Considering McIntosh MA352

Greetings. My first forum post. I am considering upgrading my amp and looking at the McIntosh MA352. I currently have a Quad - Vena integrated amp, VPI Prime Scout turntable and Focal Chorus 726 speakers. The MA352 integrates both tubes and solid state technology (so best of both worlds with tubes and the famous blue meters) and would be an eye catching centerpiece in the vinyl room. Any thoughts about this set up or other recommendations are welcomed. Cheers.  
This is an analog preamp and if you intend to connect a digital source in the future you would not be able to unless your source has unbalanced out. Also the phono section seems to be limited to MM carts. If you are okay with both these limitations it should be good.  
It’s a real looker, A nice hybrid design, plenty of power, and good reviews. Very nice product! Also a Mac to-boot so always a resale market. If you like it, it has the connections you need and can afford it, go for it.   Should drive the Focals to their max and handle  most any speakers very well. You Only Live Twice!

i’m w fuzz

based on what you said the mac ticks all boxes for you

w focals the only mistake you can make is get an amp that is too bright... the mac won't be
I have had mine for about 2 months and love the sound.  The looks are off the charts.  It is a tube preamp with solid state amp which has always been my favorite combination.  I have had 2 McIntosh tube preamps with multiple McIntosh solid state amps.  The last was C2600 preamp with M452.  This sounds close to that.  So no one asks I sold the C2600 and M452 because I needed the money.  I am extremely happy with the 352.  My speakers are Sonus Faber Veneer 3.0.  
Good Luck 
The MA352 also struck my interest as I am looking to get into the Mac bandwagon. I have been eying the MC352/MC402 and too many variations.  Looking to combine an Atmos (7.2.4) HT setup with an audiophile L/R for my SACD listening. The HT by-pass seems to be the solution. Have you used this configuration? My L/C/R: B&W 805D3 (L/R) and B&W HTM4D2 (C). Any thoughts or recommendations?
Had a 352 sold it in a month and put the Pathos Classic One MkIII back in. Both are hybrid but the Pathos was more engaging and plenty of power and can be used as mono blocks.

now if having green glowing tubes and blue meters get the 352. Me it was about the sound not the glitz.
I have the MC352 currently driving a pair of KEF R5 and I can give you my assessment of this amp against my other amp (Mark Levinson 23.5):

1. The MC352 has the same bass output and authority comparing to the ML23.5. 

2. The MC352 is easier for your ear if you have a bad record or bad CD. It has a warmer, cozzier sound, comparing to the ML23.5

3. The MC352 is less resolving when it comes to micro detail comparing to the ML23.5 ; so if you have good recording then the ML23.5 will sound better.

4. The sound stage of the MC352 is smaller comparing to the ML23.5. By saying that, I mean the ML23.5 will give you a more lively presentation of the musical event ( it can be both engaging and fatiguing at the same time, depending on the record).

5. The LM23.5 has better imaging but the MC352 has more air around the instruments. 

Overall, I would prefer the MC352 for a long musical session. and I will choose the ML23.5 for maximum musical fidelity. 

Hope that help
Your descriptions are extremely helpful, thank you. After many years of pursuing numerous audio missions impossible, rolling hundreds of tubes, wires, and dozens of black or silver boxes, the MA352 may just be what I've been really looking for all along.  I also strongly suspect that my wife of the golden ears will be pleased, especially with recordings that are less than optimal, digital or otherwise.

I shall investigate further.  Subscribed.


I have had the MA352 for 7 months now. Through an unfortunate set of circumstances in a trade-up scenario I have aquired this amplifer for a modest cash outlay. However, I bitterly regret even looking at this amplifier, let alone actually lisening to it. It literally does everything wrong and cannot do anything right. Worse yet, being for sale on the used marker for a while, there is nobody that I could even pay to relieve me of it. I guess the word is out about the McIntosh hybrids. 

Buyer beware.

David are you the guy who constantly bashes this amp on Facebook? There are many many happy users so would not let the above post deter.

Funny, I have heard lots of positives about this amp and very few negatives...mostly from the "mac is not high end crowd". My answer is to go and listen for yourself. Its your money and your ears. It is worth the time and if it costs a little to travel turn it into a vacation. I live in HI and thats what I do whenever I buy . gear. If I am dropping $4-5k on something I just tie it into a vacation. I am retired though so that does help...