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McIntosh MC 427 Amplifier Review

Rate this car amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 35 22.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 116 75.3%

  • Total voters
    154
D

Deleted member 48726

Guest
They did make one car amp with the autotransformers... the mighty MCC602TM. 300w x2 at 8,4, or 2 ohms

Damn.. I really really find their design ugly. I'm like surprised every time I look at it.
It's like the Dr. Pepper I buy once every two years because I think to myself "nah, It can't be as bad as I remember". :facepalm:
 

Calleberg

Active Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
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Looks like a positive and negative rail generating SMPS with a class B linear amplifier. Very nice performance. Definitely a 'blameless' design.

The only way I can think of improving this would be to use a class-G topology to improve the efficiency at normal listening levels (easy to generate rails at 30% or so of the normal ones with such an SMPS by tapping the transformer).

Enter Hifonics/Zed audio "Varipower" amps.
The ones with more than 50WPC were class G. Similar vintage as the Mac measured here. Gen 7 and 8 where the GOAT.
 

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id.ray

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Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
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musicforcities

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
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Obviously a fine bit of kit. But to me there is something about a McIntosh car amp that just seems….off. Unless the car is a vintage Mercedes gull wing perhaps.
 

egellings

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
Messages
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3,307
Impressive!

But expected. :). McIntosh in the Clarion era was SOTA. Clarion was so focused on precision that they introduced the water jet glass front panels of the home unit.

Yes, McIntosh sells expensive coffee table books and wall clocks, but I still think that the McIntosh is a reliable choice for performance when cost is taken out of the equation.

They sold a MPM4000 which is a power meter which fits in a single DIN slot.
I recall seeing a McIntosh unit that had a face plate showing the iconic logo, nice and back-lighted. There was absolutely nothing audio in the box itself, and the unit cost an arm & a leg to boot. Wonder how many of those they sold.
 

RNBRAD

New Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2024
Messages
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1
Great review!! I've used and still use the MC427 and the MC443 mono block since 1995, both units are still in my old, retired competition vehicle. They still play after all these years, the 443 has ran a 1ohm load since day one. Never cracked open but I probably need to check the caps. Great equipment though and they were built in the same build house by the same hands as the home gear thanks to Clarion of Japan's insistence. If it wasn't for the Clarion's purchase, we would have never seen McIntosh car audio line. Their customer service from the factory to the local reps were impeccable during my competition years. They always told me to send them in at the 20yr mark and they would guarantee they would meet the original test specifications are they would repair it free of charge till they did.

Car audio technology has changed so much over the last decade, with class D technology and the DSP offerings with high end DAC's of today and the ability to have active crossovers, time align and tune each individual driver almost infinitely is beyond miraculous in an automotive environment. I thought the best car audio years were behind us but after building another SQ competition level vehicle, the best is really right now, even with using high end class D amplification. The hard part is getting around the built in head units of today's vehicles and catching a clean signal. Many of these DSP's though, you can run a digital source straight to the unit with whatever quality music file you can find from whatever device you like. Even stream from phone or whatever. Luckily my factory head has Toslink out which runs into a converter box to maintain all my factory controls and functions. Unfortunately, not all OEM's offer such.

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