Mcintosh MC275 vs Marantz 8/8b

Mcintosh MC275 Comm edition or later


Marantz 8/8b

Which is better? I think they are the best from both companies, except marantz 9 which I have no way to afford.
I'm not sure if you are referring to an original Marantz 8 or 8b, or to the reissue that was produced by VAC ca. 1996. I can't comment on the reissue, but assuming you are referring to the original, I can offer some semi-relevant experience.

During the early to mid-1990s I owned a pair of Marantz 9 monoblocks, a pair of Marantz 2 monoblocks, and a pair of McIntosh MC30 monoblocks (which, obviously, differ considerably from all of the MC275 variants). Using speakers having easy to drive tube friendly impedance characteristics, the sonics of the Marantz 2's when operated in triode mode were absolutely gorgeous, and by far the best of the bunch. Using them in ultralinear mode resulted in slightly compromised sound quality in some respects, but they still sounded better than the 9's or the MC30's.

If your speakers have tube friendly impedance characteristics, and if 20 watts in triode mode or 40 watts in ultralinear mode is sufficient, and you are willing to spend what I suspect would be a bit more than twice the price of an 8B, it may very well be worth your while to wait for a nice pair of 2's to appear for sale, although that tends to be a fairly rare occurrence. If you would prefer not to wait, or if the price of a pair of 2's is prohibitive, my instinct would be to go with an 8B, if 35 to 40 watts is sufficient and if your speakers have tube friendly impedance characteristics. If you need more than 40 watts, or if your speakers have impedance characteristics that are only marginally tube friendly, go with the MC275.

-- Al
marantz 8b is not able to drive most current speakers but 275 can. marantz 8b is best for vintage such as LS3/5A.
MC 275 ranks 3rd or 4th in Mcintosh tube amplifier line up. # 1 buy far is the MC 225 ***** STARS. # 2 MC 240 ***1/2 STARS # 3 MC 30's barely *** stars # 4 MC 275 *** stars. More power does not mean better sound.This is my opinion of coarse. Everyone has different ears.All mac tube amps sound great!!! But some better than others.
Marantz8b all the way. Less tubes in the audio path. Superb output coupling transformer. The Marantz can drive electrostatics like Quads and any speaker with a sensitivity of 88dB/1W/1meter provided you don't listen at earth shattering levels. An original 8b will require service unless it has already had it's power supply caps and the voltage doubler caps replaced.
I had the pleasure of hearing a worked over 8b today. Simply awesome sound. So rich and complete. I'm a solid state guy and it takes a bit to 'wow' me, but the 8b was 'wow' worthy. Simply exceptional.
I already use a Marantz 8b with B&W 803s, in ultra linear mode , excellent experience , really amazingĀ