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

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

@jeffreyw Thanks for posting that comparison. I’ve been curious what level I would need to be looking at if I ever decided to go back to using an external DAC in my system. This eliminates a lot of guessing. 

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