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MCINTOSH LABS INTRODUCES NEW HEADPHONE AMP MODEL MHA 100 - Page 26

post #376 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post
 

there are a couple peeps who bought it that wrote to me.

I'll ask them if they're members - and if so, if they can share their impressions!!

 

Mike, I see you also used the AK240 as a source for the MHA100.  

 

Did you compared using the AK240 digital out -->MHA100  vs  AK240 analog Line-out --> MHA100 ?

post #377 of 562

Assuming I use the D100 as my DAC and the LCD-X and T1 as my primary headphones would like to know how the MHA100 would compare to the Studio Six which I am also considering.  I recognize one is a tube amp and I currently use a WA7/tp and enjoy the tube sound.  Another consideration is the ability to plug both LCD-X and T1 in together for easy switching.

post #378 of 562

If you like the tubes warmer sound then go with that and not the MHA100. I have the WA5-LE and the MHA100 and the sound is totally different even that the WA5-LE is not as warm sounding as many other tube amplifiers. The MHA100 has the new McIntosh sound signature which is a departure from the "old" McIntosh warm sound.

 

The new sound is more dynamic, faster, precise and totally transparent. The tube sound by definition is more colored than the sound of the MHA100.

post #379 of 562
I came THIS close today to buying the MHA100 at a fantastic price, but decided to sleep on it first. What really interests me is the speaker amp section -- has anyone tried combining it with a Woo WEE converter, and driving a pair of electrostats, e.g. SR-009?

I don't feel like buying a dedicated electrostatic headphone amp, so if the above combination works well, I'll definitely pick up the MHA100! biggrin.gif
post #380 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by CongeeBear View Post

I came THIS close today to buying the MHA100 at a fantastic price, but decided to sleep on it first. What really interests me is the speaker amp section -- has anyone tried combining it with a Woo WEE converter, and driving a pair of electrostats, e.g. SR-009?

I don't feel like buying a dedicated electrostatic headphone amp, so if the above combination works well, I'll definitely pick up the MHA100! biggrin.gif

Ill be trying it with the woo wee on a 007 mk1 and lamba in about a week or so. Ill post impressions. I sold my kgss a couple months ago though so ill have to go on memory there.
post #381 of 562

Alright, just a short note, but as one of the lucky owners of a MHA100 I will quickly post my findings so far:

 

With headphones:

 

Unfortunately I did not have too much time with it via the headphone out but what I heard was quite impressive. I have the Lehmann Linear as well and the LCD-X with it sounds pretty impressive already, with high clarity/transparency, very good low end extension, absolutely glorious mids, ... let's just say it plays to the strengths of the LCD-X.

Hooked up to the MHA100, though, the LCD-X open up, soundstage seems bigger, imaging more/better defined, the low end gets an extra boost (while still not leaking into the low mids), the top end gets more sparkle and overall it just feels like (at similar volume levels) it is driven with more authority. Very much in control while still sounding melodious and giving an overall more musical impression without sacrificing detail.

 

Then again, it is "just" a Linear we are comparing it to here.

 

With speakers:

 

I hooked up my trusty KEF LS50 to the MHA100 as soon as I got the beast home. I had already heard the combination (honestly a big part of the decision-making process to invest 5K Euros in an amp when I already had a setup I was quite happy with at home).

In the listening room in the shop I had the listening session with the MHA100 the combination of MHA100 and LS50 sounded highly impressive and I couldn't wait to try it out at home. So, after having connected it all, I fired up Audirvana Plus on my MacBook Pro (early 2011) and started listening to all sorts of music from 320kbps MP3 to 24/96 FLAC. I tried various genres from pop to electro (mostly post-dubstep) to country to rock to indie, no classical as of yet, though.

All the same aspects as described above are valid for using the MHA100 with speakers as well, but what really blew me away was how much more there was. In every department, be it low end extension or details in the mids or sparkle up top or soundstage or musicality (for whatever that word is worth as I think it differs from person to person), the LS50 just sounded superiour to before. Before they were connected to a rotel RA-11. Not the same league as the MHA100, obviously, but the synergy with the LS50 is quite impressive. In retrospect it is too weak to fully push the LS50, but I was pretty happy with the sound before. Especially on higher volumes when the LS50 start to shine more and more. But with the MHA100 they sound so damn good on lower volumes as well! And then you crank it and there is no way in hell I could ever sit completely still, without tapping my foot or nodding along, with the LS50 on steroids (to me at least).

 


TL;DR

The MHA100 will give you a very transparent sound with lots of details. For my setups at least, it also provided more low end and high end extension, the soundstage feels improved, the mids are more musical, the overall sound feels driven with a lot more authority. The LS50 are very transparent speakers and can sound to bright for some ears. The MHA100 definitely helps with that.


 

That last statement was actually brought up by an employee at the store I bought the MHA100 from. He said he wouldn't touch the LS50 (or the Martin Logan Montis) with a pole, simply because they were too bright for him. Then he turned on the LS50 via the MHA100 and simply said "well, this is the first time ever I actually LIKE the LS50".

 

Well, not so short after all, but if anybody has questions... shoot!

 

Cheers,

perplekks45

post #382 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45 View Post

 

Well, not so short after all, but if anybody has questions... shoot!

 

I have a question regarding the volume control, since I usually listen at a fairly low volume. Does the MHA100 have one of those volume controls that goes from 0 to 60 at the very bottom of the range, or does it have a smooth progression that allows a lot of fine tuning at low volume levels? Also, is there good channel balance at low volume? Thanks.

post #383 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccyork View Post
 

 

I have a question regarding the volume control, since I usually listen at a fairly low volume. Does the MHA100 have one of those volume controls that goes from 0 to 60 at the very bottom of the range, or does it have a smooth progression that allows a lot of fine tuning at low volume levels? Also, is there good channel balance at low volume? Thanks.


It uses a % scale.  0-100% (? since i haven't cranked it to 100).  50% is about as loud as i can take.  Anything under 10% is basically quiet.  I do not notice any problem with channel balance at low levels; though i have not made any measurements.

post #384 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by barid View Post
 


It uses a % scale.  0-100% (? since i haven't cranked it to 100).  50% is about as loud as i can take.  Anything under 10% is basically quiet.  I do not notice any problem with channel balance at low levels; though i have not made any measurements.

 

Thanks for the reply. Do you mean that anything under 10% is silent, or it is "low volume" up to 10%, then it starts getting loud?

post #385 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccyork View Post
 

 

Thanks for the reply. Do you mean that anything under 10% is silent, or it is "low volume" up to 10%, then it starts getting loud?


commenting on my D100 here so take it for what it is worth but the volume linearity of the knob is very very good giving precise adjustability even in the low settings and absolutely no imbalance.

post #386 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccyork View Post
 

 

Thanks for the reply. Do you mean that anything under 10% is silent, or it is "low volume" up to 10%, then it starts getting loud?

Tried my Hifiman HE6 on the High, 40-150Ohm setting and barely heard anything on 6-7 % and then a nice smooth increase going upward. On this setting with the HE6 I don't go above above 50%, normally around 45%. 100% being max.

 

Using the Fostex TH900 on Normal, 8-40Ohm setting I could hear very (very) slight sound on 1%, while 0% being completely silent.  Maxing out at somewhere around 35% (for my listening preference).

 

All in all no problem to dial in the desired volume on both easy and hard to drive cans. Used the USB input. 

post #387 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by snejk View Post
 

Tried my Hifiman HE6 on the High, 40-150Ohm setting and barely heard anything on 6-7 % and then a nice smooth increase going upward. On this setting with the HE6 I don't go above above 50%, normally around 45%. 100% being max.

 

Using the Fostex TH900 on Normal, 8-40Ohm setting I could hear very (very) slight sound on 1%, while 0% being completely silent.  Maxing out at somewhere around 35% (for my listening preference).

 

All in all no problem to dial in the desired volume on both easy and hard to drive cans. Used the USB input. 

 

Any HISSS at all with the TH900 which is a quite sensitive headphone ?  (I already sold 1 headphone amp because I was hearing hiSS with my TH-900)


Edited by bmichels - 8/23/14 at 1:47pm
post #388 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

 

Any HISSS at all with the TH900 which is a quite sensitive headphone ?

Nope. But unfortunately the TH900 doesn't gel well with the MHA100, too bassy for my taste. Works good with movies and such though.

post #389 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by snejk View Post
 

Nope. But unfortunately the TH900 doesn't gel well with the MHA100, too bassy for my taste. Works good with movies and such though.

 

Damned this is bad news. Indeed I love my TH900 ... so I may have to look for another Headphone Amp !  :mad:

 

I will try to test the Mytek manhattan  (it might be weaker that the McIntosh on the AMP side but better as on the DAC part ?) or wait for the Lampizator HEAD-DAC :D

 

 

 

Or... I will have to change m headphone :-( !  --> What headphone do you find matchnig very well with the McIntosh AMP ?

post #390 of 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

 

Damned this is bad news. Indeed I love my TH900 ... so I may have to look for another Headphone Amp !  :mad:

 

I will try to test the Mytek manhattan  (it might be weaker that the McIntosh on the AMP side but better as on the DAC part ?) or wait for the Lampizator HEAD-DAC :D

 

 

 

Or... I will have to change m headphone :-( !  --> What headphone do you find matchnig very well with the McIntosh AMP ?

It might just be a preference thing (regarding the th900). When I did the store demo I thought the 900 were very good, but at home and comparing against the HE6 there was no question which I preferred. 

 

The HE6 with the MHA100 is the best I've yet to hear them. I should note though that I haven't used them with any of the über HE6 speaker amps favoured in the HE6 thread. Amps I've tried the HE6 with: Naim Headline, Mapletree Ear+ Super, Fostex HPA8, Audion Silvernight 300B, Naim Nait5i, Nuforce DDA100, Leben CS600.

 

At the demo I also tried the store's HD800. I've never really liked the HD800 when I've tried them before, with a couple of different amps. Yes, they were technically very good but didn't connect with me. But with the MHA100 it was the first time I felt they really might be worth buying.

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