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Classe vs. McIntosh?

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logansrun

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Not sure if this is the right forum and I know the subject is controversial, but I am looking for an amp for my new Ascent "i"s and choosing between the Classe CA-400 and the McIntosh MC-402, both 400 watts and both allegedly "warm" sounding, which is what I like.

Anyone have any opinions?

Thanks!
 
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amey01

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logansrun said:
Not sure if this is the right forum and I know the subject is controversial, but I am looking for an amp for my new Asent "i"s and choosing between the Classe CA-400 and the McIntosh MC-402, both 400 watts and both allegedly "warm" sounding, which is what I like.

Anyone have any opinions?

Thanks!
Listen to both and see what you prefer. I run a Classe if that is anything to go by, but I run it with a valve preamplifier (Copland) which provides great synergy. Not only will it depend on your Ascents, but also your upstream components, most particularly the preamplifier. A solid state amplifier with a valve preamp is a popular combination.
 
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Rik_Rankin

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logansrun said:
Not sure if this is the right forum and I know the subject is controversial, but I am looking for an amp for my new Asent "i"s and choosing between the Classe CA-400 and the McIntosh MC-402, both 400 watts and both allegedly "warm" sounding, which is what I like.

Anyone have any opinions?

Thanks!
I have a mac 402. It is warmer than the Classe. You have to try both
 

twich54

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Both great pieces to be sure, as stated, before audition for your ears if you can. As far as "warmth" , room acoustics and treatments can help in that area as well.
 

edwinr

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I run a Classe Model 25 power amp with an Audio Research pre. A match made in heaven. I like Mac's as well. It really is personal choice. Both manufacturers make superb sounding products. I know such praise for both doesn't help you much - but the fun for you is choosing which one YOU like.
 

enilsen

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I also use a Classé CA-200 to power my CLS-I speakers. Very satisfied with the way it handles things. It also appears to complement my Audio Research SP8 pre-amp nicely and the sound is warm and dynamic. If I ever upgrade I will add a second CA-200 and turn them both into mono blocks (not that I need it but it would look very cool).
 

patlad

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I use Classe CA-2200 to power my ML Ascent with a Classe CP-500 pre. I'm very satisfied by the sept up and I have enough power for the Ascent. It will depend of your room acoustic and you ears anyway. As for the warm sounding I think the Classe amp has some aspects of the warmth you can get from a good tube amp. I don't say it is very close but you get some good taste of it.
Trust your ears and happy listening.
Patrick
 

David Prall

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Quick question. Am I reading correctly that most folks find that adding a tube preamp adds warmth to the sound even if you are using a class A ss amp to power the speakers?? Does this cause a "roll off" of the high end, or just alter the characteristics of the sound while maintaining the same frequency response? (I'm curious since I'm using a Krell ss, and wondered if I might hear a difference, and if so, just how much difference it might make.)
 

Jeff Zaret

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David,
I am one of those who have a tube preamp and a SS amp. IMHO, this is the best of both worlds. I have plenty of "highs" as well as the punch of SS. There will always be a trade off. The Vantages would sound excellent with that combination. I heard them demoed that way and it was revealing.

As always it is a matter of preference. See if you can borrow a tube pre and see if the sound is pleasing and if it is worth making the change.

Jeff :cool:
 

David Prall

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Jeff Zaret said:
David,
I am one of those who have a tube preamp and a SS amp. IMHO, this is the best of both worlds. I have plenty of "highs" as well as the punch of SS. There will always be a trade off. The Vantages would sound excellent with that combination. I heard them demoed that way and it was revealing.

As always it is a matter of preference. See if you can borrow a tube pre and see if the sound is pleasing and if it is worth making the change.

Jeff :cool:

It might be challenging to try and hear one in my area without doing some driving.... there's really on Tweeter and one other higher end audio place in town, and I might have to drive some to find one who might have the ability to let me audition one. Are there any particular possibilities that you would recommend that wouldn't set me back a great deal, or that might be available on Ebay/Audiogon that I should look out for?

Thanks for your quick reply! Oh, and if anyone else has a set-up like this, please chime in. :)
 

DTB300

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David Prall said:
Oh, and if anyone else has a set-up like this, please chime in. :)
Same setup here.

ARC SP-16L (removed EH stock tubes and replace with RCA's) with Plinius SA-102 Class A Amp. I have always prefered this setup (tube Pre and SS Amp) Before the ARC I had Counterpoint Tube Pre .

Dan
 

Jeff Zaret

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David,
Unfortunately it does depend on budget to a point. Beyond that this is where the fun starts. I believe that every tube preamp has it's own signature sound and then that can be varied a bit by different tubes.

Audiogon is a good place to find equipment. Ebay I am a bit apprehensive but that may just be me. Do you have any friends with tube pre's you could borrow for even a few hours?

I might take a better part of a day and go and check out different tube preamps and see what features they offer.

Dan, DTB300, has an Acoustic Research, (ARC) as he stated which is very good. I have a Conrad Johnson but there are many, many others. I bought mine used and couldn't be happier.

Jeff :cool:
 

twich54

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FWIW Dave, I concur with Jeff and Dan as I am also using tube pre with SS amp ( ARC LS-26, Plinius SA-102). As I've stated many times before, my favorite combo to date.
 

David Prall

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Thanks so much for your replies.... You've got me itching to get my hands on a tube pre and try it out!!! :D
 
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Rik_Rankin

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David Prall said:
Thanks so much for your replies.... You've got me itching to get my hands on a tube pre and try it out!!! :D
MC 402 AND C2200
 
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Rik_Rankin

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enilsen said:
I also use a Classé CA-200 to power my CLS-I speakers. Very satisfied with the way it handles things. It also appears to complement my Audio Research SP8 pre-amp nicely and the sound is warm and dynamic. If I ever upgrade I will add a second CA-200 and turn them both into mono blocks (not that I need it but it would look very cool).
I HAD A CAP 150 ONCE
 
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