I finally got a Mcintosh amp

Hi All,

Well, after all the yearning & anticipation of getting My first Mcintosh piece. I have to say that my impressions of the MC 2505 were that of disappointment. The Amp itself was in excellent cosmetic shape for it's vintage. No Rust pitting, about two or three very minor dings, and a hint of of the common Bubble around the headphone jack (the VU meters were more a washed out green then Blue - could be from age??).

After the inital inspections, I preceeded to hook up my preamp, Cd Player & Paradigm Mini's. I then got out a few of my reference CD's and started my little work out....... Where's The "Airy highs and or midrange", where's the "inticingly broader soundstage" or transparency? Lastly, where the hell is the bass response (these where all the question I was asking myself)?

Per reviewers of these Vintage Mcintosh pieces. They're supposed to be "Tube-like" in sound. I don't think so...(Never hearing tubes before, I was under the impression that Tube sound is all those things and flat out more musical). Anyway, if this MC2505 is "tube-like", then My Rotel RB 976 is as well. Only My Rotel has better bass & Dynamics, even in it's 60watt X 2 capacity.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to diss Mcintosh or their costumers. I still Lust after that sound of the Mc122+Mc15+Mini Monitors, that I heard at My dealers showroom about a year and a half ago. I guess Mcintosh has gotten better in the later years of production. So, needless to say that the MC2505 went back. I'll have to save up a few more dollars to get the Mc amp I really could live with (Namely One from at least the late 90's or above).

I bought my first Mac, a 2505, when it first came out. It was, I believe, the very first transistor amp they built. In its day it was very good for a newly developing transitor industry. Mac has come a long way since then and I continue to be a loyal Mac fan. Most of their equipment is first class and I love the sound of their "neutral" and almost "tube-like" sound. It just wasn't there in the 2505.
SSSSSHHHH- Keep that under your hat. You'll cause a recession. MACs are collectable and (yes, overrated). Lots of folks LOVE MACs, but most of them just collect them- never listen to them. Rotels sound great! that's no surprise. Sorry you are unhappy with your MAC...
Is that a late 70's or 80's vintage Mac amp? If it was, they all sounded like that. None too impressive. The parts quality in those things,such as caps and resistors was lame(it think these used crappy IC's as well!). The general build quality is fine otherwise. Yes they seem to have figured out how to get better sound as of late, perhaps too late. I see their customers going the way of the customers of Lincoln and Cadillac. Glad to see that they brought back tube gear! I wish them the best of luck at being a HiFi company once again.
It's really only the last couple of generations of solid state that were acceptable and the latest generation (eg 602) is very good indeed. However, the SELLER of early SS McIntosh will tell you everything is, well, what they probably told you "Airy highs and or midrange", the "inticingly broader soundstage" or transparency?" But don't feel too bad, the early transistor preamps (eg C26) are even worse, they could descale your coffee maker. Sell it on eBAY to a "collector."
It is funny the reactions McIntosh gets from people. I enjoy reading McIntosh threads because it always brings out negative impressions (founded or not...) and excitement. I shall add to that and say that I believe the fundamental problem is that many people don't realize the age of some of these amps. They are used to hifi companies only a few years old and so assume that all components are a few years old. The 2505 you have could be as much as 35 years of age! Thirty-five years ago, believe it or not, technology was quite different from what is used by the Rotels of today. Thus comparing them is ridiculous. My 1972 BMW doesn't handle like a new M3 and I don't cry about it. I like it for what it is, and especially for what it was. If you like new technology, buy a new McIntosh but don't dismiss an old one for being past its prime. I should hope that when we get old, we will not be put down for being old. Arthur
If you want a nice McIntosh try a MC 225 amp. One can be had for about a grand. You will probably want to spend some money having some things upgraded like caps. I owned one and replaced it with an Audio Note amp. I am sorry I sold the mc 225, though; they are only appreciating in value. I have heard this is considered one of the best McAmpy tube amps. If you can live with the power (nominal 25 watts per channel) I think it is a fine choice. Forget solid state unless you want something like Spectral or Pass.
I second the advice from C123666. I have a MC225 and its sound is just beautiful. Haven't even had to upgrade the caps yet. There is plenty you can do with 25 wpc if you just plan around it.

Well, I started this thread to report my findings in the vintage Mc2505 amp. Not to harp on them as a company or it's fans. If you guys recall, I was here seeking advice from "seasoned Mcintosh fans" comparing the older amps to the new? Well, a few people said sure all Mc amps sound alike yadda yadda. I guess I was really seeking the go ahead to purchase the cheaper\older amp to gain the "singnature Mc sound". Was I expecting to much? Maybe?

Again, I am still a Mcintosh fan, and plan on owning a good one (Better Sonics) someday. I guess that saying is true, "you get what you pay for".

I am not surprised. My impression of this amp was that it imparted a kind of "zinginess" to the music. Dynamics were produced in an unpredictable kind of shocking way to the central nervous system. The human voice and accoustic instruments were particularly affected by this "zingy" quality. If you want to hear the best thing McIntosh made listen to an MC-225. Get it rebuilt or do it yourself: new caps, hex-fred diodes, etc. The MC-225 sings. The output transformers are the key to the sound of the 225. By the way, beware of the reissue MC-275. It is NOT the same as the original 275, and the NOT refers to the output transformers which made the McIntosh amps different by patent from any others.
None of the newer amps will sound as sweet as a mc225 in top operatins condition with good NOS tubes in it; period. They will play louder and look way cool but that is not really the point. As for buying them simply for collecting; prefer to do that with cars and listen to the stereo stuff.
I got my hands on a pair of MC40s. Audioclassics serviced it, and the sound is, oh my, I have a lackof words......musical.Using an Audio Research LS7, it was very detailed, room filling, and realistic.

My newer MC162 is also fun to use.

I havent heard the amp you have bought, but I believe the sonic signature that people talk about refers to the early Mac tubes.

Find yourself a pair of old monoblocks and get them serviced. You might be surprised at how modern they sound.
Hi , Your amp and its brother the MC-250 (which looks the same as the earlier tube amps like the MC-240 & 275) were the first solid state amps McIntosh built. The 2505 is, I beleive, the first Mac amp with the blue meters and is quite collectible for both those reasons. To compare it properly you have to listen to solid state amps of the day (it was introduced in 1967). Your Rotel is a fairly decent modern amp but I suspect your reaction may be colored by the quality of the signal you are feeding it. Neither amp will sound fabulous with a mediocre signal. If you are starting to upgrade your system you should start at the front end. I am running a pair of bridged MC-250's with an Arcam FMJ CD-23 and a McIntosh C-40 pre. They sound very good although they probably don't have the last word in resolution etc. The other neat thing about your amp is that you can take the line level output from CD player directly to the amp and control it with the gain controls. This way the amp is getting a much purer signal.
If you want to get the real Mcintosh you need the tube mono MC 40 or get the MC240, you can run direct out of your cd player into the amp and get real pure tone and all of what you thought you could ever hear.
I have a McIntosh MC2100 and I think it sounds great. I have owned a tube amp before and I think this Mac has a warm tube like sound. I do have a tube pre amp maybe that's the difference. This amp is definately not lacking in bass.
I bought a Mac 2100 solid state Amp recently, paired with a C-28 preamp, and it could not produce the booming sound thru my ML-2C McIntosh speakers that my "El Cheapo" Stereotech Receiver could produce, so I unloaded them on ebay - I do know that the MC-30 amps, and probably the other tube amps of the same vintage, are better sounding if you can afford them - but it just blows me away how good that Stereotech sounds - I've been wondering if the MAC 1900 receiver sounds just as good(I bet it does)