McIntosh amps - sound quality of solid state vs. tube?

McIntosh amps - sound quality of solid state vs. tube?

Postby redeyedjim » Sun May 22, 2011 10:51 am

Hi, new to the forum but not new to the music.

Looking at putting together a more Jerry-esque rig and I'm wondering what the general consensus is on the McIntosh solid state amps -- do they sound as warm/nice as the Mac tube amps? Thinking particularly of the 2xxx series. I know they are clean, but being clean is only part of the puzzle. I'll probably have more followup questions, but I'll start with this one, as I have a line of a Mac SS amp so I am particularly interested in this. Thanks!
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Re: McIntosh amps - sound quality of solid state vs. tube?

Postby mijknahs » Sun May 22, 2011 10:07 pm

The MC250 was the first solid state Mac I believe around 1969. My understanding was they were designed to sound like their tube amps. Read some current stereo audiophile reviews of those early Mac amps. People still like 'em because they are full and warm sounding with a clear high end. Not too clean and sterile sounding. They have a richness that a lot of other solid state amps are lacking. This would be true with the MC50, MC250, MC2505, MC100, MC2100, MC2105, and MC2300. They are all very similar.
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Re: McIntosh amps - sound quality of solid state vs. tube?

Postby JonnyBoy » Mon May 23, 2011 5:03 pm

+1 ^^... It is apparent to me that McIntosh was trying to retain the tube warmth of their previous tube cousins, like the MC275 MC230 etc... I have played solid state amp Hybrids my whole life and liked the Mosvalve amps before I tried a Mac. They are a warm transistor amp also. A note about BK Butler, the founder of Mosvalve/Tube Works, he also makes high end audiophile amps like McIntosh's and seems to share the same sonic thinking surrounding his SS creations. I would love a tube Mac but damn, I know I would break it, they cost as much as a used car, and that extra aspect of Jerry tone comes from a SS power amp for sure. I have yet to hear a complaint out of a SS Mac user...except for their bulky/ heavy package. Good luck man, lots of archived talk about these amps. Don't think you have to have the tube amps to get good tone. A good preamp should be plenty of "Tube" warmth.
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