McIntosh Announces Mc451 Dual Mono Power Amplifier

New hybrid amp from from another big name. What’s your opinion on hybrid amps, positives and negatives of hybrids vs SS and Tube amps. 



And here we go, another new McIntosh amp is introduced. Let the McIntosh bashing begin, my popcorn is hot, buttered and ready. 

Interesting concept.

If you’re into true bi amping, it will at least spare you the hassle of separate amp matching, and keep things UNDER $30K for a pair.

You get the magic of tubes for the mid/highs and SS for the bass.

The only thing about Mac I don’t care for is the green light thing- a little much.

I do like the subtle green on my 65 MR 71 FM tuner.


@tablejockey ,

I read that the bigger hybrid amps have a switch to shut the green lights off, most likely that one does too.  I love McIntosh it his my endgame electronics and I haven’t had any desires to upgrade.  Lots of Mac haters here and I can’t wait to read the comments, always a fun read

"Lots of Mac haters here and I can’t wait to read the comments, always a fun read"


I don't understand the Mac bashing. They will  be around as long as there are  listeners, unlike many of those boutique companies.

My guess is it would be a great base for a $75-100K setup.

The only thing about Mac I don’t care for is the green light thing- a little much.

Certainly, sound signature is on the first place and I really don’t care about colors, but colors matching. Green with blue!? What a funny combo:)

My mc462 the lights turn off and it appears when you look at the left know this one also turns off

I think it’s a brilliant idea if it sounds good! I would love to hear one. 

It's strange why some folks on this forum bash and hate McIntosh. I have owned McIntosh for many years and really enjoy my system. I might not care for some other brands but I do not bash or hate them especially when I have never heard them in use. I am intrigued by these new amps but at my age, I could not manhandle them. They really need speakers capable of bi-amping. 

Hate is too strong of a word. The aversion IMO is mainly directed at the obstinate fan base. Does Mcintosh produce excellent products despite the garish cosmetics? Yes, MC 462, MA 12000 and the C22 are contending class leaders at their price points. Where they miss the mark is at the flagship level of the product line.

Interesting, McIntosh are obviously popular in the US and maybe some other countries in the northern hemisphere. Virtually no love for McIntosh in Australia however, compared to most other high end brands. I have never heard a Mac amp, so I have no view from a performance perspective, but please, can you do something about the dog ugly styling. They are refugees from the fifties.

tablejockey & surfmuz: I believe every MAC amp and, possibly, every MAC product allows one to shut off the VU meters and/or blue lights, if desired.

dayglow & m_j_s: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You know what they say about opinions, don't you?  They're like a@#@#@#s.  Everybody's got one.

As an owner of a MAC amp, I love the look, the sound and the VU meters, which are not only for show.

Lets say you get by the blue green light. Do you run different speaker cables for the Bass than you would for the Mids and Highs?

One nice thing about Mac is they don't drive their tubes hot like ARC does. The tubes in an ARC last about 2000 hours. I'm told (having not owned a Mac) that their tubes last much longer.  Also, Macs don't use a screen resister as a tube protector. When the resistor blows it flames up in a spectacular fashion. Sadly I do have personal experience with this event- twice as my bias was out of whack. 

As a factory-indoctrinated Mac sales guy, to those complaining about the appearance, I will guarantee they will not change it. It is a BIG part of their brand identity…you can buy a new Mac and integrate it with an older system, and it looks like it belongs. Huge brand loyalty builder. 
This new amp has an electronic xover built in, so to use it properly the bass speakers should be passive woofers without internal passive low pass filters. The upper speaker can be anything.  Who has passive subs, really?  Otherwise you’re messing up an engineered passive network if you “double cross”. In most systems you should not use the crossover. 

@crustycoot   Most of us understand the aesthetics are very important with brand recognition, just wish they could offer a toned down cosmetic version in some models. Almost purchased the C22 Mk. V preamp but the over the top cosmetics vs. the Mk. III version which had an appealing vintage look was the deal breaker. 

You can also use this like it’s two separate amplifiers. You can run to full input signals to two separate sets of speakers if you wanted to. Or you can do the Byam route. I did this with 2601 model blocks and a Mac 275. The sound was fabulous I’m sure that this is no less.

Looks like a heck of a beast to move around, much too heavy to move at my age. Have to agree with Stereo5, let the bashers begin their rants! I do wish they would quit introducing new models every other month, however. 

I'm looking forward these puppies powering my 801D4s.  Can't wait!!!!  I'll post a review shortly after break-in.  I'm replacing my Michi M8s.

@ surfmuz   Interested to hear your review. As an owner of a pair of 901's, I have no doubt you will love the sound and experience of the 451's. There's a huge difference in power between the M8's and 451's however. I'm curious to learn how this difference in power affects your system. The hybrid Mac amps sound incredible and integrate very well. It's actually amazing how well the two amp sections blend. I've put together a couple dozen different bi-amp configurations over the years and none have come close to the 901's in integration and performance. I've used the internal crossover and run w/o as two separate full range amps with excellent results either way. Currently using the internal crossover to Analysis panels with no passive crossovers in line.