McIntosh MC30 Amplifiers

MC30

30 Watt Vacuum Tube Mono Power Amplifier (1954-1962)

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
Taz   Casual Listener [May 16, 2013]

Neighbor insisted I needed to buy these. He threw in a Lafayette stereo master control center.
Did not know what I was getting into. Took the 2 mc30's and the Lafayette to a McIntosh repair shop and had them all gone through. Total investment $2,000. Set them aside until I got a pair of Klipsch KHorns. Never have hooked them up to any other speakers. Best sound I'd heard in that room, and I've had more than a few. The whole setup is a keeper. Love to set in the dark and just let the music flow for hours. I still look, but don't but buy much anymore.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
wjbeeby   Audio Enthusiast [May 03, 2009]

Mcintosh MC 30 mono blocks. Ihave just brecievied a gift of two mc30 to add to mc mcintosh system,mr78,c32,mc2125,mq101, pair xr5. i installed a three way speaker switch so i could switch back and forth, whoo what a difference i see why peolple what tub amp. these amps were used appros untill 69 and whent to a mcintosh clinic then put in storage in mac boxes. in 1999 they were sent to audio classics, iwas told they inly change a tube and returned, boxes were never opened untill know, perfect cond. 4 amp tubes are labled mcintosh GE two rectifier tubes i bought nos from audio classics both labled mcintosn GE all eight of the other tubes are telafunken. these amps look new and i think the tubes can not be replaced. i intend to sell these after i enjoy them for a shorth time. should i replace the tubes with newer ones to presurve the old to increase the value. any body know how much these are worth. thanks

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
pangl   AudioPhile [Oct 21, 2003]
Strength:

Awesome looks and sound. Very musical and sweet. Superb dynamics if you have the right speakers. The voice is without peers (well, may be MC240).

Weakness:

Get ready to use your soldering skills!

As I said in my McIntosh MC250 review here, the MC250 is merely an transitional amp, an vintage McIntosh SS amp that sounds so good that you'd like to make the jump into the true McIntosh tube sound that is so famous. So I made the dive. And it's very very rough. And I could say the MC30 is an KEEPER! ***** I got my pair in an average shape in Audiogon. But it will get really really bad until it gets better. The fuse holders are broken, I could hear background noises, the RCA input is rusty and dirty, the tube socketes are loose, etc. But I am not the crazy kind to do an revamp. I have been told that you're better off getting an MC30 with all original parts because any replacement part may affect its sound (that will explain why many buyers demand pictures of inside). I simply replace the RCA jacks with WBT, replaced some loose/wore-out wires, re-wire the grounding, replaced the aged power resistors, removed 2 resistors that appear to be previous owner's own mod, and replaced the power cords and the fuse holders. And the amps really shine after that! I think I spent like $60 and 12 hours to do everything. Paired with the VTL 2.5 tube preamp and the Coincident Partial Eclipse Mk I, the sound is fully bodied, sweet and rich, and could play very very very loud in my room (26 x 22 x 8). Unlike many tube amps I used before, the MC30 gives great bass - not as nice as some of the better SS amps I owned before (ML #23 for example) of course but already betters than most tube amps I have. The soundstage is actually better than I expected. It makes a major difference when I switch from Monarchy Model 33 preamp to the VTL 2.5 preamp. It simply makes me to keep thinking of sitting down to listen (if I am not doing that already). After all is said and done, the music simply comes thru. Just make sure your soldering skill is good to go. During the WBT replacement, I mistakenly knocked an wire loose (bad original soldering). I was not that educated then, and AudioClaXXicX quoted me $250-$350 (shipping not included) to fix when I told them all tubes light up but no sound. With all due respect, this is EXCESSIVE regardless of how good a job AudioClaXXicX may do! I spent about 30 min to read the schematics carefully and trace all the wirings, and I saw the loose wire, and I fixed it in 30 sec using some quality silver connecting wire. Well, I said this because I know a few people who got them from eBay and got ripped off. The sellers told the buyers the amp worked fine but they did not. With vintage amps like MC30 (which it's last year of manufacture is 1962, still many years before I was even born!), casual audiophiles may simply get discouraged and give up and either send them to AudioClaXXicX for their premium $$$$$$$ work or sell them cheap in eBay suffering major loss (or pass the scam along and scam the next unsuspecting buyer stating "as-is") So if you happen to be the unfortunate one who got an lemon, the local authorized Mc service center will do a great job at 1/2 the price AudioClaXXicX would charge. Just IMHO it makes better sense. In my listening room's merry-go-round, this pair of MC30 will certainly stay much much longer than everything else.

Similar Products Used: Kora Galaxy Reference; Mark Levinson #23; ASL 1060 DT (845) SET monoblocks; Marantz MA700 (shame!); NAD 300 (ahhhh!); Musical Fidelity A300; Classe CA200 (overrated!); Conrad Johnson MF2300; McIntosh MC250; McIntosh MA6850; Accuphase E202/E203/E205; Aragon 4004 Mk II; Krell 300i; Dynaco ST70; VTL 100; Sonic Frontiers Power 2 and 3....God, I just keep changing amps and can't remember all!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mcintoshdog   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 2002]
Strength:

neutrality and musicality. Plus, if I ever want to sell them, I know I won''t take a loss. The mc-30 runs the tubes very conservatively, hence, it doesn''t run through output tubes like some designs. It''s hand-wired point to point. Know how much companies charge for amps with similar construction these days?

Weakness:

Built very well, but like all old amps, may need replacement of caps and an odd resister or two- but very simple to work on. How are your soldering skills?

Get a pair of these amps. Very neutral and unfatiguing, yet musical too! I got lucky and purchased four of them along with a c-20 preamp from a gentleman who moved to Guam. I love them.

Similar Products Used: Before the mc-30s, I used an old stereo Bell 6V6 amp. The Bell was certainly more euphonic than the mc-30s, but not as accurate. Before that, Dynaco st-70. Before the Dynaco, I had a McCormack DNA
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
seventy8transam1   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 2002]
Strength:

1950-60''''''''s hand build quality.

Weakness:

none

Great vintage amp. Must be tubed with quality tubes such as telefunken, rca black plate. If you can find RCA 1614 output tubes purchase them at any price.The sound is as good as you will find with any compatiable amp at this price.

Similar Products Used: marantz,sansui
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
vintagedude1951   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 17, 2002]
Strength:

pure tube sound and build like a tank.

Weakness:

none.

I got pair of these about 5 years ago and they did stop me looking for another power amp.,what can I say simply the best or one of the best.

Similar Products Used: JC,AR,western electric.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Reggie   AudioPhile [Feb 17, 2002]
Strength:

Mcintosh was built for low distortion and at a time when quailty counted. Very solid and will last forty more years.

Weakness:

Expensive when using quality tubes are used.

I purchased the MC30''s about 3 years ago.They came with mostly low quality tubes.I researched the web and found out that the most sought after tubes was Telefunkens and RCA black plate.I purchased Telefunken 12ax7''s,12au7,RCA 12BH7A (black plates)and RCA 5U4GB(black plates)for each amp.The sound instantly change to crisp and clear highs colorful midrange. The bass was not powerful but I expected that from tubes. I later seen a pair of MC30''s on ebay with a weird but neat looking pair of metal output tubes. The ad said that they were RCA 1614 which I found out that they were the original output tubes for this amp.I was told that finding a set of these were impossible.Being the persistance person that Iam I found four new in the box at an old TV repair shop. After installing in each amp the power output increased considerably with more powerful deeper bass.I purchased a pair of Meadowlark Kestrel Hot Rods a year ago with seem to be a prefect match with these amps. This is the first setup of many that I can listen to for hours without tiring.I have no plans on upgrading for along time.These are a great pair of amps if tubed correctly.

Similar Products Used: Sony,Marantz.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
ken   Audiophile [Apr 23, 2001]
Strength:

non-fatiguing, "life-like" amplification

Weakness:

bass a little looser than solid-state amp.

Ignore the moron comments below, obviously idiotic...

I had heard that quality tubed amps had more "musical" output, and this amp made me a believer! Totally non-fatiguing listening! Previous to using this amp, I could only listen for 1-2 hours before I had to leave and take a break due to listener "fatigue". I just came from a 7 hour listening session, and I could pleasurably do a few more if it wasn't so late. The mid-range and treble are so sweet. Sometimes I have to look up from my reading to assure myself that the vocalist and horns are not in the room! Of course you need great source and quality, tube-friendly speakers to make the most of this type of amp. But if you crave "life-like" listening, try a quality tube amp! (5 stars to offset the idiot below- otherwise 4, because they aren't cheap)

Similar Products Used: dynaco, hafler
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mike demirbas   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 27, 2002]
Strength:

Excellent musical,natural amp.Great for all kind of music.

Weakness:

none

This is one of the best Power amp in the world,or you have
to spend at least five or ten times more money to get same result,If you use Telefunken and Sweetlana Tubes you will
get great sound out of this amp.It looks beautiful as well
and this are the best sounding Mcintosh amplifiers,if you see one of these buy it you will never look for another amp. But speaker wery important, I am using Tannoy red alnico speakers,if you try some old alnico speakers like
Telefunken,Phillips,Altec,JBL,Tannoy,you will love this amp.

Similar Products Used: Marantz,Dynaco,Fisher,RGD,RCA.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Kevin Fu   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 29, 2000]
Strength:

Excellent built quality, not to mention how good these babes sound. Build to last.

I had never have any trouble with setup MC30s. They provide true musical pleasure and won many both visual and listening compliments. They are a tad weak in bass when connected to modern design speakers. But,... these amps are not intented to match the power hungry speakers nowadays. They sound very best with 60's speaker (Tannoy, University or even Quad ESL). Many people are surprised how these oldies still run and sound so well. I would always tell them grab a pair of MC30s while they can. They are affordble and provide years of humble service. The only problem I found,is the tubes alone can be hard to find and sometime exceed the purchased value of amps. I preferred TFK ECC83 for translucent highs, Mullard CV4003 for warmer tone, and British KT66 for adding great deal of detail and sound stage for the MC30s. These amps are heavy and danger to shift (when racks are installed). Nonetheless, I enjoyed and is lucky enough to own them.

Similar Products Used: Jadis, Marantz, Quad, Sonic Frotiers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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