McCormack DNA 1 Deluxe Amplifiers

McCormack DNA 1 Deluxe Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

185 Watt Per Channel (8 Ohms)

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 38  
[Jan 01, 2019]
meadowz06


Strength:

Fantastic soundstage. Tight clean bass. Amazing detail. It has plenty of power. Excellent build quality. No weaknesses. System is DNA 1 Deluxe, Magnepan MG 2c loudspeakers, Demon DVD 5900, Regs RP 1 turntable, Demon AVR 3805 as preamp.

Weakness:

None. Not at this price point.

Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Mar 17, 2009]
chayanto
AudioPhile

I've owned this unique well built amp (for 15 years) that gives it its name DNA. It's more appropriate for my systems and room. Rather spent the big bucks for the new or used, but excellent higher-end components.
I personally visited Kris and Steve at SMc audio for upgrade my DNA 1 to Gold Edition.

Steve the original designer who has won many awards. Many of the parts he choose to complete rebuild the amp are not available to engineers designing for automated assembly.

Kris the best technician who install 16 new gold capacitors (Super Audio Grade) and each piece of wire in the "right" direction for the best sound. He leave nothing to chance. Both are the great guys.

The upgrade worth talking about, After picked it up last week. I run it continuously and played softly. It continuously changes both in sound and in dynamices much more musically involving.

Thanks Kris & Steve, It's a honor to have your signature under the hood of my amp, the job well done.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 04, 2009]
Bryan Hunt
AudioPhile

This review is for the McCormack DNA1 REVISION A. This is the ultimate factory hot-rodded version of this amp. I bought this in mint condition on Audiogon for $1700, which is about half price of a new one. I didn't compare it to the lesser versions, so I cannot compare them.

However, I did go thru the whole Rotel line, and also a vintage Dynaco 400, as well as a Bryston 4BSST. The DNA was by FAR the best of the lot. A truely amazing amp. The bass is not quite as full as the Bryston or the Rotel 990, but is it FAR better defined. On very familiar recordings, I'm now hearing things in the bass that I've never heard before. The sound is dynamic, musical, fast and full. No complaints at all. A real keeper. My other equipment includes Kef Reference 4 (with completely rebuilt crossovers) speakers, Odyssey Tempest preamp, and Rotel RCD 995 cd player. All cables are home built using high level Audio Circle receipes.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 03, 2008]
naimfiend
AudioPhile

Strength:

Sweet mids and highs
Value

Weakness:

Uncontrolled underdamped bass

Most of the positive reviews about this amp is true. However, there is only one caveat, that is, the bass is not as tight and low as some reviews here may lead you to believe. In fact, my experience is that the low bass extension is lacking and also the damping is quite bad resulting in overblown bass.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 03, 2008]
Naimfiend
AudioPhile

Strength:

Mids and Highs are sweet
Image well too

Weakness:

Bass lacks articulation, low bass not evident.
For the price, I think this is the compromise.

Bought a used unit for a good price. Most of the reviews about this amp is true, except for the bass. Stereophile wrote there is a bouncy feeling to the bass. I suspect this is achieved through some mid-bass emphasis. Buyers beware that there is not much low bass from the DNA1. Also, the articulation in the bass is lacking, no wonder Stereophile reviewed preferred the Krell to the DNA1.

For the price it is quite a remarkable piece of kit. But if you are a season audiophile and is demanding, I don't think you can live with this amp for long. I sold it within 4 days.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[Dec 24, 2004]
HIFIVE
AudioPhile

Strength:

see below

Weakness:

see below

My review below is not quite accurate. Revision 1 & Revision B are not exactly the same. Revision 1 is done in Virginia at Conrad Johnson and revision B is performed by SMc Audio in California. Regardless, either one is excellent. Also my intentions were to rate this amp 5 stars on both overall & value rating, an excellent product!

Similar Products Used:

Many

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 10, 2003]
HIFIVE
AudioPhile

Strength:

Big soundstage. Optional revisions to dramatically improve sound quality! One of the best sounding amps out there, period.

Weakness:

None at this price point!

First off I am posting this review to clarify some mis-understandings about this fine product and help other audiophiles make a clear decision. I currently own a standard DNA-1 that was upgraded to Deluxe and then received a revision 1. I see on Audiogon that many deluxe models for sale are advertised as original and not an upgrade. This is mis-leading. The newer deluxe model and the upgraded model share the same 1991 circuit boards. How do I know this because i have owned both and have popped the hood to verify, plus Steve McCormack said so and are the same. Now I would also like to point out that a revision 1 and a revision B are the same. The difference is the revision 1 is done by McCormack Audio in Virginia (also known as Conrad Johnson) and the revision B is done by SMc in California. Does this revision make a difference,100% YES!. I have always viewed the DNA-1 Deluxe as a teaser amp. It gets many things right including it's big soundstage but ultimately lacks in refinements. The revision 1 or B takes care of this issue and takes the amplifier to a sound level thats going to be tough to beat even by amps twice the cost. I have to confirm the sound is gorgious and well worth the costs of the revisions. There are some audiophiles that say the revision made little or no difference and many say that it does but I can honestly tell I was astounded by the improvement and it was significant. One final note, the Adcom preamps such as the GFP-565 or GFP-750 sound excellent with this product.

Similar Products Used:

Way too many to mention

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 09, 2003]
Plinius
AudioPhile

Strength:

Vocals are very real and lifelike, Bass slam is there... can drive my Thiels and Totems well...The speakers sing with the McCormack

Weakness:

Of course it cannot beat a 300 watt Krell or Mark.

This is a great amp,if yuou can still find it, buy it. I shall say no more. Why they stop producing????

Similar Products Used:

Aragon, Krell, ML, Threshold.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 05, 2003]
njsam
AudioPhile

Strength:

Bass, build quality, balanced

Weakness:

none

I own the original DNA-1 unmodified; however, plan to send to smc for mod. This was by far the best, most balance ss amps in its time. I think it stills would fare well against most new amps. Strong bass and great soundstage. A bit forward in presentation.

Similar Products Used:

aragon 4004, conrad johnson, counterpoint

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 13, 1997]
Patrick Downs
an Audio Enthusiast

I am currently borrowing a McCormack DNA-1 deluxe from a friend (using with Vandersteen IIce's, Cal Audio HDCD player, McCormack line drive). I am VERY pleased with this amp. Tonality is great, it is fast, the midrage is full and pleasing although not tubelike at all, and the bass is tight and all there.The build quality is excellent, although spartan in appearance.
I like it so much that I've just agreed to buy and nearly new one from a guy online. He has upgraded to Conrad-Johnson Premier 8 monoblock amps ($16,000!) When I asked him how he liked the DNA-1, he said that he had just swapped it back into his system, and was astonished at how good it sounded, even compared to his C-J's. That is quite an endorsement.

This amp may not suit tubeheads, but it is a great value, and sounds wonderful, in my humble opinion.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 38  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com