McIntosh MC5100 Amplifiers

4.9/5 (10 Reviews)


Product Description

Integrated Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chasing Audio a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 18, 2015

Bottom Line:   
“Blown away” just about sums up my opinion on this little AMP/PRE AMP. I now define my audio listening experience pre McIntosh and post McIntosh. I have been looking / chasing “That Sound” since 1983 when I joined the Army and was in Germany during the hay days of PX sound rooms which displayed every name brand of gear and speaker imaginable and had manufacture representatives to sell their goods. All were represented, except McIntosh. I have owned every brand out there and not the BOTL gear for the masses. Vintage Marantz 2270, Vintage Sansui G 8700DB, Pioneer SX 1250, Pioneer Elite C-72 / M-72, C-90 / M-90. Technics Class A stuff, Onkyo, Nakamichi, NAD, the list goes on and on. If it was Japanese and supposed to be good, I bought it and still have much of it. I had heard of McIntosh but thought it was expensive and I figured how much better can it be? It’s all solid state right? WRONG!

On a whim and still searching for “That Sound” after all these years. I was looking around on ePay and saw a listing for a MacIntosh MA5100 spelled like the computer. It was going pretty cheap but I figured it would jump as people began to bid on it toward the end of the auction. To my astonishment, I think due in part to the spelling error I picked it up for a mere $224. I received it in the mail yesterday. After a quick wipe down I plugged it into my 1979 Klipschorns also a Craigslist find for $900 and OMG I was in heaven. How could something produced so long ago sound so incredible I thought? Like other post here praising this little magic in a box. I am now without a doubt a convert. I had Frank Sinatra, Fleetwood Mac, Journey live in my man cave last night. McIntosh makes music come alive.

The sound produced though this amp was nothing short of amazing and this is 1966 technology. As other post can attest I heard things I never heard before and that was with just a CD. I can’t wait to hook one of my Turntables tonight and hit this thing with some vinyl. True there is the slightest hint of dead sound between tracks you can hear, but there is nothing anyone can tell me about any other gear that will compare or change my mind. I am now going to begin the process of dismantling and selling all my other systems collected since 1983 and I mean seven in total all makes and models in order to buy Mcintosh and McIntosh only. Bottom line up from do yourself a favor and get your feet wet. Come on in, the water is fine! For a small investment into some vintage McIntosh which is still made in the good ole USA you won’t be disappointed. As Bogart said in Casablanca “Louis I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



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




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