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  #31  
Old 02-13-2020, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles View Post
George, I'm not meaning to insult you. I'm not upset with you. I'm sorry you have taken my criticism this way (personally as an insult).

Just using it as an example, a C-1100 costs 11,000.00, it's a very expensive piece. Top of the line Mac pre. As soon as it entered your home it became a demo and a used piece, if it wasn't a demo already.

So let's assume it was a demo. It takes an amazing dealer(s) to allow his valuable demos to be away from his store for a week or a month or longer? That's a lot of time off the display away from the store, especially since you heard it at the store repeatedly and didn't particularly like it and had less than a 50% chance (it certainly seems) of buying it. It is a fact you did not buy it.

It's a very complicated thing to get even a piece like a C-1100 safely home and into your rack. I'm very impressed with the way you buy equipment and with your dealer(s).
Hypothetically, buying a C-1100 and a Ref 6SE and a ML 526 and selling off two of them down the road would be pretty impressive.

If I'm the dealer and I think you (using "you" in the generic sense) just want to audition for the sake of it, how many potential sales would I lose while I'm waiting patiently for "you" to finish your in home audition, especially if I have given "you" two other of my demo preamps? All my display systems would be without preamps.

I live in a fairly large city (about a million). There is one maybe two serious high end dealers in my region. It takes a large investment to have demos on display. Unless he has changed my dealer displays Mark Levinson and McIntosh exclusively.

Now I'm not insulting you, criticizing you, or questioning your veracity. Or criticizing how you make your buying decisions in any way. Actually, I'm very impressed by your methods and logic. I'm glad you can provide me your listening impressions and what you have said has enlightened me greatly.


Sounds good! Just to be clear ... the C1100 didn’t stay at my house very long as it was a demo so no dealer was harmed. :-) I did purchase the Mark Levinson Pre and then bought the BAT RexII as well and lived with them for months before deciding and sold the Mark Levinson. During that time I borrowed a few other pieces that ended up not being contenders as well. Doing that with used equipment when I can find a great deal seems to not cost much more than shipping in most cases and even make a buck once in a while. I tend to be fairly patient waiting for a good enough deal.

BTW ... I still own Mac gear for my home theater and it’s not going anywhere. :-)

George
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  #32  
Old 02-13-2020, 11:55 PM
joey_v joey_v is offline
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Charles

George is a friend of mine, I know his intentions. I can tell you the dealer was not harmed.
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  #33  
Old 02-15-2020, 01:35 PM
Charles Charles is online now
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Originally Posted by joey_v View Post
Charles

George is a friend of mine, I know his intentions. I can tell you the dealer was not harmed.
Joey, I have repeatedly stated I am not impugning anybody's intentions, insulting anybody, or questioning anybody's veracity.

Unless you are the dealer I don't know how you know that the dealer lost a potential sale because the demo was out of the store. But that's on the dealer not George. I respect George and believe his logic and purchasing methods impeccable. I also respect you and want to be friends with everybody.

If I'm the dealer, I'm not going to allow anyone to take a premier pre or amp out of my store without a sizable deposit and without the knowledge that the person in mind is trustworthy and has at least a 90% plus intention of buying it. This scenario would occur only very rarely, if at all.

If I'm the dealer, I'm going to keep my demos in store and even then, I'm not going to allow virtually anyone in my showroom unattended. I count it an honor that my dealer will allow me to do so. My feeling is that folks should feel themselves very fortunate to get to see, handle, and demo pieces like the C1100 for even a brief period of time.

C1100's don't grow on trees. I don't even think my dealer even has one in his store and he has a big store.

Once that hypothetical 10,000 to 20,000 dollar piece is gone out of my store how do I get it immediately back if I have a serious potential buyer?

How do I know as the dealer that it has not been dropped or damaged in some not obvious way? If it has been accidentally damaged, who is responsible for the repair? Who would ever want to buy this unit? I personally would never want a unit that has been bumped around in the back of the trunk of a car or set on someone's rear seat. One unexpected panic stop and the unsecured unit has hit the floor hard. So the unit would have to be re-packed in its original box and then re-packaged again on return.

How do I sell it when the time comes? As a dealer I believe I have a fiduciary responsibility to disclose to the prospective buyer of my ultra expensive demo that the unit has been in multiple people's homes for extended lengths of time.

I could go on but I hope you see my point. However, to folks like George that can find dealers willing to allow in home auditions of multiple expensive units, some new and some used, more power too them. It's on the dealer to bear the burden of potential problems, not them.

Last edited by Charles; 02-15-2020 at 01:50 PM.
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  #34  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:04 PM
jpgr4blu jpgr4blu is offline
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About a decade ago, owned the MC2102 (100 WPC tube amp) and the Mac C1000 3 piece preamp with Wilson Watt Puppy 7s. I was determined to purchase the MC 2301 monos. When I went to my local dealer and listened to a full Mac system with my preamp and the 2301s , I was ready to buy. Then my dealer suggested swapping out the upper tier Mac electronics for a mid level Audio Research preamp and amp---just for a listen. I was a bit insulted at first --as I was a died in the wool Mac tube fan having owned a number of Mac components prior to my then current set up. I thought the salesman was a bit presumptuous to suggest that I might prefer an ARC system which I assumed he preferred at less than a third the price of mine.--I was astonished about how much better the ARC system sounded, especially in the midrange. I heard previously unheard detail on numerous test cds I brought with me. These were cds that I had listened to hundreds of times. I could count the background singers on one Van Morrison track when before they sounded as a massed group. I heard each individual voice and how the harmonies were constructed. This type of detail added to musical enjoyment. On another track from a David Byrne cd, I clearly heard low level detail in the midrange that I had never heard before. And the sound was not harsh, just revealing and much more transparent than Mac with greater tonal color and texture and a light touch of sweetness.
I went back home to my Mac system and listened again to those tracks paying particular attention to what I had heard earlier in the day at my dealer. But what I thought was missing in my Mac system was, in fact, still completely missing. The sounds were simply not there--masked by a slight scrim over the presentation that makes Mac easy on the ears but far from transparent.
I was upset at the time as I knew that I had to sell all of my Mac gear and go ARC. I started with the Ref 5 preamp which worked better than my Mac preamp with the Mac 2102. Over time, I completely converted to ARC starting with the Ref 110, the Ref 40-- then the Ref 150 and now the Ref 160 monos.
I will say, I still favor the sound of Mac gear with certain speakers such as B&W. Of course, others may hear all of the above differently than me and they would not be wrong.
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  #35  
Old 02-16-2020, 05:46 AM
Charles Charles is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgr4blu View Post
About a decade ago, owned the MC2102 (100 WPC tube amp) and the Mac C1000 3 piece preamp with Wilson Watt Puppy 7s. I was determined to purchase the MC 2301 monos. When I went to my local dealer and listened to a full Mac system with my preamp and the 2301s , I was ready to buy. Then my dealer suggested swapping out the upper tier Mac electronics for a mid level Audio Research preamp and amp---just for a listen. I was a bit insulted at first --as I was a died in the wool Mac tube fan having owned a number of Mac components prior to my then current set up. I thought the salesman was a bit presumptuous to suggest that I might prefer an ARC system which I assumed he preferred at less than a third the price of mine.--I was astonished about how much better the ARC system sounded, especially in the midrange. I heard previously unheard detail on numerous test cds I brought with me. These were cds that I had listened to hundreds of times. I could count the background singers on one Van Morrison track when before they sounded as a massed group. I heard each individual voice and how the harmonies were constructed. This type of detail added to musical enjoyment. On another track from a David Byrne cd, I clearly heard low level detail in the midrange that I had never heard before. And the sound was not harsh, just revealing and much more transparent than Mac with greater tonal color and texture and a light touch of sweetness.
I went back home to my Mac system and listened again to those tracks paying particular attention to what I had heard earlier in the day at my dealer. But what I thought was missing in my Mac system was, in fact, still completely missing. The sounds were simply not there--masked by a slight scrim over the presentation that makes Mac easy on the ears but far from transparent.
I was upset at the time as I knew that I had to sell all of my Mac gear and go ARC. I started with the Ref 5 preamp which worked better than my Mac preamp with the Mac 2102. Over time, I completely converted to ARC starting with the Ref 110, the Ref 40-- then the Ref 150 and now the Ref 160 monos.
I will say, I still favor the sound of Mac gear with certain speakers such as B&W. Of course, others may hear all of the above differently than me and they would not be wrong.
I think your post deserves a reply but before I do I want to reiterate my feeling about any demo piece that leaves the store for an in home audition. In my mind it then becomes a used piece of equipment, no different than what is for sale on eBay. In some sense it becomes worse than a used piece that has been in a home. I for example take meticulous care of my gear.

If I were a manufacturer and I knew a dealer was routinely lending out his demos for in home auditions, I would not stand behind my warranty. The dealer would have to supply the warranty.

If you look up the resale value of the 2102 and the Ref 110 (I did), they are very comparable, being between 3-4k. Both received sterling reviews by respected reviewers. However, the 2102 pre-dates the Ref 110 by about 7 years. The retail for the 2102 is 6k, for the 110 about 9-10k. This is not opinion. It is fact.

It is not an infrequent occurrence on this website for an AR aficionado like yourself to have a very positive listening experience (audition) at a dealer and switch to AR from Mac. Ditto for Dags.

The 2102 was designed by Sidney Corderman and was a scaled down MC2000. The 110 was a scaled down version of the more powerful AR reference back in the day.

AR uses a very different circuit than Mac. Like Dan D' Agostino, William Johnson of AR was/is a genius. His memory lives on through the wonderful equipment AR continues to create. Ditto for Sidney Corderman of Mac. Both are recently deceased. Need I say more.

You have a wonderful system. Lot's of thought. Well put together.

However, for me personally, if I were going tubes and I had my choice not based on price but based on what I know concerning both companies and how to achieve the very best sound out of a Mac, it would be the 2301 for me, not the Ref 160. It wouldn't even be close. Ditto for the 1.25 KW and the Momentum.

The Mac/AQ/Wilson gear I use is very synergistic with each other. I believe I could achieve a similar result with two 2301's driving my XVX and would want the extra headroom over the 160's.

Now that's just me. I don't put much weight in anecdotal experiences and dealer auditions but I really enjoy reading about them and commenting on them. It's what makes the world go round in the high end.

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Most recent updates: AQ Diamond USB replaces AQ Coffee; Wilson Audio Specialties Alexx replaced by Wilson Audio Specialties XVX Chronosonic
Amps: McIntosh 1.25KW’s (3) set on floor on custom made cultured marble slabs
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Sources: McIntosh MCD1100 SACD player, MVP881 BR player, MVP851 DVD player, MR87 tuner, Marantz 510LV Laser Disc player, ASUS laptop USB (JRiver Media Center 23)
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Cables subwoofer system: Audioquest Redwood speaker cable (1); Wolf balanced subwoofer IC from WC to amp; Wind balanced IC from preamp to WC; Hurricane HC (2) and Dragon HC (1) power cords
Power conditioners: Audioquest Niagara 7000 (1) and Niagara 5000 (3); (4) dedicated 20-amp lines with no. 10 wire straight out of fuse box
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Last edited by Charles; 02-16-2020 at 06:43 AM.
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  #36  
Old 02-16-2020, 12:26 PM
jpgr4blu jpgr4blu is offline
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Hi Charles:
Just to clarify--the amp that was matched against the Mac 2102 at the dealer was a midlevel ARC amp--the designation of which I did not investigate at the time. The price was about the same as the Mac 2102. Obviously, the ARC and Mac presentations are completely different and I appreciate that anyone could prefer one over the other.
I have also heard the Dag Momentums in my system and found them to be the best solid state amps I have ever heard with Wilson.
Finally, all due respect to Sydney Corderman and his historic role in the development of modern audio. I still have the beautifully written and illustrated coffee table volume "for the love of music" about the history of McIntosh by Ken Kessler whose reference system was, years ago, Mac based and is now ARC based with Wilson DAWs.
Many will not share Mr. Kessler's preferences or mine.
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Last edited by jpgr4blu; 02-16-2020 at 12:30 PM.
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  #37  
Old 02-16-2020, 09:10 PM
Charles Charles is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgr4blu View Post
Hi Charles:
Just to clarify--the amp that was matched against the Mac 2102 at the dealer was a midlevel ARC amp--the designation of which I did not investigate at the time. The price was about the same as the Mac 2102. Obviously, the ARC and Mac presentations are completely different and I appreciate that anyone could prefer one over the other.
I have also heard the Dag Momentums in my system and found them to be the best solid state amps I have ever heard with Wilson.
Finally, all due respect to Sydney Corderman and his historic role in the development of modern audio. I still have the beautifully written and illustrated coffee table volume "for the love of music" about the history of McIntosh by Ken Kessler whose reference system was, years ago, Mac based and is now ARC based with Wilson DAWs.
Many will not share Mr. Kessler's preferences or mine.
I noted that you did not name the AR amp which was the reason I used the 110. I think the 2102 and 110 fair comparisons.

After spending years on this website it is a truly interesting/fascinating phenomenon I have noted on it, how AR aficionados want (some deep seated need?) to compare AR to Mac. I don't see this with CJ aficionados or Mac aficionados or other aficionados of various tube or SS gear.

The same can be said of Dag aficionados who really like to point out how much better they like their Dags and how much better they sound with their Wilson's than Macs, and which they have usually switched to from their previous Macs.

Do AR and Dag aficionados believe they are performing the uninitiated and uninformed a public service?

Therefore, one who is recently new to this website and highly interested in Mac might come to the conclusion that Mac tube technology is not nearly as advanced as AR tube technology. Not so. In general a Mac tube amp is much lower in distortion and puts out considerably more power and at lower impedance than a comparable AR amp.

The distortion and power figures the unity coupled circuit provides has never been equaled and is used in all Mac tube amps. Mac tube amps also weigh considerably more than AR amps for their given power ratings.

AR uses fans to cool all their amps including their latest 160 mono. I don't like fans. Fans are noisy and introduce noise into the circuitry. Current Mac tube amps to my knowledge do not use fans.

I think Mac tube amps are more reliable than AR have longer tube life and do this without the use of fans. Mac tube amps consume a lot less power than do AR amps.

In general Mac tube amps are about 40% less expensive than comparable AR amps not because they are less expensive to manufacture, have inferior parts, better specs, or inferior sonics but because for every tube amp AR sells, Mac probably sells ten or more. The same is true for the C1100 when compared to the Ref 10 Line Stage pre's and other Mac pre's compared to AR pre's.

CJ has recently come out with some absolutely beautiful new tube amps that are very impressive I might add. If I were looking to go tube it would be between the MC2301 and the CJ ART300 mono block because I want the higher power.

Last edited by Charles; 02-16-2020 at 09:26 PM.
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  #38  
Old 02-16-2020, 11:47 PM
jpgr4blu jpgr4blu is offline
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Hi Charles:
You must be mistaking me for any number of other posters who predominate more on Audiogon than here. I do not mean to denigrate McIntosh. McIntosh is a well made and gorgeous product. I owned only Mac tubed gear for the first 10 years or so of my high end audio journey. To my ears, ARC is a more transparent and musical product. I cited specific examples of how I drew my conclusion and noted that others may hve a different opinion.
Unlike posters who invade unrelated threads to tout their gear, denigrate the OP's gear or, worse yet, sell their gear, the purpose of my response was to answer the question posed by the OP. Part of that question was a request from other members of this forum to comment on the differences between the C1100 to the Ref 6.
I had direct experience with comparing my long term C1000 with a mid level ARC preamp of a generation ago and thought the differences were as stated above and were responsive to the Op's inquiry.
I have listened to CJ gear as well and agree that CJ has certain advantages over ARC. But it all comes down to personal taste.
As for my Dag comment, I simply added that because you mentioned Dan D'Agostino as a pioneer/genius and I agree with that conclusion. I make that statement because Dan and his wife Petra were kind enough to lend me a pair of Momentum monoblocks to place in my system for a time. If I were ever to switch back to solid state, I would buy the Momentums.
As for your comparisons with the quality or popularity of Mac v ARC, I disagree with a number of your statements including, most definitely, the cost of manufacture. But I did not post here to debate with you, only to answer the OP's question.
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  #39  
Old 02-17-2020, 03:10 AM
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For what it's worth, and it's just an opinion or two... I owned a nice Mac stack at one point, driving Wilson Sashas, and switched to an ARC stack. I've never looked back. I feel ARC is a step above. One of my good friends here on AA did the same, and feels the same.

I don't have any CJ experience.

Ymmv, of course, and I absolutely love the Mac asthetic and build quality. I just happen to favor the ARC sound.

I have tried to "mix and match" with terrible results. I would not recommend that. If you like Mac, go all Mac. If you like audio research, please pair likewise.

Just an opinion.
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  #40  
Old 02-17-2020, 09:26 AM
GSOphile GSOphile is offline
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Unlike Mac, I see quite a few posters on various sites pairing ARC preamps with other manufacturers' amps.
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