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McIntosh Amplifiers

newlash09

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#1
One of my friends in Belgium (ghent to be more precise) auditioned the kii's and was blown away. This was in comparison to multiple 5000 euro speakers- ATC scm 40, pmc 25.24, proAc D30R, spendor D7, qacoustics concept 500, harbeth shls 5 all driven by his trusty Arcam A39.

But luckily the dealer was not willing to give the kii's for a home audition without a refundable 10000 euro deposit. So my friend decided on trying the other speakers in his house . To cut things short, his final selection was between the spendor D7, the harbeths and the kii3's. Though he hadn't heard the kii3's in his own room, what he heard in the dealers room was impressive enough to include them for the final shortlist.

Then on a friends suggestion, he tried the spendor and harbeths with line magnetic LM845 and McIntosh MA252. Now he is blown by the timbre, tonality and emotion these tubes add to the mix. And he is now not even considering the kii3's anymore. As per him they lack any emotional connect though they make all the right sounds.
He is presently leaning towards the hybrid McIntosh as the line magnetic though sounding lovely had too much of a syrupy tube sound. And he is worried it might rob off the impact on some spirited numbers.

The above is just to share his experience. Iam not supporting one or the other :)
 
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JayaRaa

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#2
One of my friends in Belgium (ghent to be more precise) auditioned the kii's and was blown away. This was in comparison to multiple 5000 euro speakers- ATC scm 40, pmc 25.24, proAc D30R, spendor D7, qacoustics concept 500, harbeth shls 5 all driven by his trusty Arcam A39.

But luckily the dealer was not willing to give the kii's for a home audition without a refundable 10000 euro deposit. So my friend decided on trying the other speakers in his house . To cut things short, his final selection was between the spendor D7, the harbeths and the kii3's. Though he hadn't heard the kii3's in his own room, what he heard in the dealers room was impressive enough to include them for the final shortlist.

Then on a friends suggestion, he tried the spendor and harbeths with line magnetic LM845 and McIntosh MA252. Now he is blown by the timbre, tonality and emotion these tubes add to the mix. And he is now not even considering the kii3's anymore. As per him they lack any emotional connect though they make all the right sounds.
He is presently leaning towards the hybrid McIntosh as the line magnetic though sounding lovely had too much of a syrupy tube sound. And he is worried it might rob off the impact on some spirited numbers.

The above is just to share his experience. Iam not supporting one or the other :)
What you have described is precisely the reason why people still like to mix & match amps + speakers & then further tweak the sound to their liking by means of cables. The sounds as described once experienced makes all the hard work worth it vis a vis a 'emotionless connect' as was rightly described by your friend.
 

newlash09

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Messages
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#3
What you have described is precisely the reason why people still like to mix & match amps + speakers & then further tweak the sound to their liking by means of cables. The sounds as described once experienced makes all the hard work worth it vis a vis a 'emotionless connect' as was rightly described by your friend.
Thanks for the above. My friends present setup is a pair of KEF LS50's and a Rel sub. All driven by his arcam A39, and blue sound node2 feeding tidal. His budget was 10000 euros for his end game system. And he was looking for amp + passive speakers, till his dealer suggested the kii3's. As this guy is in a job that includes frequent relocations, he was overjoyed to hear the kii3's. An all in one with nifty proportions and neat looking too. Very easy to carry around, and not to mention very easy to fit in if he had to settle in a smaller accommodation in New York or Japan.

But then the other 10000 euro amp + passive speaker combinations unraveled themselves, and the kii3's didnt look tempting anymore.

One other main reason for his backing out, was also the all in one nature of the kii3's. He was hesitant that if something were to develop a fault in the multiple dac's, the processors, the amps and the drivers. He would be left completely system less. And considering that he might not be in mainland Europe for long, preferred something traditional that can be serviced in various parts of the world if required.

So the kii3's lost on both counts. But of course he maintains that the emotional connect is the biggest reason :)
 

newlash09

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Messages
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#4
What you have described is precisely the reason why people still like to mix & match amps + speakers & then further tweak the sound to their liking by means of cables. The sounds as described once experienced makes all the hard work worth it vis a vis a 'emotionless connect' as was rightly described by your friend.
Thanks for the above. My friends present setup is a pair of KEF LS50's and a Rel sub. All driven by his arcam A39, and blue sound node2 feeding tidal. His budget was 10000 euros for his end game system. And he was looking for amp + passive speakers, till his dealer suggested the kii3's. As this guy is in a job that includes frequent relocations, he was overjoyed to hear the kii3's. An all in one with nifty proportions and neat looking too. Very easy to carry around, and not to mention very easy to fit in if he had to settle in a smaller accommodation in New York or Japan.

But then the other 10000 euro amp + passive speaker combinations unraveled themselves, and the kii3's didnt look tempting anymore.

One other main reason for his backing out, was also the all in one nature of the kii3's. He was hesitant that if something were to develop a fault in the multiple dac's, the processors, the amps and the drivers. He would be left completely system less. And considering that he might not be in mainland Europe for long, preferred something traditional that can be serviced in various parts of the world if required.

So the kii3's lost on both counts. But of course he maintains that the emotional connect is the biggest reason :)
 
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panditji

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#5
One of my friends in Belgium (ghent to be more precise) auditioned the kii's and was blown away. This was in comparison to multiple 5000 euro speakers- ATC scm 40, pmc 25.24, proAc D30R, spendor D7, qacoustics concept 500, harbeth shls 5 all driven by his trusty Arcam A39.

But luckily the dealer was not willing to give the kii's for a home audition without a refundable 10000 euro deposit. So my friend decided on trying the other speakers in his house . To cut things short, his final selection was between the spendor D7, the harbeths and the kii3's. Though he hadn't heard the kii3's in his own room, what he heard in the dealers room was impressive enough to include them for the final shortlist.

Then on a friends suggestion, he tried the spendor and harbeths with line magnetic LM845 and McIntosh MA252. Now he is blown by the timbre, tonality and emotion these tubes add to the mix. And he is now not even considering the kii3's anymore. As per him they lack any emotional connect though they make all the right sounds.
He is presently leaning towards the hybrid McIntosh as the line magnetic though sounding lovely had too much of a syrupy tube sound. And he is worried it might rob off the impact on some spirited numbers.

The above is just to share his experience. Iam not supporting one or the other :)
I have been eyeing the MA252 ever since it came out..Great to hear your friend was blown away with it's sound...Gives me more confidence to buy it now...
 

newlash09

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#6
I have been eyeing the MA252 ever since it came out..Great to hear your friend was blown away with it's sound...Gives me more confidence to buy it now...
Thanks for the above...it would be an understatement to say that my friend is blown by the McIntosh. He says the McIntosh has taken his "audiophiliac virginity" . He did listen to different amps as well, including naim supernait2, hegel 360 and devialet. But he liked the McIntosh and the line magnetic above all else. He is at the moment in love with the McIntosh, both aesthetically ( lots of green glowing tubes and mirror polished chromework, so what's not to like :) ) and sound wise. At the moment I think he will be going for the McIntosh. Though between the spendor and the harbeth, he is ever so slightly tilting towards the spendors, as the harbeths bass is just not doing it for him. Though he initially preferred the harbeths mid range with SS amps. . But now with tubes in the mix, he is of the opinion that the spendors are also having a magical mid range now.
 

panditji

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#7
I concur completely with your friend.... I too love the looks of the McIntosh but the hybrid MA252 seems to have the best of both worlds..It's just that I could not buy blind since it is pricey and therefore bought the Lyngdorf.. Line magnetic is equally good sonically but the Mac looks fantastic...

I also agree with his assessment of the Spendors and Harbeths.. The Harbeth mid range is to die for but the bass is it's weak point... Spendors are just a little warmer sounding than Harbeths but I am sure with the hybrid Mac 252 it would sound better than the Harbeths as they are easier to drive as well....I hope he auditions the SP100R2 as well as that is a fabulous standmount capable of filling a decent sized room....

Now I just have to wait for the rupee to appreciate by 10% and my stocks to double before I splurge on the MA252.. If anyone is interested for a group buy and is willing to wait for the rupee to correct, please PM me....
 

panditji

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#8
I concur completely with your friend.... I too love the looks of the McIntosh but the hybrid MA252 seems to have the best of both worlds..It's just that I could not buy blind since it is pricey and therefore bought the Lyngdorf.. Line magnetic is equally good sonically but the Mac looks fantastic...

I also agree with his assessment of the Spendors and Harbeths.. The Harbeth mid range is to die for but the bass is it's weak point... Spendors are just a little warmer sounding than Harbeths but I am sure with the hybrid Mac 252 it would sound better than the Harbeths as they are easier to drive as well....I hope he auditions the SP100R2 as well as that is a fabulous standmount capable of filling a decent sized room....

Now I just have to wait for the rupee to appreciate by 10% and my stocks to double before I splurge on the MA252.. If anyone is interested for a group buy and is willing to wait for the rupee to correct, please PM me....
Mods: I know I got off topic but I got too excited hearing the good reviews of the MA252..If you feel it needs to be put in another post, please do the needful or let me know....
 

newlash09

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hyderabad
#9
If I can be tolerated by the mods for one last transgression :) ... so my friend went to the hifi dealer to return the harbeths, as he clearly favored the spendor with the tubes. And the dealer played him the kef ref 1's on a whiff. My friend was so blown, that against his won stated principle of no buy..if no audition at home principle , brought the kef ref 1's home, on the condition of course that he could return them back if they didnt work in his room. And sadly they just didnt. Massive bass boom on most tracks. He tried experimenting with the port tubes and and combinations. But couldn't settle on a setting that worked on his room. So in the end, he has finally bought a McIntosh MA252 and a spendor S7. And as per him that is the best combination in his room.
 

Rajeshh

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#10
@newlash09 My current setup is a Kef Ref 1 with a Mcintosh MA8900 in a small room. I have experienced exactly what you are describing.

The setup is extremely finicky & is sensitive to everything from speaker stands material, toe-in, distance from wall, ports, cables, power & clean digital input to its DAC. But when you put in the work and time to dial it in, the sound is magical.
The midrange is unlike anything I've heard before. The delicate highs & textures in bass something ive not heard with my previous Class D amps.
My previous class D' had faster bass & perhaps were more neutral/right but could not get the emotion of a live unamplified performance.

I am still tweaking btw :)
 
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newlash09

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hyderabad
#11
Th
@newlash09 My current setup is a Kef Ref 1 with a Mcintosh MA8900 in a small room. I have experienced exactly what you are describing.

The setup is extremely finicky & is sensitive to everything from speaker stands material, toe-in, distance from wall, ports, cables, power & clean digital input to its DAC. But when you put in the work and time to dial it in, the sound is magical.
The midrange is unlike anything I've heard before. The delicate highs & textures in bass something ive not heard with my previous Class D amps.
My previous class D' had faster bass & perhaps were more neutral/right but could not get the emotion of a live unamplified performance.

I am still tweaking btw :)
Wow...great...very happy to know you've got the ref's singing for you. Sadly my friend couldn't, though I think he didnt have the time and patience to do that one critical thing that is most important in any setup. He was completely blown by the ref in the dealers room. No wonder he was tempted to buy in 30 mins, after auditioning almost 10 different speakers in their price range.

Congratulations on your setup rajeshh. Sure you must be having a great time there :) enjoy
 
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