For a variety of reasons, I’m contemplating replacing my excellent McIntosh MA7900 integrated amplifier with PSAudio separates (a BHK plus M700 monoblocks). Has anyone here made this change, or the reverse,that is from PSAudio separates to a McIntosh integrated amp? I’m interested in any comments you may be able to offer, thanks in advance!
The ONLY reason to switch would be if you are not happy with the current sound, or if the Mac isn’t powerful enough for your speakers, or if you wanted the magic of tubes in your system. If you lean toward PS Audio, would recommend thinking about matching a BHK Preamp with either a BHK 250 or the M1200’s. Would also look at the hybrid integrated amps that McIntosh makes.
I have another reason having to do with the weight of the McIntosh (75 pounds) and a very bad back injury. For one reason and another, there have been surprisingly numerous times I’ve needed to move the McIntosh, and had to hire labor or wait for friends to help. This has gotten old! Separates would be much lighter, and I’d be capable of dealing with them myself. In contemplating this admittedly drastic change, I’m naturally interested in sonic differences between the equipment. BTW I have a very high opinion of the McIntosh MA7900, especially when using an outboard DAC such as the DirectStream I have. The 7900’s built in DAC is pretty good, but not in the same league as the DirectStream.
Thanks for your comments!
I run a modded PSA DAC into my MX150. It kills for two channel . It is hard to beat McIntosh amps for durability. You can improve them with cables speaker, IC and power cables just like any other brand including PSA. . The PSAudio amps and preamps used are a bit under most McIntosh in market. Personally I would not hesitate either way. The McIntosh has more service options local the PS Audio Home base is responsive. As is McIntosh Both great companies and great products.
I guess if your main concern is weight, then Class D etc makes sense. Most good amps (A, A/B) can certainly be heavy. My concern would be going from a 7900 to a Class D and pre is going to give you a Very different sound signature. I guess if you have time to audition and/or return your fine.
I have had 700s, the BHK pre etc. Also Mac 601s and 402 etc. Totally different world sound wise imho. Can’t beat a Mac in a lot of ways though. For one- your 7900 will sell in a heartbeat. I would buy it but just sold and bought other gear but was looking at 6700, 7900 and good ol 601s again…
Thanks very much! I love the Mac and am leaning towards keeping it. I’ll just have to hire somebody to carry the damn thing out to my car so I can have it serviced (the LED for the info panel burned out). Then later hire the same guy to move it from the car back to the stereo shelf. I don’t mind the $ but it’s a hassle. At the same time, I’m mindful that there are a lot of people with much worse problems arranging to move a luxury item! Thanks again.
I agree with you. I just sold 270 pound speakers and was in the same boat. When I moved I needed movers, set up help etc. It sucked. I was fortunate to sell locally so they just came and hauled them out. My new amp is 60 pounds and speakers are 76lbs but that is easy to move (ok, maybe “adjust” is the better word) if I have to and a very easy two man lift.
I had multiple reasons for selling etc but the sheer bulk was one of them. I have a Mac tech nearby but like you mentioned- somebody has to get the thing to the car/UPS etc.
Keep the 7900 if you can. Once it is serviced you should get decent money out of it should you sell. Also if you are going to try other gear, you can A/B.