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Stereophile: McIntosh C12000 review

tmtomh

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I won't argue about the performance. Obviously, no one will hear those levels of distortion. But then, and I'm honestly curious, what is the point of tubes? Even ignoring the price premium.

That's kind of my question too. If a piece of tube gear has performance as excellent as this McIntosh unit's, then any tube-based euphonic distortion will be audibly eliminated - which means the tubes will be doing nothing to change the sound.

I get if people like the look or the idea, and if we believe in the power of confirmation bias, then if someone believes strongly that tubes will produce more pleasant sound, they very well might, in that person's subjective experience.

But there does seem to be somewhat of a paradox wherein the best-performing tube gear can arguably also been seen as the least useful tube gear.
 
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GXAlan

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That's kind of my question too. If a piece of tube gear has performance as excellent as this McIntosh unit's, then any tube-based euphonic distortion will be audibly eliminated - which means the tubes will be doing nothing to change the sound.

Look at my 300B review. It shows that yes, measurements tell the story, but a single test tone does not.

You will still get non linearities which may not be seen by Stereophile’s test tones.
 

fpitas

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You will still get non linearities which may not be seen by Stereophile’s test tones.
Well...maybe. Once the THD is that low, the IMD tends to follow.
 

mhardy6647

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I know you said Swiss but I would have guessed Glashutte / Saxony by the looks. Who’s the maker of that movement? (Sorry to go OT but inner watch nerd can’t help it)

@mhardy6647
I don't know -- I googled Philippe Patek watch mechanism images (Philistine that I am) and that was one of the more... illustrative examples that popped up.
Hang on & I'll check...


I thought that Grandmaster Chime was a hip-hop artist.
(Philistine that I am.)

Just to be clear: kidding aside, I am actually quite analog-time-telling-tolerant.
That said, most of the analog time-tellers around here wouldn't fit on a human appendage.

 

Salt

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At price tag 10^-1 I would order instantly, I love this 'good old fashioned' style.
And specs are very far beyond speculations.
 

PatentLawyer

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That's kind of my question too. If a piece of tube gear has performance as excellent as this McIntosh unit's, then any tube-based euphonic distortion will be audibly eliminated - which means the tubes will be doing nothing to change the sound.

I get if people like the look or the idea, and if we believe in the power of confirmation bias, then if someone believes strongly that tubes will produce more pleasant sound, they very well might, in that person's subjective experience.

But there does seem to be somewhat of a paradox wherein the best-performing tube gear can arguably also been seen as the least useful tube gear.
I guess it's safe to just call it bling. Its sole purpose is to sell more to people with too much money and too little technical insight.

"Look at the pretty light and come closer".

1697945617143.png
 

anmpr1

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But then, and I'm honestly curious, what is the point of tubes?

I can't say anything about this gear, but one personal point in favor of tubes is that around each autumn equinox, and for the remainder of the two seasons through spring, I pull out my two mono tube amps (and preamp). When I listen to whatever, they help with the room's heating. Probably one of the big Class A amps would be suitable, also, but I don't have those. :facepalm:
 

fpitas

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I can't say anything about this gear, but one personal point in favor of tubes is that around each autumn equinox, and for the remainder of the two seasons through spring, I pull out my two mono tube amps (and preamp). When I listen to whatever, they help with the room's heating. Probably one of the big Class A amps would be suitable, also, but I don't have those. :facepalm:
I bought some small electric heaters for those chilly fall days. I spent about $50. Agreed, they don't have the same cheery glowing filaments.
 

BDWoody

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steve59

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Since Mac already makes the c53 and the c2700 I was surprised to see this product. maybe it's for well heeled customers that can't decide between the two? idk. I'm not a target customer for the c12000, and the dealer scared me off the c2700 by talking about tube rolling in his opening sales pitch. oops.
 

fpitas

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