View Full Version : The Fisher 400 vs. Mac MC225


the keester
03-04-2009, 09:57 PM
For a vinyl only setup and assuming I used a Pro-Ject Tube Box 2 phono stage for both, which do you consider the better sounding amp?

I am using a Marantz TT=15 turntable and Dynaco A25s listening to mostly classic rock.

I know the Mac is much more expensive but I know Mcintosh is an expensive brand and Fisher more for the everyday fella. Does the price you pay make a huge difference in what youre getting in this situation?

mhardy6647
03-05-2009, 07:51 AM
Not a terribly fair comparison; the 400 is an FM stereo receiver, the MC-225 a power amp. The 400 is very nice but chockfull of compromises to provide tuner, preamp, and power amp in one package. The MC-225 is a component for the ages; possibly the nicest 7591 amplifier ever built.

If you can afford an MC-225, get an MC-225! And get it better speakers, too! Nothing wrong with A-25s, but theres a whole world of more dynamic and impactful options out there for a 400 or an MC-225.

EDIT: If it were me, and I had that kind of Geld to spend on an amplifier, though.... I'd skip both and buy a Marantz 8B.

Brian
03-05-2009, 08:13 AM
It would depend on what you want in the system. If only a power amp needed then go for the MC225. Both probably will need some tlc to get into spec and the 225 is mch easier to work on. It also allows you to grow the system easier. The 400 is a nice unit also, more just an issue as to whether you want an all in one or possibly will want to later add separates.

Russellc
03-05-2009, 08:15 AM
Not a terribly fair comparison; the 400 is an FM stereo receiver, the MC-225 a power amp. The 400 is very nice but chockfull of compromises to provide tuner, preamp, and power amp in one package. The MC-225 is a component for the ages; possibly the nicest 7591 amplifier ever built.

If you can afford an MC-225, get an MC-225! And get it better speakers, too! Nothing wrong with A-25s, but theres a whole world of more dynamic and impactful options out there for a 400 or an MC-225.

EDIT: If it were me, and I had that kind of Geld to spend on an amplifier, though.... I'd skip both and buy a Marantz 8B.


Agreed1:yes:

russellc

www.records
03-05-2009, 08:18 AM
Between the 2 choices given, I would be jumping all over the 225 if it was affordable. Like said above, you could build and improve your system for a long time with the Mc as your amp.

Fisherdude
03-05-2009, 08:46 AM
Not a terribly fair comparison...

I guess I'm a bit confused as well as to why you're comparing these particular two items.

An MC225 is worth around $1,500-$2,000 depending on condition, and a Fisher 400 around $250-$300. As much as I love my 400, if I had $1,500 in my hot little hands, that's probably not what I'd buy.

dshoaf
03-05-2009, 08:50 AM
The more complete setup would have the Fisher with your existing gear - once it was fully restored.

OTOH, the Mac will have far, far more potential in the long run as it can stand to run with the best of any gear out there. This means that could build out a far nicer system once you swapped out all the other gear over the years.

Remember, tube gear is all about the quality of the output transformers. In this comparison, that's a no-brainer; tilt to the MC225.

Now, I'm assuming that either amp would be fully rebuilt and that you'd not be using a preamp if you went with the MC225, right?

Cheers,

David

the keester
03-05-2009, 09:16 AM
The more complete setup would have the Fisher with your existing gear - once it was fully restored.

OTOH, the Mac will have far, far more potential in the long run as it can stand to run with the best of any gear out there. This means that could build out a far nicer system once you swapped out all the other gear over the years.

Remember, tube gear is all about the quality of the output transformers. In this comparison, that's a no-brainer; tilt to the MC225.

Now, I'm assuming that either amp would be fully rebuilt and that you'd not be using a preamp if you went with the MC225, right?

Cheers,

David

My fisher has been serviced with the fisher doctor mods and all the 12ax7s are all replaced with new JJs.

I plan on using the Pro-ject Tube Box II for a preamp for the Fisher and the MC225.

The thing is I ever listen to the radio and I only listen to vinyl so Im wondering if i should bite the bullet and get the MC225. Would I hear a significant improvement?

My Dynaco A25s might be the next part I upgrade but I want smaller speakers with nice bass like the A25s.

Destructor
03-05-2009, 11:32 AM
I love my Fisher 400 and will always keep and use it no matter what gear I have, I rotate my vintage gear in and out of use, but I am kicking myself in the ass for not buying an excellent condition MC225 for 800.00 bucks some time ago to go with my MX110.

jaymanaa
03-05-2009, 11:43 AM
Pretty unfair comparison. However, if you took the Fisher output iron, and made it into a dedicated power amp with a huge power supply..............:scratch2:


That one's for you Pak, wherever you are.:thmbsp:

WhiteSE
03-05-2009, 11:52 AM
Pretty unfair comparison. However, if you took the Fisher output iron, and made it into a dedicated power amp with a huge power supply..............:scratch2:


That one's for you Pak, wherever you are.:thmbsp:

There is this dude in Audiocircle, that builds amps with whatever iron you give him. He seems to keep the designs simple, all point to point wiring. He has a company and is in the vendors or manufacturers circle.

I hope I didnt break a rule by mentioning it..

Pak only uses weird tubes...I love his creations though!!!

tubino
03-05-2009, 11:55 AM
MC-225 is the nicest-sounding vintage amp I've owned.

mhardy6647
03-05-2009, 12:01 PM
My fisher has been serviced with the fisher doctor mods and all the 12ax7s are all replaced with new JJs.
That's too bad... had the original Mullards and Telefunkens been "harvested" before you got it?

MC-225 is the nicest-sounding vintage amp I've owned.
Well... certainly the nicest-sounding one that uses 7591s.

jcmjrt
03-05-2009, 12:06 PM
My Dynaco A25s might be the next part I upgrade but I want smaller speakers with nice bass like the A25s.

You might want to seriously think about where you are headed with this before making any more purchases. Small speakers and low output tube amps don't really match well together. The Dynaco's are about as small a speaker as I would typically put with a tube amp to get anything like decent sound.

Quality difference in amp sections between the 400 and 225 is no contest as the 225 is in a different league both in sound and price.

the keester
03-05-2009, 12:39 PM
You might want to seriously think about where you are headed with this before making any more purchases. Small speakers and low output tube amps don't really match well together. The Dynaco's are about as small a speaker as I would typically put with a tube amp to get anything like decent sound.

Quality difference in amp sections between the 400 and 225 is no contest as the 225 is in a different league both in sound and price.

what would be the best speakers (near the same size as the dynacos) that you would pair with an MC225?

jaymanaa
03-05-2009, 12:43 PM
The Heresy isn't "too" much larger, and when the cheap original caps are replaced, they sound pretty good. Just a couple watts is a bunch on a Heresy.

tubino
03-05-2009, 01:24 PM
what would be the best speakers (near the same size as the dynacos) that you would pair with an MC225?

Maybe too big and $ to answer the request well, but the Tannoy DMT 15s really work well with MC-225.

Knowing what I know now, I'd recommend a DIY two-way with JBL 2226 like Wayne Parham does with the Four Pi, and the best horn and compression driver you can afford on top, and Wayne's crossover.

GordonW
03-05-2009, 02:55 PM
I guess I'm the only one who likes the Fisher 400 better than the MC225.

IME, the Fisher just had it all over the Mc. in dynamics. Much "faster" sounding. Of course, this was a 400 that I had thoroughly gone through- replaced every cap of significance, re-biased, with a new set of EH7868s in it. But, I have to say... drums and percussion were VERY entertaining on it.

Don't get me wrong- the MC225 is a very nice amp... but it just didn't float my boat the way the Fisher 400 did.

And, BTW: Take away the Fisher 400, and replace it with what IMHO is the very BEST 7868 amp, the Sherwood 5000-II... and the Sherwood wins by an even bigger margin. I was simply astonished at how much LIFE those amps have, when they're put back in proper condition...

Of course, this very well may have been somewhat preamp-dependent... because, I have to say, I'm not a big Mc. preamp fan. But, at least some of the MC225s I've heard have been on other preamps (Conrad-Johnson and Paragon, among others)... so, it's not all that, I don't think...


Regards,
Gordon.

the keester
03-05-2009, 03:12 PM
The Heresy isn't "too" much larger, and when the cheap original caps are replaced, they sound pretty good. Just a couple watts is a bunch on a Heresy.

i actually tried a set of heresys at one point and my A25s sounded WAY better. more bass and a more rich sound.

Brian
03-05-2009, 03:21 PM
I liked my Sherwood S5000II amp and S3000IV tuner much more than my Fisher 500-C. Never compard the 500 to a 400 so do not know what differences there may be. Also, IMHO not a good comparison between the Sherwoods and the Fisher as they not apples and apples.

jaymanaa
03-05-2009, 03:24 PM
I guess I'm the only one who likes the Fisher 400 better than the MC225.

IME, the Fisher just had it all over the Mc. in dynamics. Much "faster" sounding. Of course, this was a 400 that I had thoroughly gone through- replaced every cap of significance, re-biased, with a new set of EH7868s in it. But, I have to say... drums and percussion were VERY entertaining on it.

Don't get me wrong- the MC225 is a very nice amp... but it just didn't float my boat the way the Fisher 400 did.

And, BTW: Take away the Fisher 400, and replace it with what IMHO is the very BEST 7868 amp, the Sherwood 5000-II... and the Sherwood wins by an even bigger margin. I was simply astonished at how much LIFE those amps have, when they're put back in proper condition...

Of course, this very well may have been somewhat preamp-dependent... because, I have to say, I'm not a big Mc. preamp fan. But, at least some of the MC225s I've heard have been on other preamps (Conrad-Johnson and Paragon, among others)... so, it's not all that, I don't think...


Regards,
Gordon.

The Sherwood integrateds are simply amazing from that time period. I accidentally discovered them by doing a complete electrical overhaul of one or two for Twantiques. I fired that thing up (a 7868 model) and my jaw dropped.:drool:

Mike Stehr
03-05-2009, 03:28 PM
Maybe too big and $ to answer the request well, but the Tannoy DMT 15s really work well with MC-225.

They work really well with MC-275, too.

WhiteSE
03-05-2009, 03:48 PM
Tannoy DMT 15's with tubes, probably the last time you would buy speakers.

pmsummer
03-05-2009, 03:52 PM
Tannoy DMT 15's with tubes, probably the last time you would buy speakers.


...but shouldn't he be looking into some Pilot gear, too?



;)

audiodon
03-05-2009, 03:57 PM
I've found the MC225 to be tubey and slow compared to the 400. But, for a more fair comparison, a 400 will benefit from vintage tubes in the line stage. JJs aren't the best sounding choice and may bias your opinion away from the Fisher when a simple tube substitution can make a big difference. Telefunkens are nice or Sylvania green letter 12AX7s in the line stage are nice in a 400.

kcin
03-05-2009, 05:31 PM
Hi,Take this for what its worth. I have a Marantz 8b, a Mac225, Fisher 400 and a Sherwood S5000II 7868.

All refurbed. It's a close cut between the Marantz and the Mac, depending on speakers. One could go either way. Now the Mac225 is the only Mac amp I like of the bygone era. The Marantz is a work of art. The sleeper is the Sherwood a fraction of the price and it is a very good and I mean very good amp.. I might go for the Sherwood if I did not have the $ otherwise.

Sorry, the Fisher's nostalgic, but not in the same league with any of the others sonically.

Kcin

smollett5
03-05-2009, 08:35 PM
I have an MC225 and two Fisher 400s, in addition to a lot of other stuff. The MC225, after purchase, shipping, and retubing with all correct NOS tubes probably cost about $2,500. The Fisher 400s both came with all their original tubes (as did the MC225, McIntosh-labeled, but I wanted to preserve them as museum pieces), but I decided to put NOS quads of 7868s in them, so the price for each probably hovers around $650.
Both the MC225 & Fisher 400 sound great. Yes, the MC225, with the C11, the MR67, and the FM-1000 sounds totally wonderful, but look at the cost. The Fisher 400 does it all in one chassis at a mere quarter of the cost of the MC225 alone. And the both of them sound great.

It all depends on what you want to pay. You can't go wrong either way. As for speakers, one 400 powers some Fisher XP-9s and Infinity 2s. The other 400 powers some Marathon speakers, made by Louis Chochos of Omega. The MC225 powers some Rogers LS3/5As and LS7Ts, Tannoy Mercurys, Omega Grande 6s, and KEF Corellis and Q-30s. Everything sounds fine. Buy the best your budget allows - and you won't regret either of these fine choices.

jaymanaa
03-06-2009, 08:26 AM
...but shouldn't he be looking into some Pilot gear, too?



;)

:lmao::lmao:

the keester
03-06-2009, 08:49 AM
Tannoy DMT 15's with tubes, probably the last time you would buy speakers.

those look like great speakers:)

BUT these are going on the ends of the rear of a bar. the A25s fit very nicely there. The Heresys that I tried were too big and didnt sound very good so I would like to stay in the same size range (maybe a little bit bigger) if i could.

DanO55
03-06-2009, 09:02 AM
I sold my Mc 225 and a set of Mc 30s. The value, to me that is, is in the collectability of Mac versus the absolute sound quality. There is a host of other audio gear out there for far less money that will go head to head against them. M 2 cens.

the keester
03-06-2009, 09:14 AM
I sold my Mc 225 and a set of Mc 30s. The value, to me that is, is in the collectability of Mac versus the absolute sound quality. There is a host of other audio gear out there for far less money that will go head to head against them. M 2 cens.

what are some suggestions? thanks

tubino
03-06-2009, 10:04 AM
I sold my Mc 225 and a set of Mc 30s. The value, to me that is, is in the collectability of Mac versus the absolute sound quality. There is a host of other audio gear out there for far less money that will go head to head against them. M 2 cens.

Exactly my sentiment, which is why I sold my MC225. A GOOD (GOOD!!!) single-ended amp will be more transparent, dynamic, visceral, alive, real. And a good (GOOD!) one will be BETTER on bass than the 225.

I'm happy to see the Sherwood S-5000 talked up. I got one at a hamfest a bazillion years ago for half what I spend on a dinner out for the family these days, and it really is a great-sounding unit for vintage.

the keester
03-06-2009, 06:25 PM
A GOOD (GOOD!!!) single-ended amp will be more transparent, dynamic, visceral, alive, real. And a good (GOOD!) one will be BETTER on bass than the 225.


can u name some of these amps? it would really help me do my research. thanks

DanO55
03-06-2009, 06:48 PM
Recommending an amplifier is like suggesting what hair color your wife should be! Too many opinions and tastes to go around. For me, an EL34 or KT88 matched with a Peerless transformer does it. Mullard XF1s if you will or Gold Lions KT88s if your wallet can handle it. My suggestion, start will a small amp and move up. That's half the fun of vintage gear. Up to 3 cents worth now.

tubino
03-06-2009, 09:48 PM
can u name some of these amps? it would really help me do my research. thanks

I'm a lucky guy who has been able to get amps I'm very happy with (after years), and they are named in my sig file.

Someone loaned me a pair of single-ended EL-34 amps that used James output transformers (exact same ones as in my Ultrafi amp). The guy who built them charges something like the price of an MC 225, IIRC, and they sounded very good to me, so I know that's one route.

At the other end of the $ spectrum, I was just listening to a system I set up in my workshop with a Dyna SCA-35 that I rebuilt, and enjoying the music there. You have to find what you like, and enjoy the music while you're finding what you like.