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davestef

Mcintosh MC30 amps

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Im looking to upgrade my amp. How much do these usually go for? Theres a local pair on craigslist for $1,600. i see people online saying theyre "legendary" amps and that people use them for bi amping. What is there to know about bi amping? ive heard of people blowing speakers trying to do it.

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Dave, figure $400-500 each to have them restored (at $1,600, I doubt that they are), tubes may need to be upgraded; throw in a preamp to run them and you are easily above $3000. Are you prepared for that kind of investment? Bi-amping will require at least one more amp (stereo) plus an active crossover. You're now over $4,000. I would suggest a nice two-channel SS amp or receiver as a starting point. We all had to start with a modest system and upgrade as we were able. Just trying to help.

Frank

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jesus

well, i already have an OK tube amp. its an old pioneer sx-34B receiver. i read that it uses 4x 6BM8 tubes and puts out 8watts pre channel. Dont really know a whole lot about it. all i know is that it hums and hisses and crackles and pops. its pretty noisy at times, if i play around with the nobs a little the noise goes away for a little while, but always comes back. It wasnt so bad with my old speakers, but now that i have cornwalls, its much more apparent as they dont hide much. So i thought it was time to start looking for a "new" tube amp, since i believe my current amp is the weakest link in my set up. i dont want to leave the completely analog sound. I spin vinyl and i love the warmth and smoothness analog sound has to offer, plus it more fun. A cheaper, i guess, alternative would be to try and fix the pioneer amp i have. I just dont know if its the tubes that need replacing, or its the electronics or what. The thing is from the early 70's, so its probably shot in lots of different ways.

this is the ad:

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/ele/2955675526.html

(the seller is looking to sell, or trade for la scalas :P)

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I own two fully restored pairs of MC30s.

They regularly sell
for over 2K in average (read somewhat oxidized) chassis condition on the 'bay and
over 3K easily for clean pairs. They are high value vintage amplifiers -
one of a select dozen or so vintage amps that are in that "all timer"
category when rebuilt and tubed properly. That's a big deal, as rebuilds
are $500-1200 depending on how detailed you want to go on parts, and
tubes to make the best of them are rather expensive these days (Tele
12AX7s and the best outputs aren't cheap, although Russian winged C
6L6GCs are very serviceable). It is a bit of a project taking in a set
of these vintage amplifiers, because they need to be rebuilt and tubed
properly to get that storied performance.

MC30s excel on the big
Heritage (Cornwall/LaScala/Belle/Klipschorn)....it's all about that
wonderful midrange, the tube rectifiers keep it oh so sweet, a bit of
that SET character with the power of push-pull. Not a "thumping tight"
bass, but a full, rounded bass that does well for most music that
doesn't get too 'violent' down low (like hard rock/electronic/club type
stuff). GREAT for jazz and natural instruments as well as a host of
older recordings and vinyl that now have spooky real midrange life. And
these vintage Mac amps really deliver with one of the matching tube preamps of the era properly restored, like C11, C20, C22, or MX110. If you are into analog, MC30s are reeeeeealy good for that.

Yes, many do use them in biamp setups, allowing the mids and top
of the MC30s to shine while allowing a solid state or more stout amp to
run bass. This often involves electronic crossovers in front of the
amplifiers, which some with advanced setups (like modified Heritage or
Jubilees) might employ. MC30s are a great option here too.

They
aren't for everybody - especially given that they are no bargain an are
of a "collectible" status, but can be a great choice depending on the
application. There are a number of other vintage as well as modern
setups that can also deliver great tube sound depending on what sonic
and use preferences you have, but MC30s for analog use on Cornwalls has serious sonic possibilities.

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Hmm yeah I don't have that kind of money, nor do I have a degree in electrical engineering. I guess I'm just looking for a quality mid range tube amp, kind of like how the Cornwall compares to the klipschorn. $600 vs $3000 or whatever. I'm looking for the equivalent in a tube amp.

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The amp section of the SX-34 is good and, once restored, can provide lots of listening enjoyment. The question is whether it's worth the expense of having it done since you may not recover it when it's time to sell. A better avenue, if you don't listen at extremely loud levels (you will need an outboard phono preamp though), is one of Decware's modestly priced amps. They sound good, are reliable, and have an unbeatable guarantee: http://www.decware.com/newsite/tubes.html

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Hmm yeah I don't have that kind of money, nor do I have a degree in electrical engineering. I guess I'm just looking for a quality mid range tube amp, kind of like how the Cornwall compares to the klipschorn. $600 vs $3000 or whatever. I'm looking for the equivalent in a tube amp.

You don't need a degree in electrical engineering to embark on this project. The quoted $500+ on rebuild includes labor and parts, through people on forum who do these sort of restorations (such as forum member NOSValves as an example). That type of build will get those amps in full operating condition.

Decware is a possibility, as are a host of vintage units suitable for rebuild (as well as some that pop up already restored in our garage sale area). Scott integrated amps are a good place to start ($600-1K area) as well - many here enjoy the vintage Scotts - as well as Fishers - very good units to drive a set of Cornwalls.

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Im looking to upgrade my amp. How much do these usually go for? Theres a local pair on craigslist for $1,600. i see people online saying theyre "legendary" amps and that people use them for bi amping. What is there to know about bi amping? ive heard of people blowing speakers trying to do it.

Neighbor gave me a couple for $1,000, and threw in a Lafayette KT 600 pre-amp kit. Mac's look about new. Had them gone all gone through for another $1,000. Tech said he had not seen any in this good of appearence in a long time. Said not to sell the Mac's for less then $3,600 and did not know what Lafayette was worth, but that it worked very well with the Mac's. I would not consider selling the set for $4,000 if I was to ever sell. which I have no plans to do.

My wife said my neighbor about layed a brick when he heard what they were worth. I didn't know either when I bought them. [+o(]

Klipsch are very efficient and don't need much power to rock the house [8]

I usually keep the volume turned down to below 9:00 position even when turned up.

Taz

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Audio Classics has them with the high end at $1599 each. Terry Dewick at mcintoshaudio doesn't have any at the moment, but some on hold. I think his usually go for around the same price, maybe a little lower.

Bruce

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I'd also check to see if Terry DeWick has a pair. That is who I bought mine from. I sold them a while backbut they were really great amps and beautiful. MC30's are my faves with MC225's coming in a close second.

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If the OP is intersted in an MC 225 ( in excellent condition with Audio Classics reconditioning) drop me an email or PM through the forum

Josh


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Just an FYI there is a guy on craigs lIst in Denver that has a pair of MC 60's for $3800. Check it out if interested. No affiliation.

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I have a pair of MC30s. I'm using them to power my La Scalas. Before that they were pair with my Heresys. I now have a MX110Z pre/reciever but used to use a PAS 3X pre. The PAS sounded pretty good with the MC30s.

The amps in the ad look cosmetically rough. Maybe that is why they are cheap. If you want them I'd say buy them and have them looked at locally if you can. You might be able to get away with using them for a while. The ad does say he replaced some parts.

I'd say get the amps. If you don't have a pre, they have volume knobs on the back and you can plug a CD player directly into them. :)

Chad

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I have a pair of MC30s. I'm using them to power my La Scalas. Before that they were pair with my Heresys. I now have a MX110Z pre/reciever but used to use a PAS 3X pre. The PAS sounded pretty good with the MC30s.

Chad

I would say "Bet that sounds good", but I don't have to.....because I KNOW that sounds good[H]

MX110 > MC30s > Belle Klipsch here, all lovingly recapped and tubed to the hilt.....it's a beeeeeeuuuuutiful thing[Y]

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If you do want to start small and work your way big, you could have your receiver gone through and see how you like the sound. It might cost you around 500 to have it gone through and you might really like the sound once it sounds right. Or you could step it up a notch and go with some thing like Decaware or even Tubes4hifi, or bottlehead. There are lots of great sounding amps and pre combos out there from what I have read. It just depends how much you want to spend and were you want to be at. Have fun down this road I am currently on it and think its just neato. I hope someday to try a pair of McIntosh amps but that will be a ways down the road. If you are serious on the MC30s, there is a fellow who has a pair locally at a small shop here in Omaha that I know is very honest and has recently updated some of the caps and serviced the amps. He even offers a 90day warranty. Here is his link, http://omaha.craigslist.org/eld/2968015786.html He finally got a new place.

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Dave..... Some of the vintage amps including the MC30s are truly wonderful.... but as others have stated they are "collectors items" and valued as such..... I rebuilt and then later sold a MC275, and now have a very rare Sansui AU-111, worth $2500=$3000.... does/did they sound wonderful? you bet, but they were/are in my second system for giggles..... IMO any of these can't hold a candle to a well built modern design for much less $$$$

Luckily I can afford just about any gear I want but for my main system I stuck with a Rogue Atlas Magnum with KT120 outputs.... I won't gush but at <$1800 OMG!!! I tested amps 3-4 times the price and the atlas really hit the nail on the head!!! they also have a integrated based on the same amp thats about $2200 with the magnum upgrades. I'll give you details if you wish....

Cayin has some integrated amps that really kick butt in the $1600-$2000 range and even though assembled in China, have some of the best build quaility I've ever seen, I choose the Rogue for many reasons, one being 100% made in the USA .... NOS valves VRD's are also exceptional

If it were me, I would get a great modern tube amp that will give you NO problems, have that magic midrange and nice tight bass slam, all in one..... bi-amping, while great can be a big pain to balance just right, and even a fully rebuilt vintage amp is still 50 years old or so years old and bound to plague you with problems down the line.

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