McIntosh MHA200 Impressions
Mar 27, 2022 at 11:21 PM Post #827 of 901

Slim1970

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Same, the bass is more pronounced on the PS1000e vs GS1000i and RS2. Midrange and treble are great but with SS I think the PS1000e sounds cleaner.
Yes, the PS series is better on solid state amps. They have much more bass than Grado's other series.
 
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Mar 31, 2022 at 1:18 PM Post #829 of 901
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Hi @TSAVJason, when can we expect the next generation MHA to come out? I just love the sound of the MHA200 so much I am eagerly awaiting the next generation.

Sorry for the late response. I have been dealing with doctors and a serious back problem. The prediction if parts are readily available is late 2023. McIntosh didn’t expect the popularity of the MHA200 and currently can’t meet the demand. They freaked out when they received our order of 100 when it was being released. Our second and third orders were only 40 each time but even at smaller orders they had delivery issues. I think we still have 8 in stock out of the 180 we brought in.

To be on point if they build it as we discussed the new unit possibly named the MHA250 it will be a serious amp at about $3500 and feature loaded. The new VC will be dual function again but easier for those that don’t understand alternate preamp functions like the MHA200 uses ….. that’s all I can discuss about it at the point. Hopefully I’ll be able to disclose more toward the end of this year. I’m kinda in a keep my mouth shut mode at the moment
 
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Mar 31, 2022 at 1:32 PM Post #830 of 901
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Hi there, new owner of the MHA200 and enjoying it very, very much.

A few things about how and what I'm using it with...

Almost all portable DACS/DAPs. I've only purchased the MHA200 now because of the lockdown situation and the need to WFH. I'm using it with DX300MAX balanced line-out, HM1000 balanced line-out and M17 balance line out. I also have a few other players to try but so far I've got 3 different sound signatures from 4499, 4x1704 and dual 9038Pro. All sound incredible with the M17 dual 9038Pro sounding the most detailed. I have no issues with he volume on the MHA200, leaving it just past the 12 indent.

My headphones include GRADO R2, GRADO GS1000i and LCD2F. All sound better than anything I've ever tried (including the Ferrum Orr + Hypsos stack which sounded too linear with the Grados.

My question to you all is whether power cable or tubes make the biggest difference? I'm sure both do, but what should be prioritized?

I read the review by Bob Levy where he mentions it changing the 12A7 tubes for Mullards. Does he mean only switching out the 2 or needing to swap all 4?

I'm new to the tube rolling game so any info would be great appreciated.
Again I’m apologizing for being gone for a bit. I had to deal with my medical issues. Changing the output tubes doesn’t do much of anything. Changing the preamp tubes (AX7) depending on the brand can change the sound. I’m not sure I put much value on Bobs point of view but the mullards do change the sound (mids mostly). I didn’t like the sound change but I know a few people here in my area that do. Their mutual response is the likes the more forward midrange so it’s definitely something to consider. I just tried a tube from western electric that is not yet available to anyone that did really keep that beautiful McIntosh midrange but enhanced the overall detail in the full frequency ranges. WE says they may have it available this year but right now they are focusing on the general use tubes as a result of the predicted shortages from the Ukrainian/Russian war. But the mullards don’t suck it’s just not my preference
 
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Apr 1, 2022 at 12:04 AM Post #831 of 901

Winterwolf

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I am using the Mullard's in my MHA200 and I really think they add to the punchiness of the MHA200. Of course this is based on personal taste. I consider them an upgrade over the default tubes and would recommend to give them a try if you are into tube rolling.
 
Apr 1, 2022 at 8:03 AM Post #832 of 901

Loftprojection

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To be on point if they build it as we discussed the new unit possibly named the MHA250 it will be a serious amp at about $3500 and feature loaded. The new VC will be dual function again but easier for those that don’t understand alternate preamp functions like the MHA200 uses ….. that’s all I can discuss about it at the point. Hopefully I’ll be able to disclose more toward the end of this year. I’m kinda in a keep my mouth shut mode at the moment
This is great info Jason, very nice of you to provide it.

In case you have some kind of influence I'd like to share a need! :wink: Now that this market is growing, I really hope headphone amp designers will start to consider that not all their customers use these at a work desk sitting in and office chair. A lot of us have this type of amp installed in their living room and relax on a sofa a few feet away from the equipment. For this type of use, a remote control for volume adjustment is crucial and again a lot of us want a headphone amp that is similar in functions to an stereo integrated, not have to control the volume with the source/DAC.

Thanks a lot and please continue sharing future development, we love it! :wink:
 
Apr 1, 2022 at 12:24 PM Post #833 of 901
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This is great info Jason, very nice of you to provide it.

In case you have some kind of influence I'd like to share a need! :wink: Now that this market is growing, I really hope headphone amp designers will start to consider that not all their customers use these at a work desk sitting in and office chair. A lot of us have this type of amp installed in their living room and relax on a sofa a few feet away from the equipment. For this type of use, a remote control for volume adjustment is crucial and again a lot of us want a headphone amp that is similar in functions to an stereo integrated, not have to control the volume with the source/DAC.

Thanks a lot and please continue sharing future development, we love it! :wink:
😂😂😂 couch potatoes! Just kidding. It is a feature being discussed. McIntosh is actively trying to bring products like this to market at a reasonable cost so we’ll see how it goes. It is a good suggestion and I present all good ideas I can to them as we discuss product features
 
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Apr 2, 2022 at 9:45 PM Post #834 of 901

Lépine

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This is great info Jason, very nice of you to provide it.

In case you have some kind of influence I'd like to share a need! :wink: Now that this market is growing, I really hope headphone amp designers will start to consider that not all their customers use these at a work desk sitting in and office chair. A lot of us have this type of amp installed in their living room and relax on a sofa a few feet away from the equipment. For this type of use, a remote control for volume adjustment is crucial and again a lot of us want a headphone amp that is similar in functions to an stereo integrated, not have to control the volume with the source/DAC.

Thanks a lot and please continue sharing future development, we love it! :wink:
@Loftprojection I don't know, my feelings is that less is more. The less "things" in the signal path is always better. I would prefer lower cost, less complications and purer signal and less digital and certainly less motorized devices in my amps.

Changing the subject:
I finally opened up my old favorite "tubey" sounding vintage California Audio Labs original Sigma serial #2xx. I'm the original owner. I got a really nice high gain low noise Silvania for it. Wow, I had forgotten how sweet this D/A sounded until I yanked the tired stock Chinese tube. Yes, it isn't going to sound as accurate as a Chord Hugo2, but it is a nice relaxing sound.
 
May 7, 2022 at 10:16 AM Post #837 of 901

vo_obgyn

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Has anyone tried some tube dampers (eg. Herbie’s Audio Labs, etc.) on the MHA200 tubes? Any comments? I was thinking about getting a couple of them for the 12AT7 tubes.
 
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May 10, 2022 at 11:23 PM Post #839 of 901

vo_obgyn

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Some people say that audio output quality is enhanced or diminished with tube dampers. It can be a controversial topic though. Some people even feel that tube damping is in the snake oil camp. Others say that they love the sound they have when tube dampers are employed.

Here is what Herbie’s Audio Labs says about tube dampers:
“Virtually all vacuum tubes are prone to distortion caused by microphonic vibrations. To overcome audible distortions, a titanium C-ring holds microphonics-absorbing pads against the vacuum tube bulb. The tube's sound is made more clear and precise, less fuzzy and less harsh. Tonal qualities are rendered more true and natural, subtle passages more distinguishable, from the deepest bass through the highest frequencies.”
 
May 11, 2022 at 1:03 AM Post #840 of 901

Crgreen

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Some people say that audio output quality is enhanced or diminished with tube dampers. It can be a controversial topic though. Some people even feel that tube damping is in the snake oil camp. Others say that they love the sound they have when tube dampers are employed.

Here is what Herbie’s Audio Labs says about tube dampers:
“Virtually all vacuum tubes are prone to distortion caused by microphonic vibrations. To overcome audible distortions, a titanium C-ring holds microphonics-absorbing pads against the vacuum tube bulb. The tube's sound is made more clear and precise, less fuzzy and less harsh. Tonal qualities are rendered more true and natural, subtle passages more distinguishable, from the deepest bass through the highest frequencies.”
I appreciate all of that, but my original question remains: when listening on headphones what is the source of the microphonic vibrations?
 

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