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McIntosh MC-420M
2 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
Description: 4X50 Watts w/ Output Meters, X-Over and EQ


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I hate to start off with the cliche statement of "This is absolutely the best amplifier I've ever owned", but I'm afraid it's true. I've read a lot of good reviews of McIntosh, but I figured it could just be due to the fact that after a person spends that much money on a piece of equipment, they feel psychologically compelled to say it's a great product. How else would someone justify dropping that kind of dough? Well after hooking this amp up, I must say that I truly did hear a drastic difference. I'm not the type to fool myself either because if I had thought it sounded about the same, I'd just shrug my shoulders and remember not to spend that kind of cash in the future. But this amp really does stand out, especially at high volumes. All of the frequencies are crystal clear and smooth. On other amps I've owned, certain frequencies would somewhat drown out or there would be a bit of a raspyness in the higher frequencies at high volumes. This was not due to clipping either as I always use an oscilloscope to set my gains. Speaking of oscilloscopes, I hooked mine up to this amp when I installed it only to find out it already knows when its clipping. Not only that, it suppresses the clipping to make sure it never gets to your loudspeakers. I put in my test CD and turned my head unit volume to max and began to adjust the gain on this amp. Just as soon as the wave peak started to clip on my scope, the power guard light came on on the amp. I don't even need a scope to set up this amp! I absolutely love that. I've never found another car amplifier that had a feature like that. Another great thing about this amp is its thermal management abilities. The casing is extra large and deep to allow heat to dissipate much more quickly and there are two cooling fans for when you're really pushing it. I've drove around with this baby cranked for over an hour and it never cut out. That's a problem I've had with most every other 4 channel amp I've owned(PPI, Hifonics, Eclipse). I run my entire system off a single 4 chan amp(front stage and subs), and the other amps would cut out after about 30 minutes or less of pushing them hard. And all but one of my previous owned amps continued to cut out after about an hour or so even after I added external fans(My old hifonics olympus VIII never cut out again after I added fans). Two common problems with car amplifiers are clipping and heat management. This McIntosh has taken care of both of those problems. As if the sound quality, the excellent thermal management qualities, and the ability to know when its clipping and then to suppress it weren't enough, this amp is also has balls when it comes to driving subwoofers. Unlike the older McIntosh amps, this amp will double its power when impedance is halved. So out of just one pair of channels, you get 400 watts in bridged mode. Unless you're just a die hard bass head(and if you are, why would you buy McIntosh?), you won't need any more power for your subs than what this amp delivers. I'm just glad I'm no longer driving a hatchback else the bass would be overwhelming. Overall, this amp is worth every penny I paid and then some. If you're considering getting one of these amps, don't let the price deter you. It's worth it. And if you can't quite afford it, start selling your stuff on ebay until you can. Sell your car and get a cheaper car. Get rid of your wife(those things can be serious financial drains). Do whatever you need to do to get this amp(within legal means) and I promise you won't be dissapointed.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Audiowaves

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Ryan a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 11, 1999

Bottom Line:   
This amp is accurate. I have tried it with a number of different head units (CDX-910; DRX-9255; MX-401) and with a variety of speakers (quart, a/d/s/, kef). It seems that whatever colorations inherent in a product can be heard through the MC420M. This ability is a testament to the MC420M's transparency, and accuracy. While it makes system matching easy, it also makes equalizing a bit more difficult as an accurate sound (as opposed to a warm sound) will more often than not produce more distinct midrange and midbass frequency reflections in an automobile. The Phaze Audio (now PPI) Tube driver is real popular for its warmth. However, tubes generally utilize a "pleasent" distortion to produce this warmth. For those of us who appreciate live music, warmth is not always the most important characteristic. Although McIntosh is coming out with a whole new line of products (the MC420M remains in the line) this amp is by far one of the best solid-state designs I have heard.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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