McCormack DNA-2 Deluxe Amplifiers

4.83/5 (12 Reviews) MSRP : $4995.00


Product Description

2-Channel Power Amplifier - 300 Watts


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Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by randy barron a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Id say Ive hade this amp for 8 to 9 years Its a dna2 deluxe s#525 this amp has never been In a repair shop .I use a pair of definitives with I think around 250 watt subs In cab.A sunfire preamp .I have yet to hear any thing that can match this system I would like to upgrade the amp not that It needs It .but If you can make a exellent amp better Id like someone to e-mail me and tell me how and where to go only the people who have done this upgrade need to respond. all In all I think you will never find a better amp than the dna2 In this price range

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $4500.00

Purchased At:   wavelength audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scubadaddy123 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Let me start by saying that I've owned both the DNA-2 Deluxe and a separate DNA-2 Deluxe with the full blown Rev A offered by Steve McCormack. The differences are pretty significant. But with that said let me start with a review of the stock DNA-2 Deluxe. What a value! This truly a remarkable amplifier sounding much smoother & fuller than the CA-200, CA-201, CA-300 or CA-301, all of which I've personally owned. I also believe that this amp if more musical than either Levinson or Krell....are you beginning to get the impression that I really liked the stock DNA-2 Deluxe? Yup! The Pass X250 & X350 are a 'skosh' smoother in the upper midrange than the stock DNA-2 Deluxe, but when you listen to the DNA-2 Deluxe with the Rev A, then I can easily say that I've NEVER heard another SS amp that is smoother, period. The original msrp on the stock DNA-2 Deluxe was $5000, but can be found for $2,500 or so on the used market (depending on PCs, condition, etc.). The Rev A from Steve McCormack cost $2,500, period, and a used Rev A can be found for around $4,000-$4,500, again depending on condition, PCs, etc.).

The bottom line is the Rev A is LIMITLESS in it ability to get the most out of hard to drive speakers. I still find it hard to believe that a SS amp can sound this musical through the midrange. Remember, I'm a tube head and have owned many, many high powered tube amplifiers. I will not say that the DNA-2 Deluxe or the Rev A unit is more musical than a high powered tube amp, it's not. But the draw backs of owning a tube amp (heat, maitenance, distortion & noise) are sometimes intolerable. I live in Texas and my Sonic Frontiers Power 3 monoblocks made me run my A/C continually in the summer. But the bottom line is the McCormack DNA-2 deluxe is an excellent amplifier, and the Rev A is simply the best high powered SS amp I've owned...and I've owned a ton....check my FB on AudiogoN under 'Scubadaddy123'.

I'm currently using a BAT VK-5i tube preamp with the Rev A, and I think I've found the best of both tubes & SS. It is a wonderful combination and I highly recommend both pieces.

Enjoy the music

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by j ragan a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 23, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is an upgrade from the Krell 300i integrated, running a pair of Revel Studios. I had been considering Mark Levinson or Krell power amps for much more money (7-10K for similar sized 2 channel power amps), but when this unit became available as a demo for $3,000 from my local dealer, I couldn't resist a home audition. The improvement from the Krell integrated was NOT subtle! The Studios sounded wonderful on the Krell, but the comparison with a power amp which provided the power they'd been thirsting for was amazing: the most noticeable change was the soundstage, which immediately gained 25-35% in both width and depth. The inner dynamics (as opposed to overall sound level) were improved dramatically, particularly on large symphonic music. With smaller, acoustic jazz recordings (particularly vocals), there is a new-found warmth with the McCormack, and better imaging of the instruments within the soundstage (when that information is available from the recording). On loud, percussive music (e.g. latin big bands, Dave Matthews Band, etc.), the Revels now sound more "relaxed" than they did with the Krell: it's hard to describe, but before you could tell that the 300i was not quite enough amp for the Revels, now they have access to the power (both quantity and quality) which they were missing before. Inner dynamics are more audible, there's more "air" around the individual horns within a big recording. I did extensive comparison of the Krell 300i vs. a Conrad-Johnson PV14 preamp (the Krell can be used as a pre-amp). I ended up choosing the C-J, but the differences here were relatively subtle, much smaller than the improvement of putting the McCormack DNA-2 into the system. I comment on that comparison on the C-J PV14 review, but for here suffice to say that the McCormack sounded great with both the Krell and the C-J, but definitely resolved the differences between them, which were largely what you would expect for an entry level Krell solid state pre-amp vs. a tube pre-amp.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Roberts Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Roman Brice a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2001

Bottom Line:   

My adventure in audio which began about a year and a half ago was not complete until I purchased this model:
the DNA Deluxe 2 with Steve McCormack's Rev. A enhancements. According to Steve, it's his finest work.

That said, I had been satisfied with my system: base consisting of Sony SACD 777es, B&W 803 Nautilus, Morrison Elad preamp, Alpha Goertz speaker cable with a Rotel 991 amp and PS Audio P300; aurios MIBs throughout.

When I decided to take the step into the brave beyond and plug down another $4500 for this amp, all I could do was cross my fingers and hope for the best. I didn't really know what to expect. All I was hoping was that I wouldn't be disappointed. The seller, a nice guy in the Boston area wanted to go the Lamm route and thought I would be pleased with the product but until I got it into my living room and heard it for myself....

First listen, McCoy Tyner on SACD - completely blown away by the relaxed presentation with the clarity so sharp. I was very impressed. It's over time however (and a few little system tweaks) that one develops an even greater appreciation for the abilities of this amp.

The Rev. A has a fine ability to resolve details and deliver the presentation as music which is not subtle in its improvement. Even with a secondary set of speakers in my den, Paradigm Reference 20s, the sound is crisp, detailed and ultimately relaxed that you feel just pure joy to revel in the music. (As I write Stanley Jordan - Cornocupia). The amp will also make you feel you are hearing a piece of music for the first time completely unlike hearing detail improvements from another product change.

I attended the CES Show in NYC and I have to say, most of the systems I heard did not impress me compared to my own, which was a bit surprising. It made so very grateful for what I have. And I believe the amp deserves a great deal of credit. It does have a silky tube like quality but you'll never have to pull the "tube" out.

This amp is a masterpiece And whatever happened to my seller up north. I contacted him and he did not seem very pleased with the results of his Lamm experiment.

If you should ever have an opportunity to get this unit, (upgrade it through Steve by all means) you will have found such a great bargain for the money. That's right I said it. Thousands on an amp and worth it. Just send it to Steve and you won't regret it.

This ain't a product; it's art. Trust your ears and you tell me. I'm still blown away right now as I listen to Renaissance by Branford Marsalis.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $4500.00

Purchased At:   Used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Stehno a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I have the DNA2 Limited Anniversary Edition (LAE). The IAR review found at the bottom of this web page states things quite accurately.

I'm amazed at how many amps actually veil, smooth, eliminate or distort musical information. The SimAudio Moon W-5 sounds very good as well and even adds a touch of sweetness.

The DNA2 LAE simply does everything better as it seems to just about have it all. My Aerial Acoustic 10T's really sing with this amp.

Out of the used box, it sounded very good. However, with some suggestions from my seller, things really opened up when I did the following:

1. Installed a Foundation Research LC2 line conditioner dedicated to the amp.
2. Moved all components off my dedicated 20 amp circuit except for the preamp and amp.
3. Installed PS Aduio's new wall port outlets.
4. Installed the mechanical isolating spike that came with the LAE at the back of the amp as the manual states.
5. Installed the spikes on my Aerial 10T's stands (finally).

My source and preamp are pretty good middle of the road stuff, but the DNA2 LAE is so transparent, I can hear sonic differences with every little tweak I make.

For the fun of it, I just ordered vibrapods for each component and a Foundation Research LC1 line conditioner dedicated to the Sony SACD player.

If you can find a DNA2 LAE, buy it.

Equipment:
----------------------------------------------------------
McCormack DNA 2 LAE
Primare P30 pre/pro
Sony DVP s9000es SACD player
Aerial Acoustic 10T's
Triad Platinum subwoofer
Harmonic Technology Pro Silway II and Pro 9 interconnects and cables.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $3750.00

Purchased At:   Private party




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