McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby gr8fl4295 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:05 am

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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby tcsned » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:31 pm

I've used both and there are great things about them both. Can't beat that warm tube tone. I never thought I'd like a solid state amp but my MC2100 blew me away. Very musical and very balanced from low to high notes. Got a Marshall preamp and power amp on the way and I'm interested how the Mac will do with the Marshall.
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby Quarterpounder » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:37 pm

McIntosh.............



Strat/waldo buffer/Sarno/McIntosh MC50/JBL......magic!

I've owned all kinds of tube amps and tube poweramps.

The Macs just have a depth and smoothness I can't find in anything else, period.
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby ugly rumor » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:00 pm

I actually prefer solid state for bass....(duck)
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby mgbills » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:23 pm

Well. It sounds like I'm being diplomatic...but I like both.

I have a '67 Twin Head that needs Jerrification. Never play it. Needs love.

I have a '67 Deluxe with a D120. Modified Jerry/Sarno tone stack. Love Love Love it. 6V6's are creamier than 6L6's, but Man O'Man....there is the CrackleFizzleSpankOrific NOS Tube-e-ness that I love. Love Love.

Then I got this little Mesa Boogie TA-15. Bratty Trebbly '77 Jerry, in a low volume package.

Then the SMS>GCX>Mc250 (or 2100). Well...it's got this thing. It's Universal. It'll do about anything.

Spoiled I know. I pay a price. I'm a workaholic amateur, and I rarely get to play loud enough to use this stuff. Play every day. Keep the partyin' to the occasional. Work. Play guitar. Enjoy my wife. Enjoy the 20 something lads. All's good.

Sometimes ya need a little raspy tube Jerry for the head...I go to tubes...if I'm feeling all '70.
Sometimes ya need the Tweedly Tigery Jerry. Then it's Mc.

If I had to have one...it'd be the Mc rig.
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby tigerstrat » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:57 pm

Is it...
SS Macs vs tube Macs? or SS Macs vs ALL tube power amps?
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby mijknahs » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:47 am

I like both my Twin with the power tubes and the Twin as a preamp into a McIntosh. The Twin on it's own will break up more. The McIntosh can get louder. I found I like using KT66s instead of 6L6s. They sound "bigger".
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby jeager » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:48 am

I had a MC250 early on in my quest for the right rig and loved the tone and feel for sure...I was worried about shlepping it around to gigs, frequently in places where we don't have enough space to really set up (often six players, sometimes eight) So I picked up a Mesa 50/50 and have been very happy with it. I only use one side at 50 watts and its plenty loud on stage. Dead heads are always telling me it sounds like Jerry other guitar nuts tell me I have great tone so. I know some of you guys would say, well its not exactly 72', 82' and it certainly ain't 89' tone but I feel like I can move around in all of those years with this rig...

Andrew Olson Jerryfied strat --> SMS Earth Drive --> SMS Classic (carbon Film 70s mod) --> Mesa 50/50 --> Jbl K120

The mesa does a great job of being really clean and dynamic and then saturated with just a hint of clipping. I know lots of guys would want to use more power but i just don't see the point of being that loud on stage, big places we just mic the cabs.

I do wish I still had my MC 250 just for special comparison and special occasions etc...

Here is a sample, solo comes in at about 3:00 i think.. in retrospect, not the best sounding example but what the hell.

https://soundcloud.com/ronald-r-dievert/sleeping-giant-cover-scarlet?in=ronald-r-dievert/sets/jroos
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby mijknahs » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:59 am

You should try the new Tung Sol KT66 in your Mesa power amp if they fit. They have the same heater current draw and same bias range. You can just throw them in any amp that uses 6L6s.
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby tigerstrat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:47 pm

mgbills wrote:Well. It sounds like I'm being diplomatic...but I like both.
...
Then the SMS>GCX>Mc250 (or 2100). Well...it's got this thing. It's Universal. It'll do about anything.
...
Sometimes ya need the Tweedly Tigery Jerry. Then it's Mc.

If I had to have one...it'd be the Mc rig.


You seem to be saying SS vs tube makes no difference, as long as it's a McIntosh?
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby gr8fl4295 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Yeah, sorry, I'm comparing Mac SS vs. Mac Tube.
And actually, more specifically, an MC50 vs. MC60.
Thanks all.
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby mgbills » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:46 pm

Ahhh TS, you seem to have perceived the intent of the header more accurately than some of us.

To address the question...my recollection is that The Boys tried tube Mc's early (it occurs to me that someone here has the photographic record), but durability & ultimately headroom were issues. I have only heard Mc tube amps in an audio environment, and cannot address their merits as guitar gear. I have been Jonesing to make that comparison, but I guess ultimately when I run into a pair of Mc60's at a fair price...they'll only really get a trial in the guitar rig. When that happens, they'll go to the stereo. They are 5 times as expensive on CL (even) typically, and worse on EvilBay.

Peace & good luck in your quest.
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby mgbills » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:51 pm

And to your point TS...I perceive them to be different. My sonic association is somewhat simplistic in that I associate tubes with the more tonally dynamic (gritty perhaps) tone of the earlier years, and a smoother rounder tone with the 80's onward. There a tons of exceptions, and it's only a gross generalization.

That post was somewhat awkward stream of consciousness.
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Re: McIntosh Solid State vs. Tube power amps

Postby gr8fl4295 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:18 pm

Thanks for all the info guys!
MC50 won!
SMS CTPJG ordered!
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