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Wilson and McIntosh  

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Anybody heard this combo?

With the rave reviews on the 501s, and the quite nice review on the top of the line preamp, it seems like a stellar system for the price. I believe the reviewer used JM Labs, so the tweeters are similar.

Comments? Ideas?

Two of those monos would definitely look cool between my Sophias :)
post #2 of 33
Ask forum member "els", as he is the McIntosh man here. I don't recall what speakers he runs, though.
post #3 of 33
ELS is a card carrying memeber of BAAS and indeed is the Macintosh guru.

Keith --if interested I will put you in contact with ELS
post #4 of 33
Originally posted by Mr.Poindexter
Ask forum member "els", as he is the McIntosh man here. I don't recall what speakers he runs, though.
Yes - "els" is a member of the McIntosh clan - driving Wilson WITTS, if memory serves.

[ unless listening to OB's X-2s has given him an incurable case of "upgrade fever"]
post #5 of 33
Keith --if interested I will put you in contact with ELS

Guys, could we please keep this dicussion going right here in the thread, rather than through PMs. You do know I am also looking for an amp to drive my Sophias:D .

Could "els" please render his opinion openly.


post #6 of 33
Originally posted by MAK
Guys, could we please keep this dicussion going right here in the thread, rather than through PMs. You do know I am also looking for an amp to drive my Sophias:D .

Since the Wilson Sophia is the successor to the Wilson WITT - which I believe is what
"els" has - his advice would be most noteworthy.
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Excellent, can't wait till he chimes in....

Looks like I will get to audition them in a few weeks...against BAT and Halcro
post #8 of 33
I will call Eric tonight and get him to respond to your questions
post #9 of 33
I still have the stereo version of the 501;s in my studio, driving my STEALTH SV;S.(QUINTESSENCE ACOUSTICS) Truly a spectacular buy for the $$$. Easy to use, built like a vault, and easy to look at. Sound is very, very clean, and relaxed, yet with excellent detail. The music just breaths, and has a natural ease, like one might experience in a live venue, where one hears unamplified music.

post #10 of 33
I just got off the phone with Eric. He will post later tonight re McIntosh
post #11 of 33
Hi Tom

Haven't seen you around for quite a while.

Will you be showing at CES this year (same place at Alexis Park?)
post #12 of 33

Not sure. Have a new design i want to introduce ( SHADOW JR, 31K, MSRP) so would like to, however still looking for an electronics mfg, to partner with.

post #13 of 33
Originally posted by KeithR
Anybody heard this combo?..
Solid state or tubes?? Anyway, no, and it is actually an unlikely combination, although both appeal to the same kind of people. McIntosh is kind of a home theater, cineramax type of cutom intall product today. Easy sell to the home theater crowd with all the knobs and stuff..

Audio Research and BAT for tubes would be my No 1 choice. Pass and Mark Levinson would be my choice for solid state.
post #14 of 33
hi gang, and a special thanks to oneobgyn for the call, because business has taken me away for nearly a week, and i can now get back to something i enjoy.

my current two channel setup is below(morbius was correct that oneobgyn has given me an acute case of upgrade fever with my exposure to his x1, and now x2 speakers)

mcintosh 1201 monoblock amps
wilson witt series 2
mcintosh c100 preamp
mcintosh mcd 205 cd changer
mcintosh mr 85 tuner

i have lived with this system for nearly 3 years, and i have found the combination to be consistently pleasing, dynamic, and producing a sound stage which is realistic. the 1201 amps have performed flawless, and produce the accuracy one would expect. power capability of either the 501 or 1201 are not an issue, as they are more than adequate for anything you can throw at them.

one element which brought improved listening enjoyment was the introduction of balanced cables to this system, and a recommendation i would make to you. the improvement over single ended cables was dramatic.

i have no shame in driving the witt's with solid state, because i have found the openess and clarity "real". the sophias are effectively the replacement for the witt 2's, and i would not hesitate to use the solid state mcintosh amp with. the proof of the pudding is in the sound, and your consideration of mac connection will not let you down, not to mention the fact that the black glass and teal colors, along with those fantastic meters will "outclass" any component in it's "class".

i hope i have been of some assistance, because when i cut to the chase, i believe that your ears will be more than just pleased.

please let me know what you decide.
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
thanks much els.

I hope to audition a full mac vs. full bat system in a few weeks, where hopefully I can pick which one I prefer

i do admit, McIntosh is appealing as so many people just forget about the equipment, and rave on the musicality--maybe not the last word in detail, but overall a pleasant combination. what surprised me is that Paul Bolin listens to house music, and raved about the mac pieces.

that said, i've always loved the bat combo, so will just have to see where the cards fall...
post #16 of 33
Looks like I will get to audition them in a few weeks...against BAT and Halcro
I would love to know the outcome of your audition. Please keep us posted.

Els, the Mac sound you have described is exactly what I prefer. But I have also read Rowland sound characterized in the same manner. Has any one had any experience comparing the two?

post #17 of 33
granted i'm still pretty young to the audio field (22 years old)....i have never been moved into another dimension with regards to sound as i did with the WP7 and the big McIntosh seperates running them......comfortably numb would be a great description of how it left me....
post #18 of 33

i have not had a chance to hear the mac versus rowland senario. i will keep and ear out for it (no pun intended)
post #19 of 33
I use all Wilson and McIntosh and obviously I'm going to say they match well..:)

The Macs came first..Auditioned many amps and for SS there was a warmth the others couldn't match..


Mac are an easy sell because of how they are built and sound..the looks are a bonus

I sadly always leave the blue meters off and have taped over the green McIntosh..being a CRT guy I want the room dark..


My invitation to come by is always open...

And yes we could demo in 2 channel for you..:)
post #20 of 33
John; I greatly appreciate your offer. I can't wait to check out your amazing setup; can't get over the Sophias in the rear though.:D

We are going through the arduous task of introducing our one-year old to daycare. The moment I can get away, a trip to Burlington is at the top of my list. I will e-mail you directly to setup a date and time most convenient for you.

post #21 of 33
I look forward to meeting you..

For this my schedule can be quite flexible..

post #22 of 33
I have heard McIntosh through many speakers and I was always impressed. I just bought a complete McIntosh system for my home Theater and 2channel system. I will keep my speakers to myself because most of you probably would not understand. Warmth, realism, clarity and untimely style all come to my mind with McIntosh gear.
post #23 of 33
I will keep my speakers to myself because most of you probably would not understand
I thought you have WP 7's
post #24 of 33
WP 7's ? Nope!
post #25 of 33
Hi Folks,
Been to MC Maniac's hideout: WP7s in front, Sophias as side and rear surrounds, Watch DOG and Watch center, all driven with Mac amplification. John's setup is focused on delivering the best of MC audio; and Oh boy! does it ever deliver!! But I won't get further into MC audio, suffice it to say that I will be getting into MC soon, the moment I have my two channel setup figured out.

Now to two-channel listening - My Theta CD player through Lex MC12 analog passthrough to Mac MC602 driving WP7s.

No, I wasn't immediately blown away. My initial perception was that some of the "natural(?)" bite of the instruments was smoothed over; half an hour into the audition I realized I had stopped evaluating the system, rather I was enjoying the music. All the detail was there, the bite of instruments even more natural, just right, inviting, comforting, sweet, non fatiguing; warm? don't know, but eminently enjoyable.
Of course, all the good audiophile stuff was there in oodles: wide and deep soundstage, great imaging, not pinpoint but again "just right", dynamics both micro and macro, the best I have ever heard.
Can you tell I am excited??
I'm getting Mak a Mac.

Thanks for a great time John. Greatly appreciate your hospitality.

post #26 of 33
Thanks for finally dropping by Mak..It was a pleasure getting together..

You gave me the opportunity to do some 2 channel listening for a change and every time I do, I get mixed enjoyment from it - the main reason is the large variation in the recording quality of the disc itself..

The quality variations among CD's becomes pretty obvious with Wilson which I don't find are the least forgiving..this of course is good and bad but the preferred alternative..Except that in my case I don't own any of those 'audiophile' recordings..they sound great but I wouldn't listen to them..Not that I couldn't like them but there are only so many hours in the day and I'd prefer to listen to something I enjoy musically..my CD collection is pretty mainstream stuff with progrock being my favourite genre..

In the context of this thread, those are the discs I used when I auditioned amps and ultimately why I decided to go with McIntosh..It handled the lessor quality CD's better than other amps..

Be sure to invite me over Mak, when you get your setup done..
post #27 of 33
What is everyones opinon on McIntosh speakers? I do not have McIntosh speakers but I listened to them at a store the other day and they were very nice. I did not bring any familar music but just did a casual listening.
post #28 of 33
I have never heard McIntosh speakers - have never even seen a pair..

Personally I have always been a believer in buying only the strength of a company - Mcintosh's forte and experience rests with their amps - I have Wilson and before them had B&W's who only make speakers - same with Lexicon - I only have their processor..

I don't believe that companies can be innovators in multiple product lines but they offer other lines (usually made by others) for competative and marketing reasons..this is an interesting dilemna for manufacturers..should they specialize - like Wilson - or do what Krell and Merdian do?
post #29 of 33
someone needs to call on 'John The Depot Dude', who is using Wilson and MacIntosh as well.
post #30 of 33
someone needs to call on 'John The Depot Dude', who is using Wilson and MacIntosh as well.
Ken--his new moniker is MC Maniac and he posted right above you :)
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AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › Wilson and McIntosh