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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2012, 11:24 PM
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[QUOTE=As a user of vintage McIntosh amps, would be interested in what your vintage system consisted of.[/QUOTE]

Old system consisted of an MC7270, C34V w/ an MCD7000. My father's old system. I remember all the fun I would have with it when he was out of town while I was growing up

Sound was/is on the darker side and I wanted more detail so I gave it to a close friend. But I must say that the MCD7000 was in my current system while I was waiting on my Bryston pieces (BDA/BCD/BDP) and it sounded VERY good despite using a 14bit DAC. Obviously the Bryston is more detailed and dynamic but the MCD did a little something to the voices that I really enjoyed. Bryston BCD is much drier but more detailed if that even makes sense.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 04-11-2012, 11:46 AM
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I thought the MCD7000 sounded great too. It was 14 bit and did not have dual DAC's. So much of a digital front end has little to do with the actual D/A converter. I remember meeting Dr. Gordon Gow where he told me directly that the MCD7000 saved "his company", i.e. McIntosh Labs.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 04-12-2012, 03:20 PM
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Default Importance of synergy

Once again, we see how synergy is such an important part of any system. Not just synergy among components, but also between the speakers and the room. It sounds to me like mdkim listened to a bunch of equipment in isolation, then put it all together and expected magic. There are so many variables in this story that it's hard to know where to start.

@mdkim: My suggestion would be to relax and let your system settle in before making judgements. Let everything break in for a few months and don't be too worried. The Gold Lion tubes you put in your C2300 will take a month or so of regular play to reach their best. As much as I hate to admit it, maybe even cables have to break in. I recently had an experience where changing a power cable on my power amp from an old Zu Bok to a new Decware made an obvious and noticeable difference for the worse. You room is a critical component in your chain. Try to understand it and possibly get it measured and treated.

You have a good chance of eliminating the component synergy variable when all your components are from the same manufacturer. In my systems, I know the following work very well together:

C22 60th + MC275 + Harbeth
C50 + MC452 + Martin Logan

A good example is my initial experience with the C50/MC452/Martin Logan system. It sounded awful when I first installed it and I was ready to swap my amp, preamp, speakers. Thin, hard midrange. Shrill female vocals. Strident high end. A low end ranging from thin to boomy day by day. A very small sweet spot. Beaming from the near speaker when sitting off-center. I was frantic to get it solved. Over time, I did a couple of small things that improved it dramatically. The first was switching to a different output tap on the amplifier. In the case of the Martin Logans, they sounded much better on the 2 ohm tap. Also, I changed the speaker cable to the Transparent. That helped a bit more. And finally, the Martin Logans themselves just took a while to break in. I spoke with a ML rep at RMAF last year and related my experience. His comment was that, yes, it's common for new ML hybrids to sound very thin in the midrange and overly bright for a few months when new. I asked why they don't just say that in the manual. "Your new Martin Logan Summit X speakers will sound like absolute crap for the first few months. Let them break in before passing judgement". He laughed and said there were actually discussions along those lines at Martin Logan, but they decided against it out of concern that sales reps in shops would start parroting the manual and drive away sales.

The C22/MC275/Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 is a combo that will sound fantastic right out of the box with cheap cables, and just about otherworldly once broken in for a few months with a few tube replacements, good quality interconnects and power cables, and a PS Audio power regenerator.

Last edited by unitycoupled; 04-12-2012 at 03:29 PM.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2012, 03:11 PM
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Quick update.

Took delivery of my C4 IIs and WW cables (the force was too strong here to resist ). They are breaking in nicely Safe to say I no longer have any misgivings about the C2300. That is not to say I won't consider an upgrade, or two or three...but I cannot blame the MC pre for the MUSH I was initially hearing. Well, I can a little but that mostly cleared up after "proper" break-in.

I'll post thoughts on speakers and cables in the appropriate forum(s). But for now, I'm enjoying the system too much
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2012, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitycoupled View Post
Once again, we see how synergy is such an important part of any system. Not just synergy among components, but also between the speakers and the room. It sounds to me like mdkim listened to a bunch of equipment in isolation, then put it all together and expected magic. There are so many variables in this story that it's hard to know where to start.

@mdkim: My suggestion would be to relax and let your system settle in before making judgements. Let everything break in for a few months and don't be too worried. The Gold Lion tubes you put in your C2300 will take a month or so of regular play to reach their best. As much as I hate to admit it, maybe even cables have to break in. I recently had an experience where changing a power cable on my power amp from an old Zu Bok to a new Decware made an obvious and noticeable difference for the worse. You room is a critical component in your chain. Try to understand it and possibly get it measured and treated.

You have a good chance of eliminating the component synergy variable when all your components are from the same manufacturer. In my systems, I know the following work very well together:

C22 60th + MC275 + Harbeth
C50 + MC452 + Martin Logan

A good example is my initial experience with the C50/MC452/Martin Logan system. It sounded awful when I first installed it and I was ready to swap my amp, preamp, speakers. Thin, hard midrange. Shrill female vocals. Strident high end. A low end ranging from thin to boomy day by day. A very small sweet spot. Beaming from the near speaker when sitting off-center. I was frantic to get it solved. Over time, I did a couple of small things that improved it dramatically. The first was switching to a different output tap on the amplifier. In the case of the Martin Logans, they sounded much better on the 2 ohm tap. Also, I changed the speaker cable to the Transparent. That helped a bit more. And finally, the Martin Logans themselves just took a while to break in. I spoke with a ML rep at RMAF last year and related my experience. His comment was that, yes, it's common for new ML hybrids to sound very thin in the midrange and overly bright for a few months when new. I asked why they don't just say that in the manual. "Your new Martin Logan Summit X speakers will sound like absolute crap for the first few months. Let them break in before passing judgement". He laughed and said there were actually discussions along those lines at Martin Logan, but they decided against it out of concern that sales reps in shops would start parroting the manual and drive away sales.

The C22/MC275/Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 is a combo that will sound fantastic right out of the box with cheap cables, and just about otherworldly once broken in for a few months with a few tube replacements, good quality interconnects and power cables, and a PS Audio power regenerator.
The C50 looks to be in a 2-channel setup. any particular reason you chose it over the C48?
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2012, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdkim View Post
Quick update.

Took delivery of my C4 IIs and WW cables (the force was too strong here to resist ). They are breaking in nicely Safe to say I no longer have any misgivings about the C2300. That is not to say I won't consider an upgrade, or two or three...but I cannot blame the MC pre for the MUSH I was initially hearing. Well, I can a little but that mostly cleared up after "proper" break-in.

I'll post thoughts on speakers and cables in the appropriate forum(s). But for now, I'm enjoying the system too much
mdkim.......You've had your new C4 II's for 10 days now. How's the system sounding? I am guessing it is knocking your socks off.

One more tweak that will deliver a very nice performance boost is to swap the stock McIntosh 12AX7 tubes for Gold Lion 12AX7's. Your system will become even more musical, quieter background, solid textured bass with sweet midrange and top end. If you are not using either phono stage, you only need to swap the two line stage tubes, otherwise swap the tubes in the phono stage you are using, too. Trust me on this. You will be impressed.

Also, don't forget how much we like photos.
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Living Room System: McIntosh C2300, MC601 (2), MS750, MR85, Esoteric K-03, Olive 04HD, Magnum Dynalab MD-205, Sony K890ES, Micro Seiki DD-40 w/MA-505 tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Furutech AG-12 phono cable, Aluminati Sound record clamp, Sonos ZP90, PMC EB1i, Fathom f113 w/ Sound Anchor stand, PS Audio Power Plant Premier (2), PS Audio Soloist Premier SE (3), Furutech Flux 50, Rollerblock Jr.'s, Fanfare FM-2G, Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's & Silver Electra PC's, Wireworld Supernova & Silver Starlight digital cables, Kimber 8TC speaker cable w/ WBT NexGen Silver Angled Locking Banana Connectors, Solid Pure Silver Speaker Terminal Jumpers.
Studio System: McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Esoteric K-03, Olive 04HD, Michell Gyro SE w/SME 309/Ortofon Cadenza Black, Michell Never Connected Power Supply, Sonos ZP90, Sonos ZP120, Magnum Dynalab ST-2, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, PS Audio Soloist Premier SE, PS Audio Dectet, Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario, Rollerblock Jr.'s, Wireword Silver Eclipse IC's & Silver Electra PC's, Wireworld Supernova & Silver Starlight digital cables, Wireworld Silver Eclipse speaker cable.
Home Theater System: McIntosh MX120, MC452, Oppo BDP-95, PS Audio Soloist Premier SE, JBL LSR-6332 (2), JBL LSR-6328P (3), McIntosh XLS112 (2), Sony 52XBR9, Tributaries Silver IC's, Wireworld Starlight 6 HDMI cables, Wireworld Silver Electra PC's.
Headphone System: Sennheiser HD800 headphone, HDVA 600 headphone amplifier, CH 800 S balance headphone cable, Wyred 4 Sound DAC2, Oppo BDP-83, Wireworld Silver Starlight 7 digital cable, Silver Eclipse 7 balanced interconnects, Aurora 7 power cables.
Vintage: McIntosh MA230, MA5100, MR74 tuner, JVC XL-Z1050 K2 CD player, Tandberg 3008A preamp, Tandberg 3026A power amp, Tandberg 3011 tuner, JBL4312A, Wireworld Solstice 7 speaker cable, McIntosh 4300V for deck speakers.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2012, 07:41 PM
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Dan:

I am quite taken by the sound that is coming from my system. Dare I say, it sounds better to me than most auditions I have had at my local dealer. That's not to say I haven't heard better (or different), but I'm so utterly content I'm actually putting off upgrades I had already planned (power cables, upgraded conditioner) I'm sure they will happen though.

As for the Gold Lions, did that when I took delivery of the 2300 courtesy of one of your many insightful reviews. I didn't even bother to listen to the stock tubes.

Pics will be forthcoming. But, when the kids are finally asleep, it's just hard to do ANYTHING other than plop my ass down in front of the system, grab a beer and my iPad (my wife is welcome but not necessary), and waste the night away
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2012, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdkim View Post
Dan:

I am quite taken by the sound that is coming from my system. Dare I say, it sounds better to me than most auditions I have had at my local dealer. That's not to say I haven't heard better (or different), but I'm so utterly content I'm actually putting off upgrades I had already planned (power cables, upgraded conditioner) I'm sure they will happen though.

As for the Gold Lions, did that when I took delivery of the 2300 courtesy of one of your many insightful reviews. I didn't even bother to listen to the stock tubes.

Pics will be forthcoming. But, when the kids are finally asleep, it's just hard to do ANYTHING other than plop my ass down in front of the system, grab a beer and my iPad (my wife is welcome but not necessary), and waste the night away
Michael.......Glad to hear you went straight for the Gold Lion tubes. When I bought my second C2300 that is in my living room system, I did the exact same thing. I never even energized the C2300 before installing the Gold Lion's.

I am pleased the sound system is making you happy. Great gear carefully selected and assembled usually always delivers the goods. Happy listening.
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Living Room System: McIntosh C2300, MC601 (2), MS750, MR85, Esoteric K-03, Olive 04HD, Magnum Dynalab MD-205, Sony K890ES, Micro Seiki DD-40 w/MA-505 tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Furutech AG-12 phono cable, Aluminati Sound record clamp, Sonos ZP90, PMC EB1i, Fathom f113 w/ Sound Anchor stand, PS Audio Power Plant Premier (2), PS Audio Soloist Premier SE (3), Furutech Flux 50, Rollerblock Jr.'s, Fanfare FM-2G, Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's & Silver Electra PC's, Wireworld Supernova & Silver Starlight digital cables, Kimber 8TC speaker cable w/ WBT NexGen Silver Angled Locking Banana Connectors, Solid Pure Silver Speaker Terminal Jumpers.
Studio System: McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Esoteric K-03, Olive 04HD, Michell Gyro SE w/SME 309/Ortofon Cadenza Black, Michell Never Connected Power Supply, Sonos ZP90, Sonos ZP120, Magnum Dynalab ST-2, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, PS Audio Soloist Premier SE, PS Audio Dectet, Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario, Rollerblock Jr.'s, Wireword Silver Eclipse IC's & Silver Electra PC's, Wireworld Supernova & Silver Starlight digital cables, Wireworld Silver Eclipse speaker cable.
Home Theater System: McIntosh MX120, MC452, Oppo BDP-95, PS Audio Soloist Premier SE, JBL LSR-6332 (2), JBL LSR-6328P (3), McIntosh XLS112 (2), Sony 52XBR9, Tributaries Silver IC's, Wireworld Starlight 6 HDMI cables, Wireworld Silver Electra PC's.
Headphone System: Sennheiser HD800 headphone, HDVA 600 headphone amplifier, CH 800 S balance headphone cable, Wyred 4 Sound DAC2, Oppo BDP-83, Wireworld Silver Starlight 7 digital cable, Silver Eclipse 7 balanced interconnects, Aurora 7 power cables.
Vintage: McIntosh MA230, MA5100, MR74 tuner, JVC XL-Z1050 K2 CD player, Tandberg 3008A preamp, Tandberg 3026A power amp, Tandberg 3011 tuner, JBL4312A, Wireworld Solstice 7 speaker cable, McIntosh 4300V for deck speakers.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:59 PM
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Small world. Just pulled the RCAs from the C2200 this afternoon and replaced with GLs. The sound has smoothed out and opened up a noticeable amount from the get-go. Looking forward to getting another day or two of run-time on them.
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