McIntosh MC252 Amplifiers

5/5 (4 Reviews)


Product Description

  • Stereo: 250 Watts/Channel
  • Mono Parallel: 1 x 500 watts
  • Output Autoformers
  • Balanced and Unbalanced Inputs


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by u87allen a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 23, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Very different sounding transistor amp. I demo'd about 4 different transistor amps including the one I already had on the same interconnects/speakers/preamp/CD_player. One amp cost nearly twice as much as this one. They all sounded similar, with subtle differences. Then I tried this one. Immediately noticable difference in the highs. My belief is that this is by virtue of the output transformers, which all tube amps have. The transformerless transistor amps all had an extra fuzz, kind of like a raspiness, in the high frequencies(like 5K and above) that just isn't in the source material. As soon as I heard this one I could tell the highs were right there. Natural. Everything was there but nothing extra, which is what an amp is supposed to do. My decision was made right then and there.
The midrange is smooth and detailed. I can't comment on the bass as I'm using a subwoofer in conjunction with this amp.
At first I didn't like the way it looked. But in time I came to enjoy it thouroghly. It gives me a throwback to the seventies when, as a boy, I first started getting into high-fi.
My opinion is that McIntosh hit a home run with this one. And it'll be a sad day if they ever discontinue this one. Worth every penny of the 3.8 Killobucks I paid for it. No complaints.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $3800.00

Purchased At:   Sound Perfection, Me



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by HFC a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I use the MC 252 to drive a pair of full range electrostatic speakers (Acoustat 2200). The result is astonishing. These inefficient speakers can dip down to 1.2 ohms at frequency extremes and the MC252 just drive it with its output set for 4 ohm speakers. The autoformer works like a charm. I also experimented with the 2 ohm setting, but found that setup with reduced power and less transperancy. The 250 watt amp at 4 ohm setting can easily provide the extra power at 1.2 ohm without stress (I tried other SS amps, even at twice the power rating, that cried for help).

The sound is warm, smooth, and coherent -- i.e. all the good things that come with tube -- but also powerful in bass and low in distortion -- i.e. without the bad thing about tube. This amp replaced my Sonic Frontier SFS-80. Occasionally, I still miss the tube amp's slightly better musicaliy, esp. with chamber music, but the SS Mac is is made for my speakers that I thought was an "impossible" load.

The MC 252 may not be the best amp in the world, but it is close to perfect with respect to its price, its musicality, and its ability to drive difficult loads.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $4500.00

Purchased At:   Professional Sound



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by MikeMasztal a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2006

Bottom Line:   
After 15 years in tubes, I became tired of the hassle of finding/replacing tubes, tube rolling, etc. Most other solid-state gear I've heard has the typical grainy sound that sent me to tubes so many years ago. Having not listened to McIntosh gear in many years, I visited a local shop and had a listen.

The MC252 has the attributes of tubes, namely smooth, detailed sound without the downsides of tubes, that being less than tight bass. I also found the MC252 was non-fatiguing after long periods of listening.

Some say the MC352 or 402 are better amps, but from my hearing the MC252 is as flawless an amp as I've heard.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $3100.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by drawtheline77 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2006

Bottom Line:   
What a terrific amp, the baby of the line, and what a baby. Smooth and open, tube like in many ways, great control over the speaker, efforless sound, and you can get another one...mono or biamp its up to you.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   Natural Sound




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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