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Comparing McIntosh MC462 vs Hypex NC502 objectively

Dj7675

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#1
Ok, this may seem like an odd comparison. For those that know more about amps, I would appreciate some comments. There could not be 2 more different amps probably, but I think it would be interesting.
I currently have a McIntosh MC252 which I like quite a bit. Besides the weight, there isn’t anything I don’t like about it. These can generally be picked up around $3k. The MC462 was bench tested at Stereophile. This is really the only reason I picked this particular amp. I am sure it outperforms the one I own by a pretty wide margin. If anyone knows of any other McIntosh amps that have been bench tested that would also be interesting.
Here is the bench test for the MC452
https://www.stereophile.com/content/mcintosh-laboratory-mc462-power-amplifier-measurements
Here is the bench test of the NC502 via the @March Audio P502 that @amirm did. The MC452 will have quite a bit more power (which I really wouldn’t need).
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...dio-p502-stereo-amplifier-measurements.10909/
I am considering an NC502 based amp, but don’t want to give up sound quality. It doesn’t appear to me that I would be giving up anything replacing the McIntosh MC252 with something like a NC502 based amp. Looking at the two bench tests above, how do they compare (Knowing that my MC252 will not measure nearly as good as the MC462.
My current system is
Minidsp SHD
McIntosh MC252
JBL 250 TI (4 way)
Sub JBL B460, powered by Crown XLS1502
Edit: If I could find a bench test of of an MC252 it would be better or even an MC302, but haven’t been able to find a more comparable model bench tested.
 

March Audio

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#3
Ok, this may seem like an odd comparison. For those that know more about amps, I would appreciate some comments. There could not be 2 more different amps probably, but I think it would be interesting.
I currently have a McIntosh MC252 which I like quite a bit. Besides the weight, there isn’t anything I don’t like about it. These can generally be picked up around $3k. The MC462 was bench tested at Stereophile. This is really the only reason I picked this particular amp. I am sure it outperforms the one I own by a pretty wide margin. If anyone knows of any other McIntosh amps that have been bench tested that would also be interesting.
Here is the bench test for the MC452
https://www.stereophile.com/content/mcintosh-laboratory-mc462-power-amplifier-measurements
Here is the bench test of the NC502 via the @March Audio P502 that @amirm did. The MC452 will have quite a bit more power (which I really wouldn’t need).
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...dio-p502-stereo-amplifier-measurements.10909/
I am considering an NC502 based amp, but don’t want to give up sound quality. It doesn’t appear to me that I would be giving up anything replacing the McIntosh MC252 with something like a NC502 based amp. Looking at the two bench tests above, how do they compare (Knowing that my MC252 will not measure nearly as good as the MC462.
My current system is
Minidsp SHD
McIntosh MC252
JBL 250 TI (4 way)
Sub JBL B460, powered by Crown XLS1502
Edit: If I could find a bench test of of an MC252 it would be better or even an MC302, but haven’t been able to find a more comparable model bench tested.
Unfortunately you can't really make judgements about the performance of the MC252 by looking at the Mc462, they are not the same. Also note that Amir had a test set up issue with the P502 measurements as discussed in the thread.

If you are looking at the MC462 the a more sensible comparison would be to our p701 mono blocks. Even then you are talking $9000 v $2700. If power isn't a consideration the Purifi based P451 monoblocks are the best performing and beat the McIntosh at less than a quarter of the price.

I will try and find some MC252 measurements so we can make a more valid comparison but as a start.

Mc252
Power Output per Channel
250 Watts into 8 Ohms
250 Watts into 4 Ohms
Signal To Noise Ratio (High Level) 112dB
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.005%

P502
Max Output Power 1KHz All channels
driven. Per channel.
PR, 4Ω - - 500 Wrms
PR, 8Ω - - 350 Wrms
Signal To Noise Ratio 124dB
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.0018%
 
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March Audio

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#5
Specs are basically 250w into 2/4/8 Ohms With 2db of headroom. See attached specs from the manual.
Curious that they are stating exactly the same power output at different loads. Seems unlikely to say the least. ;).
 
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March Audio

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#7
My understanding is it is a function of the autoforumer. It also has different taps for 2/4/8 ohm.
Yes agreed, I see that from the mc462 review, but that won't make the power output exactly the same at a specific distortion/power output level.
 
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Blumlein 88

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#10
Just curious, why? What's your reasoning?
My guess is reasoning wasn't involved in his post.

I'd admit it just wouldn't seem right. A light simple CLass D amp, rather than a big, heavy, excellent, and pretty old school power amp. So reason isn't the reason to pick the McIntosh. Even if someone might prefer it.
 

CDMC

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#11
Just curious, why? What's your reasoning?
Some people prefer amps that use a tube design with solid state for no good reason. Others can’t live without the prestige factor. Yet others don’t realize that McIntosh also makes Class D amps using hypex modules. Some prefer to pay 2 to 3 times more for mystique and power meters.
 

March Audio

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#14
I don't see 502 is better than mc462. Better to go apollon-1et400a-mini-stereo
It's not, but it's not intended or expected to be, its an inappropriate comparison :).
On a basic paper comparison the P502 is better than the mc252 which what the op really wants to compare to.

As I mentioned the Purifi based P451 monoblocks or our forthcoming stereo P452 or the nc1200 based P701 are.
 
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Dj7675

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Thread Starter #15
So if the MC252 has 250w into 8om with 2dB of headroom, which hypex module based amps would match or exceed it in power?
 
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Dj7675

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Thread Starter #17
If money were no object I'd get the Mcintosh MC462 just because is beautiful
Aesthetically I actually like the MC252 better :) But the idea would be to see which of the class d modules would be equal or exceed in power, and would they objectively measure better than the McIntosh. The McIntosh wins in looks for me of course. It also has many features that protect speakers such as power guard and sentry monitor.
5088F4A5-7C92-417A-9058-2FEFA420D048.jpeg
 

DonH56

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#18
Yes agreed, I see that from the mc462 review, but that won't make the power output exactly the same at a specific distortion/power output level.
The autoformer (balun) Mac uses is similar to the output transformer for a tube amp and they spec the same power for all loads. The reality may differ, natch.
 
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