McIntosh vs Accuphase?

Right now I'm using a Marantz PM-11S1 w/ Monitor Audio Gold floor standers. I'm a big fan of Marantz reference gear and their smooth yet detailed warmth. That said, I'm looking to get an integrated for my bedroom setup with a built-in DAC (no room for separates), which nixes something like the PM-KI Ruby. Looks to me like the McIntosh MA5300 / 7200 or Accuphase E-280 / E-380 fit the bill. I'm not really interested in Hegel or Rotel based on their aesthetics. I kind of like the idea of VU meters as well. So the question is, between the two McIntosh integrated or the Accuphase, what's my play? I'm located in the US so that's two points for Mc (pricing and service). But the Accuphase stuff looks to have much higher quality components, design, and build quality. Though for the price of the E-280 w/ option boards I could get a MA7200 and have spare change. Hmm...

cleeds3,491 posts
12-10-2020 9:33amsolarjam
cleeds-- I have no doubt you had problems with your Aurender .
Every manufacturer has a lemon once in a while.
Quite so, no doubt. My issues with the Aurender were only in part the actual product - which I do not think was a lemon - but also the indifferent support. And to be fair, many users praise Aurender support. But my experience with them unsatisfactory.

I’m spoiled, though, because for decades I’ve had excellent support from companies such as Bryston, Grado, ARC and McIntosh. In years past, I received excellent support from Infinity, Tandberg, Nakamichi and PS Audio. In my experience, Aurender isn’t in their class. Not even close

cleeds3,491 posts
12-11-2020 4:34amlalitk
Sorry to hear about your experience with Aurender
Thanks @lalitk but it’s OK. It’s just an appliance.
... and it appears you’re still pretty miffed about it ...
Oh no, not at all. I was never "miffed" about it, just disappointed. Stuff happens.
I see very little point in dwelling over the past. Move on please....
I think it’s useful for readers to share their honest experiences here.
What’s odd about this is that if we praise a product, we’re subject to being called a "fanboy." Yet if we’re critical, we may be called "miffed" and asked to "move on."

I have moved on, btw - I bought a Bryston BDP-3 from the same dealer where I bought the Aurender. It’s terrific! I use it with Rigelian software and I think I’ll be pleased with it for years, as I have with other Bryston products. And if you think that makes me a "fanboy," that’s your problem.

Wait! Is this you praising McIntosh gear but attacking my personal experiences with Moon or any other product I’ve actually owned in the past? Hmmmm,  SMH. Do you do this with every thread or do you have any validity?? It looks like in your statement, you didn’t have any issues with McIntosh that you mentioned and you definitely didn’t mention anything positive about Moon! Hmmmm.  In fact you talked about Bryson, good products by the way + a 20 year warranty:-)

We test, fix and upgrade all equipment including McIntosh. However, we sell very few lines including Accuphase and Benchmark Media Systems in electronics. Both of these measure and perform well but they present the client with a very different identity. We look for equipment that sounds ’great’ and doesn’t break, and manufacturers who are well-funded. We also shy away from a line with a new update every week even though that probably looses us plenty of sales.

I would class Accuphase in the category of flexible, sonically and visually impeccable ’luxury’ goods from an extremely successful and well-funded company that have been in the same private hands for decades. However, they have recently brought in a new younger engineering designer who has made some exciting new models so they do not rest on their hands.

We test samples and listen to every line before we sell it. Neither current McIntosh nor current Luxman met our criteria. Current McIntosh equipment is designed to a price and is a bear to repair because of their circuit designs, layouts and fabrication.

Conversely, for example, the current and previous generation of separate Accuphase phono preamp is the closest piece of equipment that measures as a ’straight wire with gain.’ Their sonics are exquisite. The AD-50 Phono cards that plug into the integrated and some preamps are derived from them. The latest DAC card is also very good.

We would definitely recommend the E-x80 series if you are looking for a class a/b integrated that has much flexibility.

BTW, I am still using a T-100 FM tuner that I bought decades ago.
Here is an interesting thread about bench testing equipment that is suppose to be perfect in every way. I honestly thought it was about how it sounds! Please read. This article should help any person who is looking for that next great high end gear.