Mcintosh amp suggestion

I have a fairly modest system, currently running an Onkyo Rz50 AVR into a Monolith (ATI) 5 channel amp and then into a 5 channel Klipsch heritage system (La Scsla/Heresy). 

I bought the Monolith Amp when I had the Klipsch RF-7iii which needed a good bit of power to sound their best.  Now that I've sold the Rf7 and just have the La Scala I'm wondering if the Monolith Amp is necessary. 

This systen is primarily home theater/gaming with some music listening mixed in. I have always wanted the blue power meters of the McIntosh and was wondering which amps I might consider? 

2 channel is probably fine, I can run the rest off my Avr.  Multi channel would be great as well as some type of trigger.  Something in the 2000-2500 range would be ideal.  I found the mc2505.  Anything else that might fit well in my system? 


You'll probably only use the first 6 watts of any Mac you buy because they seem to be very fast with loads of headroom so just get the one that fits your budget. 

The meters are awesome!  I think that in your budget the MC 2505 is gonna be the right fit

A 2 channel preamp will do a lot more for music than an amp will. Amps don’t sound that different (they do sound different) but that avr is sucking the life out of your music. You can use an integrated amp with a Home Theater pass through. The higher end macs have this function but I am not sure about the lower end models.  I use a preamp/amp combo for music and pass from a receiver for movies. 

I own both Klispch and Mac (among other brands). They are fine together but don’t expect anything too amazing. I have played the RP8000f (I owned it for a bit) off a $800 Marantz and a $30,000 Mac based front end (both my systems) in the same room and the difference was not near as big as the internet would tell you. But all AVRs short of very specialty items really kill the soundstage and transparency of the music. But your speaker will still sound like your speaker regardless of front end and better will just be more transparent. It just comes down to what is the biggest limiting factor. 99% it is the speakers but in the case of an AVR…. Probably the AVR. 

thanks for the thoughts.  I'm about 90% gaming and movies on this system, hence the AVR.  I do want music to sound good, for sure, but I'm not quite to the point yet of getting a higher end AVR that might improve the music.

Wasn't aware the meters were sold separately.

I guess I'm just perhaps looking for something a bit more "boutique-ish" if that's even a thing.  I'm sure the Monolith/ATI is fine and I doubt I'll probably even hear a difference putting in something else, but it sure would be cool to have a McIntosh amp in the rack.  Have always drooled over them.

Don’t let anyone here talk you out of it either. McIntosh makes world class amplifiers and I’ve yet to find one that could better a Mc. There’s a reason why Mc is generally looked down upon by the audiophile community - the designs have a neutral sound. As in, void of flavor by the designer. In contrast, my Krell KSA-300S was just the opposite, so every Mc amp I own was its peer.

On to a solution to your dilemma. You’re likely not aware, but many McIntosh preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers have this super cool feature called PASS THRU which permits them to be used in conjunction with any brand of AVP which has a 12V trigger output (most do). This allows you to eat your cake and have it both. So, just for argument’s sake, let’s say you purchased a McIntosh stereo integrated amplifier with that feature. Here’s how it works:

- Your main (L&R) speakers connect to the integrated amplifier as well as your 2-ch sources. You switch it on, drop the needle in the groove and you’ve got this simple little 2ch system powered by the Mc.

- Your AVP connects (line level) to an input on the Mc that you designate as the PASSTHRU input in the setup process.

- Switch on the AVP and the integrated shows PASSTHRU on the display and none of the controls on it work any longer. It’s gain goes to unity (1:1 input/output) and the L&R output of the AVP is fed directly to the power amp and then on to the speakers.

To restore 2-ch operation, you simply turn off the AVP and then turn back on the McIntosh (I typically wait a minute). The nice thing about this is that the simplicity of using the system is exactly as it is now - the wife and kids won’t even notice any operational differences.

I’ve been set up this way with a C200/ MC2600 and an Integra DHC-80.6 / DTA-70.1 for over 5 years now. They work together as a complete Atmos system and I’ve got the best 2ch system I’ve ever assembled. Analog sources are all connected to the C200 (tape machines, turntables, etc). Digital sources are connected to both preamps (analog to the C200 and digital to the DHC-80.6 - CDP, Bluray, Cable Box, TV, etc).

As for sound and enjoyment, there’s a reason why the McIntosh audience is so hard core. Let me be the one to invite you on-board.

Pass-through is a great feature.    I incorporated my Dad's Anthem AVR into his MA8950  Integrated Amp and it is seemless.   

On the budget end the MA5300 is a nice integrated, but the MAC7200 receiver w/ autoformers is a really captivating piece.

I did hear the MA352 hybrid integrated w/ Forte IV and it was some of the most captivating sound I've heard.