McIn-rantz System?

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brk36

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McIn-rantz System?
« on: 10 Jan 2016, 04:16 am »
I am new to the audiophile world but I have been researching and reading for weeks now, basically so I am not a complete novice. I quickly found out via many different highly scientific technical articles that vintage audio quality trumps new audio in terms of performance to price.

My question centers around the Marantz and McIntosh companies, each of which has a distinctive tone that I know I can hear as a trained classical musician.

I have been considering buying a Marantz 2285B Receiver and then I was considering buying a McIntosh C20 preamp for the same system. I know these two companies were competitors and I have not heard of people mixing brands between preamp and receiver like this so I figured it was better to ask than have a system which sound poor because the components were designed to create two distinct sounds.

Bad Idea? Anyone done this before?

Thanks

Benjamin

PS-Yes, I know receivers have built in Preamps  :duh:
« Last Edit: 11 Jan 2016, 01:47 am by brk36 »

Early B.

Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #1 on: 10 Jan 2016, 06:33 am »
I quickly found out via many different highly scientific articles that vintage audio quality trumps new audio in terms of performance and price unless you just want to create a 5k W system for no reason.

That's nonsense. Which "highly scientific articles" are you being misled by?     

dB Cooper

Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #2 on: 10 Jan 2016, 01:48 pm »
I share Early B's skepticism about these "highly scientific articles" (highly "technical" articles perhaps?) but know of no reason why one couldn't mate a Mac preamp with a Marantz power amp or vice versa (Well, one maybe: the mating of SS and tube technologies- not all such combinations create happy marriages. Newer designs may be more compatible one to the other). But I'd still go with separates, probably tube, if the C20 is a definite go.or vice versa, but it seems to me that running the output of a preamp into a line input on a receiver (maybe a "pre in"-if the Marantz has that- is OK) isn't the best way to go. If you're set on the C20, you'd get better results IMHO with a separate power amp (and tuner if you want FM).

Don't be too quick to make blanket judgments of these based on single samples unless the provenance of the units is known to you. Both of these pieces are very "vintage" and the "signature" of each (particularly the tube preamp where internal components are more prone to effects of long term heat and high internal voltages) can be affected by things like component values drifting out of spec, tired tubes, worn out power supply caps etc. It doesn't surprise me at all that a late '70's-early '80's SS receiver might sound very different from a late '50's-early '60's tube preamp, particularly if any of the variables I mentioned are coming into play.

Welcome to AC. What instrument do you play?

brk36

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Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #3 on: 10 Jan 2016, 07:11 pm »
Yes, they are technical articles mostly from Stereophile, Audiophilia and a variety of forum posts. Reason I used the word scientific is because of the instruments they use to get audio readings.

I think the C20 is a definite, everyone thinks the world of these preamps; the Marantz receivers just look better than their Mac counterparts and have very similar performance specs. Also, I wish price was not a variable but it is, otherwise I would just buy a Marantz stack and be done with it, but the Marantz preamps are just outside of my price point. Instead of considering a receiver consider an amplifier?

With the C20 should I specifically seek one that has been rebuilt with new high end tubes and has had all the caps replaced?

I am a pianist, I have a Masters in Piano Performance and am working on 2 other Masters in Collaborative Piano and Music Theory now.

Thanks for the answers!

Benjamin

dB Cooper

Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #4 on: 10 Jan 2016, 09:34 pm »

With the C20 should I specifically seek one that has been rebuilt with new high end tubes and has had all the caps replaced?

With a preamp that is at least 52 years old, it probably isn't a bad idea although I can't help thinking that it is at odds with your desire to keep the bottom line under control. Keeping old tube gear running happily (and safely) can be an expensive proposition. If it were me I'd try to audition a Van Alstine Super PAS 3. For that matter, you might be able to find a used Transcendence or FetValve of theirs for a lot less and get a more modern, better-performing design  for which parts and mfr support are readily available. There are some other moderately priced options as well.

charmerci

Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #5 on: 10 Jan 2016, 10:55 pm »
With a preamp that is at least 52 years old, it probably isn't a bad idea although I can't help thinking that it is at odds with your desire to keep the bottom line under control. Keeping old tube gear running happily (and safely) can be an expensive proposition. If it were me I'd try to audition a Van Alstine Super PAS 3. For that matter, you might be able to find a used Transcendence or FetValve of theirs for a lot less and get a more modern, better-performing design  for which parts and mfr support are readily available. There are some other moderately priced options as well.

The AVA or Odyssey integrated amps (both AC sponsors) are great alternatives for about the price you're looking at.

dB Cooper

Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #6 on: 10 Jan 2016, 10:59 pm »
Hadn't thought of those integrated(s) as I was under the impression he was aiming for tube rather than SS. But those are both great suggestions.

RDavidson

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Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #7 on: 11 Jan 2016, 12:13 am »
That's nonsense. Which "highly scientific articles" are you being misled by?   

+1. We all know the build quality, dollar for dollar, vintage vs modern is tough to beat (going the vintage route). But, as others have said, upkeep of vintage gear can be a factor. In terms of fidelity, the idea that vintage is better than modern is complete nonsense. I've not read a Stereophile article or review that made any type of absolute or blanket statement like that. You may be inferring a bit much in an effort to narrow the scope of your search. There are some very knowledgeable and experienced folks all across the board here. Let us know your budget. :thumb:

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #8 on: 11 Jan 2016, 12:47 am »
If you like vintage 70's Marantz and Mc sound, you may want to consider used Conrad Johnson gear from the 1990's if it is in your price range.  I too like vintage Marantz and the current Marantz sound.  I can't say that vintage gear sounds any better than current gear.   Just remember, vintage gear used vinyl and tape as a music source which had its own merits and sound.  And speaker technology is a lot different compared to the 70's and 80's. You can pick up a nice CJ PV series preamp for cheap sometimes.

brk36

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Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #9 on: 11 Jan 2016, 01:33 am »
If you like vintage 70's Marantz and Mc sound, you may want to consider used Conrad Johnson gear from the 1990's if it is in your price range.  I too like vintage Marantz and the current Marantz sound.  I can't say that vintage gear sounds any better than current gear.   Just remember, vintage gear used vinyl and tape as a music source which had its own merits and sound.  And speaker technology is a lot different compared to the 70's and 80's. You can pick up a nice CJ PV series preamp for cheap sometimes.

I love the sound, I actually exclusively listen to music through a JVC QL Y5F TT hence my desire to go the vintage route in terms of my system set up. I currently have 4 Fischer XP-18s that I have refitted myself, like the TT they were free and when I did some research I found they had a following so I put in a modest 100 dollars into repairs. A friend of my Dad's was moving and invited me over to select some furniture and all I took was the TT and Speakers lol.

In relationship to tube verse SS, I am going to be blunt and say I don't know enough to say I have my heart set on one or the other. The reason I came to desire the C20 Mac is because it appears on every vintage audio list of top 10 or top 5 preamps I have read (sometimes they put on the C22 instead). If I bought the C20 I have accounted for the additional cost of keeping it running but I just really want to make sure my money is spent in the right places since I have about 4 grand to finish building a vintage audio system I would like to hold onto for the rest of my life. I am really set on making it a vintage system though; I want the sound to be as close to what it would have been through the 60s and 70s if you went to someones house.

At this point I am ok with the TT only being a mid high table, but I upgraded to two different cartridges that I change depending on the age of the music I am playing, Grado Gold 1 for modern music, and the Shure M97xE for all my vintage stuff. The speakers I think are about as good as I can get without making draining the rest of my budget and then being stuck with a TCC Preamp and Sony receiver.

Thanks again for all the advice guys, so 4 grand is the budget to finish out a vintage system to match up with my XP 18s and the JVC TT

axb13

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Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #10 on: 22 Jun 2020, 06:18 am »
Not that I know much, but one thing I do know is that everyone’s ears hear different  :lol:

I love vintage stereos for the same reason I love to listen to old record, do they sound the best? To me they do, vintage systems look cool to me and sound cool. There is a certain way they make me feel when I listen to vintage systems and old records.

I love the way McIntosh looks, they have a great build quality , same as Marantz. Listen to both, buy both, and e we hate we sounds best keep it

FullRangeMan

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Re: McIn-rantz System?
« Reply #11 on: 22 Jun 2020, 09:50 am »
Please note the tube amps from the 1960 used non grain oriented steel transformers, they are crap by today standards, grain oriented came only later.
« Last Edit: 22 Jun 2020, 01:38 pm by FullRangeMan »