McIntosh MC275 Amplifiers

MC275

75w x2 Channels

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
drawtheline77   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 05, 2004]
Strength:

SOUND,quality, and yes Price...it is quite reasonable

Weakness:

are you kidding ?? ok maybe a little hard to handle, but how many times are you going to move it...this one is a keeper!!

What can you say that hasn't been said...simply a great amp, very musical...which means it makes you want to listen to music...a tube amp with OOOMPH !! most hi end ss amps sound overly bright after listening to this except mac ss amps...I have 252 and have heard the 501s in my home...all share that great Mac character...open lush and musical...this one is a bargain...even the folks at Mac say that....this is the Dino Ferrari of amps...not the fastest not the top of the line etc...but o so sweet...well done MAC !!

Similar Products Used: mac 252 mac 501s.vtl.audio research,linn,naim
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Pete   [Mar 19, 1999]

I have a mc-275, c-22(both original) and mr-71. All are great sonically and cosmetically.. I love the sound..it cost a pretty penny, but hey..who cares.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Duane   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 09, 2001]
Strength:

Texture and presence of the music. Very 'real' sounding to me.

Weakness:

Big classical music seemed to strain single amp. with my speakers. Going to two (no, I don't sell the stuff) in bridged mono. really made a huge difference.

System: (pretty wacky, but I can't seem to get rid of anything!)

2 - MC275's (bridged mono)driving Mid's and Sub's
1 - Mark Levinson 331 driving tweeters
1 - Mark Levinson 39 (bal. into 331, s.e. into Mac's)
2 - B&W Silver Signatures
2 - REL Strata III's

Needless to say I have spent some time (and $$) getting to this set up... I tried several - ok, everyway you can imagine - ways to use all of my gear. Contrary to most advice, the best sound ended up with the Mac's driving the Mid's of the 2-way Silver Sig's and the sub's. When hooking up the solid state ML amp. to the Mid's or the sub's the texture (and some of the 'life' just went away from the music. Also to my surprise, using the variable gain on the Mac's allowed a pretty darn good blend of Mid's to High's.

My biggest problem now, it is NOT so much fun going to the audio stores now - not much sounds interesting to my ears compared to the Mac based set up.

My guess is, most people who don't think that tubes can sound good (especially at the extremes) might be surprised by how good this amp is.

Man, this is a FUN hobby!

Similar Products Used: Owned Linn, and Mark Levinson. Listened to a lot of other stuff, too much to list.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 01, 2000]
Strength:

This is a old design tube amp with lots of power yet clean and accurate sound.

Weakness:

NOS KT88s are expensive, especially GEC goldlion tubes.

I have had this amp for just over a year. It drives my ProAc Response 2.5 with authority and precision. The sound is accurate and detailed. There is enough power from this tube amp to give you good bass. Very good with balanced interconnects to my Audio Research LS25. Using the NOS GEC Goldlion KT88s simply transforms this amp to another level. All the different musical instruments just seemed to have popped out in front of you and is like live!
I am very happy with my combination of equipment.
Highly recommended.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mk   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 25, 1997]

oh-kay. Why are there no Mcintosh reviews? Just a tantalizing question.
This thing cost me $3500, the second cost $3200. They're both obviously the commemorative issue versions. Anyway, I have had this thing for several months and I love it. It's not the best amp in the world, but man, you'll love it if you get one. I just got another one and using 'em as monos, man that really blows yer socks off. I could hear analog-esque (not analog at all, I am an avid LP listener) from a CD. It seems that my using balanced cables helped,, but not enough. Maybe because I used Synergistic Research RCA Interconnects and used some $200 balanced cables.

Although there might've been a little discrepancy in extreme ranges, the smooth and clear sound of this amp is great. The power is not lacking either, considering I have two, and am using Tannoy 615's.

If you can find one of these, buy it!!!

Associated Equipment:

McIntosh C-22 (re-issue) Preamp & C-35 Preamp

Audiolab 8000CD CD-Player

Tannoy 615 Loudspeakers

MIT Terminator 2 Bi-wire Spkr Cable

Tributaries RCA Interconnects

Monster Cable Studio Balanced Interconnects

Mcintosh MR 73 Tuner

Pioneer RT-1020L Reel to reel Tape Deck

An old Rotel Turntable that I wasted too much money on with tonearms and cartridges.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Bill   Audiophile [Feb 08, 2001]
Strength:

Most of the strengths of SETs with the bonus of more drive and power.

Weakness:

It's not manufactured any more!

If anyone at McIntosh is reading this, then please bring this beauty back! I want another to give to my children!

This is from a design that was used BEFORE all those manufacturers got crazy and overly-fastidious in making equipment.

Too many words have been written about this amp in audio language (detail, dynamic, warm, liquid, etc.) for me to say anything meaningful about this beauty. So, I will use an anology.

Back in the 60s (when the original MC 275 was in its heyday), bodybuilders lifted weights to achieve overall proportion and a generally fit and strong look. Then someone had a bright idea. If big arms are good, then bigger arms are even better, and while we're at it, why not bigger EVERYTHING. Isn't THAT the point of bodybuilding anyway?

So, what do we have now? A bunch of drugged-out mutants who fetishize size and have taken it to ludicrous extremes. But what of the overall picture? What of proportion and beauty?

It's the same with hi-fi. If detail is good, then ultra high detail is better. If bass authority is good, then make the bass so tight that real bass sounds boomy in comparision. Hence the modern Krells and Jeff Rowlands. Try living with them for a year, and see if your love for music does not become severely tested.

The McIntosh MC 275 harks back to the days when audio engineers made something and asked, 'Is that pleasant? Do I feel the music instead of the sound?' They got the BIG PICTURE right and did not agonise over little details and took them to insane extremes.

THe MC 275 is an amp for those who love music.

Similar Products Used: Too many to name, but just before this, a Pass Aleph 3.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bill   Audiophile [Feb 08, 2001]
Strength:

Most of the strengths of SETs with the bonus of more drive and power.

Weakness:

It's not manufactured any more!

If anyone at McIntosh is reading this, then please bring this beauty back! I want another to give to my children!

This is from a design that was used BEFORE all those manufacturers got crazy and overly-fastidious in making equipment.

Too many words have been written about this amp in audio language (detail, dynamic, warm, liquid, etc.) for me to say anything meaningful about this beauty. So, I will use an anology.

Back in the 60s (when the original MC 275 was in its heyday), bodybuilders lifted weights to achieve overall proportion and a generally fit and strong look. Then someone had a bright idea. If big arms are good, then bigger arms are even better, and while we're at it, why not bigger EVERYTHING. Isn't THAT the point of bodybuilding anyway?

So, what do we have now? A bunch of drugged-out mutants who fetishize size and have taken it to ludicrous extremes. But what of the overall picture? What of proportion and beauty?

It's the same with hi-fi. If detail is good, then ultra high detail is better. If bass authority is good, then make the bass so tight that real bass sounds boomy in comparision. Hence the modern Krells and Jeff Rowlands. Try living with them for a year, and see if your love for music does not become severely tested.

The McIntosh MC 275 harks back to the days when audio engineers made something and asked, 'Is that pleasant? Do I feel the music instead of the sound?' They got the BIG PICTURE right and did not agonise over little details and took them to insane extremes.

THe MC 275 is an amp for those who love music.

Similar Products Used: Too many to name, but just before this, a Pass Aleph 3.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
KC   Audiophile [May 16, 2001]
Strength:

This is a smooth, warm, passionate, lush, transparant, reasonably detailed, quiet, dynamic(!) and beautiful amp.

Weakness:

It's not as detailed as most modern solid state amps.

Off the bat, I want to say this is a very personal and subjective opinion. My sound will not be for everyone. Conversely, I've heard lots of other systems (especially SET amps with horns, which I still don't 'get') and thought 'Huh?', even as the owners of those systems were jumping up and down in excitement.

My 2 MC275s are the most important piece of audio equipment I own. I run them in a vertical bi-amp configuration to my new Martin Logan Odyssey speakers. They are a match made in heaven. The new Logans sound almost as dynamic with these amps as most dynamic driver speakers, while blowing them away in terms of transparancy, quickness, resolution, naturalness and openesss. In the past, I've always like ML speakers, but I thought they lacked oomph when it came to rock, my main musical staple. The new generation take a back seat to none!

From an audiophile point of view, if you wish to pick it apart, you'll have no problems. But as an overall sound, in terms of MUSICALITY, it has few peers. Again and again, you'll read this about the MC275. That's because, when all is said and done, all that matters is the music. And this amp really lets the music shine through.

My system (NOT to be upgraded for a few years at least)

1. SME 20 with SME V tonearm (Having worked in a few hi-fi shops before, I've pretty much heard them all. This is without peer. If you REALLY tried to listen, MAYBE an SME 30 or Rockport is better. But only sometimes. And on some records)

2. Koetsu Rosewood Signature (smooth, sweet, romantic. A gem. Not detailed like a Van Den Hul, but conversely not as 'zingy')

3. McIntosh MC 22, re-issue (Mac's only tube pre-amp. Still stands up well against anything on the market.)

4. Lyra Arion Transformer (a passive transformer that provides 26dB of gain and adds no sound of it's own.)

5. 2 MC 275s.

6. Martin Logan Odyssey (Here it is: seamless integration of woofer and electrostat panels at moderate to high volumes. OK, at lower volumes, you can still hear the seperation. But rarely, and only on some records. Blew the B&W 802s away.)

7. Nordost Blue Heaven throughout (Can't really tell, don't really care. Fit my budget. Cables are a scam)

8. A 5000 record collection!

Similar Products Used: Audio Research VT 100, lots and lots of solid state amps.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Eric Sand   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 2001]
Strength:

Smoooooooooth and sexy... If you're looking for that LUSH tube sound look no further. Guarenteed to put a smile on your face

Weakness:

Sound stage depth a bit exaggerated. Nothing to whine about though.

The local store runs these bridged in mono-block on a set of B&W Nautlis 802's. WOW... Do yourself a favor and listen to TOOL's extended version of "PUSH!T" found on the Salival CD/DVD set. The immersion factor is incredible.
Duke Ellington's Live at Newport is another that will have you dancing in the demo room. hoohaa

Having B&W N803's, with the notoriously rude impedance curve, I was questioning if a tube would give me the low end drive I get from solid state gear... I no longer question. These Mac's kick some serious pancreas!

(Buttnuggets turn off the stupid censoring, we're all adults here.. any positive review of a BOSE product is manyfold times more offensive than the occasional expletive)

Colored sound? Hell yes!!! I've got to get tubes in my system. Too bad this little set is so fricking expensive. Maybe the new Cary SLP-2002 pre-amp would be a good start...

Similar Products Used: NONE
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Bob Higginson   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 08, 2001]
Strength:

Appearance.(Those who know nothing about audio stare at it!)
Sound..I was afraid the bass would be soft like many tube amps, this has more USEABLE bass than anything I have ever heard!!

Weakness:

Price.You get what you pay for though. And it feels heavier than it is, which is alot!!

This is my first attempt at high end audio. I have matched it with a MX110 preamp and really old EMI speakers from the 60's. Even these sound glorious!!! Bass is unbelivable in clairity and presence without being anoying. Highs are crystal clear. Read any adjative into it. If you want the best, this is the amp. Mine is the Gordon Gow reissue. Its stunning to look at, sounds even better. I could go on for a while, but I think I will end it here and go play som music!!

Similar Products Used: none, this is a class by itself.....
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 19  

(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