McIntosh MC60 Amplifiers

MC60

60 Watt Vacuum Tube Mono Power Amplifier (1955-1961)

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
C.Hailparn   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 18, 2015]

I have had a Mc 60 since 1955 I also have a Marantz 1 pre-amp and two JBL C 31 corner horn theater systems speakers 500cycle crossover 35 pound 375 driver and lens and 4 150-4 low freq. JBL woofers perfect combo for all records Mac low damping factor perfect match for stiff cone speakers and JBL system uses little powerOld records sound great as do cds.full sound never equaled with other equipment over the years.Would like to be buried in one speaker and have the Macs and marantz in the other.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
terry   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 07, 2009]

The best sounding amp that i ever listen too!!! It just like you are in the front of the live band on my klipsch scala and looks really nice also...its expensive but i will do it again!!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
James Puah   AudioPhile [Mar 02, 2002]
Strength:

Powerful, deep tight bass coupled with ample details.

Weakness:

The chrome pits and the black paitwork fades.

I did some modifications (upgraded some coupling caps, silver wire). I have been using this amplifier for the last 6 years and have not seized to be amazed by its ability to project the wide, deep soundscape as well as to push out those powerful deep tight bass through my Monitor Audio MA700 Gold MkII. The sources that I am using are: AMC CD6, Thoren TD125 MkII turntable, HH SCOT tube tuner, Revox C275 2 Tracks Open Reel connecting to an external dbX unit, the preamp is Anthem Pre-1. MC60 is currently the only amp that can make me cry or laugh (depending on the mode of the music) despite the fact that I have auditioned products by Audio Research, Audio Note, Cary, Copland, etc. This is the amp to die for as Mac do not make them anymore (shame on you!). My next goal is probably to fabricate a brand new chassis with Stanless steel and a 10 micron goldplate on it, a new black shiny coat of paint for the transformers, a pair of silver cylindrical sleeves for the capacitors, brand new tube sockets and connectors, refab a new set of labels for the side on the chassis, gold plate the label infront with Pink gold.

Similar Products Used: HH SCOTT integrated tube amp. (7591 as well as 6BQ5).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Emil Hach   Audiophile [Sep 28, 2000]
Strength:

Brilliant detail, clarity, and naturalness

Weakness:

absolutely none

I would rather trash this amplifier in this review to keep the prices down, but I've already got a pair and I guess what everyone else pays for them is none of my business. To me, they are priceless. They convey much rich detail in such a lifelike, effortless manner. There is no description that can ever define the experience completely. One must listen to these amps themselves to even have a clue. A way to think about it is to imagine that the actual performers are performing in front of you and are nearly visible. It is pure magic. The dimension created in the room is purely holographic. If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to have your auditory nerve sexually aroused, well here you go. The MC275 has a solid state rectifier and just doesn't pass the transients through like this amp. No one should be converting the rectifiers on this amp to solid state. On mine, we replaced the electrolytic caps and some of the tubes that tested weak. We had to do what was necessary to keep the unit functioning well into the future. I may wish to be buried with these amps. I know that sounds silly, but you have no idea what I've heard.

Similar Products Used: none that I've owned
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Vincent Giaime   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 28, 2000]
Strength:

Quick transients,Accurate bass, Clear background vocals

Weakness:

Are still being searching for.

A testament to pure American craftsmanship.

Have been enjoying them since 1956,for hours at a time.

Somehow, they enable one to feel the music being played.

That is, the emotion in the vocals, the energy to sound woodwinds, the force to strum strings. Strong,full and clear thru out the audio spectrum at most volume levels.

Thank you, Mr. McIntosh for putting magic inside these black boxes.





Similar Products Used: Various
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
CC Mak   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 06, 2001]
Strength:

Power with control and details that rifles most modern designs

Weakness:

none so far

I bought mine from an antique audio store in Hong Kong, and they are very expensive when compared with current market value; however, I am lucky enough to find them, because not a whole lot of people can find these amplifiers in mint condition with consequent serial numbers plus original tubes and original warranty signed by Mr. McIntosch himself. When I auditioned them with a pair of 60's vintage JBL C34 speakers, I knew these are going to be my best investment. You'll never know what you are missing until you listen to Sonny Rollins or Miles Davis with these amps. They are fine examples from the Golden Age.

Similar Products Used: none.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Pat M   Audiophile [Nov 24, 2001]
Strength:

Imaging, soundstage, warmth

Weakness:

Low power for Magneplanars

I have been using a pair of MC60s for close to a year. They are not the stock product produced 40 years ago, they have been upgraded with newer caps and resistors to take advantage of the significant advances in circuit components. I completely retubed them both - replacing the 6550s with Sovtek KT88s, the rectifier tubes were replaced with NOS RCAs, and the 12a*7s were replaced with Telefunkens and Mullards. I also had to solder in a couple of replacement tube sockets. I fed them with a tubed Audio Research SP3 and connected them to my Maneplanar 1.6QRs with Kimber 4TC cable.

How do they sound?? The first thing that hits you is the soundstage. Very wide, it fills the room unlike any other amps I've owned. With Magneplanars (dipoles) the realism is uncanny, close your eyes and you're there. Particularly if you use quality source materials. With either vinyl or SACD you can practically reach out and touch the instruments.

Front to back imaging is impressive as you would expect from quality tube gear. The combination of these amps and the Magneplanars can create an illusion of live performance that is very difficult to achieve (for less than 6 figures!) It makes you wonder why McIntosh didn't just keep making these amps and upgrade them with newer circuit components.

Well everyone knows that tube amps have midrange down to a science - no surprises here. Put on Joni Mitchell and she is right there in the room! You can feel her breath as she opens her mouth to sing. On instrumental music, the upper range of the piano is unparalleled - you can easily distinguish Horowitz's touch from Serkin's. You can hear the nuances of Pat Metheny's pick as it glides up the fretboard. I could go on and on - in sum, the midrange and high end realism is nothing short of phenomenal.

OK, so the amps must be a little bass shy, after all tubes are deficient in the low end - slow and sloppy. Right?? Well, I'm not so sure about that. Granted, this is not a Bryston. The bass is not super tight but it's better than you might expect for 45 year old tube designs. Keep in mind that I'm using Magenplanars which have accurate, but thin, bass response. The MC60s are not bad on the bottom end. I listen to a lot of acoustic jazz and classical music. Charlie Haden's bass is pretty convincing as is Yo Yo Ma's cello. I'm sure the Sovtek KT88s help, the bass was not nearly as strong with 6550s. I must admit, however, that I prefer a good SS bottom end for the Maggies. After listening for a few weeks, I opted to use a McIntosh 2205 for the bottom in a bi-amp setup.

So what are the shortcomings?? I've only noticed one, and it's probably unique to my setup. Magneplanars are power hogs - they gobble up watts in droves. Magnepan recommends at least 100 watts per speaker so I'm starting out in the hole to begin with. For listening at moderate levels, the MC60s are just fine but cranking up a piano concerto or some rock CDs will push them to clipping on transients. Putting the MC60s in bi-amp mode (relieving them from feeding the lower, watt intensive octaves) has helped. It's interesting however, that the MC2205 meters are reporting output peaks of 200 watts before I sense the slightest stress from the MC60s!! Tube amps clip far differently than SS, it really takes some major transients to cause audible clipping.

In summary, these are very impressive monoblocks. Years ago I had a little MC225. That amp was simply magical...as long as you listened at very low levels with high efficiency speakers. Many McIntosh enthusiasts believe that the MC225 was the finest sounding Mac ever designed. Several amps and years later, I've gotten extremely close to that magic again! And I can crank it up a bit even with highly inefficient speakers. Forget about the venerable MC275, the MC60s are a far better way to go - separate power supplies and chassis expand the soundstage and provide similar power ratings and more effortless bass output.

If I had $15K+, I'd consider squeezing another 30-40 watts out of the new KT88 Mac power amps. I don't have that luxury but the MC60s can get you very close for 1/10th of the price!

Provided you can locate a pair that are in great working order (no dried out caps!), and you can retube them, the MC60s are a very good value!

Similar Products Used: Several McIntosh and Crown amps
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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