Need good amp pair for Mcintosh C504 preamp

slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
no... they had to order it. So It is hard to shell out $800 without hearing and touching something. They really didn't take me serious since I said I wanted the Mcintosh sound without the Mcintosh $.... told me I did not need an amp but needed new speakers... That was before I knew my Linn was going to Ebay...
I will say... the ONE channel sounded great... hooked up an old 30 watt Sansui amp for my deck and enjoying the Michigan night now.....
To be fair, new speakers is usually the answer to a meaningful audio upgrade! Seriously, most of the members here are going to tell you to budget 75% of funding on the speakers!

Next, room treatments and measurement gear could be a better investment in audio quality than a new amp. But, that depends on the amp/speakers/room etc.

Is your TT really an SL1300? or the highly regarded SL1200?
 
Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson

Enthusiast
To be fair, new speakers is usually the answer to a meaningful audio upgrade! Seriously, most of the members here are going to tell you to budget 75% of funding on the speakers!

Next, room treatments and measurement gear could be a better investment in audio quality than a new amp. But, that depends on the amp/speakers/room etc.

Is your TT really an SL1300? or the highly regarded SL1200?
Yes it is the 1300 (pretty old) I like auto return so the needle is not rubbing against the label if I walk away... I will say that good speakers make a crappy stereo sound better. If your receiver/amp/pre are just ok then the speakers dont have their full potential.... speakers all sound different in every room but the Klipsch sound pretty good in my Kitchen :cool:
I am using my old Pioneer Elite as an amp as of this morning (through the direct-input main). not sure how to eliminate the volume control yet but this sounds ok and will be short lived hopefully.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Yes it is the 1300 (pretty old) I like auto return so the needle is not rubbing against the label if I walk away... I will say that good speakers make a crappy stereo sound better. If your receiver/amp/pre are just ok then the speakers dont have their full potential.... speakers all sound different in every room but the Klipsch sound pretty good in my Kitchen :cool:
I am using my old Pioneer Elite as an amp as of this morning (through the direct-input main). not sure how to eliminate the volume control yet but this sounds ok and will be short lived hopefully.
Which Pio Elite? My Elite VSX-82txs has seen daily duty going on 14 years now! 12 years as the main AVR in the living room, another 2 years and counting on bedroom duty.


Just a note--These automated turntables are typically considered as problematic and possibly/likely degrading the sound quality. I don't know about the 1300 in particular, I never even knew about that model until now. I have a Q up on my Project TT, but it won't trigger properly on my SL1200. It is a simple mechanical device to raise the tone arm at the end of a record (but the motor keeps spinning). For me, it was a great device!

With all of that being said, I agree that sometimes convenience trumps other factors too.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I will say that good speakers make a crappy stereo sound better.
I would say inversely that a great amplifier will not make crappy speakers sound any better at all.

So which of the two are most meaningful? If you have bright speakers a different amp isn't the cure. You either need some speakers that aren't as bright or possibly some eq to take that edge off.
If your receiver/amp/pre are just ok then the speakers dont have their full potential....
This really depends on what you mean by "full potential" and "just okay"... If you have speakers that are difficult to drive (not the case with your Klipsch speakers) and an underpowered amp then I can see the argument. Otherwise, provided it has enough power a competently designed and built amp can drive any speaker to its full potential in my experience.
speakers all sound different in every room but the Klipsch sound pretty good in my Kitchen :cool:
Agreed. If you think the Klipsch sound pretty good then I wouldn't fuss over what amplification to use. Just find something with enough power and stability to drive them and you'll be getting their full potential.
 
Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson

Enthusiast
Well I have worked in recording studios since the mid 90's and have heard and helped with upgrades of speakers, mixers and amps (before everything was powered) and there are definate differences. Speakers that I thought were awfull sound much better with different amplification. Same goes for Home Audio.
The sound that I like for stereo Music (as of right now) is the older Marantz but as we all know my ears are different than others.
If they were not so "ugly" I would try my old crown amps in the kitchen. I used to love my DC300a! Gave it to a friend years ago.

My Pioneer Elite is an old 55TXi. Sounds pretty good through the left/right pre inputs. I keep it on -10 for volume as it is not fixed. Just really big and funny to use it for a stereo amp.
 
Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson

Enthusiast
I would say inversely that a great amplifier will not make crappy speakers sound any better at all.

So which of the two are most meaningful? If you have bright speakers a different amp isn't the cure. You either need some speakers that aren't as bright or possibly some eq to take that edge off.

This really depends on what you mean by "full potential" and "just okay"... If you have speakers that are difficult to drive (not the case with your Klipsch speakers) and an underpowered amp then I can see the argument. Otherwise, provided it has enough power a competently designed and built amp can drive any speaker to its full potential in my experience.

Agreed. If you think the Klipsch sound pretty good then I wouldn't fuss over what amplification to use. Just find something with enough power and stability to drive them and you'll be getting their full potential.
BTW- I love the Ultraman pic! That is the only tatoo I have (from the 90's band days)
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
If you really want/expect an amp to make a difference in the sound of your system, then you would not want any mainstream solid-state amp (which are going to be accurate to the source).
Tube amps have a reputation for coloring the sound. That is why they are used by guitarists. A guitar by itself can sound kind of thin, but I believe a tube amp (I think they are actually using solid state with "enhanced sound settings these days) makes the sound fuller by (unintentionally) allowing more harmonics into the sound.
I look at it as analogous to singing in the shower. It doesn't make the sound more clear/accurate, but it does fill it in a bet.
The Klipsch is efficient, so you can use a low wattage tube amp with it.
 
Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson

Enthusiast
If you really want/expect an amp to make a difference in the sound of your system, then you would not want any mainstream solid-state amp (which are going to be accurate to the source).
Tube amps have a reputation for coloring the sound. That is why they are used by guitarists. A guitar by itself can sound kind of thin, but I believe a tube amp (I think they are actually using solid state with "enhanced sound settings these days) makes the sound fuller by (unintentionally) allowing more harmonics into the sound.
I look at it as analogous to singing in the shower. It doesn't make the sound more clear/accurate, but it does fill it in a bet.
The Klipsch is efficient, so you can use a low wattage tube amp with it.
I would love to get a tube amp but have 3 boys that I am sure will mess it up
I totally agree with you as I am a guitar player and while Solid State amplifiers are much better than they used to be with the right effects, I would always rather play through a tube amp as it really thickens up the sound.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Well I have worked in recording studios since the mid 90's and have heard and helped with upgrades of speakers, mixers and amps (before everything was powered) and there are definate differences. Speakers that I thought were awfull sound much better with different amplification. Same goes for Home Audio.
The sound that I like for stereo Music (as of right now) is the older Marantz but as we all know my ears are different than others.
If they were not so "ugly" I would try my old crown amps in the kitchen. I used to love my DC300a! Gave it to a friend years ago.

My Pioneer Elite is an old 55TXi. Sounds pretty good through the left/right pre inputs. I keep it on -10 for volume as it is not fixed. Just really big and funny to use it for a stereo amp.
Expectation bias and placebo are powerful influencers. That's why a lot of us here don't often trust subjective reviews. The only real way to determine differences would be a DBT. Something most people never do.

That said, if you're looking for an amp to color your sound then I think Kew's suggestion to explore tube amps might be the way to go since most solid state amps are built for accuracy and sound more alike than different as long as operated within spec.
 
Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson

Enthusiast
I might look into a tube amp... Just would have to be somewhat "kid-proof"...
I will say that the difference between the Pioneer Elite Pre-amp and running the Mcintosh Pre-Amp is HUGE! not even close. No way I could make the Pioneer sound this good before.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I might look into a tube amp... Just would have to be somewhat "kid-proof"...
I will say that the difference between the Pioneer Elite Pre-amp and running the Mcintosh Pre-Amp is HUGE! not even close. No way I could make the Pioneer sound this good before.
Placebo and expectation bias. Aside from that different room eq or eq settings in general can account for some of it. All other things equal tho, unless you performed a DBT under controlled, level matched conditions you simply cannot confidently make that claim. Even differences in gain structure can cloud your judgement. That's why I say "level matched". If there's even a 1 dB difference the louder one can be perceived as sounding clearer and cleaner. 1 dB isn't always enough for you to register a change in volume but it can definitely color your subjective impressions. There is A LOT to account for when discerning differences.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Put it this way, if I had McIntosh money I would never spend it to power a pair of Klipsch RP600Ms. Those would be going in the garage or bedroom and I'd do a SERIOUS speaker upgrade. That's where it's at if you're looking to improve your sound.
To be fair, new speakers is usually the answer to a meaningful audio upgrade! Seriously, most of the members here are going to tell you to budget 75% of funding on the speakers!

Next, room treatments and measurement gear could be a better investment in audio quality than a new amp. But, that depends on the amp/speakers/room etc.
You're going to see this advice repeated a lot on these forums. We don't like wasting money on meaningless "upgrades". I also subscribe to the 75% of budget (roughly) should go to the speakers school of thought, where it will make a real difference.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Put it this way, if I had McIntosh money I would never spend it to power a pair of Klipsch RP600Ms. Those would be going in the garage or bedroom and I'd do a SERIOUS speaker upgrade. That's where it's at if you're looking to improve your sound.

You're going to see this advice repeated a lot on these forums. We don't like wasting money on meaningless "upgrades". I also subscribe to the 75% of budget (roughly) should go to the speakers school of thought, where it will make a real difference.
To be fair, Mac is nice gear! Just those volt meters and the mesmerizing light. They can be a statement piece, great pride in ownership, and high resell value.

But....if pure performance per $ is the goal, there are much better options.

I also have a hang-up with their auto-formers on modern SS gear.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
To be fair, Mac is nice gear! Just those volt meters and the mesmerizing light. They can be a statement piece, great pride in ownership, and high resell value.

But....if pure performance per $ is the goal, there are much better options.

I also have a hang-up with their auto-formers on modern SS gear.
Oh yeah, I'd love to have me some McIntosh gear! Gorgeous gear with SOTA engineering, parts and performance. I'd make sure I had speakers worthy of it first tho.

Now if anyone has any McIntosh gear laying around collecting dust and need to make some room I could prolly be talked into paying the shipping... :p
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Oh yeah, I'd love to have me some McIntosh gear! Gorgeous gear with SOTA engineering, parts and performance. I'd make sure I had speakers worthy of it first tho.

Now if anyone has any McIntosh gear laying around collecting dust and need to make some room I could prolly be talked into paying the shipping... :p
ahhh.....but the auto-formers are the exact opposite of SOTA!

They were rendered obsolete by solid state output devices, so why hold over this legacy technology?
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
ahhh.....but the auto-formers are the exact opposite of SOTA!

They were rendered obsolete by solid state output devices, so why hold over this legacy technology?
Yeah, good point and you're not alone in that observation for sure.

Still... glowy dials!
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Those output transformers (auto-formers) increase the amplifier output impedance and that kills its damping factor which has the purpose of controlling overshoot of a woofer or subwoofer which has a high Q. If someone wants tight bass performance, he has to look for another product.
 
Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson

Enthusiast
Placebo and expectation bias. Aside from that different room eq or eq settings in general can account for some of it. All other things equal tho, unless you performed a DBT under controlled, level matched conditions you simply cannot confidently make that claim. Even differences in gain structure can cloud your judgement. That's why I say "level matched". If there's even a 1 dB difference the louder one can be perceived as sounding clearer and cleaner. 1 dB isn't always enough for you to register a change in volume but it can definitely color your subjective impressions. There is A LOT to account for when discerning differences.
so.... Same spot, same speakers, same turntable, same record... only thing different is using a Mcintosh preamp vs. the preamp in my Pioneer.... Even my wife noticed a huge improvement. We usually use Wilco -Sky Blue Sky and the Beatles -Abbey Rd. also a very nice improvement with CD and Echo Link.
I can make the claim even without an SPL meter as I have lived in this house for 11 years and know where I like to have the volume. When I bought the Klipsch I actually ran them vs. Wharfdales, KEF, Polk my old Event studio monitors and Pioneer CM77a (which sound dreadful compared to the rest). I used a JAMO multi speaker input changer. IN MY KITCHEN, the Klipsch sound the best. This was not scientific except I did put the speakers in the same spot. I had to adlust volumes as the speakers were all over the place.... anyway.... Maybe after I change my amp and maybe get another Turtable cartridge (and stores are open with inventory) I will try some new speakers.
 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
so.... Same spot, same speakers, same turntable, same record... only thing different is using a Mcintosh preamp vs. the preamp in my Pioneer.... Even my wife noticed a huge improvement. We usually use Wilco -Sky Blue Sky and the Beatles -Abbey Rd. also a very nice improvement with CD and Echo Link.
I can make the claim even without an SPL meter as I have lives in this house for 11 years and know where I like to have the volume. When I bought the Klipsch I actually ran them vs. Wharfdales, KEF, Polk my old Event studio monitors and Pioneer CM77a (which sound dreadful compared to the rest). I used a JAMO multi speaker input changer. IN MY KITCHEN, the Klipsch sound the best. This was not scientific except I did put the speakers in the same spot. I had to adlust volumes as the speakers were all over the place.... anyway.... Maybe after I change my amp and maybe get another Turtable cartridge (and stores are open with inventory) I will try some new speakers.
Level matched? All eq defeated? Sighted?
 

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