Analog section of a $7400 Mcintosh MX135. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 49 Old 04-19-2007, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lets try and keep this one civil and on track, thanks.

As we know the Mcintosh MX135 runs the DAE-5 DSP from momentum data systems.

http://www.mds.com/products/product.asp?prod=DAE%2D5

Here are some better pictures of that from the Mcintosh MX135.

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...c/HPIM0711.jpg
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...c/HPIM0710.jpg

Then everyone started to ask about the analog section of the MX135 which would be superior to a mid level receiver so I finally found the analog section and took some pictures.

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...c/HPIM0691.jpg

Now you can see the "right front" printed on the board with the white line indicating the "left front" analog section and what exactly it contains. So with this information we can now either diagnose and/or compare this to a receiver and see why it would or would not sound better.
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post #2 of 49 Old 04-19-2007, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And before anyone blows up I PM'd the mods and they said it would be ok for me to post this.
Fax likes this.
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post #3 of 49 Old 04-20-2007, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I find it kind of funny how no one is trying to argue for the MX135 now that we know what the analog section contains.
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post #4 of 49 Old 04-20-2007, 11:15 AM
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Classic... No response as of my post.... As it should be on this.
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post #5 of 49 Old 04-20-2007, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Classic... No response as of my post.... As it should be on this.

I guess the truth really kills an argument.
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post #6 of 49 Old 04-21-2007, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess people from the first thread figured out that the sonic differences between this and a receiver would be irrelevant and it also shows the importance of a 2CH pre amp with HT pass through. Why bother with a pricey processor when you can buy a 2CH pre amp and a receiver and obtain the same thing for less money.
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post #7 of 49 Old 04-21-2007, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neverwinter2 View Post



Then everyone started to ask about the analog section of the MX135 which would be superior to a mid level receiver so I finally found the analog section and took some pictures.

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...c/HPIM0691.jpg

Now you can see the "right front" printed on the board with the white line indicating the "left front" analog section and what exactly it contains. So with this information we can now either diagnose and/or compare this to a receiver and see why it would or would not sound better.

Does this mean if they use the same components as McInt then it must be as good? There is not a better design, or comparable one using different components?

(Looks like somebody got the solder connections pretty hot over there on the lower left side. )

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post #8 of 49 Old 04-21-2007, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does this mean if they use the same components as McInt then it must be as good? There is not a better design, or comparable one using different components?

Every piece of electronics gear uses the same components, what is your point? Everyone in the last thread talked like the analog section in the MX135 would be something special or superior to a receiver and now that we know what makes up the ananlog section in a MX135 people have nothing to say. Which is why when running a DD or DTS signal it would sound identical to a receiver.

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(Looks like somebody got the solder connections pretty hot over there on the lower left side. )

Mac has very low quality control and they do not put proper heat sinks on anything.
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post #9 of 49 Old 04-21-2007, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neverwinter2 View Post

Every piece of electronics gear uses the same components, what is your point? Everyone in the last thread talked like the analog section in the MX135 would be something special or superior to a receiver and now that we know what makes up the ananlog section in a MX135 people have nothing to say. Which is why when running a DD or DTS signal it would sound identical to a receiver.


Mac has very low quality control and they do not put proper heat sinks on anything.

Pardon me!
Since this started as a separate thread I did not totally understand your intention.
I thought you were praising the Mac as something special and were daring a comparison. Although if you were doing that I am sure you would have cropped the pic to exclude the poor solder joints.

I have an Outlaw pre/pro I am in the process of replacing with an Arcam receiver.
The workmanship in the Outlaw is excellent. And made in China, sad to say.
Likely 'wave-soldered' but even that can look like crap if not controlled.

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post #10 of 49 Old 04-21-2007, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The whole point of this is to show people that these high priced processors are nothing special and offer no performance gains over a receiver.
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post #11 of 49 Old 04-21-2007, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neverwinter2 View Post

The whole point of this is to show people that these high priced processors are nothing special and offer no performance gains over a receiver.

I'm not sure why you bought, or said you bought, the MX135. I'm not in the
market for a high-end processor. But, if I was, I heard better things about
the Lexicon line. If anything at all, I think the high-end is slow in adding the
new features (hdmi) must people want. It's not that I won't buy high end,
but technology is changing too much now, for example hdmi 1.3 for example.
The high-end are probably waiting for the smoke to clear. I also hear, that
lexicon has an upgrade policy. But, I would have to see that in writing before
I bought into it.
I hope the next time you buy something, research it better before you buy.
I will be doing a home demo of McIntosh's MC207 amplifier. But, this will
probably be my only Mac piece. I did some research of the MC207 and I was
disappointed that it didn't have the autoformer - I emailed McIntosh and found
out the autoformers x 7 will add a significant amout of weight. But, i decided
to try it out anyway. I have read you can't do a blind A/B test between a
high-end and a low-end amplifier. Some people swear they can. Just like
there's people on both sides of the fence when it comes to high-end
audio cables and power cables. I bought into the high-end audio cables -
learn from this forum and was able to return them.
Why will I purchase a Mac? Well, two components of a good HT system that
changes rarely are the amplifier and the speakers. (7 channels - I'm using 6 -
is a safe bet) So I don't mind putting money into these components. Now,
if I couldn't afford it, and it was hurting my finances. But, I bought into the
Mac thing as the best thing since slice bread. I would be a fool.
I will probably buy the Mac. Do I claim it sounds better than yours. No, and
I don't care.
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post #12 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 09:41 AM
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Just based on the workmanship I saw, I would avoid the Mac. Sure, it may be an isolated problem, but still shows poor QC during mfg. or a poor repair, or poor mod. implementation. Neither one is good.
I am far from considering amps or other electronics that costs as much as Macs do. But if I was, there are certainly other sterling products out there to choose from.

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post #13 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neverwinter2 View Post

Now you can see the "right front" printed on the board with the white line indicating the "left front" analog section and what exactly it contains. So with this information we can now either diagnose and/or compare this to a receiver and see why it would or would not sound better.

The only way to know is to listen to them in real AB testing conditions. That is still dependent on the listener also. That was among many of the answers to the previous thread.

That is always going to be the case.
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post #14 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by videoaddikt View Post

Just based on the workmanship I saw, I would avoid the Mac. Sure, it may be an isolated problem, but still shows poor QC during mfg. or a poor repair, or poor mod. implementation. Neither one is good.
I am far from considering amps or other electronics that costs as much as Macs do. But if I was, there are certainly other sterling products out there to choose from.

Well, I don't put to much faith in a photo that is from someone who is on
an anti-Mac mission. In fact, Mac makes it an artwork when they box these
things. And the, Oh! I didn't see that, is pretty lame. Some Mac owners do there
own repairs on the older models, and they are some of the most
loyal customers out there. There loyalty was earned through out the years.
If Mac was putting out sloppy work - they would know. Not to say, it never
happens.
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post #15 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 11:38 AM
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I do think these pictures are interesting, whatever the original posters agenda may be. It's always good to question and debate in this hobby, as long as its civil.

In home theater use, I have always a hard time believing different preamps sound very different, and these pictures seem to support that. It's probably wiser to spend less on the preamp and use the funds saved on a nicer amp.

Even after seeing these pictures, I still would love to be able to afford a McIntosh setup!
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post #16 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 12:17 PM
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From what little I know (and I interject here humbly)...given the same physical component structure/design, what would be a more significant difference between 2 amplifiers in regards to analog processing is..the algorithms used in the conversion process of the signal path (from analog to digital), more so than their physical similarities of components/design. This is something that would not be apparent in snapping photos of the external components....even though they look otherwise the same. Not sure if that was the point being made..ie..that this amp is using the "same" analog processing unit and signal path as another (not shown) that costs less. I'm just saying..having some small experience in this area...these manf of components..offer "many" variations, alternatives for the same model designs of componenets despending on what you want to pay per unit.

If the point being made is..that one can simluate the function of a much more expensive (and in this case, historically known) piece of equipment for less cost...this would certaintly be pertinant to any buying decision and a point well taken. However, in that particular case, they are not the same. Some things built their name /trademark on a certain sound...that has become associated with historical significance or trademark (Marshall amps, Fender basses and amps, etc). that have been copied forever (for better and worse as the case may be). I would certainly put the classic McIntosh tube amp/pre-amp combo in that category. However, it's also true that some of these companies who may or may not still make their original classics...have gone on to make other designs..etc...for other uses and sell them off the name of their classic designs.

This is also true. In such cases...one has to judge the products as new against what is out there in that particular category. But, one can also keep in mind, the history/track record, or reputation of the company. It appears..from the images and points made above that this new product from McIntosh uses a generic, 3rd party component for it that is common to other products. What is not clear is any other steps or things McIntosh may have done to incorporate this common component that would make any difference. But, it's obviously a new product and "NOT" the classic design. In that regard, while listening and personal preference is still the root of the decision...I still find the information presented here about components used in a modern product by a classic name in the field to be useful information...particularly for anyone shopping for something in this price range..and something to research further.
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post #17 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neverwinter2 View Post

I find it kind of funny how no one is trying to argue for the MX135 now that we know what the analog section contains.

That appears to be some pretty serious ground plane designed into the circuit board. I doubt much low-to-mid priced gear has that.

What, exactly, the audible effect is on a comparative basis I can't say.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #18 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope the next time you buy something, research it better before you buy.

That's why I am posting this up because these high-end companies hide what they are afraid to show so now with this information no logical person would buy a MX135.

Quote:


Just based on the workmanship I saw, I would avoid the Mac. Sure, it may be an isolated problem, but still shows poor QC during mfg. or a poor repair, or poor mod. implementation. Neither one is good.

The quality of the old Mac company far exceeds anything new and the new Mac is out there to make money.

Quote:


The only way to know is to listen to them in real AB testing conditions. That is still dependent on the listener also. That was among many of the answers to the previous thread.

And that is called the placebo effect were people will hear what they want.

Quote:


If Mac was putting out sloppy work - they would know. Not to say, it never

Anything new that Mac makes is very sloppy and I was even shipped a MX135 that did not work before I got this one.

Quote:


In home theater use, I have always a hard time believing different preamps sound very different, and these pictures seem to support that. It's probably wiser to spend less on the preamp and use the funds saved on a nicer amp.

Spend it on speakers and amp's because the DVD player and processor will not make a difference, just look how the oppo beat out almost every DVD player on the market.

Quote:


the algorithms used in the conversion process of the signal path (from analog to digital), more so than their physical similarities of components/design.

Is called DD and DTS and that can not change.

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That appears to be some pretty serious ground plane designed into the circuit board. I doubt much low-to-mid priced gear has that.

How so? It looks very basic to me.
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post #19 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 04:00 PM
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Spend it on speakers and amp's because the DVD player and processor will not make a difference, just look how the oppo beat out almost every DVD player on the market.

So, say someone wants to buy a DVD player and they want a 1080p signal sent straight to their display. Are you saying that the Oppo 981 would produce the same image as a DVD player with a Reon or Realta video processor? Furthermore, do you think that the Oppo sounds the same as a Denon 2930 when using multichannel analog outs?

I think I understand your general point, but you may want to use a better selection of words.
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Are you saying that the Oppo 981 would produce the same image as a DVD player with a Reon or Realta video processor?

Well the oppo passed all the tests and not one denon player could equal it.

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Furthermore, do you think that the Oppo sounds the same as a Denon 2930 when using multichannel analog outs?

Why on earth would someone use multichannel outputs on a source when we have so many digital options available?
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post #21 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Neverwinter2 View Post

Why on earth would someone use multichannel outputs on a source when we have so many digital option available?

Many people still need multichannel analog for listening to SACD and DVD-Audio. Not everyone has an audio processor with HDMI/i.Link/Denon Link.

I really don't want to argue with you. I like it when people point out when components are overpriced. However, some of your points are a little misguided. People buy certain components for different reasons. For instance, it's ridiculous to say that the Oppo would be the best choice of DVD player for every home theater enthusiast's setup.
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post #22 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For instance, it's ridiculous to say that the Oppo would be the best choice of DVD player for every home theater enthusiast's setup.

For video there would be no reason to buy anything else, but for audio we would have to crack it open and see. As far as SACD it is nothing but more crap that offers nothing in return.
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post #23 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 08:48 PM
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neverwinter,
Are you suggesting that the Digital Signal Processing board present in your McIntosh unit (common to other units) is the "analog section"of the amp?? If so, I think you are entirely confused.
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post #24 of 49 Old 04-22-2007, 09:18 PM
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And that is called the placebo effect were people will hear what they want.

That's why you're supposed to do blind AB testing. Obviously the listener shouldn't know what equipment is hooked up to avoid bias.
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post #25 of 49 Old 04-23-2007, 04:29 AM
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How so? It looks very basic to me.

Regarding the ground plane...

Open up some "cheap" gear and see if it's present to that extent.

It really doesn't matter to me, it's just something that caught my eye.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #26 of 49 Old 04-23-2007, 08:49 AM
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neverwinter,
Are you suggesting that the Digital Signal Processing board present in your McIntosh unit (common to other units) is the "analog section"of the amp?? If so, I think you are entirely confused.

Interesting point, maybe some DACs there. But I was hoping to see some discrete analog components.

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neverwinter,
Are you suggesting that the Digital Signal Processing board present in your McIntosh unit (common to other units) is the "analog section"of the amp?? If so, I think you are entirely confused.

Do you even know what we are talking about? The MX135 is not an AMP! I pointed out that the DSP is the same as base receivers which we covered in the first thread but then people said that the difference would then fall on the analog section. So that is why I took pictures of the analog section to show that once again there is nothing different or special.

Quote:


Interesting point, maybe some DACs there. But I was hoping to see some discrete analog components.

As were all the high end and Mac fan boys but I think the pictures scared them so much that they are staying away.
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post #28 of 49 Old 04-23-2007, 02:09 PM
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Sorry Neverwinter2,
I'm just not seeing the connection between the images of the MDS digital processing unit and the references to the "analog" part.
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post #29 of 49 Old 04-23-2007, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry Neverwinter2,
I'm just not seeing the connection between the images of the MDS digital processing unit and the references to the "analog" part.

It is very simple so I do not see how you can not see it. Yamaha uses the same Texas Instruments Aureus chip set in some of its receivers so there would be no advantage of owning the MX135 for hometheater use. Then people wanted to know about the analog section of the MX135 saying that it would be superior to a receiver and that is where the difference would be heard. So I took pictures of the analog section of the MX135 to show that there is nothing special in that area. So if both areas do not offer any advantage over a receiver then it would be a pay for the name product that would not sound any better, simple.
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post #30 of 49 Old 04-24-2007, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So can anyone yet tell me why this would sound "better" then a receiver?
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