McIntosh Introduces the MHA150!
Sep 16, 2019 at 1:00 PM Post #196 of 256

PatekBruguetMogul

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My MHA-150 arrived just a few minutes ago and time to open it up now.. What would be a great set of headphones for this jewel..?
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Sep 16, 2019 at 1:01 PM Post #197 of 256

project86

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For anyone interested, I just posted a review of the MHA150 over at Darko.Audio.

Honestly I've owned a ton of McIntosh gear so I knew it would at least be pretty good, but I wasn't counting on the headphone portion being quite as good as it is. I'm really impressed. $5k is a lot and if you mainly use external sources and/or don't use the speaker output, it might not be the best deal out there. But the more one takes advantage of the functionality on board, the better a deal it ends up being.

As mentioned in the review, it's good with most any headphone, though imho not quite the best with Susvara or Abyss. Still good mind you, but not the best. Anything else is fair game including IEMs which is rare from a beastly amp like this.
 
Sep 27, 2019 at 1:05 AM Post #198 of 256

eddiek997

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Congrats to you! The Hifiman HE1000 sounds great connected directly to the speaker taps on the MHA100.
This is my setup except I'm using the Mytek Brooklyn as the DAC then balanced out to MHA150.
 
Nov 11, 2019 at 11:41 AM Post #199 of 256

mr-duke

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Hi. How good is MHA150 today when there is so many new good dac/amp out there?

I am planing to buy a Mha150 and i have the Chord Hugo 2 now. How does it compare to hugo2 as an amp.? I am also interested in Ifi Ican Pro, does anyone compared headphone amp of Mha150 and IFi pro ican??

Ican pro is quite cheap but is mcintosh in another level?? Does anyone missing balanced output on Mha150 or can a well designed ican pro balanced out outpeform SE out of MHA150??

Thanks
 
Nov 11, 2019 at 12:45 PM Post #200 of 256

project86

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imho, MHA150 makes the most sense when using as many features as possible. If you intend to build a desktop rig around it, you can skip using active speakers (which is what I would typically use) and grab something like a Gallo Strata 2 or other smallish passive speaker option. MHA150 will drive them beautifully.

The headphone section is also extremely good. It is up there with Pass Labs HPA-1, Violectric V281, Eddie Current ZDT, etc. I prefer it over iCan Pro (which I quite enjoy), though obviously it doesn't have the same massive feature set. But as good as it is, I feel weird recommending the MHA150 for someone who will only use it for headphone amp duties. Just seems like a waste given the price and all the extra features if you aren't making use of them. But if you found a second hand example for a great price it might change the equation.

The DAC portion is quite good for an integrated implementation, but still maybe a weak link if you are comparing to various $2K or higher discrete high-end DACs. I put it somewhere between Brooklyn+ and Hugo 2. So, really great overall, but can be improved if you spend enough money on something else.

Compared to your Hugo2, I'd call the MHA150 a big improvement in amplification, but not DAC quality. Combining them would sound great but would also be wasting the Hugu2 amp section, plus the McIntosh speaker amp, DAC, and preamp sections. Just something to think about.
 
Nov 11, 2019 at 2:18 PM Post #201 of 256

mr-duke

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imho, MHA150 makes the most sense when using as many features as possible. If you intend to build a desktop rig around it, you can skip using active speakers (which is what I would typically use) and grab something like a Gallo Strata 2 or other smallish passive speaker option. MHA150 will drive them beautifully.

The headphone section is also extremely good. It is up there with Pass Labs HPA-1, Violectric V281, Eddie Current ZDT, etc. I prefer it over iCan Pro (which I quite enjoy), though obviously it doesn't have the same massive feature set. But as good as it is, I feel weird recommending the MHA150 for someone who will only use it for headphone amp duties. Just seems like a waste given the price and all the extra features if you aren't making use of them. But if you found a second hand example for a great price it might change the equation.

The DAC portion is quite good for an integrated implementation, but still maybe a weak link if you are comparing to various $2K or higher discrete high-end DACs. I put it somewhere between Brooklyn+ and Hugo 2. So, really great overall, but can be improved if you spend enough money on something else.

Compared to your Hugo2, I'd call the MHA150 a big improvement in amplification, but not DAC quality. Combining them would sound great but would also be wasting the Hugu2 amp section, plus the McIntosh speaker amp, DAC, and preamp sections. Just something to think about.

I hade the ican pro paired with hugo2 and i didnt find the ican pro a huge improvement over the hugo2 alone so i sold the ican pro. I also hate to have 2 device connected so i hope this Mha150 with singel device to have few level up from hugo2 and hugo2 together with ican pro. Do you think mcintosh is that good that give the wow feeling? Actually i am not after few % uppgrade. I want to have a wow feeling like going from bmw sport car to a Marerati or Ferrari .
 
Nov 11, 2019 at 4:58 PM Post #202 of 256

project86

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Sorry can't realistically answer that for you, as the "wow" experience is subjective from person to person. It sounds to me like you are fairly pleased with your Hugu2 headphone output, so perhaps just stick with it - the money could perhaps be better spent on different headphones (unless you are already at your personal end-game on those).
 
Nov 17, 2019 at 12:30 PM Post #203 of 256

mr-duke

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Sorry can't realistically answer that for you, as the "wow" experience is subjective from person to person. It sounds to me like you are fairly pleased with your Hugu2 headphone output, so perhaps just stick with it - the money could perhaps be better spent on different headphones (unless you are already at your personal end-game on those).


Hi.. I just bought the MHA150 and it is on the shipping, and hoping for 1 box solution ..

I am mainly going to use it with Kennerton Thror planar headphone. So i am glad that the dac is also in Brooklyn+ level.. I never listen to a reference class product before so i hope mha is upp there with best. Hugo2 is good but didn't have the power do drive Thror the way i want.

I am also going to use it with my 90db sensitive floorstander
 
Nov 18, 2019 at 2:10 PM Post #205 of 256

Winterwolf

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I am interested in getting the 150. For those who have experience with Hugo2 or TT2, where do you see the 150 lacks in terms of sound quality?

I had a Hugo2 and hooked it up to the MHA150 amp to do a DAC/sound comparison with Audeeze headsets. I liked the MHA150 better (warmer and more dynamic). Obviously this test is highly subjective, but I returned the Hugo2 in favor of just sticking with the MHA150

--WW
 
Nov 18, 2019 at 2:15 PM Post #206 of 256

Winterwolf

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My MHA-150 arrived just a few minutes ago and time to open it up now.. What would be a great set of headphones for this jewel..?

I am using now Sennheiser HD800S and I really enjoy the clarity and warmness of the sound paired with the MHA150.

Curious, if the MHA150 also will get a DAC upgrade like the other McIntosh amps at the moment. I think they can do now DSD512 with a new Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC)

-- WW
 
Nov 18, 2019 at 5:40 PM Post #207 of 256

kashmiami

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I am interested in getting the 150. For those who have experience with Hugo2 or TT2, where do you see the 150 lacks in terms of sound quality?
I had TT2 & MHA 150 for a while at same time & still own the 150. I agree with the above person, it's a no contest.
The 150 drove my cans with much better authority. I was a big fan of Hugo 1, so the Hugo 2 was a bit of a letdown.
If you have HD800, then the analog bassboost on 150 is a godsend. It makes the music much more enjoyable. On the other hand, you can't put the 150 in your laptop bag :)
If portability is a need , go with Hugo2. (I would look for older Hugo)
I personally enjoy the tinge of analog warmth that most MC amps seem to have.
Cheers!
 
Nov 18, 2019 at 7:44 PM Post #208 of 256

NoTimeFor

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I used to have mojo and Hugo2 but sold them all as I sort got tired of Chord sound. The 150 looks interesting because it can also drive speakers. Do all ESS chip based DACs sound similar? Or does it more depend on how analogue circuit is implementated?
 
Nov 20, 2019 at 2:14 PM Post #209 of 256

eddiek997

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I am using now Sennheiser HD800S and I really enjoy the clarity and warmness of the sound paired with the MHA150.

Curious, if the MHA150 also will get a DAC upgrade like the other McIntosh amps at the moment. I think they can do now DSD512 with a new Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC)

-- WW
I ended up buying a used Mytek Brooklyn DAC from head-fi and was instantly happier with my setup.
 
Nov 20, 2019 at 2:30 PM Post #210 of 256

crayons23

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I ended up buying a used Mytek Brooklyn DAC from head-fi and was instantly happier with my setup.
i found the mytek only really sounded good when using the external power supply and even then i could not justify the cost of having it. what really made the difference for me was
adding the SoTM streamer and a power conditioner. I would put your money away from replacing the dac which is honestly fine and going in that direction with a streamer.
At a certain point i realized that the Mha 150 makes everything sound good. it makes ANY headphone sound amazing. when i realized that i sold my focal utopia and got some Senn 660s. while
the senns are not as punchy and bassy as the utopia i saved about 1200$. I am also using speakers with it as well.
 

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