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MCINTOSH LABS INTRODUCES NEW HEADPHONE AMP MODEL MHA 100 - Page 20

post #286 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by barid View Post
 

 

True the MSRP price tag is steep, but that's not real world / street price.  Dealers can work with you on price.  The only reason I ended up with mine when I did was because it was offered well below the $4500 price tag.

 

Not saying cheap.  Still the most expensive single piece of gear I've purchased.  But for a DAC/AMP that also pushes speakers I could justify it.

I agree. Same here, I got a decent deal from the dealer so I went for it.

post #287 of 1237

Last chance:  If I don't read very soon any very positive review about this MHA-100, I will place my deposit for the Eddie Current 4-45 that I have on order.  Indeed, I can't wait much more without loosing my position on the EC's waiting list :-)

post #288 of 1237

The price at my local dealer around Seattle and Portland are firm, no discount!

post #289 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

Last chance:  If I don't read very soon any very positive review about this MHA-100, I will place my deposit for the Eddie Current 4-45 that I have on order.  Indeed, I can't wait much more without loosing my position on the EC's waiting list :-)

Wow! That a though threat ;)

So you have been asking so much about the internal DAC of the MHA-100, what are you going to do about a DAC ordering the EC?

post #290 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman59 View Post

Wow! That a though threat wink.gif
So you have been asking so much about the internal DAC of the MHA-100, what are you going to do about a DAC ordering the EC?

My HUGO... to start with.

And may be later a Total d1 DAC or... À Lampizator Big7 ( using also 45 tubes :-)
Edited by bmichels - 6/28/14 at 1:44am
post #291 of 1237
 
SO sorry I've been outta touch EVERYBODY in this thread. I threw my damn bulging disc in my back out - and been down for 2 /12 weeks!

 

We've been fortunate enough (as mentioned in previous posts) at Audio360.org to get the McIntosh MHA100 in for review (a grand scoop

for us - we also reviewed the D100 if you're interested in reading about that) - and my partner in the review @HiFiGuy528 - and the review commissioned BEFORE his tenure at Woo Audio started BTW..

Did his part and he's been waiting on my sorry ass!

 

I had some friends help get the amp up on my 2 workstations in the house (yeah, embarrassing - but couldn't lift a thing) - and I gotta ton of notes ready to go, and I've giving the MHA-100

a couple more intense listening sessions - WITH THE D100 ahead of it as the DAC.

So, since we have to return the unit by Thurs. - we aim to have the review up in 7-10 days. Michael and I have put alot into this piece. I was psyched to get a sneak peak at CES - and I used

my Audeze LCD-XC and Moon Audio Silver Dragon cables with it. I was VERY impressed (and that was just a prototype) with it's ability to capture the emotive power of the music as well as the dynamic power. It was also quite transparent (MAN that word is abused in HiFi today) on tunes like Radiohead's "Everything in it's Right Place" and Tori Amos's "God". for examples.

But I didn't hear it long enough to make a formal impression.

 

WELL: I've had it for a few weeks now, and I'm not scared to lead with this (leaving much for the review): I wouldn't sell my Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold (as that paired w/ the McIntosh D100 DAC and Unison Research tube phonostage is MAGIC) but I would consider selling my ALO Studio Six to buy one!

 

With vinyl via my Unison Reseach tube phonostage and VPI Traveler turntable w/ Ortofon 2MBlue cart - and digital via my MacBook Pro SSD/Amarra + Spotify as my front-ends feeding the MHA:

 

I'm far more impressed than I was at CES! This makes sense as this is a production unit. I've driven the following cans with it:

 

Audeze LCD-X, XC, LCD-2 & 3 w/ Fazor

Sennheiser HD800s

Mr. Speakers Alpha Dogs & Mad Dog Pro

Grado SR 325is

Audio Technica ATH-900X

I've gotten completely lost in listening sesh's with this sexy beast. Yeah, as my partner Michael Liang said: "This ain't just a pretty face." This sounds like my grandfathers McIntosh gear used to sound:

Lush, dynamic, colorful timbre (NOT colored artificially - but captures the essence of the color in the music), and it's dead quiet!

 

Played everything from Shabbaz Palaces to James Blake, Bonobo, Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Burial, and many others thru it - and it's kept me captivated for 10+ hour sessions!

McIntosh seemingly watched the field here - and did what they had to do to compete at this price!

And - for that price - you get a slid 50W per channel amp to drive desktop speakers as well. Now - I hope they make a less-expensive version without the speaker taps!

But- it drove my CEntrance 2504 Masterclass coaxial desktop speakers beautifully! 

 

MORE impressions to come - and our full review FINALLY!

 

Again, sorry, I've been out injured - and if this message is fragmented - please forgive me - gotta head full of drugs right now..

 

 

Yours in Sound,

 

Michael


Edited by mikemercer - 7/2/14 at 2:28pm
post #292 of 1237
Welcome back, Mike! Looking forward to the full review and especially towards the pairing with the XC.
post #293 of 1237

Welcome back Mike.

 

Your initials impressions are encouraging, but, IF I understand well, all your tests have been done WITH THE D100 ahead of it as the DAC !  Does this mean that the internal DAC inside the MHA100 is well bellow the D100's SQ ? If this is the case does the MHA100's price still worth for an AMP only if an external DAC is needed to get the most out of it ?

post #294 of 1237

Dun, dun, dunnnn....*announcer voice*...."Will it be the day that BMichels finally gets his answer? Only time will tell, but no one truly knows......"

post #295 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyWaj10 View Post
 

Dun, dun, dunnnn....*announcer voice*...."Will it be the day that BMichels finally gets his answer? Only time will tell, but no one truly knows......"

;)

post #296 of 1237

$4500... excellent amp? I would hope so. No I have not heard it. But if I have to pair it with  a McIntosh D100, Ayre QB-9 DSD, Auralic Vega, Bricasti M1 or even a Meitner MA-1, what's the point of an all-in-one solution from this great company? 

 

I would happily trade the speaker amp for a D100 quality built-in DAC.

 

If I really want the McIntosh "look". I will buy this app, an ipad stand and position my ipad in front of my Cavalli liquid gold, Violectric V200 or Taurus MKII. 

 

And some of my friends in the area (who own and purchase McIntosh gear) I live in have confirmed that the Real world price for this unit is MRSP at the local dealers. 


Edited by jmm007 - 7/2/14 at 7:40am
post #297 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm007 View Post

 

I would happily trade the speaker amp for a D100 quality built-in DAC.

 

+1000

post #298 of 1237

in my opinion the D100 just needs upgraded to a more powerful headphone amp.

post #299 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

+1000

+1

me too fellas! I'm there with ya believe it or not.

 

When I heard the MHA100 at CES it was only a headphone amp. They were using an outboard DAC with it.

and I LOVE my D100! While it could use more power, it's fantastic w/ my LCD-X and LCD-XC - not to mention my Alpha Dogs and Mad Dog Pro..

 

We gave the D100 lots of love in our review at Audio360.org

 

I understand why they tried to create an all-in-one solution for that tall price tag - but I will be pointing out that the DAC in the D100 out-shines 

the on-board DAC in the MHA-100 - IMO. Or, at least I can say I enjoyed listening to music more with the D100 in front of the MHA100.

 

NOT that the on-board DAC in the MHA100 is substandard - I've had many 10+ hour listening sessions with the MHA100 alone  

- but I can't imagine why they didn't goto Michael Goodman at CEntrance for the on-board DAC

(as they did for the D100) - he would've made it SHINE!

 

But, for 4,500 bucks (yeah thats NOT cheap) you do get something that drives your cans and your speakers at reference-level.

It's a fantastic pairing with my CEntrance 2504 Masterclass coaxial desktop speakers.

 

Deep in more listening sessions now - and taking notes for the formal review.

Right now - however - I still prefer, personally, the Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold and D100 combo - because it gets my right in the gut, it's got a bit more soul

to it, which is difficult to quantify.

 

But if I didn't own an LAu, Studio Six or E.A.R HP4 - I would use this as a reference headphone amp.

 

I'm hoping they offer different levels - like a straight MHA100 headphone amp without the DAC or speaker taps.

 

We'll see!

post #300 of 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by groovyd View Post
 

in my opinion the D100 just needs upgraded to a more powerful headphone amp.

that would be IDEAL!

 

I'd LOVE to get my D100 upgraded with a more powerful headphone amp!

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