McIntosh -- good for show, not for sound, says dealer

More unvarnished truth from YouTube.
"real audiophiles...know it doesn't sound that good"

Real audiophiles -- be aware. You've been read the Riot Act. 



I haven’t done a lot of serious listening McIntosh equipment. I did recently seriously audition the MA252 integrated. Worked great with a pair of Sonus Fabers. Not good at all with a pair of Harbechs. Okay with mine. My take, though, is that it was overpriced for the sound. But you get good, US service, and that's part of the price. 


A lot of this is about equipment matching. 

I have a pair of Mac 611 monoblocks driving B&W 802D's that sound wonderful.  They replaced eight parallel-series connected Harmon Kardon Citation II tube amps that output over 500 watts/channel at 0,1% THD into those same 'speakers.

Sound was excellent from the tube amps, too, but replacing $45 output tubes and 2.5 kW power consumption, not to mention lugging a 60-pound tube amp upstairs to my test bench at my age after every replacement necessitated the change.

I purchased a McIntosh MA 6100 in 1978. I’m still using it in a third system in my record storage room. It sounds great.  I also bought a previously owned MA 6900 in 2007 from Audio Classics in Vestal NY.  It is a full featured integrated that keeps me smiling. A month ago the 6900 went into protection mode and stayed there.  Ryan at Audio Classics made a diagnosis over the phone saying that McIntosh would replace the capacitor in question free of charge.  It took a few days for them to get the part from McIntosh. I made an appointment  and they repaired the unit that day.  They also replaced all the light bulbs for a small fee.  I believe that is exceptional customer service from Audio Classics and McIntosh. I tried to arrange a visit to McIntosh but apparently they are not conducting tours during the pandemic.  What’s not to like.  Wish I also had a vintage McIntosh tube amp.

Mac looks beautiful, but the house sound, especially for their SS gear, is not accurate to my ears. I have never understood the devotion frankly. I remember the first time I heard the 2105 amplifier in the mid 70’s while shopping for an amp. I thought the bass was bloated and ill defined, the highs edgy, and the overall sound thin with a flat sense of space. Remains to this day the worst sounding high end amp I ever heard. That sound has continuously continued- bloated bass, thin presentation, poor sense of depth- ever sense. It’s the autoformers I guess. 

But his next move is to start herding people into the camp of looks (effectively calling them non-audiophiles) by dint of brand association. It becomes an "us" vs. "them" strategy that names names. That kind of tribalism -- he calls his fans/customers a "tribe" -- is reminiscent of the worst instincts we have. It turns us against one another in politics, religion, orientation, and more. Don’t we have enough of that?

@hilde45, I apologize for using the "C" word! That's where my mind went after reading your comment. 

Regarding desperation, that's a state of mind that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I've been there many times in life before. My way to combat those feelings is to try to and be grateful and embrace humility.