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Dynaudio monitors paired with small McIntosh tube amp?

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Anonymous
a b C Monitor
May 4, 2005 9:57:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've got a pair of Dynaudio BM15p, I've tried a few different solid
state amps (Hafler, Onkyo, Carver) but want the option of a tube amp,
I'm considering buying a McIntosh MC225 to try.

I don't need theater levels, just normal monitoring with occasional
playback checks at higher volume. My room is about 15' x 25' x 8'.

Any experience with this or similar low power amps (25 wpc) into studio
monitors like these? I've heard the MC225 may not have quite the
headroom of some other Mac amps, and the BM15s are not too sensitive at
88 dB. But the attraction is the reputation of the fine sound of the
225.

Any thoughts on the old MC225 in general?

Steve
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2005 12:24:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks Chris. Yes this one will ship with new 7591s, hope they sound
ok.

Can you comment on the response or performance of that amp with
less-sensitive speakers? I've also been told it might not do so well
with highly dynamic digital sources... ?

Steve
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2005 1:32:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hey I'm old enough to remember "whip me beat me..." too :) 

Speakers are as mentioned in my first post -- Dynaudio Bm15 at 88 dB.
I don't doubt the volume can be enough for my near field needs, I'm
just a little concerned about the dynamic headroom.

I'm mainly looking for clean and fairly accurate, with some musicality.
I'm not building audiophile rocketships so the Krell/Spectral/etc. is
not for my needs right now. And I admit I have the soft spot for
classic equipment that "feels" right as well as sounds right.

Steve
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2005 3:24:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for the input Chris. I'll probably go ahead and try the MC225,
I'll post back here when I know more.

Steve
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2005 7:05:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 4 May 2005 17:57:15 -0700, "Steve Scott" <squeegybug@netspace1.com>
wrote:

>Any thoughts on the old MC225 in general?

FWIW, not much, the 225 is my favorite of the old Mc's. 7591's
are being made again, in Russia, so grab some while it's happenin'.

Good fortune,

Chris Hornbeck
"Clean, edgy, gutless, and lifeless." -Dan Kennedy
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2005 8:18:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 4 May 2005 20:24:31 -0700, "Steve Scott" <squeegybug@netspace1.com>
wrote:

>Can you comment on the response or performance of that amp with
>less-sensitive speakers? I've also been told it might not do so well
>with highly dynamic digital sources... ?

What speakers? Can you find their sensitivity spec? It'll
be something in xx dBSPL/1W/1M or something like that.

How close to the speakers do you expect to be listening?
A +14dBW per channel amplifier pair can make an uncorrelated
+17dBW at 1meter (nearfield) from a one watt source.

If you consider 80dB SPL (loud for me, but I'm old) to be
0VU, then even an old party like a Mc225 can make 88 + 17
= 105 dBSPL uncorrelated (the classic ((marginally true
these days)) orchestral peak volume) with a typical 88dB
SPL/1W/1M monitor pair and an assumed 17 dB peak to average
ratio.

More, is, as always, more. And "cain't hoit".
But smaller has it's own rewards. I started to extrapolate
into Western tastes of males for females, but that's
just WRONG, as my new coworker Lee puts it so eloquently,
and so often.

Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks,

Chris Hornbeck
"Clean, edgy, gutless, and lifeless." -Dan Kennedy
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
May 5, 2005 9:19:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 4 May 2005 21:32:50 -0700, "Steve Scott" <squeegybug@netspace1.com>
wrote:

>Hey I'm old enough to remember "whip me beat me..." too :) 

I'd love to know the reference! Sadly, faded away...


>Speakers are as mentioned in my first post -- Dynaudio Bm15 at 88 dB.
>I don't doubt the volume can be enough for my near field needs, I'm
>just a little concerned about the dynamic headroom.

So, your issue is in defining peak to average ratio? Yeah, that's
*the* modern issue. Wouldn't an acoustical orchestra be reasonably
conservative? Dunno, maybe not enough; Radiohead/ PJ Harvey kinda
stuff also has real dynamics. Not a trivial matter.


>I'm mainly looking for clean and fairly accurate, with some musicality.
> I'm not building audiophile rocketships so the Krell/Spectral/etc. is
>not for my needs right now. And I admit I have the soft spot for
>classic equipment that "feels" right as well as sounds right.

Monitoring is the most personal thing that doesn't involve
squishy body parts. Some folks (including me) still seem to hear
something in some old-fashioned vacuum tube equipment that is
a lot harder to hear in some "better" modern equipment. So shoot me.

Tools are personal. Work is work.
It's YOUR gig.

Good fortune; you sound like a real trooper,

Chris Hornbeck
"Clean, edgy, gutless, and lifeless." -Dan Kennedy
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
June 27, 2005 7:46:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1115274274.014357.147760@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"Steve Scott" <squeegybug@netspace1.com> wrote:

> Thanks for the input Chris. I'll probably go ahead and try the MC225,
> I'll post back here when I know more.
>
> Steve

Ah, the MC 225. I used one for many years with a pair of Quad ESL
loudspeakers, and the sound was perfect. One day I went nuts and sold it
for a bunch of money. I was so distraught I quickly bought another, and
will never sell it.

Aside from being one of the nicest sounding amplifiers McIntosh ever
made (albeit with not a lot of raw power), it is a beautiful thing
inside and out. Don't know how it will do for your particular
application, but it is a classic amp, and a wonderful piece of history.

Gecko

(replies to the group, please)
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
June 27, 2005 1:02:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks Richard, that sure matches my experiences with this amp as well.
Absolutely beautiful sound, and drives a variety of speakers easily.
I just sold my two Haflers I had been using, and am getting ready to
sell the other one, they have been obsoleted by this MC225.

I had paired it with the BM15s and was very pleased; but then I tried
with PMC TB2+ with Kubala-Sosna cables and OMG! I don't know if I can
use that setup for mixing, it sounds too freaking good on everything...
I'm trying the MC225 with Paradigm Esprit 3-ways now, I'll use that
for a while and see how my recordings are going.

Steve
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
June 28, 2005 4:07:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Richard Gecko wrote:
> I still have original McIntosh Sylvania 7591 tubes, but I heard that
> Soviet tubes are now available at low cost. Wonder if they're any good?
> By the way, although the tube cage that was original to this amp (and is
> seldom available) looks nice, do not be tempted to use it if you have
> one. It traps too much heat and will cook the tubes and aging wiring in
> no time. Besides, the soft glow of the tubes is soooo nice, yes?
>
> Gecko


Yep, this one came with the new Electro-Harmonix power tubes, they're
labeled 7591A, FWIW. Don't know about how the height compares to the
originals, as Scott mentioned, but they are 3/4" or so shorter than the
transformers.

According to Frank Gow, who I bought the amp from, a real advantage of
the MC225 is that it does not require tube biasing or matching. Don't
know for sure how that applies to the power tubes, but I can't imagine
the old ones could sound any better, this amp is just sweet.

I appreciate the tip on the cover. The amp did not come with it, but I
wouldn't have used it anyway. Like you I prefer the look of the tubes,
I never put a cover on any of my tube equipment, unless it's for live
use or is required to work with a forced air system that needs the
cover.

When I was a kid I watched my Grandpa work on tube TVs and radios. He
installed little fans on every one of them. He would make sure he told
me time and again, "heat is the enemy, heat is what kills vacuum
tubes".

Every old TV my family ever owned had a fan in it eventually. For
years, our standard line anytime anything broke was "Put a fan in it".

I like variety, that's for sure -- I'm using Grant Carpenter's Gordon
preamps that look like they belong in a space shuttle, right alongside
this nice old '60s-something McIntosh amp!

Steve
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
June 28, 2005 4:18:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1119888172.020014.227760@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"Steve Scott" <squeegybug@netspace1.com> wrote:

> Thanks Richard, that sure matches my experiences with this amp as well.
> Absolutely beautiful sound, and drives a variety of speakers easily.
> I just sold my two Haflers I had been using, and am getting ready to
> sell the other one, they have been obsoleted by this MC225.
>
> I had paired it with the BM15s and was very pleased; but then I tried
> with PMC TB2+ with Kubala-Sosna cables and OMG! I don't know if I can
> use that setup for mixing, it sounds too freaking good on everything...
> I'm trying the MC225 with Paradigm Esprit 3-ways now, I'll use that
> for a while and see how my recordings are going.
>
> Steve

I still have original McIntosh Sylvania 7591 tubes, but I heard that
Soviet tubes are now available at low cost. Wonder if they're any good?
By the way, although the tube cage that was original to this amp (and is
seldom available) looks nice, do not be tempted to use it if you have
one. It traps too much heat and will cook the tubes and aging wiring in
no time. Besides, the soft glow of the tubes is soooo nice, yes?

Gecko
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
June 28, 2005 4:18:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Richard Gecko <geck@nomac.com> wrote:
>
>I still have original McIntosh Sylvania 7591 tubes, but I heard that
>Soviet tubes are now available at low cost. Wonder if they're any good?

They aren't 7591s. They are a different design that has been repinned to
work in an amp designed for 7591s. As I recall, they are taller and will
not physically fit in some gear (like the smaller Fisher receivers). But
they are a lot better than the alternative, which is nothing at all.

>By the way, although the tube cage that was original to this amp (and is
>seldom available) looks nice, do not be tempted to use it if you have
>one. It traps too much heat and will cook the tubes and aging wiring in
>no time. Besides, the soft glow of the tubes is soooo nice, yes?

No height problem that way!
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
!