FYI, there is an active McIntosh discussion board at AudioKarma: http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=54. I searched this board on "headphones" and got 286 hits! So there is some headphone interest within the McIntosh community.
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I had high expectations of this based on so-called "professional reviews" listed on the iFi website & ones here. Particularly the one from the audiostream "Greatest bits"...
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Mcintosh? - Page 3
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Just to add some additional information to this thread, there are four McIntosh preamplifers with 20 watt per channel monitor amps built on the preamp chassis that do double duty. These onboard monitor amps can drive the headphone jack and can power speakers from terminals on the rear of the preamp. These preamp models are C32, C33, C34V and the C40. I purchased a C40 preamp new in 1995, and enjoyed it for 13 years before moving to a new McIntosh preamp. The 20 watt monitor amp in the C40 drove the headphone jack very well, with plenty of volume, dynamic range, and very low noise floor. The C40 is the last McIntosh preamplifier to feature the onboard monitor amp.
epocs.......Besides the McIntosh C40, I have also owned the C42, C2200, C2300, and now own both the C1000P and a C1000T preamplifiers, each in a different system. In my opinion, the C2300, the C1000P and C1000T headphone outputs are very nice, but I still seem to go back to my HeadAmp Gilmore Lite. The HeadAmp's Class A circuitry with an external regulated power supply is so clean, quiet, and musical. Sound just flows so effortlessly from it. If I did not have the Gilmore Lite headphone amp, I would still get great joy from the headphone outputs of either of my preamps.
I have in my Equipment storage closet A SS Mac 2100 that has gain controls on it but you'd have to get that speaker binding post adapter that's wired into a female 1/4 " headphone jack...I also have a Mac C-28 pre-amp that has a headphone jack out...Sounds ok.....But like I said these are just pieces that I've held onto, because they're just so heavy to ship.......Both are in excellent shape and I've owned them for over 15+ yrs....I think I've seen the amp (2100) go for about $550 on Audiogon and the Mac C-28 go for about $395.00 + or - a few bills here or there.........Nice stuff! I've been spoiled using custom made Tube Gear for the last 20 + yrs...by (Chris Ivan Audio) so these are just "extra gear" that maybe someone might need or want to take them off of my hands...
9pintube.......The C28 preamplifier was the cat's meow in its day, although it is now 33+ years old. McIntosh produce over 27,700 of them between 1970 and 1978. It's last retail price was $649.00. The MC2100 solid state amplifier was made between 1969 and 1977, with over 10,900 amplifiers built. The MC2100's last retail price was $599.00. In their time, both the C28 preamplifier and the MC2100 amplifier were considered top of the line. I would guess that at their present ages both pieces need a trip to the test bench, and most likely need to be recapped, and all switches and pots cleaned. That would certainly breathe new life into a couple of vintage components. You will find a large group of McIntosh enthusiasts at AudioAficionado.org in the McIntosh forum. http://audioaficionado.org/mcintosh-audio/
Thanks for the info Jdandy,The pre-amp is in perfect working condition it was being used in my step sons system......The Glass and walnut case are like new......The amp probably could use some "going through" because of age and the fact It's been off/unused for at least 5yrs...... My tube Guru ---builder (Chris Ivan) could put it on his test bench........thanks again for the link..... My 1st Mac was a 5100 integrated.....in the mid 70's I loved that thing, and thought I was King Sh-- driving a pair of JBL horns with the 15" drivers in Barsley cabinets...Some dude broke down my door and stole all my gear....I'm just glad The dumb ass didn't take any of my LPs or reel to reel tapes......He could of at least got 2 bucks ea. for them....... Smart Guy! One note of importance for everyone.....I had actual replacement value Insurance even back then......Look into that! That was a God send........
9pintube.......Interesting that you mentioned the MA5100 integrated amplifier. I have one that is the power for my vintage system, which also includes an McIntosh MR74 tuner, JVC XL-Z1050 CD player, and a pair of JBL 4312A speakers. The MA5100 was recapped by Audio Classics, and the vintage system can really rock. Prior to the MA5100 I owned the MA230 integrated tube amplifier. It was a very sweet piece, too. I have been a McIntosh fan for many years. Here's a photo of my MA5100.
jdandy, Yep, Just Break my heart, LOL. I remember that MAC...very well ..The odd thing is, my older brother bought a New Mac 6100 integrated and it always sounded a little brighter to me........maybe just his set up,room, etc. etc.......Keep your jewel......
I've recently tried my Grado RS1i and the Beyer T1 out of a Mc C50. Sounded good enough to be used regularly on a daily basis. I didn't made any direct comparisons with my dedicated headphone amps but I would say the McIntosh although good is not at the same level (a bit more relaxed).
I just want to my 2 cents on this. This is my first post, my experience and equipments are not good enough to be any reference, but this is my pure opinion.
I listen my DX1000s through MAC4300V Receiver. I can detect some background noise when there is no music playback but not high enough to be heard during music played. I think the reasons are it is all in one box, therefore there is probably some interfere noise for its radio receiver leaks into its pre-amplify section, and the DX1000s are quite sensitive also. For sound it makes, it does good wide sound stage, but not depth. Singers seem like standing in the same line or one step back in stages. Treble is reveled, I could say it's too bright for me. After I listen for 20 minutes my ears are tried. Mid, as I mentioned above, is not quite present a bit too lean but I can taste some warmth and sweet from the MAC. Bass (I'm bass lover that's why I use DX1000) is good in quantity and control but not deep and lack in extent.
I wouldn't say MAC4300V is bad but due to its age (build in 1977) and all in one configuration. It is one of the best in that time but not for today and not as good for headphone amp.
Edited by Percell - 4/22/12 at 9:54pm
I have McIntosh Ma6900 intergrated amp, I love this amp with my b&w 805s speaker. However, with the headphone, I can't stand it.
or Do I need extra pre-amp for the headphone?
gmahler2u - It depends on how strong the signal sent to your MA6900, but technically MA6900 is an integrated amp so it has preamp section. Therefore, you don't need a separate preamplifier.
In case of use a separate preamplifier to improve the MA6900 headphone output's sound quality is not the point. If you want a good headphone amp buy one which matches your system or preference. Then lets the MA6900 do it job (drives speakers).
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