Seasoned Mcintosh Fans lend me your ears & advise

Hi All,
I guess I have become a Mcintosh Fanatic. It's all I think about of late, besides being with My Family, eating, and sex. My first listen to Mcintosh gear was when I was auditioning some Paradigm speakers at my dealer, about 1.5 years ago. The combo was the (now discontinued) Mc122 amp + Mc C-15 Pre + Sony Es Cd player + Mini Monitors. The Cd I Brought was Paul McCartney's (All My Best). This was the best music I'd ever heard (that type of playback that sings to the soul). Possibly all I ever need.

**My Current Rig: Rotel RB 976 amp, Parasound 850 pre, Cambridge Audio D500SE CD, Klipsch RF-3II's & Paradigm Mini's speakers. (Can't equal that type of playback thus far)

**Questions: (1) Do all "Mac amps" have a signature sound(70's models *250-MC2105 vs Updated *7100-MC162)? (2)Is the sound I heard mainly in the amp alone or will I also need to get the C-15? (3)If you guys had to have Mac's and on limited budget which would you consider?

I'd love to have one of their intergrated's (6500\6900). But, They are way over My budget.

Thanx for any comments,
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The MA6100 integrated is a huge bargain for the buck. At 70wpc it is typically Mac tube-sounding. I have several 6100's in stock that blow away my MC30 and MC40 monoblocks.
Unless you posses exceptional electronic skills, or have very deep pockets, stay away from the tube stuff...some of it does sound wonderful, but when something goes wrong, it is expensive. McIntosh's first solid state amplifier was the MC2100 (this is a "de-metered" MC2105)...depending on how effecient your speakers are, there is a wide selection of McIntosh amps that will reproduce the sound you liked...the MC2505, MC2105, MC2125, MC2155, MC2205, all of these have the big blue meters...the comparable models to these, but without the meters are the MC250, MC2100, MC2120, MC2150, and MC2200...all of these amps were produced between about 1968 and 1985, and all have the famous McIntosh "autoformers"...these transformers are the big difference between the "good stuff" and today's amplifiers...this is what gave the solid state amps by McIntosh the sound so much like the tube can spend from $500 to $2500 for these amps today...the C15 preamp you listened to, is by McIntosh standards, very average...the classic preamps that match the amps listed would be the C26, C27, C28, C29, C30, C32, and C33...just depends on how much you want to spend and what your listening habits are...each is an excellent preamp...if you are interested in a tuner, the MR73, MR74, MR75, MR77, and MR78 are the companions for the listed preamps and amps from the classic McIntosh years...they are all analog tuners, some am-fm, some fm only, and all are fine...probably the MR74, MR75, and MR78 being the best of the lot...pretty much any combination of the above components, assuming they are in good condition and operating properly, will make a very fine sounding system and will hold it's value much better than the stuff being produced today...there is some fine equipment made today, including some by McIntosh, but be ready to spend many thousands of dollars just to equal what this "old stuff" has to offer...
thanx for the info guys,

(Precbsed): The Intergrated would be a nice route. I wouldn't have to worry about Preamp Pairing. There aren't many reviews on these. What condition are those 6100's in? Do you have a web site? What's the going rate for the 6100 these days? also do you service\refurbish these or do you offer warranties on your models? Last time I checked those models looked really beaten up (no meters to help the look). But, I have no doubt that would still sound wonderful. By the way, is there a remote on those? Do You have any 6200's as well?

I really would like to have one of those metered version 2505-2205. But the way they are sold and resold, on this and other sites have me questioning their value now. I think if they still sounded good that some of these people would want to hold on to them (Unless these people are finding the "Bigger Better Systems"?).

I'm not trying to hear any tubes (Not into tweaking)!!!

- The question still remains Though Guys. Is the Sound In the Amp, Or is it the combo of the amp and pre? In other words Will one of these amps sound as good with my parasound pre????

I bought my first Macs in 1970 (C26, MC2505 and MR73). They are currently used by a relative and they look and sound as good as the day they came out of the box. To this day I still use Mac stuff and have yet to find a unit I didn't like. This includes an integrated MA6100 (still going strong) and others too numerous to mention. The quality is first-rate. As long as you are careful (e.g. item not dropped from a plane), you should be satisfied with any of the older models. And don't forget to check out the preamp/tuner MX combos.
Well, you get the idea!
Happy listening.

You like that 6100 better than your Old C26+2505 combo?
Is it "tube-like" in sound as (precbsed) mentioned? How is the bass response on that 6100? Lastly, what speakers are you running & are you a Cd or LP user?

Hey Jalen - I know what you are going through. I became an instant Mc fan after auditioning the MC352 and C41. Suddenly my Krell equip didn't seem to do it anymore. I have since auditioned or borrowed the MC6200, MC6500, Mc6900, MC2205, Mc240(tube), MC202, mx110, c15, c712, and c100. All of them are excellent with the 6200 being one of the best values since you don't have to worry about preamp matching and can be had cheap. I was amazed at the sound that little green and black unit could produce (this was on Tannoy 700) and the owner was the original one and could not part with it for anything.

I had a MC2125 and C33 for a while that I bought for a song as a pair and they were even more tube-like and sometimes I thought they were too much so. They did not seem to keep up with my fast music (for most, this would be moot) and this was by far the only hesitation. Midrange was the silkiest ever for ss. I then got a little MC7100 which is direct coupled (no autoformers) and I am amazed by it. I had it with the c33 for a while but wanted the c712 since it matches very well and has only the features I want with awesome noise specs. I got it and could not be happier. I will eventually get an amp with autoformers but I am in no hurry.

The 7100 beats my KSA-100 in many aspects like, smoothness, crystal highs that somehow never hurt, a thundering bass that is almost shocking considering the modest size and power rating (which is in typical Mc fashion, highly understated), spine-tingling imaging and soundstage, and just a smoothness and coherence that is outstanding. I just love it. I keep listening to other Mcs and frankly I find them all good whether old or new. There is a slight change to more neutrality ("clearness" if I dare say but then again the noise specs are very different) as you get into the 1990s but the smoothness and musicality are maintained. Each model was made for a long time (the 6200 for 13 years!)with no need for rev.A,B,C,D,deluxe,MkI,MKII,MkXXX, etc. since they were right the first time. COnsequently there were many made of some models and so you will see them often for sale. Some people say "check out how many Mcs are for sale - they must be bad" but don't realize that Mc has been around longer than anyone else! Lots of components are made in 51 years time. You will have to try a few - they are easy to resell and so swapping out is fun - since there is some sound variation through the years. I am curious about trying out the cheap (ugly) ones like the mc2100, mc250, and mc752/4, just to see if they are as good. Some reviewers say they are and I doubt at this point that Mc makes anything subpar. Check out if you haven't already - and go down to product history. I have the whole site memorized, thank you Roger! Any questions you have, feel free. I use Sony ES CD, all MIT cables, and Paradigm Reference 100.2s. Arthur
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You asked about the 6100 specifically.
The 6100 was as good as the C26/MC2505 combo. I sold the 6100 to my brother-in-law about 10 years ago and it also is as good as day 1. He is using CD's and vinyl with a preference for vinyl. He is driving McIntosh (what else?) XR6 speakers. I used it on a variety of speakers. Bass was fine but perhaps not quite as "tight"as others - but pretty darn close. The sound (as with most Mac amps) could be described as "tube-like". I found all Mac amps really to be quite "neutral" in the sense that they did not impart their own sonic signature to the music. They do not have the harshness or brittleness which I have found with some other SS amps.
Hope this helps you out.
Thanks for all the Info guys, especially those whom I bugged via email (LOL). Everythings still up in the air for me right now. I have yet to get final approval from the MRS.. I will be sure to post If and when I do make a purchase.

**BTW** - Aball - I've had that Roger Rusell site marked for sometime now thanks.

- Precbsed - I have your email and Phone number if I decide to go the 6100 route.


P.S. Does anyone need a 6 channel Rotel (RB976)? It's near mint and it's perfect for HT?!?!
I'm a certified Mac junkie, having a $40,000 full Mac System at present. As far as Mac being a little pricey, indeed they are, BUT, you are getting an incredible bang for your buck. Dollar for dollar, if you compare Mac equipment to other components with the same specs, such as Krell, Halcro, Classe, Conrad/Johnson etc, Mac will come out ahead all the time. Sal

Bingo! You hit the nail on the head. I have been a Mac fan since 1970. In the LONG RUN, nothing else comes close.