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McIntosh MC152 amp

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Jan 26, 2022
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I received the McIntosh MC152 today and thanks to a McIntosh Unboxing Video online, it helped me get this heavy amp out of the box safely by myself. The unit looks really nice, and I am one that loves the blue meters. I let the amp warm up for an hour before I used it with my NAD 658 preamp and Focal Aria 926 speakers.

The first thing I will say is the amp is not dark, warm, or dull. It has a very big bass representation, smooth mids, and pleasant top end. Compared to my original Adcom 555 amp, the sound is a little larger, details on instruments are pulled more a little forward and heard better. The sound is refined, it has this elegant sound that is really nice. I know there are times people try to justify things they buy, but if this amp did not make a very good impression, I would have sent it back and purchased a Parasound JC5 amp.

Alot of our purchases are emotional ones and I think that is overlooked too much. I think part of the emotional appeal to McIntosh is that the product is made in America where they provide enough wages for people to live in the area of Binghamton New York. Yes, audio gear made in America cost more than someplace in China. Those overseas facilities, you don’t know anything about the work environment, quality control, and how many audio companies are using the same parts. You can tour the McIntosh facility and there are online videos that shows the gear being made. I'm proud that McIntosh makes equipment at their facility and have no issues paying a little more for gear which supports workers who live in New York State.

I know some class D amps are clean and have great base depth. However, when comparing it to class AB amps, the Class D can have less meat on the bone. Some may prefer that more neutral sound and many will be drawn to an amp that has a little more umph to it. The MC152 does not ooze a heavy character. It has a gentle smooth sound while still being clean and detailed. I read where some don’t want some Class D amps because the small modules inside are not worth more than a couple hundred dollar that is put in a metal box that charge thousands of dollars for. Others say you’re paying for the R&D of these amps and don’t have an issue with them.
McIntosh 1.jpg

I like the gentle character of this amp. It does not affect the clean detailed top end that the amp provides. I don’t need to put the volume past 50% on my NAD as its pretty loud. It seems to have a good amount of headroom. I highly recommend this amp and though it was a costly price, it was worth it for me.
 

sarumbear

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I received the McIntosh MC152 today and thanks to a McIntosh Unboxing Video online, it helped me get this heavy amp out of the box safely by myself.
if it’s class D, do you know why it’s that heavy?
 
OP
R
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It's not Class D....sorry for any confusement above. I was just discussing Class D and Class AB amps. All Macs have big heavy transformers that are wound at their factory
 

Bobo77

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Mar 2, 2021
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Well…I took delivery of my MC152 last week…
About a year ago…I got the bug again when I moved and came across my 45-year old Bob Carver C-500 Power Amp…it had been idle for at least 35years…checked with a very competent tech…who had me test the caps while on the phone with him…and to quote: “shit…I’ll bet they’re FINE!”. I soldered in a new 2-pronged cord, cleaned and lubed the volume pots and I was up and running. Sounds GREAT! …but after about a year..and a great deal on some fab new speakers,I wanted to hear the “modern” sound. I researched hard and settled on a pair of mono blocs and a preamp to the tune of just under $6K gulp…After two weeks of wanting it to be more full sounding with some midrange…I wrestled my ego to the floor (he was fighting hard because of all that cash he spent!)…and put The Carver back in the my set-up…hands down BETTER! Messed my head up…I was still addicted…hence the MC152…(found one new, available, no 4-month wait!). WOW! I am not a “MAC guy” …and actually not even a fan of the looks…(growing on me)…This amp just sounds incredible…It’s been a great learning experience,as I was always skeptical of amps having “that much” effect on the sound. It’s truly a THING! And I am amazed that my Bob Carver still holds its own. INCREDIBLE! I just need to take a bath selling the other gear and to decide to refurb my Bob Carver…or to sell it…Then all will be musical BLISS!
 

TheBatsEar

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DVDdoug

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The first thing I will say is the amp is not dark, warm, or dull. It has a very big bass representation, smooth mids, and pleasant top end. Compared to my original Adcom 555 amp, the sound is a little larger, details on instruments are pulled more a little forward and heard better. The sound is refined, it has this elegant sound that is really nice.
There's no good reason for ANY halfway decent solid state amp to have audible defects (unless it's driven into clipping) or any "sound character" at all!

Even from the tube-days McIntosh always had a reputation for "perfect sound" (low noise, low distortion, and flat frequency response). Somebody once gave me a mono McIntosh amp and it sounded "just fine" but since it was mono I just "played-around" with it occasionally and eventually gave it away to someone else.
 

Bobo77

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I'm given' ya the artsie shot…….mine hides behind the frosted glass!
 

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TheBatsEar

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I'm given' ya the artsie shot…….mine hides behind the frosted glass!
Dustproof!

Nice salt and pepper shakers. The condom hats are a bit strange, but well.
 
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