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McIntosh or Sunfire


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Price is a big issue but I ran across the following quote:

It won't be a problem. I have used my 207 on a pair of Cornwalls, KG 5.5s and Epic CF-4s. If any Klipsch speaker was going to explore the limits of that amp it would be the CF-4s and the McIntosh handles them wonderfully.

The Sunfire is not even in the same league as the MC207.

I am thinking about a new amp and am curious to the last statement of this post - is it true?

I notice Sunfire does not post a s/n ratio. Is this the determining factor?

Which is the best bang for the buck?

For tube afficiandos, Does the Sunfire current source produce a tube like sound? Or is it even close?

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I don't think s/n is necessarily the defining factor here. There is a member who has experience with both brands to a certain extent who will probably chime in. Sunfire publishes what they call hum and noise for their amps and s/n for their pre-amps, I honestly don't know what the hum and noise figure means. You probably would not be disappointed with either choice.

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IN MY OPINION, you cannot buy a better amplifier than Sunfire for the money. This will probably cause a lot of consternation amongst the McIntosh crowd, but they are dead silent, accurate, have unbelievable amounts of power in reserve (check my review on Carveraudio.com of the Sunfire 400x7 Cinema Seven Signature model: http://www.carveraudio.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3520 ), and are damned bulletproof. I shipped one to a buyer and UPS put a forklift tine thru the side of the amp and it STILL WORKED FLAWLESSLY. I guess you could say I'm sold on Sunfire...

And yes, the current source produces a VERY close sound to tubes....so much so it has fooled many audiophiles....

OK, I'm ready for the flaming!! :-)

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My 2 cents/.././

I have heard both.. I use Sunfire..

Bob Carver and Mc labs. Both do great jobs, they both make enormous powerful wattage amps that really allow Klipsch to shine with either one.

Neither company seems to chase the latest gadgets till a standard is developed for some time.. (sunfire just added HDMI for instance on the pre amp.. if you have to have that!) Mc labs did the same too..again late to the show..

But your talking amps... And big money either way.,..

The Mac has a power guard system that is pretty impressive, again with the Mc Pre amp takes your music to full heights.. The Sunfire had a pretty impressive Pre amp to go with the Amps as well. I agree dead silent.. warm to the touch, even after many many hours cranking out material and are pretty much unbreakable too. They will also handle speakers that need great clean power and show it off with fantastic dynamics too! .

I noticed on audiogon that it seems everyone has a new just out of the shop Mc Amp Pre Amp/ Amp. Call it subjective... but seems for all the hooplaw, McLabs they seem to get broken a lot or require re balancing (may be a tube thing??) the glass gets cracked... read into this what you want?? I also know a few people.. never had any problems... So hard to judge.. Sunfire amps do not seem to be as plentiful. Either on Ebay or Audiokarma or audiogon. (and many still have them 3,4,5,10+ years later... again no problems..)

Your already going separates/.// So whatever sound format arrives.. video format is the latest, you can adapt later.. (GOOD CHOICE!!)

On my own journey I drooled over both! At the time I was getting close to completion of my HT, my dealer had the Sunfire Theater Grand IV / and the Sunfire 200x7 Amp that was sold to a install... BUT, the customer never had it installed.. It sat in my Dealers Showroom so I made him a deal saying you have had this for 6 months... Your never gonna sell it give me a one time low ball take it or leave it price and I will pay ya in cash... (He did.. it was good [:D] and that is why I bought it.) After I installed it.. OMG what a huge sound stage I have for HT. The sonic holography gives it a tube like sound on certain audio discs it is amazing....

Either way you can't miss. The Sunfire is a little cheaper... but your in that top 3% easy of the best of the best on most peoples lists...

Good luck! Ok, I might get flamed too.. But that's 2 for Sunfire... :-)

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I can't give you a comparison since I haven't heard a Mac set up like my set up. But.....I did get a TGA 400 x 7 and love it. I'm using a Denon 3805 as the pre pro until I can get a TGP 5. The difference between the Denon plain or with the amp was remarkable. I would love to hear a Mac sometime. All I can say is that the Sunfire is good, runs cool, no fan. I will try the current source once I get a TGP 5.

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I've owned 3 Sunfire amps used with Reference speakers. The first generation Sunfire amps had -103 db S/N ratio for Signature amps. The later generations had a S/R of -118 db for the Signature series when Bob Carver owned the company. The 200 watt models were 3 db less quiet.

My amps are quiet and never get close to clipping. They are effortless with material like Master and Commander in DTS. Sunfire amps in good shape are hard to beat. The RF-7s have an impedance dip to 2.8 ohms as do the RF-83s. Most amps are a bit challenged by the 2.8 ohm dip, but Sunfires have no problem with 2.8 ohms. The Signature models will drive even more difficult loads without problems.


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Chalk up another "thumbs up" for the Klipsch and Sunfire combination.

I run my KLF Legend series speakers with a Sunfire Theater Grand II and Sunfire Cinema Grand II (225 x 5). Plenty of power.

Although I would love to sell my Cinema Grand II and get a Signature. [:D]

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Well, I have to chime in for the McIntosh. I have the MC206 and love it.

I also have new McIntosh Tube / 2 channel rig for my 2 channel listening needs. My SS combo sounds very similar to me. I had an older Carver 5 channel amp, it sounded too shrill on my Khorns. But, that was an older Carver amp, before it changed to Sunfire.

I am sure that there are more similarities than differences between these 2. I honestly have just always loved Mac gear. Love the 3 blue dials bouncing to the sound/music. Would problably also love the new Sunfire sound also.


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