Burning smell

I have McIntosh 1.25 kw mono blocks. They are around 6 years old. One of them has started emitting an electrical burning smell when playing music. It doesn’t do it when just powered up, only when playing . Does anyone have a possible diagnosis of what component may be failing or what is happening ? Thanks


Do you have insurance on these?

What's happening could be an insurance claim that can compensate your blown amp if you're creative enough.

Other than that, I'd strongly recommend not to turn this amp on till you resolve smoking issue. Old saying is that "there's no smoke without fire" The possible source of smoke could be one of those LARGE filter capacitors. They're not active during stand-by. 


Is it unusual for the capacitors to be blown after 6 years ? it looks like that may be the problem

Check if these caps made in China, then you'll probably find answer.

There are also smaller caps that need to be checked around high-heat power supply area where you may see it either out of shape or draining liquid that potentially smokes. Heat damage usually visible

Homeowners insurance will compensate you if you continue to listen to music and burn your house :-)

Czarivey as usual giving bad advice including insurance fraud.


Two most likely culprits are caps and resistors.  If it is a cap, it may just be leaking fluid onto a normally hot component.

A quick inspection by you (if you know how to open it up) or a tech should identify the hot component.  If not, then power it up with the top off and a thermal camera will identify the hot component immediately.  Should not be expensive fix.  


and if you can afford this amp, you don't need to commit insurance fraud.



@carlsbad2 don’t be so pessimistic. The amps do burn especially when not attended and listening music on the background and you are bringing fraud ideas all of a sudden? Note it’s not me bringing those. YOU DO SIR.

Those big macs should have all sorts of risk teams if anything goes down South like that. If ever anything like that reported that big macs caught fire, there will be LOTS of LOUD NOISE from consumers reaching out the press and media.

If anything found funky like that that could cause fire, you may be entitled for the safety recall repair. Assess the situation and report it to manufacturer. 



A 6 year old amp emitting a burning smell is a sign that something is overheating and cooking nearby insulation or itself, like an overheating resistor. Don’t take it lightly. On a new amp burning smells may happen for a while but soon diminish - kind of like the undercoating they used to put on cars. A number of people have been becoming disenchanted with McIntosh’s reliability and quality control lately.

This is the internet.  Nothing that is presented on the internet should ever, repeat ever, be believed.

This is the internet.

Sounds like possibly a transformer issue ,

and home owners insurance will not pay for anything unless your house caught on 🔥 fire.

Totally agree with contacting McIntosh--they may recommend that you send it to them to have it checked out. 

You should stop using the amplifier. Contact McIntosh or bring it to a local authorized McIntosh service network for inspection.


Call your local Best Buy and see if they can send a technician to your home to diagnose this 158-pound beast.

really , Will Best Buy come check it ou? II thought that was out of their realm.

The worst part for me is getting it up to Phoenix where the nearest McIntosh Tech is. Getting it in and out of the car is brutal, even worse  than the cost

Thanks for all responses. I'm going to try the Best Buy guys if they really come for that

I had it fixed earlier this year.The boards had shorted out. I suspect that the Amp was impacted by lightening strike at some point. That repair cost $4000. The problem may be related in some way


Sir it clearly sounds like safety recall that MUST have warranty. You need to SHAKE Mac Daddy HEAVY so they feel the EARTHQUAKE and listen to you MORE CAREFULLY or as carefully as possible.

You should speak the language of The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. If you EVER find ANYONE with same problem, please join together. The more victims of mis-manufacturing scam you find, the easier will Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act work for you to SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE.

I believe you should work even outside of your model, because there are less powerful models built with same pattern of problems! BBB complaint will also PUT PRESSURE. In fact PUTTING PRESSURE is where it must start.