McIntosh MA6300 vs. MA6500

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by agreenspan, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. agreenspan

    agreenspan New Member

    Hi everyone! I would appreciate anyone's help in choosing one of these integrated amps. I live on an island (Nantucket), so I can't really go to a dealer without getting on a plane or boat and then renting a car to drive 100 miles to hear them myself. I found them both at used. The 6500 is about $400 more. I know that the 6500 is going to be discontinued, and is older. The 6500 has 20w more power at 8 ohms. I've talked to different dealers. The ones that don't seem too informed say they sound the same, but one has more power. The ones that sound like they know what they are talking about have a strong opinion either way. Many say the 6300 sounds better and has better circuitry, since it is newer. Others say that the 6300 might sound cleaner, but the 6500 sounds better overall. I have b&w 705 speakers, and in a year, I will probably upgrade to the 805s (which like more power). I would appreciate anyones opinion, as you all probably have more experience in this than I do. Thanks.
  2. pwhartman

    pwhartman New Member

    Cincinnati, Ohio
    There is nothing like listening to them to see what differences there are to your ears (and in your system). Short of that, I tend to go with latest technology and 20 watts won't make much difference and it will save you $400 you could put into another aspect of the system or towards your new 805s.

    I have heard the 6300 but not the 6500 and could easily live with its sound. I can't imagine the 6500 would be so much better (if at all) that you would love the sound of one and hate the other. The only other consideration might be feature set of one versus the other. The 6300 does not have tone controls; some people turn their nose up at them, but they can be nice to have and you can always choose not use them.

    My two cents...

  3. sully1801

    sully1801 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    The Empire State
    If I'm not mistaken, I think the MA6300 is rated at 100 WPC & the MA6500 is 200 WPC.
    I would definately go with the 6500 if it were me...
    The 6500 has more features, especially the ability to drive 2 pair of speakers.
    While you may not have an immediate need fo this, I'll bet you will someday...
    BTW, good choice with Audio Classics...They'll take good care of you!
  4. william.keith

    william.keith Super Member

    If you use the Search engine, there is ample information for you to make an informed decision. Enough has been written herein to sink a battleship. The MA6300 has some newer technology but lacks some classic McIntosh features found on the MA6500. These features may or may not be important to you, they are to me. They will sound the same at comparable volume levels.
  5. Prodigal

    Prodigal Member

    I used to drive my 805s with MA6500, although I've gone seperates and sold it to my mate, I would highly recommend it as 805s is power hungry ( I am driving them with the MC402 now ) and it's impedenace may go down to 2 ohms at very low frequencies, so that extra power from the MA6500 during 2 ohms loading might come in handy when you need it, the MA6500 still with the classic Mc sound although not equipped with a autoformer. I did listen to a MA6300 for about 20 mins in the shop, I would say it sounds cleaner just as you said, it's a very good int. amp, but I like the MA6500 better.
  6. agreenspan

    agreenspan New Member


    Thanks so much to all of you. I have been learning so much. The salesperson at audioclassics steered me towards the 6500. They have both in stock, so it makes no difference to them. They are very helpful and informative.
  7. mattj

    mattj Member

    I have had both, and moved up from the 6300 to the 6500. In my view, the 6300 is a bit cleaner and more analytical, as others say, but the 6500 has a way more convincing sound: more dimension, more depth. The real difference I have detected is with jazz: the 6500 does a way better job on the bass, and there is more nuance and humanity in the way reeds (e.g. saxes) sound. Also 4 ohm speakers are the way to go with the 6500 but not with the 6300
  8. g_georgi

    g_georgi Member

    Montreal, QC
    Hey mattj,

    I don't mean to veer this topic off course but did you get a chance to listen to the 6900?

    I'm also considering 6300 vs 6500 vs 6900 vs 2275 vs C220+M252 but I don't think the local Mac dealer will let me take all that stuff home :)

    Until now his store has been outside of my price range :)
  9. mattj

    mattj Member

    have never heard the 6900... but i needed switching for two sets of speakers, which I'm pretty sure the 6900 doesn't have. There is a thread comparing the 6500 and 6900, and i think it was divided equally between people saying the difference was night and day and people saying just as adamantly there was no difference...
  10. chathamdad

    chathamdad Piano Trios Rule

    I am a fan of the direct-coupled amps so I would recommend the 6500. I have heard both and liked both, but the 6500 seemed to be faster, more accurate at the mids, and tighter through the lower registers. Soundstaging was better too. Classic OTL sound, with lots of power.

    The 6500 is 120wpc at 8ohms and 200wpc at 4ohms. Ditto on the recommendation of Audioclassics. They are tops. Have fun.

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