I am planning on doing it with the HE-6.
MCINTOSH LABS INTRODUCES NEW HEADPHONE AMP MODEL MHA 100 - Page 11
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Thank you for doing that. My dilemma is if its speaker taps are some where close to the MA7900, I Will get this one instead the bigger Mac.
I just read the owner's manual, MHA 100 can not produce signal below 35Hz within -3dB of mid-range frequency at speaker taps. Same for the subwoofer out.
I hope I am wrong on this.
Edited by Seamaster - 5/7/14 at 2:39pm
Yes indeed. Those RCA are the Analog out.
And this is what I wish someone can test. I am indeed very interested to know if the MHA-100 can also be used as a TOL DAC for the whole audio system. . . Like the D100
( I have an Eddy Current 4-45 ordered and I need a DAC for it: if the MHA-100 can also be used a a super DAC for m'y EC 4-45, then, I can then get 2 headphone Amps with 2 very different sound signature ;-)
Due to limited time at the dealer I am not planning on testing the MHA-100 as a DAC only or with speakers. The reason is because I am just planning to use it a a headphone amp since I already have a very capable DAC in my Bricasti M1 (which IMO should be far better than wha tis in the MHA-100) and for speakers I have a Threshold S550e and a pair of McIntosh MC601.
If time permits I will try to do it but cannot guarantee it.
Well guys I ant to the dealer this evening. I took with me the PM-1 for low impedance test, the HE-6 for medium impedance and power hungry test and the HD800 for high impedance test.
The amp is just plain gorgeous! It is like a "mini me" of a MC302 . I am not going to go through each function of it because everybody can read them in the manual at the McIntosh website.
The source was a McIntosh MCD-550 connected via Transparent XLR cables to the MHA-100. All Headphones were tested with the following songs:
The Eagles:Hotel California, Hell Feezes Over HDCD K2 Mastering (24 bit 100Khz)
Dire Straits: Your Latest Trick, Brothers In Arms XRCD
Patricia Bsrber: Nightclub, Bye Bye Blackbird 24kt Gold Collectors Edition
Jennifer Warnes: The Hunter, Rock You Gently 24K Gold Special Edition
CPR: CPR, Morrison
La Ley: Unplugged, El Duelo
First up was the PM-1. The Oppo sounded great, very natural with actually good top extension, great bass and very sweet midrange. The MHA did not break a sweat to dive them in either Normal or High gain for the low impedance setting. Very very musical and transparent.
After the the Oppo I went directly to the hard test of the HE-6. At AXPONA the McIntosh guys told me it could drive them out of the headphones output so that's the way I tried it first. The setting was with high gain in the middle impedance range. In this setting the MHA-100 was able to power them fine but I could tell it was struggling a little bit because they sounded a little lean compared to they way the sound out of my Threshold T50. The Mcintosh guys said that the maximum output is at the high impedance setting with the high gain so I changed to that setting and the HE-6 started to sound much better and very close to the sound out of the T50. I was very satisfied with this sound but then I decided to connect them directly out of the speaker tabs and voila! the magic was there. To be honest it was hard to identify a radical difference and actually they were producing to my ears the same volume level at 50% volume out of the headphones output (at the high/high settings) and the speakers tab but I perceived a little better body in the sound out of the speakers tab but I could live with the sound out of the headphones output with no problem. Finally I switched to the HD800.... OMG! I have never have heard the HD800 this good. It was also out of the High/High settings. Whoever thinks the HD800 cannot reproduce low bass need to listen to this combo. The bass in Rock You Gently was to kill for and the clarity and transparency of the sound was so impressive. The level of detail and sound of the HD800 with the Mc can give a run for their money to my SR009.
The MHA-100 has basically the same sound signature than my McIntosh based speaker system with a pair of MC601 and a C2300.
One thing I did not care for was the HXD crossfeed. It did a good job to move the presentation of the sound from the side of your head to the front of your face simulating more that you are listening to a pair of speakers but IMO at the price of reducing transparency, impact and bass extension. It was like suddenly the sound got veiled and dull. I don't know if I need to get used to that presentation or what but at first impression I did like the effect but not the sound.
I did not listen to speakers with it or tried it's DAC.
IMO the MHA-100 is probably the most beautiful headphone amplifier I have seen with its classic McIntosh look and also probably the best SS amplifier I have heard (I have own the Heed, Stello, Channel Island Audio, GS-1, V200, RPX-33, RP010B MkII). It was just like I was sitting in my leaving room listening to my 601. So with all that said and considering today was my 55th birthday and the dealer gave me a good deal.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!! I place an order for one! They are going to call me tomorrow to let me know when it ships from the factory.
Thanks! I can wait to try it with my Mac Mini Server with Hi-Res files and my Bricasti M1 DAC. There are going to be long days until it gets here.....
Thank you for the foot work, I was waiting for your review all night. When you demo the amp, what bass boost setting was it on?
Also I am hoping the HXD crossfeed issue can be corrected by firmware update.
Edited by Seamaster - 5/8/14 at 8:50pm
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Define "Good Deal":)
I want one of these, but I'll have to probably sell some gear to make it happen. How low do they go!