Upgrade to McIntosh

Hello everyone,

I am looking to upgrade my hi-fi sytem.I demod MC 275 recently and loved the tuby,warm house sound of Mcintosh.

I will be pairing them with Sonus Faber Olympica 1.

I am torn between MA352 integrated and MC275+C8 separates. The latter is obviously more costly but I am willing to go for it if there are advantages.

How would the sound differ? What would be the most notable distinction between the two system in your opinion?

Thanks in advance

I have been a long time McIntosh fan and have run MC352, MC601's, MC75 III, and currently MC275VI.  Surprisingly, a Don Sachs II pre amp absolutely out performed my beloved C500T pre amp.  Suspect 6SN7 based system is just better than 12AX7 to my ears.  I ran Cremona Auditor M's, then Guarneri Evolutions and both were excellent.  A move to a much larger room allowed me to run Cornwall IV's and I have no interest in changing anything.  Don't overlook the Don Sachs / McIntosh synergy.....a wonderful match.  Have fun!


I second what you said. I'm running a C2300 with MC601's and I get wonderful, warm tube sound with lots of bass. I also have an MC275 in my system and I can switch between the 601's and the 275, and the difference between the SS amps and tube amp is definitely more subtle than when I had a SS preamp with the same amps.

Interesting you ask. I went down a whole rabbit hole trying to go with bookshelves on speaker stands, + a wireless sub, due to my room limitations. and I was very disappointed by the sound - it was very “small and narrow”. My room is about 20x18. I found the spendor A4s and went with those (the footprint of the A4 is **SMALLER** than that of any speaker stand base). I personally am deeply satisfied with the A4 (could have gone A2 but I got a deal) + subwoofer combo. Depending on what I am listening to, I will or won’t use the sub. The splendors powered by the M352 provide a wonderful, lovely, crisp sound. For “critical listening” I use the built-in headphone functionality with my focal MGs.


how big is your room?


it goes without saying, part of the appeal of the 352 is the simplicity, and the look, which in my case this is my living room, I don’t have room for 2-3 components and it’s wife-approved, were also key. But IMO, the 352 provides specTacular sound in addition to the aesthetic.



I can comment on how good the DA2 module is. I run an additional Aries Cerat Helene DAC in my system ($17K). The Helene is clearly better in every aspect. However, what most impresses me about my system is just how good the DA2 is when I do an A/B test. DACs have become so good for so little money. I really think you would need to be in the $3K range to better the DA2, and that improvement wouldn't be jaw-dropping; $10K would be needed for that reaction. This is just an example of how good of a value the DA2 brings to the table. 

Just be aware of one of the most remorseful decisions involved in choosing your hi-fi gear:

Purchasing a less expensive piece of gear instead of what you really wanted!

Best of luck