Power Amp Alternatives

Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby tigerstrat » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:38 pm

Anyone notice how whenever someone asks about alternative choices, several people respond by suggesting the very thing to which the OP was seeking an alternative?
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby mijknahs » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:59 pm

tigerstrat wrote:Anyone notice how whenever someone asks about alternative choices, several people respond by suggesting the very thing to which the OP was seeking an alternative?


To me, the original poster wanted a cheaper alternative to a $2000 McIntosh (MC2300). The best affordable "alternative" to the $2000 McIntosh would be a $300 to $500 McIntosh (MC250 or MC2100).
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby seniorpesca » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:12 pm

Am I getting ripped off paying 600 for mc2100??
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby mijknahs » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:19 pm

seniorpesca wrote:Am I getting ripped off paying 600 for mc2100??


Not necessarily. But it should be in very good condition (shiny, no rust, etc.). You might be able to find one for $100 cheaper if you want to wait (maybe a few months). I think the ultimate is an MC100 (like the MC2100 but mono and half the weight) but you'll probably wait a long time until you see one for sale. There weren't very many made.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby PaulJay » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:25 pm

Here is an MC-2100 on Long Island. http://longisland.craigslist.org/ele/3302295861.html
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby mijknahs » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:32 pm

PaulJay wrote:Here is an MC-2100 on Long Island. http://longisland.craigslist.org/ele/3302295861.html


Don't get one that "needs work". You'll probably be spending hundreds to get it fixed.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby NSP » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:08 am

mijknahs wrote:
seniorpesca wrote:Am I getting ripped off paying 600 for mc2100??


Not necessarily. But it should be in very good condition (shiny, no rust, etc.). You might be able to find one for $100 cheaper if you want to wait (maybe a few months). I think the ultimate is an MC100 (like the MC2100 but mono and half the weight) but you'll probably wait a long time until you see one for sale. There weren't very many made.


I bought an MC250 a while back and visually it's near mint; no rust or pitting and looks great. I thought it sounded really nice although the left channel was acting a little funky with some distortion. I brought it in to a local experienced and trustworthy Mac tech and it ended up needing about $400 in repairs to get it back to spec. Sounds amazing now and I have the peace of mind that it's performing as it should.

So, $600 is a good price if it's plug and play. If it's an option for you, I'd suggest getting it checked out before you commit as you may end up paying a lot more to get it back to it's full potential. Best of luck!
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:28 am

I am liking my Mosvalve so far
:-)
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby jenkins » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:42 am

I thought he was looking for an alternative to the mc2300, which can cost a good 2000.
IMO,if your gonna spend 3-500 on a power amp an mc is the only way to go.
IMO nothing beats a mc2100, I also have an mc2505 which has been relegated to being my home stereo amp due to it not having quite enough power. Nothing beats listening to 70's dead on a Mac.

I had an option of getting an mc100 and I went with the 2100 because it is easily rack mounted, the one I bought actually came w rack wings on it. Also I really like the idea of having a backup amp built in in the second channel.
Mount that thing in a 4 space rack with your preamp and maybe your reverb unit and it isn't hard to carry around At all.

How much does a vintage twin reverb weigh? If I'm not mistaken it is not THAT much lighter.

I lugged one around for a minute and that thing was a beast to carry from its handle, that thing always killed
My back.
If your worried about weight get a 2500 or 2505, they're light and do pack some punch, you generally have to mic your cab anyways.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby mijknahs » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:07 am

jenkins wrote:I thought he was looking for an alternative to the mc2300, which can cost a good 2000.
IMO,if your gonna spend 3-500 on a power amp an mc is the only way to go.
IMO nothing beats a mc2100, I also have an mc2505 which has been relegated to being my home stereo amp due to it not having quite enough power. Nothing beats listening to 70's dead on a Mac.

I had an option of getting an mc100 and I went with the 2100 because it is easily rack mounted, the one I bought actually came w rack wings on it. Also I really like the idea of having a backup amp built in in the second channel.
Mount that thing in a 4 space rack with your preamp and maybe your reverb unit and it isn't hard to carry around At all.

How much does a vintage twin reverb weigh? If I'm not mistaken it is not THAT much lighter.

I lugged one around for a minute and that thing was a beast to carry from its handle, that thing always killed
My back.
If your worried about weight get a 2500 or 2505, they're light and do pack some punch, you generally have to mic your cab anyways.


You must have the 2105 if its rack mountable.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby seniorpesca » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:55 pm

had the MC2100 personally delivered to me today :cool:
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby mgbills » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:28 pm

You won't be disappointed. Even if in your dotage it gets relegated to your stereo.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby jenkins » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:11 pm

mijknahs wrote:
jenkins wrote:I thought he was looking for an alternative to the mc2300, which can cost a good 2000.
IMO,if your gonna spend 3-500 on a power amp an mc is the only way to go.
IMO nothing beats a mc2100, I also have an mc2505 which has been relegated to being my home stereo amp due to it not having quite enough power. Nothing beats listening to 70's dead on a Mac.

I had an option of getting an mc100 and I went with the 2100 because it is easily rack mounted, the one I bought actually came w rack wings on it. Also I really like the idea of having a backup amp built in in the second channel.
Mount that thing in a 4 space rack with your preamp and maybe your reverb unit and it isn't hard to carry around At all.

How much does a vintage twin reverb weigh? If I'm not mistaken it is not THAT much lighter.

I lugged one around for a minute and that thing was a beast to carry from its handle, that thing always killed
My back.
If your worried about weight get a 2500 or 2505, they're light and do pack some punch, you generally have to mic your cab anyways.


You must have the 2105 if its rack mountable.


I don't have an mc2100, it's actually a 2120. 
It's funny cuz when I first read your post I was all thinkin 'this dude don't know what he's talking about' & then I went and looked and sure enough, it aint no 2100 lol. 
I've been calling this thing a 2100 for like over 2 years now. 

MC-2120-- this amp seriously kicks ass. I was lucky that  mine even came with rack wings. 
It's a good 65lbs but mounted in a small rack with just a preamp it's wicked easy to carry, def easier than the twin reverb I lugged around for a minute, easier than most combos except the small ones. It's a little heavy but really easy to carry in a nice rack with handles. 

Nothing comes close to a Mac as far as tone goes IMO, the warmth and character they add to your tone just can't be beat, there's a reason jerry used one almost his whole career and it's not because it looked cool. 

It's funny, first time I ever used it I actually used it to play bass for a jam session.  Used it thru my guitar rig which was just a tubeworks real tube preamp into the Mac. Everyone was setting up and I plugged in and hit one note and everyone actually stopped what they were doin and looked up at each other and were like whoa! I swear to god it literally stopped everyone in their tracks. I hadn't even adjusted the pre for bass yet either. That was the funnest time I've ever had playing bass, sounded exactly like John kahns tone and it was great. So Literally from the first note I hit on my Mac I knew it was something special, at this point I can never go back to a regular amp. 

One of the things that most amazes me about macs is how you can crank the shit out of em and they don't hurt your ears. That was always a problem I had, my ears would actually hurt after a big jam session, but not with the Mac. It just doesn't distort, super loud and no ear pain. 

I even use them for the PA for our acoustic gigs, which we've been doing a lot lately. Il use one channel for the mains, the other for the monitor and it works awesome. Bigger acoustic shows we'll use the 2120 for the mains and my 2505 for the monitors. Every show we've ever done where we use the macs for amps someone comes up, usually a couple people, and ask us how we got it to sound so good. We always have people asking us what the trick is to such good sound quality and I always point to the macs. 

If your in the market for a 3-600$ amp get a Mac, you will not be dissapointed. 

What I wonder is how come no other amps sound like macs? Why are they the only ones that can make such high quality sound? If we used another audiophile quality amp like a Marantz(I think) or one of those other few ultra-expensive audiophile amps would it sound as good? 
Would other audiophiles sound as good or do macs just have some sort of magic in them?
One thing is sure...they definitely have magic in those things.  I've only played through 2, the ones I own, and they sounds amazing for any use (guitar, bass, PA, & home listening)

Haha, I can just go on and on about how dank macs are. 
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby jenkins » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:06 pm

Awesome señorpesca, your gonna love that shit!


Do you guys really think the 250's are loud enough?

I dont think my 2505 is quite loud enough to just be my guitar amp, do you think it's just mine? Thing sounds awesome but just not quite loud enough. Perfect volume for home stereo, makes for an awesome grateful dead listening/dance party in your living room but for guitar I just don't find it quite loud enough, you gotta have it cranked all the way and I feel like I have to crank up my preamp a little too much to get that volume I want where it really cuts through completely and is almost on top of the band, if you know what I mean. Like when you hear a great GD mix you can hear every nuance of Jerry's guitar like you can't quite the other instruments in the band. He's just like a tiny notch louder than the band, but every note fits perfect so it's certainly not like obtrusive or anything.
That's how I want my guitar to cut through when I turn up the vol knob to go into a solo, where I can here every nuance of every note clearly; let the guitar sing, on top of the music just like the vocals are on top of the music. Does that make any sense?
Well I feel I can't do that properly with the 2505, can you guys?
I'm only using one 12" jbl in a small cab. Does anyone Think if I used a 2-3 speaker cab it'd be louder just bc id be pushing that much more air?

Also I think a 100 or 120 is worth getting over the 50 is because you can get it right in that sweet spot. The volume set on like 3/4 is totally the sweet spot on a Mac from what I can tell, maybe a fat 3/4, right to the point where you nail the strings hard you can just get it to clip and flash that red light and it sounds oh so sweet. And I can have my pre set to the right volume where if I hit my strings hard I get just a little dirt but otherwise clean...clean yet dirty ohmmmmzz The 50 i gotta keep it cranked and it clips all the time and the preamp is dirtier cuz I gotta crank the volume which gives it mOre drive.

Where did Jerry have his 2300 set? Waldo? I feel like that's why Jerry needed his 2300, so he could get just a little but louder than the whole grateful dead without clipping the amp the whole time.

What years did Jerry use the mc2500,The 500w?
Didn't be use a 120 or a 200 too at some point? Anyone know what show or run of shows he used that? I'd like to compare how his different macs sounded.

And what about the crest that he used, IMO the second best to Mac I had the 8001 for a while and even used it at a couple bigger gigs to power a sub in the PA and it sounded great. Works great as a power section after a nice preamp.
But did Jerry actually use it for his guitar for those tours or was it just for his midi? Did he actually experiment it to see if it'd replace his Mac? Isn't that what the band was using for PA amps at the time?
In 93 Jerry was using the 8001 for his in-ear mic amplifier according to Healy.
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Re: Power Amp Alternatives

Postby hippieguy1954 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:48 am

I wonder why JK doesn't use one?
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