Advice on Mcintosh amps

Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby BPG » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:06 pm

Hi All,
I am considering purchasing a mcintosh amp to use in my current rig and need some advice as to which model to go with. I think the mc2300 is out of the question due to its weight and I do not need that much power.

My current set up:
Custom Carvin with Demarzios and CB2 UGB (Waldo's schematics)
67 Dual Showman
QSC 1602 poweramp
2 JBL E120s
Various Pedals

So far the models I am considering are the mc2100, the mc 2120 and the mc2105. My main questions are: Besides a power difference, which of these three best captures the tone of the mc2300 and are there really any differences in the end result tones of these models? I am currently using either tubes in my showman or the QSC 1602. Will I notice any real difference if I switch to a Mac? Thanks for your input.
BPG
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby mijknahs » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:36 pm

Hey BPG,

Get a McIntosh. They are really what you are looking for. I have a MC2120, and MC2150 and an MC2300. I used to have an MC2100 until I sold it to my buddy who needed a better sounding rig.

I've tried a bunch of other solid state power amps and they all sound different. Most are too harsh and brittle sounding. The Mac is so rich and balanced. Great clear highs that aren't harsh and deep lows that growl and aren't muddy. It really improves your tone. Especially if you're preamping a Fender amp and running JBLs.

Any one of those amps you mentioned will sound pretty much the same and will sound great. The meters look cool but the glass panel is not cool when it breaks. I'd recommend going with one without the front glass panel unless you're not planning on moving it much.

I set the Mac about half way and run my Fender Twin at about 7. Then I control the volume from my guitar. I never have it up all the way when playing with a band.

Here is a sample of my small rig (1xJBL E120, Fender Twin, MC2120 one channel - 8 ohms):
http://ia311012.us.archive.org/0/items/ ... verYou.mp3

Here is me with my band using a 2xE120s cab (4 ohms) instead: http://www.archive.org/details/TigerRos ... July2009_5

Get the Mac. It will complete your sound!
Jim
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby bpg21 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:04 am

Thanks for the response Jim. Great playing. You sound like you have a bluesgrass background.
I did pick up the MC2100 and I am more than pleased with the results. It really nails the tone I was after. I have always loved Jerry's 74 wolf tone and I finally have it!! The notes really bloom especially the higher ones. The harshness is gone. It really brings out the character of the guitar and effects. For all of you who are searching for the sound, the Mac has to be in your foundation. I don't think its possible to achieve it any other way (digital or otherwise). You do not need the MC2300 to do this. The Mc2100 is 65 lbs. and has all the juice us mere mortals will ever need. While not light, it is manageable and all the tone is there plus you can pick one up on Ebay for between $500-600. I am using the CB2 buffer which is OK but am interested in Waldo's buffer which I might have to pick up since I hear it is so neutral. I am finding that my favorite tone is straight into the amp with no effects. Pure Jerry bliss!
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby bpg21 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:04 am

Thanks for the response Jim. Great playing. You sound like you have a bluesgrass background.
I did pick up the MC2100 and I am more than pleased with the results. It really nails the tone I was after. I have always loved Jerry's 74 wolf tone and I finally have it!! The notes really bloom especially the higher ones. The harshness is gone. It really brings out the character of the guitar and effects. For all of you who are searching for the sound, the Mac has to be in your foundation. I don't think its possible to achieve it any other way (digital or otherwise). You do not need the MC2300 to do this. The Mc2100 is 65 lbs. and has all the juice us mere mortals will ever need. While not light, it is manageable and all the tone is there plus you can pick one up on Ebay for between $500-600. I am using the CB2 buffer which is OK but am interested in Waldo's buffer which I might have to pick up since I hear it is so neutral. I am finding that my favorite tone is straight into the amp with no effects. Pure Jerry bliss!
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby tigerstrat » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:17 am

Jim, submit your resume...
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby mijknahs » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:59 am

Hey BPG21,

Glad you picked up an MC2100 and are enjoying it! I know what you mean about your favorite sound is just going direct to the amp. I love the sound of just an open E or A chord. The Mac is so amazing and so much better than any other power amp. You can have every other part of the equation (pickups, buffer, preamp, speakers, etc.) and without the McIntosh, it won't get "THAT SOUND".

Thanks for the bluegrass comment. I'm starting to form a bluegrass band right now (me on banjo). We've had one practice so far and it sounds pretty good already.

Jim
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby mijknahs » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:17 am

Hey Tigerstrat,

Thanks for the recommendation. I don't think I could cut it though (on many different levels). That would be a HARD job and would require a LOT of studying and committment. Especially when you're playing all eras of the Dead. I kinda focus on just one era (early 80's - my personal favorite) and some songs I avoid. It would be like a dream job though (playing GD music with great musicians to big crowds). John K. is really living the dream now though. How cool is that - to play with your heros? I remember in '94 and '95 at the few GD shows I attended, Jerry seems pretty clueless and I knew I could play those songs better than he was "at that time". But when he was ripping in the early 80's, no one could touch him (then or now).
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby bpg21 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:12 am

Hey Jim and whoever else knows about this stuff,
How do you have your mac wired? On the left output I have my speaker wires wired to the 8 output terminal and the com. terminal. I then run an independant wire from the left channel 6 terminal to the right 8 terminal. I have it set to mono and run the right channel RCA output to my preamp. The This is how I read it from the manual in order to run a 4 ohm load. I am running two cabinets each containing one 8 ohm JBL E 120. So its mac to one E120 and I daisy chain it the next speaker. It sounds great but I am not sure if this is correct. Also. if I take away one of the speakers which now makes it an 8 ohm load, do I risk damaging anything due to the load mismatch?
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby mijknahs » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:12 am

I would just use one channel and set the amp for "stereo". Leave the other channel unused. Hook up your speakers to the 4 ohm post (and com) if running a 4 ohm load (in parallel). If using one speaker, switch to the 8 ohm post. I use banana plugs and have adaptors on the speaker posts so I can just plug into them.

You shouldn't need to run the amp in mono (for 200W) to get the volume you're looking for. One channel should be plenty. Or you could hook up one speaker to the left channel and one to the right (8 ohm each). Then you'd need mono splitter to 2xRCA to hook up your preamp. I have one of my power amps set up this way. Each speaker will have it's own volume control which is kinda cool.
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Re: Advice on Mcintosh amps

Postby Pete B. » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:17 am

Wow, i see one here (ebay completed listings) went for just over 3 bills. I'll have to start to keep my eyes open.



http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200 ... =824&kw=lg
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