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Picked up a MC122 amp for a second system

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by Freo-1, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. Freo-1

    Freo-1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    773
    Needed a moderate power amp for a second system. I've read that the slim line Mcintosh components are good value products.

    It will be used with a Benchmark DAC2 DX as a preamp/source.

    Looking for feedback on this. There were not a lot of them out there for resale.
     
  2. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

    Messages:
    4,110
    Paul published a White paper with recommended power requirements for his speakers. As I remember a Cornwall was around 30 and a Corner horn was around 10 watts. That was to produce 115 db which was typical peaks at a live concert sitting in the center. Of course as there are two speakers the sum of the out put is higher. The acoustics of a room and room gain help the speaker.s If the room were very dead you might loose over 6 to 10 db before the sound reached your ear. The result would be 112 to to 108 db, Still plenty loud but short of concert level of 115 db. Pauls measured standard. So its easy to see how later on Paul increased his speakers power handling from 30 to 100 watts when SS amps came along and loss of tweeters was becoming a real issue. Paul updated his crossover components and changed to steeper slopes adding SS speaker protection. Mcintosh introduced Power Guard to their amplifiers to help protect their speakers. Like Paul Mcintosh new and measured that only about 1 to 2 % of power required was necessary for tweeters above 6 kHz. But with modern pop music with electronic effects introduced with the popularity of disco brought uncommonly high levels above 6 kHz damaging tweeters and pushing amplifiers into clipping which multiplies damaging high frequencies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  3. Freo-1

    Freo-1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    773
    Interesting. It all makes sense.

    These days, primarily listen to classical.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  4. Freo-1

    Freo-1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    773
    Amp arrived the other day. After letting it warm up for a bit, hooked it up and gave it a listen. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it sounds. Amp has a warm, forgiving presentation, with plenty of detail and very low noise floor. The 80 watts seems to be plenty with my ATC SCM-19 speakers. I've tried more powerful amps on these speakers that did not sound as good. I actually like this amp better than a MC-150 I used to own.

    It makes me wonder about other Mac amps that do not have the autoformer.
     
  5. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,136
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Is the MC122 an improved MC7100, stripped down MC7100, or an entirely different animal? I honestly have no idea.

    The only direct coupled McIntosh amplifier I've ever owned was the MC2002 - had 2 or 3 maybe, I forget. Very enjoyable.
     
  6. MORTIS

    MORTIS Alien Member

    Messages:
    566
    Yes it seems to be a slightly stripped down MC7100, meaning a little less rated power and no XLR inputs, but unlike the 7100 it has a detachable power cord.

    I've always admired the elegant slimline design of the MC122. I'm sure it sounds very good.
    Here's how it looks inside with a big toroidal transformer and oddly the main filter caps right up against the face plate.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

    Messages:
    4,110
    Amps with lower damping factor aren't as linear with highly reactive speaker loads as amps with higher damping factor. So 7100, 7200, 7104, 122, 162, 126, 7106, 206, 207, 205, 8207 do sound differently. Especially with my bi-amped and tri-amped speakers where the woofers are directly connected to the amp My speakers bass sort of blooms and gets kind of warm and fuzzy, with amps like 275, 2100, 2200, 2250 and 7300. A 7200 was fantastic. But I didn't and still don't have ro0m for or the money for 7 of them when new. So l'll stick with the 207. Speaker with impedances that dip below 3 ohms are right down a 7100 and 7200 alley. Now the MC 300 and 150 had pretty high damping factor for amps with Autoformers, but; as I stlll had my issues, I lucked out waiting for the 207. I can't believe the price has gone up 50 % since I bought mine.
     
  8. Freo-1

    Freo-1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    773
    The Mac dealer told me the MC122 was a updated MC7100. He also said that he thought it sounded slightly better than the 7100, and was better at driving lower impedance loads. I must say, it does a very good job of driving the ATC monitors, a speaker that is known for wanting lots of power. Makes me wonder why Mac doesn't offer more amps without autoformers.

    The Benchmark DAC2 DX is a excellent DAC/preamp source for the MC122. I had thought about getting a matching Mac preamp, but not sure that it would sound any better.
     
  9. eedork

    eedork AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    I've had a number of McIntosh amps over the years, including two MC7100s (one of which I have now). They sound great and the relatively small size for a McIntosh amp is also a nice bonus. I'm sure the MC122 sounds great too!

    Can you bridge the MC122? I keep wondering what a pair of MC7100s bridged would sound like .. unfortunately they are rated into 8 ohms only when bridged and my speakers are a nominal 6.5 ohms, so running them in mono might be pushing it.

    -Matt
     
  10. Freo-1

    Freo-1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    773
    I think you would be OK with 7100's in mono with nominal 6.5 ohm speakers. If they were less than 6 ohms, that could be an issue.

    The MC122 cannot be bridged. However, it seems to have enough power at 80 watts for my speakers, as it does source a fair amount of current.
     

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