McIntosh MC5100 Amplifiers

4.89/5 (9 Reviews)


Product Description

Integrated Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by sean a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 19, 2014

Bottom Line:   
First off I think it is worth mentioning that those who are experiencing background noise need to understand that old gear like this will ALLWAYS need servicing. The capacitors used in audio equipment will deteriorate over time no matter what and will need to be replaced. Often some of the resistors and sometimes the transistors will need replacing. Mcintosh will service these amps and bring them back up to spec. The difference after a proper service will astound you. More power NO background noise and lower distortion (these tend to spec out better than the stated figures in the Mcintosh literature when serviced correctly).

That being said the MA 5100 is a great entry level vintage Mcintosh that has a very sweet musical non-fatiguing sound. It's an early version of Mcintosh's entry into solid state audio gear that, though not as impressive as the tube equipment, was built to keep the signature Mcintosh voice. It's a very forgiving amplifier that works well with just about any input source and speaker selection. I prefer using this amp on my vintage JBLs to tame the very forward sounding characteristics most vintage JBLs are known for.

If you love your Mcintosh GET IT SERVICED!. you will find these will sound better than any modern gear for the same price. It is also worth mentioning this will avoid any chance of having a dangerous electrical failure.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



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

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2013

Bottom Line:   
I am a long time audiophile, and have owned many amplifiers over the years! Marantz, Harman Kardon, Pioneer, Sansui, Technics, Sony, Kenwood, Crown, and many others. For years I heard how good McIntosh equipment was, but was deterred by the expensive prices. I recently found a good deal on, and finally purchased a McIntosh MA 5100 Amp/Preamp. When I hooked it up, I was flabergasted! I was simply blown away by the sound! I simply could not believe what I was hearing from the record grooves or CD discs! With the McIntosh, it is like hearing all my records and CD's for the first time! I hear detail and nuances that simply werent audiable (or were distorted) with my other amplifiers. I have owned a set of large Advent speakers for years, and always thought they were adequately driven, and were delivering optimal sound with whatever amp was connected to them. Until I connected them to the McIntosh, I never realized or actually heard what these superb speakers were truly capable of! The sound is incredibly clean, powerful, accurate and incredibly well defined. vocals and instruments junp from the cones! The richness and clarity has to be heard to be believed! The McIntosh MA 5100 amp is "only" rated at 45 Watts RMS per channel, but quite franklly, it beats the snot out of my previous primary vintage Sherwood amp that is rated at 100 watts per channel RMS! I dont know what the McIntosh engineers did to create such clean powerful circuitry, but in my opinion, they were truly wizards! In short, my McIntosh MA 5100 blows every other amplifier I have ever owed, right out of the water! I dont impress easily, but I am VERY impressed, and am now a McIntosh convert! It's no wonder McIntosh has such a great reputation. The vintage equipment they built is in a word awesome! GH, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

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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 Eric a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 31, 2012

Bottom Line:   
This is simply the most musical amplifier I ever heard. In a long row of vintage and new Quad, Krell, Luxman, Marantz, Jadis, Prima Luna... To me it does everything right. Music comes with ease, the amp letting you hear music, not merely details. It breathes, has good bass, mid en highs. Not the last word in detail, but it outshines the others mentioned in the natural and organic recreation of a musical event. It is important to match it with the right speaker to experience the magic of this amplifier, otherwise you might be disappointed. Wonderful combination with my Spendor BC1 or my Rogers LS3/5as (15 ohm). Right now a MCintosh 275 is playing next to it, but however beautiful it sounds, the MA 5100 wins in fatiguefree, musical listening. Very reliable, mine is completely original after 50 years still functioning perfectly. If you own one, keep it and enjoy, your not likely to find more joy in other amps.
Oh, and of course I forgot to mentioned the cool looks :-)

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Don Bagley a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I bought my 5100 amp from ebay and paid $250 dollars for it. It was a great investment. Presently, I'm using it to drive two Infinity RS325s. I have a Music Halll turntable that I found languishing in an antique store. I restored and refinishe the table and put on a Goldring Electra cartridge. I also use a pair of AKG headphones for listening. As others have noted, there is some background noise in the amp's performance. Also the sound is not super detailed--which is good for my old LPs. But The sound is warm beyond compare. This is a forty year old amp, and it looks cool and sounds warm. I love it.

I had to replace some of the bulbs, and when I did, I accidentally cracked a corner of the black glass. I found out that I can get replacement glass for less than two hundred bucks, and I will, eventually. But that doesn't affect the sound. It sounds heavenly.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Arch Arthur a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 28, 2006

Bottom Line:   
In 1968 I was an air force officer in navigator training at Mather AFB, CA when, to my wife's dismay, I bought a McIntosh MA 5100. It cost me a month's pay ($450) and it was worth every penny. The McIntosh factory used to send out a tech rep to their retailers who would test your amp, fix anything that was wrong then post the data sheet in the store window. Total Harmonic Distortion envy!

My MA 5100 drove a pair of AR-3As until the woofers dried out. A pair of Advents lasted about 15 years until 1997. Since, I have tried a number of speakers with disappointing results. This year I bought a pair of inexpensive ($69) headphones from a world class audio manufacturer - Grado Labs RS 60s - to use with my iPod. When I plugged them into my MA 5100, the MAC was back.

Today my McIntosh is connected to an old Technics direct drive turntable. After I converted my records to digital audio files, I still listen to classics - from Klemperer conducting Beethoven to CS&N "Suite Judy Blue Eyes". They just sound better.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Retailer Sacramento




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