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Old 08-17-2019, 07:56 PM
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Default McIntosh MC302 Puzzling observation

I traded in my McIntosh MC152 and moved on to the McIntosh MC302 as I wanted more headroom. I have been using the MC302 since the middle of February and have slowly come to realize that the natural treble I enjoyed with the MC152, isn’t as good with the MC302. There is less sharpness to the treble. Since I did not change anything else, why would this be so? I was under the impression that the sound should be better with the much larger and expensive amp. The bass is better, deeper and better defined, but the treble sounds shelved down. Ideas anyone?
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:53 PM
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You may have answered your own question with your 2nd to last statement. If the bass seems better, deeper, and better defined, it may appear that other areas of the frequency spectrum are lacking in comparison.

One would assume that you're using the same taps on the MC302 that you were using with the MC152 . . .
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:00 PM
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I tried both the 4 and 8 ohm taps and the 8 ohm is better. Someone told me the caps may need replacing, do you think that could be it? I expected the better bass but I didn't think the treble would be affected in a negative way. I am driving a pair of Golden Ear Triton References speakers.
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Main System: McIntosh C2500 Pre Amp, MR88 FM HD Tuner, MC302 Amp, Technics SL1200G TT/ZU DL103, Esoteric UX-3 SACD Player, Sony HAPZ1ES Music Server, GE Triton Reference Speakers, Shunyata Hydra 2 & 4 Power Conditioner, Shunyata Copperhead & Diamondback Platinum Power Cords, Groneberg Quattro Reference Cables, Acrolink PC & interconnects & Digital cable. Nordost Red Dawn cable.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:58 AM
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Default Replace your 302 with a 312

I’ve owned 2 MC302s. One was in my home theater, the other in my 2 channel rig. I was underwhelmed with its performance in my 2 channel set up and eventually sold it for a 452. I currently have a 312 in my 2 channel set up. Personally (JMHO), I think 312 sounds MUCH better than the 302 or even the 452. I know these is much debate on the whole balanced vs push/pull thing. The 312 is an EXCELLENT amp. Sell your 302 and don’t look back.
Btw, not sure how the 462 sounds vs. the 302 or a used 452.
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stereo_5 View Post
I tried both the 4 and 8 ohm taps and the 8 ohm is better. Someone told me the caps may need replacing, do you think that could be it? I expected the better bass but I didn't think the treble would be affected in a negative way. I am driving a pair of Golden Ear Triton References speakers.
Man, I wouldn’t think the caps need replacing. The 302 is a pretty new amp. Does the 302 even have “caps” to replace?
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:05 AM
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Sorry to read about your disappointment OP. I suppose your preamp doesn't have tone controls to help in the treble region.

I don't think caps are the culprit. More than likely it's in the amps design or perhaps it's lacking in synergy with your preamp.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:31 AM
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My preamp is a McIntosh C2500 tube preamp. Yes I have tone controls but why should I need them with this more powerful Mac amp? Buying the MC302 was a stretch, I couldn’t afford a new MC312. The balance of the MC152 was perfect in my system, so why would a more powerful amp Of the same build not sound as good? My system is almost at 50 grand and I do not want to have the treble jacked up 3 notches to make the system sound like it did before.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:06 PM
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I believe your speakers are very efficient, so you shouldn't need alot of power to drive them. The MC152 should be up to the task and if it was the perfect balance that you liked maybe go back to it?

Also, did you try making a separate connection to the powered subs in your speakers and turning them down a little?
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:24 PM
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If I were you, I’d try adjusting the tone controls to see if you can obtain the sound you like. It’s a low cost experiment that just may solve your problem.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:40 PM
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^^ Sorry OP. It seems the solution is at your fingertips but you don't want to use them. The amps are different. There's nothing more to say about it really.
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