McIntosh Amps Questions

McIntosh Amps Questions

Postby pablomago » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:17 pm

I know they were state of the art in their time, but what made them so special? Components? Design? Big heavy transformers? Attention to detail of workmanship?
And why isn't there anything like them being made today?

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Re: McIntosh Amps Questions

Postby lightningbolt » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:10 pm

McIntosh still is in business and still makes some amazing equipment in the same building in Binghamton NY where all of the amps we speak of on this board were built. The problem is that cost tons of money.

See these links for example: ... celist.pdf ... ctId=MC302

The modern equivalent of the MC2300, the MC302 has a retail price of $6500!!

I do not know much about amps and circuits and what makes them special but I do know that it cost a lot to hand make amps like this. It's probably at least one reason you don't see many starving guitar players lugging around a 98 pound MC302.
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Re: McIntosh Amps Questions

Postby Searing75 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:54 am

All's well that sounds well.
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Re: McIntosh Amps Questions

Postby PurpleTrails » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:03 pm

High end audio amps in general cost a lot more than what you see in guitar or PA amps. The main reason is that they are designed to perform at much lower levels of distortion, which necessitates things like big custom transformers, electric parts like resistors and capacitors that have much more narrow tolerances, a lot of times special and costly wiring. All this costs money. Then you add in the engineering time to design circuits that try to minimize the amount of feedback loops used, more expensive chassis to try and eliminate vibrations, and that they often are handmade. And, because they are trying to drive speakers cleanly over a wider spectral band, they are usually of much higher wattage, so that you don't cross over to break up until truly ear splitting SPLs.

Guitar amp generally have a very different design goal: to distort in an interesting way. Doing that generally means lower cost components, and a much more forgiving set of design specs.

The SS McIntosh amps were also voiced to sound more like tube amps than most. There are a few more SS audio amps out there voiced similarly, some with mosfet circuitry, that are cheaper. But I really wonder if those would deliver in the same way.
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