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Anybody familiar with the McCormack DNA 0.5?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by JohnVF, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. JohnVF

    JohnVF Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    29,116
    Is anybody here familiar with the original version of the McCormack DNA 0.5 amplifier? It seems to be highly regarded, but there's also references I keep finding to people having it updated to a later standard. Has anybody done this or know what changes are made? I've heard one, and liked it, but was curious about any long term exposure.

    Thanks.

    john
     
  2. watt

    watt no on

    Messages:
    1,717
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I wish (I truly do) that I could give you my first hand experience with these amps, but I only know what I've read. There's a .pdf available at smcaudio.com that shows some a la carte options alongside the price structure for various levels of upgrade. Not the most thorough explanation, but it might give you some idea. To complicate matters a little, it appears that there are two versions of the DNA 0.5: the Standard and the Deluxe. Could be that you've already seen this.

    And when you get this amp, pick up the Aragon they have for me, will ya? ;)
     
  3. Danddd

    Danddd AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    Wheaton, IL
    I have a McCormack DNA 0.5 since 1998. Picked it up used, but only 6 mos old. I run it with a VTL 2.5 pre, which I've been told and can attest is a perfect match. Never modded it as I didn't feel the urge and enjoy it as it is. No problem whatsoever with either unit and they are on 24/7.

    I've seen these on Audiogon used for $600.00. Been tempted to pick another one up just to have it.
     
  4. JohnVF

    JohnVF Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    29,116
    Thank you...that's the kind of experience I was hoping somebody would have. I had a chance to audition it for awhile but its good to hear about long term exposure. It's difficult to tell if I'll like something without testing it on my speakers, in my room (though it was actually tested on a preamp that I now own).
     
  5. JohnVF

    JohnVF Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    29,116
    Thanks for that pdf heads up. I somehow missed that in my Google-frenzy. I think the one I looked at was a standard as it was an early unit. I really liked it, but wanted that Sony Esprit stuff more the day I auditioned it (and the little Sony class-A amp actually won the shootout with the McCormack). With the prices of those upgrades I would probably just keep it stock, because I could hot-rod that Odyssey Khartago I've had my eye on for that price. Who knows...it actually reminded me a lot of my RGR amp when I auditioned it. Which was both a reason to love it, and also to ask the question "why buy an amp like the one you have?".

    I thought you didn't like the weird cut-out design of the Aragon amps...
     
  6. Danddd

    Danddd AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    Wheaton, IL
    I won't buy anything for my main set up now w/o auditioning it first in my set up. Just makes all the difference.
     
  7. JohnVF

    JohnVF Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    29,116
    That's the dilemma I'm in now. I really am interested in the Odyssey Audio Khartago or Stratos, but they're factory direct. And there's this older McCormack here that I can audition. I may as well just take it home for a weekend and try it. I'm close enough with the folks who have it for sale that that wouldn't be a problem.
     
  8. watt

    watt no on

    Messages:
    1,717
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Good memory. I've had a bit of a wandering eye for amps lately, and I like my Acurus so much that I think I'd be able to overlook the cut-out.

    I like your RGR too. Plus, it has rack handles. :)
     
  9. JohnVF

    JohnVF Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    29,116
    I need to build a rack for all this rack handled gear I have. Everything I'm running now has rack handles, except the sony pre-tuner (which is going to end up probably just being a tuner in my system). All this gear that had those...I wonder how many people actually used a rack? I guess I could put the Mac 4100 in tuner duty to finish off the rack-handle club.

    I might listen to the Aragon next time I'm in there. I saw it sitting on the shelf last thursday but I only had a few minutes and I was there to figure out what was taking so long on my ARC preamp.
     

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