So, really, how much should I budget for McIntosh restoration?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by Shug451, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Shug451

    Shug451 Sansui Low-Powered Amp Guy Subscriber

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    Looking to purchase my first vintage McIntosh -- likely an integrated -- MA-6200, MA-6100, MA-5100 (or possibly a MC-2100 and a preamp down the road). I'm having a hard time getting real information about what I need to budget to have one of those units restored. Can someone let me know what I should expect to pay from a reputable tech? Thanks much!

    (Forgive me if this belongs in Dollars and Sense. Didn't see repair-related issues in there.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019

     

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  2. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    That's awfully hard to sy without knowing some specifics about the units you intend to purchase. Why not price refurbished units from the likes of Audio Classics?
     
  3. Shug451

    Shug451 Sansui Low-Powered Amp Guy Subscriber

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    I guess I'm just looking for ballpark figures for a full recap on one of the integrated amps. Audio Classics currently has a MA-6200 in fair (D grade) condition for $1,599 and a MA-5100 (VG condition) for $1,999. I can get either one of those from the auction site, CL, or here for $850-$1,000 (MA-5100) or $1,000-$1,200 (MA-6100) in better condition unrestored. Is it going to cost me $600 or $900 for a recap? I don't think so, but I don't really know, which is why I'm asking.
     
  4. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    Though I own a 2505 I would say you don't want a 2100. I owned two. I would want a MA 6200 for the flexibility , Power guard, Graphic tone controls etc. You would need a C-30 and a MC 7100 to match a MA 6200. Buy the 6200 from Audio Classics and then you won't have to worry about the restoration. Call Steve . Spend some time to get to know each other. It will pay off in the long run. He does bargain, and he definitely stands behind what he sells. I buy all my pre-owned Mac from him and never have been disappointed. I even buy a new piece from time to time. I use to work for a Mac dealer in the professional audio department and we dealt with Audio Classics for years. before I started dealing with him personally in 2006.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  5. UncleBingo

    UncleBingo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Pretty hard to quote prices beyond ballpark figures. I've worked on similar models that needed widely varying amounts of restoration. 1 of them (C-28) needed caps badly and had a couple of bogus transistors.

    The next one I worked on had been re-capped prior to my seeing it and was a case where somebody did a re-cap to find out the amp needed more... Needed bunches of transistors; the phono board was dead city and there was a ton of white-noise coming through the Aux/Tuner inputs. I had to re-do a bunch of the bad grounds, too...I think the prices were $185 and $245 respectively, but they were each part of a deal that included recapping a 2100 also. I would probably charge a bit more knowing about the ground problem at this point.

    I did a couple of 5100's that ran in the $350-400 range and about the same for the 6100. If I had to replace a bunch of output transistors, the price would be higher. No idea how these prices compare to other places, tbh.
     
  6. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

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    What does the community consider the standard of restored to be?

    It would appear most buyers are most concerned about the units cosmetics not the electrical performance.

    I believe both web based resellers mentioned in this forum cosmetically restore the units but only confirm they meet factory specs, they repair a known issue but do not restore the units electrically.

    They do warranty their sold units.

    If the new end user can not hear a difference but a tech knows the life span of parts have been exceeded can you call a unit restored IF those parts are not replaced?

    There are those of us who have been around long enough to know of the potential problems retain units have, but are the new potential purchasers will ing to pay for those aras to be addressed.

    Cost of Living is so different across the country( if out if the US, import duties COL, taxes etc) trying to nail down labor costs can vary greatly.

    That us why when discussing a restore I will generally speculate on time not cost......hourly labor rates seem to range from $40 to $150 US across the country.

    Since many within these forums seem to be most proud of their "skores", like it is confirmation of their manhood or something, I realy doubt if much can be determined without the input of the factory or local dealers. You know the local guy that lets you see, touch and listen before you buy.
     
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  7. MACKIE1975

    MACKIE1975 Well-Known Member

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    Agree. The 2 most reputable web base sellers will make sure the sold unit meet factory specs and guarantee the unit that is why it costs more.

    A fully restored unit must be put in request by the buyer and expect $400-$900 extra
     
  8. Shug451

    Shug451 Sansui Low-Powered Amp Guy Subscriber

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    Thanks for the advice. No love for the 2100? What was the issue?
     
  9. Shug451

    Shug451 Sansui Low-Powered Amp Guy Subscriber

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    Thanks! I think $350-$400 sounds reasonable.
     
  10. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    What's wrong with the MC2100/2105? That has me puzzled too.
     
  11. gmfgmfgmf1

    gmfgmfgmf1 Active Member

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    The unfortunate answer is that you need to be on good terms with an accomplished tech if used condition is not know. Some techs are reasonable and some are outrageous - if you can even find one.

    I have one I can rely on and buying used is the only way to go
     

     

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  12. Tia

    Tia Did you say birds? Subscriber

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    Nothing wrong with my MC2200's and I had a 2505 and a 2105 prior.

    As stated, AC is great to work with and does stand behind their products. Although I have a great tech, I still would rather buy from a company that stands behind their product. For example $1500 (pick your unit) done deal as opposed to the unknown..........
     
  13. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    First a 2100 doesn't have Power Guard. Second compared to later amps its noisy, especially with efficient speakers, If you have the early models that haven't been updated their IM distortion is higher than later models. Third because of the autoformers if you have woofers that. demand a relatively high damping factor using a 2100 the woofers will sound sloppy compared to 754, 7100, 7200 and later direct coupled Mac amps and the Quad design with higher damping factors. The highs can be a little edgy compared to the later amps. The 2155 and 2150 sound Oh so much better. 7150 , 7100, 7200 really give a totally different revealing presentation than 2100's. Remember I owned a pair of 2100's. In some respects they were a step back compared to my pair of 275's. Yes 2100's were better below 60 Hz but the 275' were better above. But compared to my 207's and the Quad amps of today, its just a totally different experience. Am I making mountains out of mole hills? Yes, for others who have never lived with Mac. But for those of us that have owned our share or used different Mac amps there are differences. If I were rich I would have 14 1.2 K's instead of 2 207's. But I don't need the power and where would I put them and how would I pay for them? Any one got a winning lottery ticket??? Its all about the speakers you choose to go with the 2100.
     
  14. ajward549

    ajward549 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    http://www.mcintoshaudio.com/

    Didn’t see Tom mentioned. Looks like he is closed until next week, but his restored units are fantastic! I love my 5100 and Terry is working his magic on a MR71 for me now...
     
  15. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

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    I just received some glass from him. He is having surgery this week and will probably be doing little more than answering the phone next week.
     
  16. Shug451

    Shug451 Sansui Low-Powered Amp Guy Subscriber

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    Is Terry back in business? His website still says he's closed or at least not accepting new work.
     

     

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  17. ajward549

    ajward549 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good catch, just saw that. Keep your eyes open for him to open back up soon I hope!
     
  18. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    I’ve had two Ma-6200s “restored” by a local Mac tech. He’s the real deal, has back stock of almost everything... anyhow, he replaced all out of spec caps and resistors for less than $250 each.

    Edit:
    I’m lucky to be right next to him. If you factor in shipping & packing, it could easily be a $500 bill.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  19. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

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    How does he check each cap individually? How many caps did he change?
     
  20. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    In the time it takes to check a Cap, you can just replace it. E caps in 30-40year old gear are way over their service life and need to be replaced to ensure correct and reliable operation.
     
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