McCormack DNA 0.5 Amplifiers

4.89/5 (37 Reviews) MSRP : $1295.00


Product Description

100 Watts Per Channel (8 ohms)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark White a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2016

Bottom Line:   
I got this amp today and put it in my system and am astonished by how fine it sounds. I have an upgraded CJ solid-state amp and it is a vast improvement in all respects to the CJ amp. It is very dynamic and has excellent LF response -- major slam with the bass, no question. The CJ amp has a bit of sibilance at higher volumes, but there is nary of hint of it with the .05 amp. The incredible articulation of the individual musical notes reveal nuances with music I have had for 20 years that I have never heard before.

Bottom line is that in stock form, this is a fabulous amp, much better than any amp I have had in 40 years (Modwright, Berning, several CJ, Moscode, HK CII & CV, Emotiva, Bryston). SMc has some mods that evidently take the amp to a higher level, but it is really hard to imagine how the amp could be improved upon. I am running the amp into Spatial Audio Hologram M4 Turbo S open-baffle speakers (~94 db efficient) and honestly am hearing my music in a way I have never heard before.
Cheers, Mark

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed Padden a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 9, 2012

Bottom Line:   
The search stops here! I have been an Audiophile for 20+ years, now. I have had anything from Adcom up to Audio Research amps and this is in my opinion the perfect power amplifier. It's powerful, lush, detailed, not hard or harsh, extended and talk about goose bumps! Just about every amp I have had had one or more major flaw. I am the kind of guy that rotates my equipment every 3 to 6 months to get a "different" sound. This amp is staying. I'm running it with an Audio Research LS7 tube pre with CD and Records as sources. I'm totally immersed in the music, now. The music use to come from my speakers. Not anymore. It effortlessly floats into my listening room. The best part is it only cost me $600 used on Audiogon in mint condition. Crazy. You can spend a ton more but, why? Spend the cash you save on your speakers. BUY ONE NOW!

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dpacella a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 7, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Having read lots of great things about the dna .5 I decided to try one. I now own a basic DNA 0.5. I am using the Marantz SACD player and McCormack TLC1 to drive the amp, and it drives a pair of Thiel CS1.2s. I use a paradigm active sub to help in the lower octaves. Nice mating to the speakers which I think is due to the room size and shape (usually add on subs create an annoyance to the sound, not a positive addition) The amp the DNA 0.5 replaced was a NAD C272.
Initial impression: from all the reviews and amplifier manual, I was suppossed to wait several hours for the amp to sound its best, but, being a tad impatient, I fired it up right away.
Sounded OK from a dead-cold state, but after about 1 hour things grew more refined. After a few days the improvements leveled out, but really, this amp needs to be turned on for a few days to sound its best. On to the show...
So the first thing that struck my friend and me was the purity and weight of the midrange. The NAD sounded like it was playing a clean musical signal, but the DNA 0.5 imparts emotion to the mids that I (to this day )can't believe is possible from a moderatly (to low) priced solid-state amp.
More on my setup: I have the Thiels about 7 feet center to center, 4 feet from the back wall and 3+ feet from the side walls. My listening spot is 9-10 feet from the front face of the Thiels. Room = 20x25x9.
Soundstage: the thiels completely disapper. On some tracks they look like they have nothing to do with the sound in the room. Completey de-coupled from the reproduction. Funny. The stage is a tad wider than the spacing of the speakers, and the front to back (and height) is more than adequate. On some recordings you think there are rear surround speakers. Also funny. Did not hear that with the NAD.
Sound Quality:
1)Bass- Despite the limitations of the little thiels, the bass clarity is great. That is, bass instruments are reproduced with clarity of pitch and weight. The sense of impact is quite good for this small setup. The overall fullness and warmth also notable.
Midrange: I am not going to compare it to tubes. Not necessary. The midrange is pure, clean, and extended. I am swept away on Diana Krall's warmth and weight. Natalie Merchant soothes me after a long day. Her voice wants me to say liquid, but i'm sick of that cliche...It sounds great...I throw in some smashing pumpkins and corgan's voice irradiates the room in an erie fashion, these qualities of sound are diminished with the NAD C272 I think..., I put in the SACD of BB King (reflections), crank it and I am amazed at the ease and BIG sound issued from the Thiels...BB's, ah, mature vibrato sounds spookily present in front of me. The band plays in the back like its part of the wall/yard...weird I tell myself..and this is with the STOCK DNA. The obsessed audio junkie in me screams wait till the Rev B or better upgrade...it gets better... but I soon return to earth an enjoy the pure music.
Highs:
Thiels have the reputation for sounding bright in some systems. Not so here. The NAD had good extension and detail, but the DNA 0.5 is a tad softer, perhaps a tiny bit sweeter, dare say I? Wonder what that RevA does...? The cymbals from a pure DSD SACD recording have that natural sheen you hear when in the presence of the real thing. Amazing. What will that plitron/diode combo possibly improve here?

The amp is an emotion engine... I will never part with it..You can have it from me when you pry it from my cold dead hands type of connection...speaking of connections I really wonder about those sweet looking WBT next gens...:)

...after the upgrade I will be replacing the beautiful Thiel CS1.2s with next generation and bigger brother Cs2.3s. Stay tuned to that plus upgraded DNA report on the 1.2s.

Love the amp. Highly recommended. None better at this price point.
Steve and Kris at SmC Audio are true gentlemen too.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tlea a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This is the Deluxe version, without any of the post-production modifications. It has been the cornerstone of my system for years. Every time I get upgrade fever and try to get rid of it, I find myself auditioning amps in the $2,000+ range to find significant improvement in the sound quality. They were a great value at full retail back in the day and are a tremendous bargain on the used market right now. I predict that in 10 years people are going to be talking wistfully about the DNA-0.5 in the way you hear old timers reminiscing about their classic McIntosh gear.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by HIFIVE a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Regretably I sold my McCormacks and went on a search for the perfect amplifier. I have come full circle. That is precisely what I did, I went in circles and wound up right back where I started, the McCormack amp. Nothing beats the McCormack DNA .5 Deluxe for pace, rythym, and drive, period. I am back to listening all my music and enjoying it even more! You will have to dig pretty deep in your pockets to beat this amp and then it may still not beat it for musical enjoyment and soundstaging. God bless Steve McCormacks's genius for these wonderful amplifiers. I have had McCormacks with the revision B and it will take what is already a superb amp to higher levels. Strongly recommend!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $650.00




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