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Mcintosh Owners...

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I am looking to upgrade my B&K amps to Mcintosh amps and would love to hear which ones you have and your thoughts on the role they play in your system. I am considering the MC601s for the front L/R/C or just the L/R and a different Mcintosh amp for the center. Also, would you keep the amps all the same across the front three speakers or could you mix them with a different wattage amp for the center.

So let me know what you have, and what you think!

Thanks,
Jim
post #2 of 32
If you are doing 5.1, you could use the MC303 for center and surrounds. I believe you mentioned that. Most of the Mcintosh owners frequent two Mcintosh forums.
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information. This has been a big question of mine from the beginning, and one I have not gotten a definitive answer too which is can I run the MC601's for the mains and the MC303 for the center and the surrounds, or do I need three MC601's and leave the surrounds to my older B&K amps for now. And upgrade the surrounds later.

It boils down to do the front three speakers need to be of the same wattage or may I mix it up. We all know that you want to use the same similar speakers across the front three, but what about the amps that run them? It is not a money issue because you can pay about 14-15K for three MC601's or you can pay about 16 -17K for two MC601's and one MC303.

So those who know speak up, or for ever hold your peace.

Thanks,
Jim
post #4 of 32
Jim,

You can technically mix and match amp and power ratings. If you do an sudio set up with the correct 75DB rating you will have no issue. a 100 watt amp and 200 watt amp are 1/10 dif on max output for DB rating. so the 200 watt will be louder but only if not set up correctly.

I have used a Mac 207 in the past with Marantz MA-700s (200 watts each) and once set correctly you cannot tell the difference.

I do recommend the same amp company and size for the RL and C channels, but that is just me.. i.e. no proff that that is best. B&K made great amps and pre/pro so I do not think keeping those for right now will be an issue.
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
I called a tech rep for Mcintosh, and Michael Kelly owner of Aerial Acoustic speakers and asked them what set up is the best ie... 3(MC601's) for LCR speakers, or 2(601's) and 1(MC303) for the LCR and surround speakers, and they both said you can go either way but the Mcintosh rep leaned towards the latter and MK leaned towards the first option.

I think I am leaning towards 3(MC601's). I will just use my B&K amps for now on the surrounds and maybe down the road I might consider upgrading them. Now I need to try to find a place that can give me a great and fair deal on these amps.

Thanks David for chiming in.

Jim
post #6 of 32
I use 2 601's and a 303 for center and surrounds. A great combo.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Ron View Post

I use 2 601's and a 303 for center and surrounds. A great combo.

That makes good sense to me but personally I'd use 3 601's across the front and a 452 for the rear.

Money issues always alters a great plan however.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

That makes good sense to me but personally I'd use 3 601's across the front and a 452 for the rear.

Money issues always alters a great plan however.

I don't think I need that kind of power for my center speaker, nor did I have the room for the extra component. That would be a nice combo though.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
I went ahead today and placed my order for my McIntosh amps. I will be getting three MC601's, and one MC452 sometime in the first week of December! To say the least I am very excited! I have thought about this for a long time, and this will be my first purchased of McIntosh products!

IMHO this purchased is a little excessive or over kill for my needs. My B&W DS6 surrounds do not need 450 watts or 600 watts for my Aerial Acoustic 7B's, which by the way I am very happy with the performance of my current speakers. As I have said earlier, I may upgrade my speakers at a later date to see if I can take it to another level which is what I am trying with the MC amps. One of the front runners are Aerial Acoustic's 20T 2Vs and CC5. Phone conversations with Michael Kelly, CEO of AA, says his speakers thrive off of power, and he loves the combo of his speakers with MciIntosh amps.

It came down to four options:
1. 3 601s, wait until later for surround amp
2. 2 601s, and 303
3. 3 601s, and 302
4. 3 601s, and 452

The difference in price between number 2,3, and 4 was fairly substantial but not over whelming. The biggest factor with not choosing option #1 is that I would have to reorganize my MA rack,(which is a major job) and have ARC done twice. I have to hire out running ARC because my wife, (I do not blame her) does not want the ARC software installed on her MacBook pro...

I also picked number 4 because it is kind of like sports cars in that you may not use all of that horsepower very often, but it is nice to have it when you do call upon it. And the biggest reason for this purchase is that I get so much enjoyment and thrill from my home theater that I just want to see if I can take it to the next level and take it over the top!!! Hopefully these McIntosh amps will be a big part in doing just that.

I feel very fortunate to be able to get these beautiful amps, especially when so many are out of work with this economy. Hopefully, things will improve for all.

I want to thank everyone else who has chimed in and given some very valuable advice.

I look forward to seeing some over size boxes under my tree very soon, but maybe not so much when the credit card bill comes due

Thanks again,
Jim
post #10 of 32
Congratulations! The Mac gear holds its value. If you ever decide to sell, it sells easily. You could recover most of your money. I doubt you will want to sell. You should be happy for many years with those amps.
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Congratulations! The Mac gear holds its value. If you ever decide to sell, it sells easily. You could recover most of your money. I doubt you will want to sell. You should be happy for many years with those amps.

Thanks! You have been a huge help in this process... Much appreciated!
Thanks for turning me on to AA, it was a good place to ask questions on McIntosh equipment. Hopefully it will take my system to the next level...
post #12 of 32
Good call on option 4! The rack is going to be awesome with the lights out
post #13 of 32
Having 3 monoblocks up front is the best choice you could have made because with movies the center channel is used frequently.

I had recently used 3 MC501's and a cheap rotel for the surrounds until tearing down for two channel listening only. You'll be very happy with the monoblocks!

what speakers are you running?
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyleh215 View Post

Good call on option 4! The rack is going to be awesome with the lights out

Thanks. I am excited on what these amps will do for my HT. However, the MC601s are on back order and even though I placed my order on Monday the week of Thanksgiving they will not arrive until probably beginning of January.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelz View Post

Having 3 monoblocks up front is the best choice you could have made because with movies the center channel is used frequently.

I had recently used 3 MC501's and a cheap rotel for the surrounds until tearing down for two channel listening only. You'll be very happy with the monoblocks!

what speakers are you running?

I have heard good thinks about the MC501s. I am running Aerial Acoustic 7B's for LR, CC3B for C, and B&W DS6 surrounds. May upgrade speakers later, but for now I am really happy with the performance they give. As I have said earlier, I bought the amps and will consider upgrading speakers only because I get so much enjoyment from my HT with BR movies and concerts that I am trying to take it to the next level to see if it can get any better.

I hope your right that these monoblocks will deliver. They are not cheap so my expectations are high...
post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
Picked up my amps today. Had to leave two of the outside boxes for a return visit because four Mac amps with exterior boxes do not fit into our SUV. They were a beast getting them out of the SUV. If it was a bag of sand it would not have been important how I layed it down, but with these babies I did not want to do the old Fed Ex throw the computer over the fence trick! Carried one MC601 up the stairs and my wife talked me out of carring the rest. Will wait for some reinforcements. We used a dolly from the car to the front door, but we were concerned on scraping the hard wood stairs so one up for now and three to go up at a later date.

It will be awhile before they are rack mounted. My MA dealer wanted me personally to measure them and not trust the McIntosh manual measurements. I did not help much when I said earlier to add a few millameters to keep them from scraping the sides. So the shelves / face plates will be ordered tomorrow. Since my rep did not know where exactly for me to measure, I called MA and they said that McIntosh is the only company that they will use the measurements in their manuals, the rest of the companies they do not trust or have had bad luck.

It will be a full day maybe more for me to tear down 80% of my racks and reconfigure them. I may need a second person just because of the weight of these blue babies... For now I will check out the Mac book ... for the love of mucic... and just stare at these beautiful blue lights on my desk!

Here are a couple of photos for anyone interested!
LL
LL
post #16 of 32
Congratulations! Looks like a great Christmas even if that's not why you bought them.
post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Congratulations! Looks like a great Christmas even if that's not why you bought them.

Thanks again... Happy Holidays!
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Ron View Post

I don't think I need that kind of power for my center speaker, nor did I have the room for the extra component. That would be a nice combo though.

LOL, nothing McIntosh does is a "need."

It's a want.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trek737 View Post

Picked up my amps today. Had to leave two of the outside boxes for a return visit because four Mac amps with exterior boxes do not fit into our SUV. They were a beast getting them out of the SUV. If it was a bag of sand it would not have been important how I layed it down, but with these babies I did not want to do the old Fed Ex throw the computer over the fence trick! Carried one MC601 up the stairs and my wife talked me out of carring the rest. Will wait for some reinforcements. We used a dolly from the car to the front door, but we were concerned on scraping the hard wood stairs so one up for now and three to go up at a later date.

It will be awhile before they are rack mounted. My MA dealer wanted me personally to measure them and not trust the McIntosh manual measurements. I did not help much when I said earlier to add a few millameters to keep them from scraping the sides. So the shelves / face plates will be ordered tomorrow. Since my rep did not know where exactly for me to measure, I called MA and they said that McIntosh is the only company that they will use the measurements in their manuals, the rest of the companies they do not trust or have had bad luck.

It will be a full day maybe more for me to tear down 80% of my racks and reconfigure them. I may need a second person just because of the weight of these blue babies... For now I will check out the Mac book ... for the love of mucic... and just stare at these beautiful blue lights on my desk!

Here are a couple of photos for anyone interested!

This is simply as good as life gets.

We will "need" more photos!

During set up and upon completion.
post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

LOL, nothing McIntosh does is a "need."

It's a want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

This is simply as good as life gets.

We will "need" more photos!

During set up and upon completion.

I will have to agree on all of the above comments. Had a great Christmas with my relatives who flew in yesterday. Hope every one had a good Christmas day!

Jim
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trek737 View Post

I will have to agree on all of the above comments. Had a great Christmas with my relatives who flew in yesterday. Hope every one had a good Christmas day!

Jim

Thanks, I had a great one also. I got myself a new audio room! (Extention on house just for audio/vidio is complete and was used!)
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trek737 View Post

Picked up my amps today. Had to leave two of the outside boxes for a return visit because four Mac amps with exterior boxes do not fit into our SUV. They were a beast getting them out of the SUV. If it was a bag of sand it would not have been important how I layed it down, but with these babies I did not want to do the old Fed Ex throw the computer over the fence trick! Carried one MC601 up the stairs and my wife talked me out of carring the rest. Will wait for some reinforcements. We used a dolly from the car to the front door, but we were concerned on scraping the hard wood stairs so one up for now and three to go up at a later date.

It will be awhile before they are rack mounted. My MA dealer wanted me personally to measure them and not trust the McIntosh manual measurements. I did not help much when I said earlier to add a few millameters to keep them from scraping the sides. So the shelves / face plates will be ordered tomorrow. Since my rep did not know where exactly for me to measure, I called MA and they said that McIntosh is the only company that they will use the measurements in their manuals, the rest of the companies they do not trust or have had bad luck.

It will be a full day maybe more for me to tear down 80% of my racks and reconfigure them. I may need a second person just because of the weight of these blue babies... For now I will check out the Mac book ... for the love of mucic... and just stare at these beautiful blue lights on my desk!

Here are a couple of photos for anyone interested!

Congratulations. What a nice Christmas gift.
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

Thanks, I had a great one also. I got myself a new audio room! (Extention on house just for audio/vidio is complete and was used!)

Wow fantastic! So where do I go to see photos of this dedicated room? I would love to see it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Ron View Post

Congratulations. What a nice Christmas gift.

Ron, thanks again for all of your great advice... Happy Holidays!
post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 
My first listening experience with the new (3) MC601s and (1) MC452 amps.

I went into this experiment on trying to take my HT to the next level. I had heard from a few HT enthusiast that an amp is an amp and save your money... or better yet put it towards your speakers. I was basically taking a leap of faith that if I bought higher end amps, basically ones that are supposed to be better than say my B&K amps and cost a lot more money, that I was going to hear a difference. There is really no way to test this out at a retail store because they are not going to have all of the variables that you have at your home. And no dealer that I ran across in Houston has 3 601's and a 452 just sitting around for me to take home and demo much less would I be able to tear down two 69" MA racks to hook these bad boys up.

Lets also remember that I was very happy with the performance of my HT and my B&K amps.

So enough of the small talk this is what I actually heard:

First up was a Disney movie, Prince of Persia. Whether you like it or not is irrelevant, it is a typical Disney movie with great surround sound. I immediately noticed the sound out of my mains was fuller, deeper, and had a larger sound stage. When a group of horsemen came galloping on their horses down a dirt road from right to left on the screen it sounded more intense, and with purpose. The vocals where a little bit clearer but all of the sounds I heard where more distinct, sharper, and with more meaning.

As the movie progressed with knives being flown across the room, or the whip snapping several times in the air it was the first OMG experience with these amps. I was hearing brand new sounds that my HT system had never played before. So I told my non audiophile wife that at times I would hear things that I had not heard before, but I did not tell her what it was. Well even she immediately noticed these scenes and commented on how much better it sounded, and agreed that these sounds were not present previously. By the way she was against me buying these amps for we have plenty of places to spend that kind of money when it comes to decorating our new home.

I felt like I was being more thoroughly entertained with this movie playing with these new amps. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this movie, and liked it a lot more than I did the first time I saw it.

Next up was a blu ray concert by David Foster called Hit Man. If you do not have it I would recommend it among others like Andrea Bocelli live in Tuscany. I noticed that the band sounded better. The notes from the orchestra had more punch, with a more fuller and dramatic sound. I have heard others mention earlier about monoblocks having headroom, which I was not familiar with. But what I noticed now was the music seem to fill the room from the top of the ceiling to the bottom of the floor and touch the side walls and completely encase me. So if that is the headroom he was talking about now I get it. The vocals also seemed smoother, and more alive. The whole concert seemed like they were in the room with us.

The biggest compliment that I can say is that I have heard this Blu ray, Hit Man, many many times and listening to it with these new amps was like I was listening to it for the first time!

I am looking forward to hearing more on what these amps can bring to my HT. But for now I am very happy! Wife says it sounds so good that there is no need to upgrade the speakers!

Even though the racks are not in my theater I can see them through the reflection on the glass door into the equipment room when I leave the HT doors opened, which I do occasionally when lighting is not as important to what I am watching.

Couple of photos of building the rack and the view from the HT. The 458 is not mine, but I wish it was! What can I say champange taste and a beer budget... Isn't this how I got into this mess to begin with.

Cheers,

Jim

For some reason I am having trouble downloading photos. It says upload failed. Then I tried using Photobucket but there has got to be a better way than copy one URL number at a time and paste on attachment link in open window. It would only allow one photo. I need better computer skills...
LL
post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
Photos... had to downsize them some more I guess. They worked on another site. Oh well...
LL
LL
LL
post #26 of 32
great stuff! enjoy!

Looks like life is good down there in TX.
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr View Post

great stuff! enjoy!

Looks like life is good down there in TX.

Thanks... I am very happy with these new amps and I am looking forward to hearing more from them as the get broken in...

If life was really good here in TX that black 458 would be in my garage... But hey, I know that I am lucky to just have the amps...

Jim
post #28 of 32
post #29 of 32
This could be a very good fit. McIntosh is hugely, hugely popular in Italy. There is true reverance for the company among Italians. I would be willing to bet they will treat the company well, and the Italian instinctive talent for industrial design mixed with their appreciation of Mac's retro heritage could make for a corporate and engineering culture that works sensationally well going forward.

As a Mac and industry fan overall, I'm sanguine about this.
Edited by PF - 10/17/12 at 9:19am
post #30 of 32
Owners -

any of you guys have the Mac MR88 tuner. If so, how are you enjoying it?

Happy New Year!
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