I had started another post inquiring about the BHK300’s vs. McIntosh 452.
Though it’s not apples to apples, I would consider myself part of the target market PS Audio wants to capture. Life long loyalist to a specific brand, which I was, key word “was”.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. The blue meters are no longer pegging on the MC452 and it will be departing the signal chain in a couple days. As a devout McIntosh loyalist, this is bittersweet, but the upside is far greater.
So, aside from the obvious power differences, there is a matter of overcommitting in design; which can have its drawbacks. With the McIntosh, there is a very specific frequency that will shine threw and shake the fillings in your teeth. It’s something that has driven me crazy over the last year. I swapped out cables, I had GIK Acoustics design a treatment setup for my room, I eq’ed, changed to Mullard British Original tubes, questioned the viability of the Dynaudio speakers, but to no avail it was always present.
Go ahead and queue up Adele’s track “Hello”, at 1:06 as she begins her chorus, there’s a timber in her voice that makes my head rattle and inner ear run for cover, the same occurs with The Counting Crow’s “Round Here” during the chorus.
The BHK’s, it is gone. I can blast those two tracks and it is non-present. That was my first clue as to what I’ve been missing. The second is the low end extension. I had not heard the C4’s with that bass extension, ever, but it’s not bloated or overcompensating for a lack of midrange definition.
I was hesitant and almost resistant at times to having the BHK’s dropped in. Cooler heads have prevailed and the BHK’s are breaking in. Even not broken in, they do, at least to my ears, sound exceptionally better than the McIntosh amp. I don’t mean even an incremental, lateral type of improvement, they just sound better out of the box vs. a well broken in McIntosh amp.
Checkmate McIntosh amplification, checkmate.