To sell or not to sell my vintage McIntosh amp?

I am seriously thinking of selling my vintage McIntosh MC2200 amp and buying some Schiit, Crown, or a used Hegel or PS Audio. This Mac amp has been with me for 15 years and I thought I would never get rid of it, but I’m tired of of taking this amp to the shop every 5-6 years and waiting around for weeks or months to get it back.

I would still be keeping my Mac C27 Pre-Amp, so there would still be some Mac “sauce” in my system. What would I be losing/gaining in sound quality by going to, for example, a Shciit Vidar or a Crown? Is Mac as special as the Mac choir preaches?

If it is a daily driver every five or six years isn’t bad. Sometimes the different is only better short term. Buy the other. Go back later. Then sell the one you like least. I strongly recommend complete recap of McIntosh for best sound and better reliability if that is what you like. I have several different amps. My taste always gravitates back after a few weeks of different. Longer term trials are best.


That’s good advice Vmax. I need both amps to do an a/b comparison over time. Interesting take on the frequency of repair. The folks at the Vintage Mac Facebook group think I shouldn’t need to take it in every 5 years…should be more like 15. My experience is that I have to take her in twice per decade.

Vmax, which one do you gravitate back to? Is it a Mac?

My Reference System is McIntosh MC1000swhich are Quad Balanced. I have a couple of MC2500 i run as Stereo and bridged. I also have Lyngdorf , Yamaha and Pioneer vintage ai swap into other systems. I find I listen longest and the most frequently with big McIntosh amps. My smallest amp is 70 WPC most are 200 WPC or more and my speaker preference align with lower efficiency. I gave my Wharfdales to my daughter with a smaller amp.

If you need a change within McIntosh buy and bridge another MC2200 to open up the soundstage and reduce noise floor or buy a newer quad balanced amp. If you detest issues avoid tubes.

If you have fiends that will let you trial other amp brands do that or trial something from a store or retailer that offers it. You can’t substitute your listening room to guage what you prefer.


I had a similar situation about 5 years ago. I had a vintage McIntosh amp that was about due for a rebuild, but I decided to get a newer more up to date McIntosh amp. Acquired the new one and sold the other without listening to both critically for awhile afterwards.

After selling the older amp, I found myself greatly missing the sound of it. The new one was not bad, it was probably just a bit more modern sounding than I expected. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different. I still use the newer amp today and I have become pleased with it over time. However, I still carry a bit of a torch for the sound of the old amp after 5 years.

I would not mind trying out a pair of PS Audio 1200M’s, but I am not sure I want to go through all of that again.


Yeah it’s a tough one. Think I’m going to buy a new amp and just a/b them. Maybe I’ll keep both, but man the proceeds from selling the Mac would really replenish my audio budget!

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I think the budget was the downfall in my last experience. I got a great deal on the new amp and sold the old amp to quickly to replenish the coffer. Seemed like a win-win at first.

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