didn't have the same weight and force as the Krell. Going through my usual albums that has remained true. Well-recorded movies, like Fight Club (or most anything directed David Fincher), which sound clear and articulate on other systems where, again, a bit lacking. Thin and veiled, I have to say it again. And the sound stage is narrower than I'm used to. At times, it will extend beyond the speakers, but it's rare. The Krell was rarely inside of them. And dialogue is a bit compressed and closed-off. Not as open as I'm used to. Not as much as I want it to be.

Given, I've not touched the room correction, but the Krell had none whatsoever so it's still apples-to-apples. I've been going through all the setting to check for unwanted processing. It all looks gravy. I have a very clean path.

I've been frustrated. For ~$6K it should come damn close to the Krell. It hasn't. I've been thinking about returning it, though I want to give it more time.

Then I thought that I should consider running this balanced. The Krell used Silver Streak RCAs (unbalanced) and sounded excellent, so I stuck with that. Because I was at wit's end, and because the experiment would only take 2 minutes, I decided to grab the XLRs from my Accuphase system. They're WAY overkill (@ about $1K per cable), but it's an experiment, so why not.

Well, scratch all I said earlier. The veil, the thinness, the compression, the narrow sound stage, the lack of weight. Cancel that -- it's all there now. I don't know how much of this is due to the fact that it's now running balanced instead of unbalanced and how much is due to the fact that these cables are top notch, but I'm now ecstatic about what I'm hearing. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's still not as "powerful" as the Krell, but it's also warmer (i.e. less clinical) and I'm learning to like that. A lot, actually. It's very... musical (there, I said it). I've never owned a McIntosh, or other pres which are generally considered warm, so I'll need some time to adapt. But I think I'll adapt nicely.

AirPlay is a godsend. Open iTunes, output to McIntosh, and you're off. Or, better yet, use Decibel. I'm also sending it the 96KHz version of Diana Krall's "Love Scenes." Sounds great!

Those Transparent Audio XLRs will have to go back, so I'll be searching for a replacement. It seems that this Mac strongly prefers to run balanced (or maybe the Krell amp prefers to see the balanced signal on the way in), much more so than any other pre I've used. Not a problem - it's a better signal path anyway.

It's still very much the honeymoon. More to come...
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post #177 of 651 Old 03-15-2012, 11:02 PM
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My dealer was sure to tell me I needed to use balanced cables with this thing. Sounds like that was good advice. I should have mine on Sarurday.

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post #178 of 651 Old 03-16-2012, 12:41 AM
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Hi All,

Got my MX121 today to replace my AV7005 (of course running it with XLR cables) omg what a difference!!!! I was first very skeptical if I can hear a difference, since looking at the remote and UI it's identical to the AV7005. I can now say I'm complete.... One thing is, I could not for the life of me find how I can add Rhapsody.. Pls help...
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post #179 of 651 Old 03-16-2012, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

Truth be told, I've been struggling... searching for ways to make this thing sound better. It has been a bit veiled and even thin at times. I mentioned that it didn't have the same weight and force as the Krell. Going through my usual albums that has remained true. Well-recorded movies, like Fight Club (or most anything directed David Fincher), which sound clear and articulate on other systems where, again, a bit lacking. Thin and veiled, I have to say it again. And the sound stage is narrower than I'm used to. At times, it will extend beyond the speakers, but it's rare. The Krell was rarely inside of them. And dialogue is a bit compressed and closed-off. Not as open as I'm used to. Not as much as I want it to be.

Given, I've not touched the room correction, but the Krell had none whatsoever so it's still apples-to-apples. I've been going through all the setting to check for unwanted processing. It all looks gravy. I have a very clean path.

I've been frustrated. For ~$6K it should come damn close to the Krell. It hasn't. I've been thinking about returning it, though I want to give it more time.

Then I thought that I should consider running this balanced. The Krell used Silver Streak RCAs (unbalanced) and sounded excellent, so I stuck with that. Because I was at wit's end, and because the experiment would only take 2 minutes, I decided to grab the XLRs from my Accuphase system. They're WAY overkill (@ about $1K per cable), but it's an experiment, so why not.

Well, scratch all I said earlier. The veil, the thinness, the compression, the narrow sound stage, the lack of weight. Cancel that -- it's all there now. I don't know how much of this is due to the fact that it's now running balanced instead of unbalanced and how much is due to the fact that these cables are top notch, but I'm now ecstatic about what I'm hearing. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's still not as "powerful" as the Krell, but it's also warmer (i.e. less clinical) and I'm learning to like that. A lot, actually. It's very... musical (there, I said it). I've never owned a McIntosh, or other pres which are generally considered warm, so I'll need some time to adapt. But I think I'll adapt nicely.

AirPlay is a godsend. Open iTunes, output to McIntosh, and you're off. Or, better yet, use Decibel. I'm also sending it the 96KHz version of Diana Krall's "Love Scenes." Sounds great!

Those Transparent Audio XLRs will have to go back, so I'll be searching for a replacement. It seems that this Mac strongly prefers to run balanced (or maybe the Krell amp prefers to see the balanced signal on the way in), much more so than any other pre I've used. Not a problem - it's a better signal path anyway.

It's still very much the honeymoon. More to come...

Elambo you seem like a sensible guy, but it bothers me that you say that first it sounded bland and then you changed to XLR and all of a sudden the sound was that much better. Can I trust your senses? It shouldn't make that much difference.
I am saying this mostly because I have expensive (RCA) cables and was not planing on having to change them for XLR.
Also did you change all channels to XLR? As the surrounds could not possibly earn anything from using XLRs.
I want my MX121 NOW. So I can give my judgement on it.
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post #180 of 651 Old 03-16-2012, 09:22 AM
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I can attest the noise floor improvement alone going with XLR is worth it.

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