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Thread: McIntosh Amps

  1. #1
    Senior Member Greg86z28's Avatar
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    McIntosh Amps

    Need some opinions on McIntosh gear.

    Right now I'm powering my L150s with a McIntosh C32 preamp and a Pioneer SA-8800 standing in as the power amp (80 w/ch). I use AudioQuest Evergreen interconnects.

    I have been searching for a McIntosh Power Amp to replace the Pioneer. Initially, I was thinking something like a MC2500, but now I've also been wondering how something like a MC7270 would compare? They seem similar in specs, although the MC2500 is a tank, probably due to the build quality for durability?

    There is a MC7270 locally on CL that has been listed for awhile and the seller is asking $1,500 right now, seems like a good deal (seller claims 8/10 for condition). I'm probably looking at about $2,500 for a MC2500. Another option in that $1,000-1,500 range is the MC2205, but 200 w/ch might be a little less than I'm looking for.

    This will be my first really "nice" piece of audio gear (aside from the C32 and L150s). I've only got a year or two in the hobby.

    (Another twist is I just picked up a JBL B460 that needs to be restored. I think I will need a separate amp to drive this? Spending $2k+ on a power amp now may not help if I need another amp in the future.)

    Thanks for the advice,

    Greg
    McIntosh MC7270/C32 || JBL 4345, L250, L150, L100, B460

  2. #2
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    Hi

    The Mc7270 is a great amp for the L150. Just go for it if all is ok with the amp.
    It will beat the pioneer anytime

  3. #3
    Senior Member Greg86z28's Avatar
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    I got that MC7270 for $1300. It's a huge improvement over the Pioneer SA-8800 I was using.

    McIntosh MC7270/C32 || JBL 4345, L250, L150, L100, B460

  4. #4
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg86z28 View Post
    200 w/ch might be a little less than I'm looking for.

    200-WPC should be more than ample for an L150, but more is always better!
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  5. #5
    Senior Member Greg86z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    200-WPC should be more than ample for an L150, but more is always better!
    Im just trying to build in some room for future upgrades
    McIntosh MC7270/C32 || JBL 4345, L250, L150, L100, B460

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dylanl's Avatar
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    Look for a MC2300 its know to be more musical than the 2500 and also built like a tank.

  7. #7
    Member antoninus9's Avatar
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    McIntosh makes some truly beautiful equipment. I've owned a few of their amps and preamps over the years. My experience with them has been mixed when it applies to JBL speakers. Early JBL horn speaker systems work well with the older McIntosh tube amps, but pretty much anything from the L112 forward (1978?) is a mixed bag. Small JBL's fair okay, but larger speakers with 12" to 15" woofers don't perform so well. I think this is in large part due to the autoformers knocking the phase out slightly, and the low dampening factor.

    I believe that McIntosh did build two solid state amplifiers in the 1980's that didn't use autoformers, but I don't remember their model numbers. They were not very popular with the McIntosh community because they viewed this as a cheapening of the amp, but it was actually an improvement for most uses. I'm sure a McIntosh fan can tell you the model numbers of these amplifiers, and they would, in my opinion, be the best choice for your L150's out of the McIntosh lineup.
    The Music Man's equipment: Sony AM radio

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    McIntosh tube gear driving JBL speakers?

    I read in this thread that Vintage McIntosh tube gear is not ideal for some JBL speakers. I have JBL L150s and L110s.

    I just acquired and had rebuilt a McIntosh C20 preamp (1955) and two MC-40 mono-blocks (1962). Those amps are 40 wpc each. I planned to hook them up this weekend to the L150s or the L110's. After reading this thread, I am wondering if I will be disappointed.

    I have a refurbished Marantz 2275 (75 wpc) hooked up to the L150s right now. The speakers don't sound as good as they once did. I was thinking they need to be recapped. They are original as far as I know. I have owned them about 10-12 years.

    I also have a Marantz 2325 (125 WPS) receiver, that I could hook up to the L150s, if those would be more appropriate.

    And, I have a Marantz 2285B receiver that I plan to sell.

    In addition, I have a pair of AR2ax speakers hooked up to a B&O Beo 5500 system. They sound great together.

    And, I am having rebuilt a Dynaco ST-70 stereo amp right now. I fell in love with it listening to a pair of KLH model 20 speakers. Don't need it, but decided to keep it rather than sell.

    Any advice on matching receiver or pre-amp/amp with the speakers would be appreciated.

    Or if you have advice on recapping the L150's and the L110's, please let me know by Private Message.

    Thanks,

  9. #9
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbfishin View Post
    I read in this thread that Vintage McIntosh tube gear is not ideal for some JBL speakers. I have JBL L150s and L110s.

    I just acquired and had rebuilt a McIntosh C20 preamp (1955) and two MC-40 mono-blocks (1962). Those amps are 40 wpc each. I planned to hook them up this weekend to the L150s or the L110's. After reading this thread, I am wondering if I will be disappointed.

    I have a refurbished Marantz 2275 (75 wpc) hooked up to the L150s right now. The speakers don't sound as good as they once did. I was thinking they need to be recapped. They are original as far as I know. I have owned them about 10-12 years.

    I also have a Marantz 2325 (125 WPS) receiver, that I could hook up to the L150s, if those would be more appropriate.

    And, I have a Marantz 2285B receiver that I plan to sell.

    In addition, I have a pair of AR2ax speakers hooked up to a B&O Beo 5500 system. They sound great together.

    And, I am having rebuilt a Dynaco ST-70 stereo amp right now. I fell in love with it listening to a pair of KLH model 20 speakers. Don't need it, but decided to keep it rather than sell.

    Any advice on matching receiver or pre-amp/amp with the speakers would be appreciated.

    Or if you have advice on recapping the L150's and the L110's, please let me know by Private Message.
    On most JBLs, re-capping is over-rated. I don't think your problem is the speaker caps. I've responded to your L150 issue in the other thread in which you posted.

    I used a C20 with my JBLs now for nearly 50-years. It's still hooked up to my L112s right now. I stopped using tube power for the amp years ago and I think your JBLs will benefit from some modern solid-state power. Have you tried the JBLs on the B&O, or vice-versa, just to see if it makes any difference? They certainly shouldn't sound awful on the old Macs, but you can probably do better.

    Sounds like you've spend enough money (I know what a C20 goes for and what it costs to properly re-build one). Check and fix your speakers before blaming the amps.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  10. #10
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    On most JBLs, re-capping is over-rated. I don't think your problem is the speaker caps...
    So why do new purchasers of vintage speakers have a near universal knee jerk reaction that
    a recapp is necessary

    Really. I read over and over "Just bought some speakers, they'll be here tomorrow, planing on recap"

    I mean, really .... they don't even have possession yet , much less having heard how they sound

    Is it a mass brainwashing from the online audio communities ?

    sure, it's needed sometimes, but at least hear them before making that decision.
    It's the new Mother Nature taking over
    She's gettin' us all

  11. #11
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    So why do new purchasers of vintage speakers have a near universal knee jerk reaction that
    a recapp is necessary
    Lemings? Facebook Nation? I have given up trying to assign rational thought to the actions of crowds.

    Regarding amp choices I agree with the majority of posts earlier in this thread. I have used a number of vintage tube amps from McIntosh and others. Most have a fat bottom end that may work well with a lean high sensitivity system and not so much with most others.


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  12. #12
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbfishin View Post
    I read in this thread that Vintage McIntosh tube gear is not ideal for some JBL speakers. I have JBL L150s and L110s.

    I just acquired and had rebuilt a McIntosh C20 preamp (1955) and two MC-40 mono-blocks (1962). Those amps are 40 wpc each. I planned to hook them up this weekend to the L150s or the L110's. After reading this thread, I am wondering if I will be disappointed.

    I have a refurbished Marantz 2275 (75 wpc) hooked up to the L150s right now. The speakers don't sound as good as they once did. I was thinking they need to be recapped. They are original as far as I know. I have owned them about 10-12 years.

    I also have a Marantz 2325 (125 WPS) receiver, that I could hook up to the L150s, if those would be more appropriate.

    And, I have a Marantz 2285B receiver that I plan to sell.

    In addition, I have a pair of AR2ax speakers hooked up to a B&O Beo 5500 system. They sound great together.

    And, I am having rebuilt a Dynaco ST-70 stereo amp right now. I fell in love with it listening to a pair of KLH model 20 speakers. Don't need it, but decided to keep it rather than sell.

    Any advice on matching receiver or pre-amp/amp with the speakers would be appreciated.

    Or if you have advice on recapping the L150's and the L110's, please let me know by Private Message.

    Thanks,

    My own thoughts based on prior experiences with Marantz power is to give Marantz a wide berth.

    I have personally used a Marantz 140 power amp to drive Jbl 2231A subs

    It was disappointing subjectively. The bass was weak, lacked definition and dynamics.

    To prove the point l compared a GAS power amp to a Marantz power on Kilpschorns many years ago.

    The subjective difference was profound. The Marantz was nothing more than a whimpering "Fart" in comparison.

    In my experience the Marantz "sound" is generic.

    This is my opinion and is not meant to offend but demonstrate the reality of the issue.

    The examples quoted are real.

    Some members have had good experiences with Crown power amps.

    The L150a with the passive radiator requires control of the moving mass and power.

    Assuming the surrounds are good the problem is not the loudspeaker but they are a 1979 design so take that into consideration .

    The capacitors in the L150a were Mylar bypassed with 0.01 polypropylene as seen in the schematic.

    Re capping is unnecessary.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    My own thoughts based on prior experiences with Marantz power is to give Marantz a wide berth.

    I have personally used a Marantz 140 power amp to drive Jbl 2231A subs

    It was disappointing subjectively. The bass was weak, lacked definition and dynamics.

    Is the Marantz 140 the only Marantz you base your opinion on? I'm planning on a tri-amped Marantz system, using the output of a 2285B and twin 250's. Am I going down the wrong path? a 250 drives a L65 pretty nicely, or so I thought.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    No

    Not long ago l walked in with cash to consider the Marantz Pearl.

    It did not happen. I found this amp full of colour and flavour (incl the bass) much like reviewers comments

    But you would think they would have changed their spots over the past 37 years.

    Nor did l buy the original Peachtree 150.

    I cannot comment on the 250 or the 2285B.

    The L65 is not the L150a.

    I might buy the Halo or the new Peachtree 300 or this

    https://www.wyred4sound.com/taxonomy/term/4

    The newer bread of digital amps are excellent and they've value for money.

    Sometimes you have to let go of the old boat anchors and look at what technology brings to the table.

    Their has been considerable debate about high value digital power (rule breakers) versus the almost religious or cult following of older mainstay brands.

    I can see the argument if the musicality is what gets you off.

    But bass is about real horsepower.

    The distinction here might be referred to the difference b/n hifi and an Amplifier with "pro" watts like the Parasound Halo or the newer digital breed.

    The larger JBLs require considerable "real" watts to hear their potential.

    But your need to decide yourself.

    Try what you have and go from there.

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    If the capacitors are electrolytics, better to be replaced, for sure. If they are films, I'll just leave them, unless I hear something terribly wrong, which is unlikely.

    I used to try several macintosh amps with different JBLs, but they are not my cup of teas. They do have signature sound, but too much coloration for me. Also, their used price is way too high for what it is, most probably due to the brand image and the very nice classic enclosure design. I would say Pass Labs or First Watt are the amps to try first if your priority is the sound, or check out tube amps before you pull the trigger.

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