[Review] McIntosh MA2275 Integrated Valve Amplifier

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by merlin, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. merlin

    merlin

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    McIntosh MA2275 Integrated Valve Amplifier

    McIntosh.

    You know.

    That obese American garbage that looks like a 70's Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and audiophiles smirk at.

    Big silver knobs. Blue VU Meters. Tone Controls. Geez they put the full roster of useless retro jewellry on McIntosh amps- must be a nostalgia trip marketed to those that know no better.

    So if you believe in the minimalist theories spouted by the hedonistic British upstarts of the eighties, you can already discount this anachronism as B&O for those sad gits living in a time warp and still listening to the summer of love soundtrack.

    But such an assumption would be your loss. Actually take the time to listen to this behemoth of a 75wpc valve amplifier, and you might well need to reassess much of what the HiFi press have told you over the last quarter of a Century.

    The first shock is that it sounds totally unlike the stereotypical vintage valve amp. Indeed it is difficult to associate the sound coming from your speakers with valves until a female vocal comes along and moves you to tears. Bass is deep and powerful, without having the buttock clenching quality associated with many solid state power amps. The bottom end breathes in a natural way (something not possible with clenched buttocks in my experience). All the audiophool attributes are there in abundence. Huge soundstage depth, wonderful HF detail and extension, along with excellent low level resolution.

    It's just that you don't care about such niceities. You are far too busy pulling out long archived recordings and devouring them with a passion you remember from your youth. Simply put, the Mac breathes life into everything you put though it. Music has more meaning and seems hardwired to the heart and foot at the same time. Yes! This antiquated American lump of metal times like Tim and has the abilty to follow rythmns and seperate musical strands that reminds me of my first LP12 based system back in the 80's.

    So we have an amplifier that delivers the musical experience with alacrity. The fact that it includes a workable mm phono stage, tone controls, and a decent headphone socket, is simply the icing on the cake. The Big VU meters serve two purposes. Firstly they enable you to see before the amp clips. Secondly they look too cool for words. They are more than simply the faux walnut on the dash.

    Downsides? Well it isn't cheap. But then again it's an investment that should be looking and sounding the same in 30 years (give or take the odd valve swap!) The phono stage is adequate for occasional listeing, but those with substantial vinyl collections will still want to seek out an off board alternative. The remote is bulky and cheap for a unit of this cost but it does provide remote mono switching which can be fun.

    This one's a keeper guys! Well unless I upgrade to a McIntosh pre/power. That will come as a shock to many. Merlin the mighty box swapper has met his match. I will not be bothering to look outside of the McIntosh catalogue for amplifiers in the near future. I'll be feeding this baby with as much new vinyl as I can afford.
     
    merlin, Oct 28, 2004
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  2. merlin

    sideshowbob Trisha

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    Post a pic, you know you want to.

    Lovely thing, I agree. An amplifier for a gentleman of taste.

    -- Ian
     
    sideshowbob, Oct 28, 2004
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  3. merlin

    MO! MOnkey`ead!

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    MO!, Oct 28, 2004
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  4. merlin

    penance Arrogant Cock

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    :ffrc:

    ;)
     
    penance, Oct 28, 2004
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  5. merlin

    michaelab desafinado

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    merlin, you might want to think about some of these:

    [​IMG]

    ...poor picture, suffering from camera shake etc but it's 2 MC1201 monoblocks. However you'll cry when you know where they were being used:

    [​IMG]

    ...at an AV dem at this years' Audioshow in Lisbon :cry:

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Oct 28, 2004
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  6. merlin

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    well it's lasted nearly a year and i suspect it 'll be in situ until the new uber speakers arrive. at that point something else will catch his eye and he'll drop the mac like a dirty old man.
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, Oct 28, 2004
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  7. merlin

    joel Shaman of Signals

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    I suspect the new speakers will require more "specialised" amplification... but for non-uber speakers Macin make very fine amps IMHO. As Merlin says, you just have to forget your preconceptions and theyears of round & flat propoganda.
    I didn't like those KEF speakers at all when I heard them a couple of years ago.
     
    joel, Oct 29, 2004
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  8. merlin

    Mister R

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    Hi! I heard this amp driving some Deli Helicon 300's at the recent Heathrow show and it sounded bloody marvelous. Extremely heavy duty piece of kit. I'd love one. If I had a spare few grand I'd get one and not have to worry for life on amplification. Superb build, great bass weight with control, everything really! Quite happy with my Cyrus for now though. i did walk away from that show thinking to myself that my system wasn't far off some much more expensive equipment in terms of sound quality though which was good :MILD: .
     
    Mister R, Oct 30, 2004
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  9. merlin

    merlin

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    Great Pictures Michael :) Those 1201's are mad - I don't know of anyone who actually needs 1200wpc but I suspect it's fun!

    As you will know, I rarely bother posting a review of the kit that troops through my living room, but the Mac deserves it IMO. Hoping to get some JBL's to tide me over until the project comes together, and the MA2275 should drive them delightfully.
     
    merlin, Oct 31, 2004
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  10. merlin

    penance Arrogant Cock

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    So Merlin,
    Is the honeymoon over, or are you still enjoying the Mac?
     
    penance, Nov 5, 2004
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  11. merlin

    merlin

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    Now Now Mr P :)

    The honeymoon period ended months ago mate, I deliberately did not post anything at that time. Hard to believe I know but this hifi swapping lark is IMO overrated anyway.
     
    merlin, Nov 5, 2004
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  12. merlin

    penance Arrogant Cock

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    Ah, sorry didnt realise how long you had the Mac for.

    Agreed, swapping is over rated, hope to stop soon ;)
     
    penance, Nov 5, 2004
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  13. merlin

    sideshowbob Trisha

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    I've stopped now too. Honest.

    -- Ian
     
    sideshowbob, Nov 5, 2004
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  14. merlin

    Robbo

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    Merlin and mini-Merlin (Ian),

    Sorry, I dont believe you :)
     
    Robbo, Nov 5, 2004
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  15. merlin

    sideshowbob Trisha

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    It's true, now I really have found The Finest Digital Source Known to Humanity that's it until the cartridge needs replacing or something catches fire.*

    -- Ian

    * Or I spot a secondhand Shigaraki phono stage :D
     
    sideshowbob, Nov 5, 2004
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  16. merlin

    alanbeeb Grumpy young fogey

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    Just out of interest, as you said that one of the downsides was that it is not cheap, just how cheap is one of these?
     
    alanbeeb, Nov 5, 2004
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  17. merlin

    dunkyboy

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    Ahhhh, so you got yourself a Musical Fidelity A5, eh?

    Dunc
     
    dunkyboy, Nov 5, 2004
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  18. merlin

    MO! MOnkey`ead!

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    [​IMG]
     
    MO!, Nov 16, 2004
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  19. merlin

    dunkyboy

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    Umm... did I miss something?

    Dunc
     
    dunkyboy, Nov 16, 2004
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  20. merlin

    MO! MOnkey`ead!

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    oops!

    There was a bit of text on the site with the picture. "The Macintosh Car", think it was from a show, and assume it was all rigged up.

    Just thought others may wish to see how these amp's are being used.

    Any plans for following this route Merlin?
     
    MO!, Nov 16, 2004
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