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MCINTOSH LABS INTRODUCES NEW HEADPHONE AMP MODEL MHA 100 - Page 16

post #226 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by barid View Post
 

Just got a call from my dealer and mine has arrived.  Will post some thoughts later tonight, though I'm typically not too articulate.  More of a broad strokes good/bad type guy:)

:-))))  finally some impressions coming.   Will you also be able to test or compare it's internal DAC (against some external DAC),?

post #227 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

:-))))  finally some impressions coming.   Will you also be able to test or compare it's internal DAC (against some external DAC),?

 

All I have right now is my DACmini PX, and I don't think its that great of a DAC (I preferred the Burson units I had to it).  So I mean I can compare it to the DACmini, but I would be surprised if the MHA didn't crush it.

 

Don't have a whole lot of experience with high end DACs.

post #228 of 1240

Alright I'll throw out some thoughts from the first few hours.  All I have on hand to compare it to is a Dacmini PX which is like 20% of its price, so take this with a grain of salt.  If you're used to higher end DAC's and amps this might not mean a whole lot.

 

- Unit itself is beautiful, well made. 

 

- Setup was....ok.  You need to install the driver first or your computer won't recognize it via the usb.  Looks like a rebranded centrance usb driver, same layout.  Basic controls are fluid and intuitive.  Unit locked up once messing with the crossfeed / saving profiles (its the same button you have to press in), could have just been me not being patient enough.

 

- Doesn't suffer from the typical digital 'glare' in the upper mids that my previous DAC did (dacmini).  It is not harsh, very smooth.  So I'm pleased with that.

 

- Would describe its character as forward and warm.  Compared to the Burson amps its low end doesn't punch as hard.  Compared to the centrance amps it sounds fuller.  Things feels liquid...smooth...like the edges are rounded.  not harsh like a benchmark.  The details are there though.

 

- Tried with it my HD800 and LCD2.2 so far.  Its a good pairing for the HD800, feels 'full'  not brittle or thin like on a centrance or even to some extent the Burson (soloist).  The LCD sounds nice but it doesn't have that visceral bass punch down low you'd get from a Soloist.  So I guess non fatiguing balaced-ish.

 

- Very pleased with how the amp sounded with my speakers (Harbeth P3ser's).  It is definitely a better pairing with them than the DACmini was (again I know its a totally different price range and class A vs D amp)

 

- Not sure if this is a standard thing on units like this, but the preamp outs can also be set for a sub, so that was a pleasant surprise as I've been eying a rel t5.

 

That's all for now.  Probably try my D7000's on it next.

post #229 of 1240
@barid

Million thanks for the initial impression.
I have similar gear like the speakers and hd800
In short, you are happy with the purchase, right?
I really hope to get this amp this year

Maybe after burn in, it will even sound better
post #230 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

@barid

Million thanks for the initial impression.
I have similar gear like the speakers and hd800
In short, you are happy with the purchase, right?
I really hope to get this amp this year

Maybe after burn in, it will even sound better

 

I'm very happy with it at the moment.  Still my new toy...right:)

 

There are certain things you get used to when listening to a setup for a long time.  So when I notice a song sounds different that on my old amp...it takes a second to evaluate whats happening and if I like the change.  Like I mentioned above....its not a sterile/clean/sharp sounding amp, so if you like maybe dubstep electronic where you want this hard sound then maybe not this one.  Just my thought.

 

It reminds me of when I first heard the westone w4 (not the sound per say just the basic impression).  As people have said on this forum before about the w4....it doesn't do anything wrong.  Its a pleasant sound to my ears.

 

...now i just have to replace the electrostat amp i sold to buy this. ha!

post #231 of 1240

I totally agree with you, mine arrived yesterday and first impressions are absolutely the same as yours.

Really good pairing with hd800 and so-so with lcd 2 rev.2 (still prefer my Briston BHA-1 with the Audeze). Really good match also with Grado sr 325 Is.

Unfortunately my speakers are Sonus Faber Minima FM2 and I cannot say they are a good match with the HPA100 (maybe a sensitivity of 84 db it is a little bit too low).

Most important thing is that I believe I have found the definitive amp for the Sennheiser.....seems like Mackintosh engeneers worked on the HPA100 project with the HD800 on the head.

 

 

post #232 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdameno66 View Post

I totally agree with you, mine arrived yesterday and first impressions are absolutely the same as yours.
Really good pairing with hd800 and so-so with lcd 2 rev.2 (still prefer my Briston BHA-1 with the Audeze). Really good match also with Grado sr 325 Is.
Unfortunately my speakers are Sonus Faber Minima FM2 and I cannot say they are a good match with the HPA100 (maybe a sensitivity of 84 db it is a little bit too low).
Most important thing is that I believe I have found the definitive amp for the Sennheiser.....

I am happy to hear that you found your perfect amp for your HD800. It's not So Easy ! :-)

On the other end the fact that it is So-So With thé LCD may be à problem for many people. can you explain what was wrong with the LCD?

Did you used it's internal DAC ?
post #233 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdameno66 View Post
 

Unfortunately my speakers are Sonus Faber Minima FM2 and I cannot say they are a good match with the HPA100 (maybe a sensitivity of 84 db it is a little bit too low).

 

 

Any chance you can tell us how you use your speakers (Near-field?, room type?)? I have the KEF R100s which have similar sensitivity. I'm still on the fence on this amp...

 

Hope you enjoy it!

post #234 of 1240

-


Edited by jmm007 - 5/31/14 at 7:53pm
post #235 of 1240

Dare I say one of the best combo ever: Mcintosh MHA100 with Sennheiser HD800!!!

Superb image, gone every single bit of harshness, yet warm, fast and detailed. Kudos to Mcintosh engineers.

:L3000:


Edited by pdameno66 - 6/1/14 at 3:08am
post #236 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGimp View Post
 

 

Any chance you can tell us how you use your speakers (Near-field?, room type?)? I have the KEF R100s which have similar sensitivity. I'm still on the fence on this amp...

 

Hope you enjoy it!

I am using the speakers in a medium sized room (6x6 meters, placed 50 cm from rear wall and 1,5 mt. from side walls angled 45° biwired with Kimber Cable 8TC) but I think that I am doing an unfair comparison because at the moment the Minima are paired with a Krell KAV 150a as power amp and The Bryston BHA-1 as a preamp.....

The difference is really embarrassing both in terms of bass punch, image size and detail (but it is not a secret that Sonus Faber minima are hungry of current and good quality watts to deliver their best.........) 

post #237 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post


I am happy to hear that you found your perfect amp for your HD800. It's not So Easy ! :-)

On the other end the fact that it is So-So With thé LCD may be à problem for many people. can you explain what was wrong with the LCD?

Did you used it's internal DAC ?

To be fair I cannot say there is something wrong with the LCD2 when paired with the HPA100 but I have a feeling that there is something missing, mainly in bass punch and control together with transient speed and overall definition, if compared with the Bryston BHA-1 (still the best match with LCD2 imho).

Audeze LCD2 and Sennheiser HD800 are totally different beasts under many aspects and I think that finding a suitable amp for both will be a really difficult task.

I am sorry I didn't have the chance to use the internal dac yet. Further impressions will follow..............for the moment I am REALLY enjoying this superb amp with my newly revealed HD800!!:beyersmile: 


Edited by pdameno66 - 6/1/14 at 3:49am
post #238 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdameno66 View Post
 

To be fair I cannot say there is something wrong with the LCD2 when paired with the HPA100 but I have a feeling that there is something missing, mainly in bass punch and control together with transient speed and overall definition, if compared with the Bryston BHA-1 (still the best match with LCD2 imho).

Audeze LCD2 and Sennheiser HD800 are totally different beasts under many aspects and I think that finding a suitable amp for both will be a really difficult task.

I am sorry I didn't have the chance to use the internal dac yet. Further impressions will follow..............for the moment I am REALLY enjoying this superb amp with my newly revealed HD800!!:beyersmile: 

Please try the LCD-2 with the High Impedance and High Gain. That is the setting with more power out of the amp and the one recommended by the McIntosh guys for the HE-6 even that is just 50 ohms. I tried it and they worked great. So please try them that way and let us know your impressions.

 

BTW, I agree on the HD800. They sound the best I have ever heard them out of the MHA-100.

 

Thanks.


Edited by musicman59 - 6/3/14 at 10:43am
post #239 of 1240

Can't say this is very good with the Denons or the Grados I have either (D7000 & HP1000 HP2). Its just this really full warm sound, clearly colored.  vastly prefer the Burson Soloist amp with LCD2/D7000.

 

Still Like it for my speakers and hd800's....but it really lacks any bite to the bass or vocals.  everything is recessed and full.  very warm/rounded sound.  I would not recommend this amp for any lower impedance phones I've tried.  Will probably be buying a soloist again to supplement it.

post #240 of 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdameno66 View Post

Dare I say one of the best combo ever: Mcintosh MHA100 with Sennheiser HD800!!!
Superb image, gone every single bit of harshness, yet warm, fast and detailed. Kudos to Mcintosh engineers.
L3000.gif
Hallelujah !
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