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  1. #1
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    McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review




    Oh yes, the happiness that comes from enjoying my new MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifiers is tremendous. There is no other way to express it. They are true beauties, endowed with a special charisma that instantly endears them to me. The latest iteration of these beloved mono tube amps, originally introduced in 1961, improves on every design aspect of the original and adds some additional features that offer modern advantages that deliver safety and convenience. The MC75 MkIII is the third version of this amplifier, the original, the 60th Anniversary Edition with the gold chassis packaged with the reissued 60th Anniversary C22 preamplifier in limited numbers, and the follow up version MC75 with the stainless steel chassis, hence the MkIII designation. The production of the latest MC75 amplifier ended in 2017, so locating a pair to purchase was challenging since most owners of these amazing tube amps aren’t parting with them. I can’t blame them.

    I have been asked a number of times what makes me consider the McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube amplifier a better choice than the MC275 MkV or MkVI stereo tube amplifiers. That is a good question and one that deserves to be discussed. Please consider that you are reading a subjective analysis, my personal opinion, which may or may not parallel anyone else’s experience, so kindly accept that as my disclaimer.

    Having owned and enjoyed three McIntosh MC275 MkV amplifiers used in two separate sound systems, I have intimate experience with these fine audio components. I have used the MC275’s in stereo operation and in paralleled mono operation, thus I can speak to both experiences with some authority. In stereo mode the MC275 is in its prime. The overall clarity and dynamic range is excellent with one caveat. That exception is the amplifier’s inability to remain in full control of deep bass under certain conditions. By that I mean the MC275 can occasionally have difficulty maintaining extended weight and control of low frequency dynamics and sustain without seeming somewhat soft and slow. This is not always evident but it is apparent from time to time with certain content. In parallel mono operation, which doubles the amplifiers output from 75 watts per channel in stereo to 150 watts mono, one would expect this bass issue to disappear, and for the most part is does, but at the expense of a slight loss in overall clarity across the entire frequency spectrum. It is my belief the MC275 sounds best in stereo mode.

    One of the first things I noticed with the MC75 amplifiers is a more controlled, dynamic, and powerful deep bass. My MC275 amplifiers, even when run in parallel mono mode did not have the same solidity, rapid attack, nearly infinite sustain, and rapid control of bass notes, particularly ultra-deep electronic synthesized bass. The MC75's considerably larger power supply for the single mono configuration delivers more sustained current to reproduce the lowest octaves than a MC275 is able to equal with its shared power supply. I am not saying the MC275's do a poor job reproducing the lowest octaves, but the bass was not always as well defined and energetic as the MC75's can effortlessly reproduce.

    Another impressive aspect with the MC75's performance is its silence. The faintest of sounds appear clearly out of absolute silence. The same is true for diminishing sounds such as piano notes that are held until decayed to full silence. The clarity of sustained sounds, even at their weakest points before silence takes over, is impressive.

    The MC75 soundstage is wide, deep, and sharply focused with complete separation of left and right channels typical for mono amplifier applications. Added to this, the more powerful and independent power supplies for each amplifier do not require sharing the weight of independent dynamic demands in each channel. Consequently a bass drum strike in the left channel not mixed at all into the right channel remains fully fleshed out and dynamic with absolutely no bleed over to the right channel. The individual strength of independent power supplies reaps huge benefits in helping develop an accurately defined soundstage and maintaining full range dynamics in each channel.

    Then there is the jaw dropping fluidity and textural richness of the midrange. Human voices are fully depicted in such a manner to have the identical timbre, character, and believable dimension as though voices were real, not reproduce. The tone, the breath, the vibrato, are all developed in such a three dimensional way it practically suspends reality, leaving me with the impression of human physical presence in the room rather than merely speakers and equipment.





    The MC75 amplifiers are installed in my living room sound system nestled in the bottom right side on a two section Salamander Synergy rack. The sides of the rack are closed with panel inserts so the shelf cavity requires fans in order to pull enough air through the opening to keep the amplifiers at a comfortable and safe operating temperature. I have had fans installed in the shelf cavity for several years. Originally I installed the amplifiers without the tube cages but quickly discovered the radiant heat of the two KT88 tubes caused the left channel amp to heat the adjacent right channel amp’s transformer, and the right channel’s KT88 tubes were heating the wood side panel of the Salamander rack even with the fans in operation. Reinstalling the tube cages solved this issue. The cages actually act as heatsinks, absorbing the tube’s radiant heat and dispersing it throughout the entire cage, thus reducing the hot spots directly beside the KT88 tubes. Now the tube cages are warm to the touch but not hot. The transformer adjacent to the left channel KT88 tubes runs much cooler and the wood panel insert on the Salamander rack's right side is now only warm to the touch, not hot as before. Under my present installation circumstances the tube cages must remain installed. I am good with that. The MC75’s look great either way.

    So, how do the MC75 amplifiers sound? Here’s a clue. Does being glued to the sweet spot on my living room couch for four to six hours a day offer any insight? I had one day where I listened to the MC75’s for nine hours straight and still didn’t want to turn them off. These amplifiers are psychoactive. I mean they sound so good they are trance inducing, able to erase all thoughts beyond the music. They remind me very much of my MC2301’s in the studio system. Their sound signature is woven from the same silky material. It manages to wind these intricate threads through your consciousness unhindered by distractions. The sound embraces you like a lover.

    I have listened to countless recordings since installing the MC75’s in the living room system. Not surprising is how smoothly the McIntosh C2300 preamplifier integrates itself into the overall performance. Sources have been the Aurender N100H music server, the Simaudio Moon 260D transport, and the Schiit Audio Yggdrasil Analog 2 DAC. I have also spun some vinyl to my complete satisfaction. This is a sound system I could live with for eternity.

    Playing Norah Jones - Come Away with Me, “Cold Cold Heart” found me thoroughly engrossed. The acoustic bass was faultless with emphasis on the warm wood vibrations of the instrument’s body and the sumptuous tones of the plucked strings, but my jaw dropped when Norah’s voice appeared. The texture, realism, and genuine human characteristic of her voice was so distinct, so three dimensional I nearly fainted. Well, I didn’t faint but you get the idea. I was floored. I played this song twice just to be certain I hadn’t imagined the precision of the MC75’s performance.

    Inserting the CD from Fiona Joy, Signature – Synchronicity into the Simaudio Moon 260D transport I played the lead song “Ceremony”. This is a wonderful recording that features piano with instrumental accompaniment and vocals. The piano was reproduced with dynamic realism and air that was spellbinding. The bass was so solid and deep it left me with the impression I was listening to the MC2301 amplifiers, or perhaps the MC452 amplifier that previously graced this sound system. The impact, strength, and depth were startling. Background vocal harmonies floated through the space between instruments without clouding or crowding.

    Moving to the self-titled CD of Liz Longley I played “Skin & Bones”. The opening drum solo, joined with bass, then acoustic guitar was impressive. The drum strikes and the sound of the drum skins vibrating easily demonstrated the MC75’s ability to deliver continuous dynamics without losing control. The robust dynamic range was further emphasized when the bass appeared under the drums followed by the remarkably clear acoustic guitar on top. Liz Longley’s voice reminds me to some extent of Katie Malua with a bit more grit. Her voice was locked perfectly in the center of the soundstage. The entire performance was captivating.

    Switching from vocals to a jazz arrangement I played Brad Mehldau Trio - Anything Goes, “Dreamsville”. Brad’s piano is mixed across both channels, while the acoustic double bass is centered, and the drums are mixed left and right. The brushes on the drum skins and cymbals are held to the back of the mix to some degree and so is the acoustic bass, yet the MC75 had no problem revealing the subtle ring and decay of the cymbals as they were lightly tap with the brush. The sliding sound of brushes on tightly tune drum skins was also fully captured. The piano was mixed in a forward manner that displayed it as the primary instrument in the tune. The sound of the piano notes and chords was crystal clear, never smeared into the bass or drums. The MC75 displayed its jazz chops admirable.

    In the week that has followed since the MC75’s took their rightful place in the living room sound system I have played the amps almost continuously. I am approaching 75 hours on the new Gold Lion KT88 power tubes I installed in place of the McIntosh factory branded JJ Tubes. I estimate I have played over 100 recordings across all genres. I have discovered the MC75 amplifiers are extremely revealing, quite on the level of the MC2301’s. They do not sugarcoat a recording. When it’s good the performance is mesmerizing to the fullest extent. When a recording is low quality, and I have a few that’s for sure, the MC75’s shine a spotlight on all the imperfections. There’s no glossing over a poor recording. That’s exactly what I desire, an amplifier that tells the truth. That is what the MC75’s are giving me.





    Speaking earlier of safety and convenience, two features have been included on the MC75 MkIII that elevates its value to an owner in a positive way. One is the inclusion of the McIntosh Sentry Monitor circuit. It continuously monitors the amplifier’s operational status without being in the audio circuit paths. If a short circuit happens or a power tube failure occurs the amplifier immediately shuts off and begins flashing the red LED at the center front side of the amplifier. Clear the short at the terminals, or replace the failed power tube, and you are back in business without damage to other internal parts. No trip to the service tech required. That is a blessing for tube amplifier owners. The second feature added to the MC75 that has long been desired is the inclusion of Power Control. This allows the amplifiers to be connected to a McIntosh preamplifier’s Power Control output so that the amplifiers can be energized from the preamp or the remote control without being required to manually turn each amp on or off at its rocker switch. The Power Control feature on the MC75 amplifiers is a welcomed user convenience that is long overdue on other McIntosh tube amps. Press one button and the entire system turns on as it should.

    I have tube rolled the MC75’s right out of the factory cartons. The factory branded JJ Tubes were replaced with Gold Lion KT88’s, Siemens ECC801S/12AT7 tubes, and Gold Lion ECC83/12AX7 tubes. In addition, the amplifiers factory power cords have been replaced by Wireworld Silver Electra’s with a Furutech Flux 50 in-line filter plugged into the power jacks of each amplifier. Both amplifiers are fed from a dedicated 20 amp circuit that is terminated to a PS Audio Soloist Supreme SE receptacle at the wall outlet. Yesterday I swapped the Siemens ECC801S/12AT7 tubes for Siemens E81CC/12AT7 triple mica tubes. They are the premium version of Siemens 12AT7 tubes. I immediately noticed a slight improvement in the space between instruments, more air if you will, and a tiny bit more definition to the upper midrange. These tubes already had 115 hours on them so there was no issue with additional break-in required. Today the MC75’s have been playing since 9:30 AM and sounding completely immersive.

    Since installing these wonderful tube power amplifiers in my living room rack I added Stillpoints Ultra Mini isolation footers under both amps. Once again I am thoroughly impressed with the sonic improvements. The living room sound system already has Stillpoints Ultra Mini's under the McIntosh C2300 preamplifier, the Aurender N100H music server, the Schiit Audio Yggdrasil Analog 2 DAC, and the Simaudio Moon 260D transport. It was a natural progression to add the Ultra Mini's under the McIntosh MC75's. What amazes me is how an already premium sounding system at a performance level that is extremely high can be further enhanced by continuing to place Stillpoints under more components. The Ultra Mini's supporting the pair of MC75's have elevated performance. Immediately noticeable is a greater sense of space between all instruments and voices. Soundstage focus has grown more pinpoint accurate, sustained notes seem to linger forever, dynamic attacks have become more immediate and detailed, and the earthy timbre of instruments and voices seem more intimately interconnected than before. The living room sound system has never sounded more grandeur than it does now.





    So that’s it, my take on the MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifiers. Some individuals have suggested I would miss the MC452 that the MC75's replaced. I can lay that notion to rest. The MC452 is a fabulous solid state power amplifier with gorgeous power meters and burly handles. It is impressive, but I do not miss it for a second with the MC75’s filling the shoes. There is a special organic essence present in the performance of the MC75 tube amps that is seemingly absent in solid state amplifiers. To those who counselled me against trading my MC452 for the MC75’s, sorry guys, you were wrong. No regrets fellows, I am ecstatic that I was able to find this pair of MC75’s to call my own.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  2. #2
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Dan...another outstanding review! Many thanks and much appreciated. I was on the fence between the MC452 and MC75’s and was counseled as well to choose the MC452. Looks like I went the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, the MC452 was a great amp but it appears I would have been happier with the MC75’s.

    Those glowing tubes do have a way of reaching within the music!
    Paul



    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 Anniversary MK II Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
    Amps: PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono, McIntosh MC207 Preamp: PS Audio BHK Signature and Gold Note PH-10 Phono Stage/PSU-10 Power Supply Turntable: VPI HR-X 12.7 TONEARM (2) and SDS
    Cartridges: Ortofon Cadenza Black, Lyra Helikon Mono Digital Source: Oppo UDP-205 DAC: Bryston BDA-3 Music Server: ​Aurender N100H
    SSP: Marantz AV8801 Cables: Wireworld Electra 7 (P) Wireworld Eclipse 7 (I) Wireworld Eclipse 6 and 7 Biwired (S) Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 (USB) AC Power Regeneration: PS Audio DirectStream P15 Power Plant and Shunyata Denali 6000s V2.

  3. #3
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by Audiophilehi View Post
    Dan...another outstanding review! Many thanks and much appreciated. I was on the fence between the MC452 and MC75’s and was counseled as well to choose the MC452. Looks like I went the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, the MC452 was a great amp but it appears I would have been happier with the MC75’s.

    Those glowing tubes do have a way of reaching within the music!
    Paul.......I had eight great years with my McIntosh MC452 solid state power amplifier. I used it in the studio system for awhile, in the home theater system for several years, and in the living room system for years. It is a wonderful power amplifier with gobs of watts on tap. I finally came to the conclusion that most of those watts were untapped since my listening habits general found the MC452 outputting less than 10 watts peak. After replacing a pair of MC601 solid state power amplifiers in the studio system with a pair of MC2301 mono tube power amplifiers I was completely enamored with the remarkably organic nature the tube amplifiers added to that sound system. This planted the seed for returning to tube power amplifiers in the living room system. Previously I had a single MC275 stereo tube power amplifier in the living room system, then a pair of MC275's operating in parallel mode at 150 watts per channel, then moved on to larger solid state amplifiers. When McIntosh released the MC75 mono tube amplifier with it's much larger power supply, Sentry Monitor, and Power Control I knew I would one day own a pair. I knew that moving away from 450 watts per channel to 75 watts per channel would not alter my listening habits because I would still only be using 7 to 10 watt peaks to produce a substantial volume level in the living room. This has proven true. The MC75's drive my 89dB efficient PMC EB1i speakers to enjoyable volume levels with power to spare, and best of all the MC75's larger power supplies have raised the bar considerably over the MC275 on low frequency performance and dynamics. The advice I received from several individuals to keep the MC452 or be disappointed was inaccurate. I am extremely pleased with the pair of McIntosh MC75 mono tube power amplifiers. In addition, I am comfortable stating the MC75's may be the last power amplifiers I purchase.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  4. #4
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Gee wiz, it's crickets in the McIntosh forum.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  5. #5
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Dan, while I'm not a 'Mac' guy I did enjoy reading your review !!

    I will say, given the layout of the amps their connections to speakers and pre can provide orientation dilemma in ones rack
    Cheers ! Ö. Dave

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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    Dan, while I'm not a 'Mac' guy I did enjoy reading your review !!

    I will say, given the layout of the amps their connections to speakers and pre can provide orientation dilemma in ones rack
    Dave.......I agree about the connections to he amplifiers presenting a challenge. Were I not wanting both amplifiers to sit in a single shelf space the amplifiers would be placed sideways on separate shelves like the photo below. It does make for a more conventional installation. That was my initial installation choice with both amplifiers installed in the single shelf cavity, but I could nor see the other amplifier behind the front one. I also had an issue with heat so I have to turn them 90 degrees in the space to solve that issue. The saving grace is the wires can be routed under the amplifiers which helps keep the presentation relatively orderly. If I had more rack space i would prefer each amp to have it's own shelf and be installed like this photo shows.


    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  7. #7
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
    Gee wiz, it's crickets in the McIntosh forum.

    https://youtu.be/f4zyjLyBp64

    Not sure how to post the video.
    Paul



    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 Anniversary MK II Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
    Amps: PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono, McIntosh MC207 Preamp: PS Audio BHK Signature and Gold Note PH-10 Phono Stage/PSU-10 Power Supply Turntable: VPI HR-X 12.7 TONEARM (2) and SDS
    Cartridges: Ortofon Cadenza Black, Lyra Helikon Mono Digital Source: Oppo UDP-205 DAC: Bryston BDA-3 Music Server: ​Aurender N100H
    SSP: Marantz AV8801 Cables: Wireworld Electra 7 (P) Wireworld Eclipse 7 (I) Wireworld Eclipse 6 and 7 Biwired (S) Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 (USB) AC Power Regeneration: PS Audio DirectStream P15 Power Plant and Shunyata Denali 6000s V2.

  8. #8
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Paul.......That's about it.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  9. #9
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Dan.- The amps look great. I’m glad you are very happy with their performance in your system. Enjoy the music!
    _______________

    Mike

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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    Dan.- The amps look great. I’m glad you are very happy with their performance in your system. Enjoy the music!
    Mike.......Thank you. The MC75's now have just over 200 hours on the new Gold Lion KT88's I installed when I unpacked them. The essence of truthfulness continues to astonish me. I am now upgrading the mains fuse in both amps from the factory stock ones to HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses. I have had good results with the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses in the studio system components, as well as other components in the living room system. The C2300 preamp that drives the two MC75's has a HiFi Tuning Supreme fuse in it that's been there for nearly 8 years. It will be interesting to see what performance enhancements HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses bring to the MC75 amplifiers.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  11. #11
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    In addition to ordering the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses this morning, I also added some window dressing to my two MC75 amps. Since they are positioned in the rack where the speaker, input and Power Control cables are all visible I decided to purchase the McIntosh branded cables for Power Control. The cheap Parts Connection stereo mini jack cables I currently have in place aren't exciting my senses. I am perfectly aware the considerably more expensive McIntosh mini connector cables, a one meter and a two meter, have nothing to do with the sound quality of the amplifiers since their sole purpose is to trigger the amplifiers' turn on and turn off functions, but I want to raise the aesthetics bar of the connectors plugged into the Power Control jacks. The cheap molded black plastic connectors on the Power Control cables now in use irritate me each time I glance at the amps. The gold plated McIntosh branded connectors on the new upgraded Power Control cables will be much more pleasing to view.






    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  12. #12
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Can't blame you for going that route Dan. Like you mentioned, there will be no added benefit but it'll be much more aesthetically pleasing. Congrats on those sweet amps by the way. Have you entertained the idea of connecting your C1000C/P preamp up to them?
    Doug



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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by dlb2 View Post
    Can't blame you for going that route Dan. Like you mentioned, there will be no added benefit but it'll be much more aesthetically pleasing. Congrats on those sweet amps by the way. Have you entertained the idea of connecting your C1000C/P preamp up to them?
    Doug.......The McIntosh C1000C/P preamplifier will remain in the studio system driving the MC2301 power amplifiers. The C2300 tube preamp I use in the living room sound system is not to be underestimated. It is an excellent sounding preamplifier that provides me with all the user features I have come to enjoy and all the connection possibilities one could ask for. I actually replaced a C1000C/T tube preamp in the living room system for the C2300 with no regrets.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  14. #14

    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Dan, itís been very neat to read about the progression of your Living Room system. For many, this would be a reference setup and you get to change things up with your Studio, whenever you feel up to it.

    Loving the look of the tube amps in your rack.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sean

    Oppo 203, Lumin D2
    Magico A3
    Shunyata PS8/Defender/Delta NR
    Venom IC/SC/PC

  15. #15
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Dan, it’s been very neat to read about the progression of your Living Room system. For many, this would be a reference setup and you get to change things up with your Studio, whenever you feel up to it.

    Loving the look of the tube amps in your rack.
    Sean.......Thank you very much. If it were my only sound system, I could easily live with the living room system as it is today for the remainder of my life. I'm listening to it as I type this. Seriously great sound system. Looking at your signature I can tell you are enjoy wonderful music in your home, too.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  16. #16

    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Dan, when you installed the Stillpoint Miniís under your amps (and other components), do you remove the stock feet? Iím under the impression that the Miniís donít connect to the chassis (with or without the use of adapters like the higher tier models), but rather ďrestĒ on the Stillpoints.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sean

    Oppo 203, Lumin D2
    Magico A3
    Shunyata PS8/Defender/Delta NR
    Venom IC/SC/PC

  17. #17
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Dan, when you installed the Stillpoint Mini’s under your amps (and other components), do you remove the stock feet? I’m under the impression that the Mini’s don’t connect to the chassis (with or without the use of adapters like the higher tier models), but rather “rest” on the Stillpoints.
    Sean.......I do not remove the stock feet under the components that have the Stillpoints Ultra Mini's installed. The Ultra Mini's have no provisions for threaded adapters like the Stillpoints Ultra SS and up. The Stillpoints Ultra Mini are tall enough that when installed under a component with factory feet they raise the component off the factory feet, so no need to remove them.

    I have four Ultra SS footers installed under each of my two McIntosh MC2301 tube amplifiers in the studio system. I did remove the stock feet from the amps and used the correct Stillpoints threaded adapters that allowed the Ultra SS footers to attach to the amplifiers in the same threaded holes the factory feet use.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  18. #18

    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Thanks for clarifying, Dan.

    Looking forward to your fuse swap and more pics when your Mac-branded cables come in.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sean

    Oppo 203, Lumin D2
    Magico A3
    Shunyata PS8/Defender/Delta NR
    Venom IC/SC/PC

  19. #19
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review




    The McIntosh Control Cables arrived today, as did my two HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses for the MC75 mono tube amplifiers. I really like the upgraded appearance the new control cables provide. They look so much more elegant than the cheap black plastic cables I was using. The gold connectors with the McIntosh logo silk screened on them are well made, feel substantial when plugging them in, and the cable is smooth and pliable. I'm pleased with the end results.

    It took very little time to swap the two stock 2.5 amp time delay fuses for the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses. Upon initial installation I had the logo arrow pointing into the amps. I did this on purpose because my other components ended up with the logo arrow installed facing the rear of the amps and preamps, arriving at that after experimenting with the direction of the fuses in the fuse holders that provided the cleanest presentation. I spent an hour listening to the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses before turning the amps off and rotating the fuses so that the logo arrow now points to the rear of the amplifiers. Upon energizing the amplifiers and allowing a 10 minute warm up I played the same set of music as before, Lee Ritenour, Paul McCartney, Rene Marie, Ottmar Liebet, Paul Simon, Norah Jones, and Steely Dan. Immediately I discovered a new found clarity, a seemingly more chiseled nature to initial dynamic attacks, especially drums, piano, and horns. It was like getting your eye prescription renewed and suddenly realizing how fresh and sharply focused everything instantly became with new glasses. The HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses in the MC75 amps has again raised the performance bar where no gains seemed possible.

    That about does it for tweaks to my new MC75 tube amps. I don't know what else I could do that would make a discernible improvement beyond how the living room system presently sounds. There is so much life, air, energy, dimension, depth, and timbre pouring out of my speakers it takes my breathe away. I already have four hours sitting in the sweet spot on the couch with no intention of stopping the music. This change of amplifiers in the living room sound system has been a roaring success.

    __________________
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  20. #20
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Dan-

    Great to see new life being pumped into the McIntosh site here at the 'sharks. Also nice to read such positive press on the MC 75's; they always seemed to be on the back burner in the Mc line-up.
    What is this fuse tweak? Something I never would have considered until your review here. I see there are several brands available.
    McIntosh C-1100, MC 75's, MC 275 (lows), MR 85, MCD 205.
    Legacy Focus SE's. VPI Classic 1 w/ Denon 103R. Bryston BDP-3 & BDA-3.

  21. #21
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ View Post
    Dan-

    Great to see new life being pumped into the McIntosh site here at the 'sharks. Also nice to read such positive press on the MC 75's; they always seemed to be on the back burner in the Mc line-up.
    What is this fuse tweak? Something I never would have considered until your review here. I see there are several brands available.
    John.......No doubt, I'm a dyed in the wool McIntosh fan. I've owned enough McIntosh gear through the years I could open a store if I had it all back. Sometimes I feel like the lone McWolf here. There is great interest in many other top shelf manufacturers being discussed on the Shark so I am not surprised that McIntosh doesn't get much press on this forum. I'm good either way. My enthusiasm for McIntosh amplifiers and preamplifiers, particularly their tube components, cannot be diminished.

    Installing aftermarket fuses is a whole different can of worms. My only experience is with the HiFi Tuning fuses, and in every component I use them the performance is elevated in a positive manner. I purchase my HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses from Chris at VH Audio https://www.vhaudio.com/hifi-tuning.html. His prices beat Music Direct, The Cable Company, Parts Connection , and others. He ships quick, too.

    There are plenty of "Johnny come lately" contenders in the aftermarket fuse arena now. Synergistic Research comes to mind, although I have never really been able to get too excited about what they offer. I can recommend the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses that are made in Germany. My experience using them in audio components since 2012 have all been positive.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  22. #22
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Thanks Dan. I have bought cable and plugs from Chris in the past. He is great too deal with; good prices and fast shipping.
    McIntosh C-1100, MC 75's, MC 275 (lows), MR 85, MCD 205.
    Legacy Focus SE's. VPI Classic 1 w/ Denon 103R. Bryston BDP-3 & BDA-3.

  23. #23
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Here is another view of the McIntosh Power Control cables. The view is looking down the front of the rack from the top, so you don't see the amplifier bodies at that angle.


    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  24. #24

    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Looking good, Dan. The gold connectors match well with the output terminals. Iím glad to see youíre happy with the final look.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sean

    Oppo 203, Lumin D2
    Magico A3
    Shunyata PS8/Defender/Delta NR
    Venom IC/SC/PC

  25. #25
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Congratulations Dan!

    Always a pleasure to read your reviews and impressions of gear.
    It's great to see how much you care about the gear you listen to.

    Enjoy the music!



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  26. #26
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikhil View Post
    Congratulations Dan!

    Always a pleasure to read your reviews and impressions of gear.
    It's great to see how much you care about the gear you listen to.

    Enjoy the music!.
    Nikhil.......Thank you. The sound of a system is paramount to most audio enthusiasts, but the appearance of a sound system and how it is set up has always been equally important to me. A well assembled sound system brings as much pleasure to the eyes as the sound does to the ears.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  27. #27
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
    ...The sound of a system is paramount to most audio enthusiasts, but the appearance of a sound system and how it is set up has always been equally important to me. A well assembled sound system brings as much pleasure to the eyes as the sound does to the ears.
    beautiful system!!! and i totally agree -- it is an added pleasure to have an attractive system to look at while listening. also for me, tubes glowing amber across the room can not be beat.

    curious - do the input tubes on mc75 mono amps have the trademark mcintosh blue light at the base of the tubes indicating the system is functioning normally as does the mc275 stereo amp?
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables

  28. #28
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    beautiful system!!! and i totally agree -- it is an added pleasure to have an attractive system to look at while listening. also for me, tubes glowing amber across the room can not be beat.

    curious - do the input tubes on mc75 mono amps have the trademark mcintosh blue light at the base of the tubes indicating the system is functioning normally as does the mc275 stereo amp?
    aKnyght.......The McIntsoh MC75 mono tube amplifier does not have the LED small tube lighting like the MC275 Mk VI stereo tube amplifier incorporates. To be honest, I am not a fan to the LED illumination of the MC275 small tubes. If the MC75's had LED lighting, I would turn it off. I prefer to view the orange glow of the tube's heater elements.
    Dan

    STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital coax,
    Sonos Connect, Stillpoints Ultra SS & Ultra Mini, PurePower 2000, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario

    LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth, Sonos Connect, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable,
    Sony DAT 60ES, Nakamichi BX-300, Micro Seiki DD40 w/m505A tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Stillpoints Ultra Mini, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113

    VINTAGE - McIntosh 4300V, McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, JBL 4312A

  29. #29
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    Re: McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

    Quote Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
    aKnyght.......The McIntsoh MC75 mono tube amplifier does not have the LED small tube lighting like the MC275 Mk VI stereo tube amplifier incorporates. To be honest, I am not a fan to the LED illumination of the MC275 small tubes. If the MC75's had LED lighting, I would turn it off. I prefer to view the orange glow of the tube's heater elements.
    thanks -- I agree, amber is the right color for tubes. It is good to know that one could turn that off on the mc275 amp.

    anyway, really glad to hear you are happy with the new amps!!
    kanjiroba yak + roon rock > t+a dac8 dsd > almarro a318b > viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | alp-tone audio analog cables

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McIntosh MC75 MkIII mono tube power amplifier review

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