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I've had my McIntosh MA6900 integrated amp for a couple of years now - and I've got it connected to a pair of B&W 703s using the 4-ohm taps. My source is a Sony CDP-X77ES redbook player. I'm now looking to upgrade the source. I'd like to stick with McIntosh - and the one strikes me as the best value is the MVP861. This is a dvd player - but it also plays CD, SACD and DVD-Audio. And, importantly, it has the balanced XLR outputs that will go into the CD1 input on my MA6900. The MVP861 was recently replaced by the 871 model - which is priced well-beyond my budget. There is also the MCD201 and MCD301 models - but these will not play DVD-Audio (or DVDs). Also, I've read that the MCD201 suffers from mechanical noise associated with playback. I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion about any of these McIntosh models? SACD is a must. XLR outputs are a must. And DVD-Audio would be very nice to have too - but is not a must-have feature. I don't actually need DVD video playback - as this is strictly a 2-channel audio rig - but the MVP861 seems to be what best matches the features I want. Opinions?
 

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The MCD201 had terrible issues that "may" finally be fixed. I would recommend you stay clear. The MCD301 is an excellent unit and a serious upgrade from the 201 even if the 201 is fine. I only have two channel so I have no comment on a universal player, I never considered one.
 

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I recently purchased a MCD301 and with only a few hours in I will say it is a very good player. So far I'm amazed at the information retrieval capabilities of the 301, and this without sounding harsh or clinical. It should get better once it breaks in, from what I'm told. It replaces a Marantz DV8400, which was pretty good itself, but the 301 takes things to another level.


It doesn't play DVD-Audio, but will play SACDs. I haven't tried any yet, but they should sound good, too.
 

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I read audiokharma about the difference in sound between the 201 and 301. It seems the 301 has a warmer more refined sound than the 201. The transport is much better build quality. At 3500.00 it may actually be a bargain compared to the Audiomeca, Wadia and Theta transport/players. Marantz makes a player at that price that does CD/SACD. It has the Marantz house sound(WTM).


If you would consider just redbook, the UK Exposure 301 is all the rave. I haven't heard it but a friend of mine swears by them and wants to import them.


I think the 301 is a good choice but at a pretty competitive price point.


If I had to buy CD transport I would consider Theta (since I have a outboard DAC) and only Theta. Mine is from 1994 and still competes with the best.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KY Colonel /forum/post/16281226


I read audiokharma about the difference in sound between the 201 and 301. It seems the 301 has a warmer more refined sound than the 201. The transport is much better build quality. At 3500.00 it may actually be a bargain compared to the Audiomeca, Wadia and Theta transport/players. Marantz makes a player at that price that does CD/SACD. It has the Marantz house sound(WTM).


If you would consider just redbook, the UK Exposure 301 is all the rave. I haven't heard it but a friend of mine swears by them and wants to import them.


I think the 301 is a good choice but at a pretty competitive price point.


If I had to buy CD transport I would consider Theta (since I have a outboard DAC) and only Theta. Mine is from 1994 and still competes with the best.

I had a short list of players which included the Marantz SA-11 ($3500 MRSP). The 301 is actually more (MRSP $4500), but once I heard it, I knew it was the one even though I'd heard none of the others on my list, which included Bryston, Arcam, Esoteric and Sony players. I'll be on a tight belt for a couple of months or so, but it's okay.
 

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I don't know how your budget's running, but there's the upcoming McIntosh MVP881 (including Blu-ray playback) cited in another thread, at an $8K MSRP from what I've heard.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress /forum/post/16280623


It should get better once it breaks in, from what I'm told.

From what you were told, how long do you anticipate the break-in period to last?
 

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send him a pm, it must be broken in by now
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Shep /forum/post/17416115


From what you were told, how long do you anticipate the break-in period to last?

I was told about 50 hours by the salseman. It has gotten a bit smoother to my ears.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress /forum/post/17432392


I was told about 50 hours by the salseman. It has gotten a bit smoother to my ears.

I don't believe in that whole mysterious break in thing but I will say the MCD301 is by far the best sounding machine for playback that I have ever heard.


Enjoy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljr /forum/post/17433340


I don't believe in that whole mysterious break in thing but I will say the MCD301 is by far the best sounding machine for playback that I have ever heard.


Enjoy.

I don't pay much attention either, unless the numbers are extraordinary. I was seeing/hearing about hundreds of hours for the Sony 5400ES, which put me off. Obviously, I don't know if that's how long it takes, and these numbers aren't exact anyway, but that just didn't sit well with me. The 301, though not cheap, was a good choice and if I had the space and money, I'd consider a McIntosh amp also.


Another consideration for Mr. Bishop is that generally, DVD-based drives and CD-based drives have different clock speeds, so there will be differences in sound quality. A dedicated CD/SACD unit will, in theory (and it's my experience as well), sound better on CDs than a video-based unit. My suggestion would be an audio-only player.
 
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