MA252 Tube Rolling
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  1. #1
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    MA252 Tube Rolling

    The MA252 is a really good amplifier. It has amazed me how good it feels and it sounds very special. Better then I had expected actually.

    I was wondering if anyone has tried tube rolling in this little integrated? I know from past experiences that rolling tubes in the pre-amps I have had was a more subtle difference then in the power amps, but still, has anyone tried.

    I have been thinking about trying some Gold Lion tubes, both the 12AX7 (ECC83) and the 12AT7 (ECC81). Any thoughts or opinions?
    McIntosh MA252 w/Gold Lion Tubes | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Falcon Northwest PC | Roon & HQPlayer | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 | W4S Recovery | U-Turn Orbit Special | SimAudio MOON 110LP v2 | Ortofon 2M Black & Bronze | Record Doctor V | McIntosh MR7083 | Oppo BDP-105 | KEF R700 | ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3010 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000 | Astell&Kern AK240 | Audeze LCD-i4 | T+A AMP 8

  2. #2
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    I think the Gold Lions are a great idea. Not insanely expensive and easy to get. Definitely better than stock in my opinion.

    I’m so happy you love the MA252. When I got one for my brother, we absolutely fell in love with it. I bet the MA352 is awesome too.

    Enjoy!
    Joe

    Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M, JBL 590.

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  3. #3
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    Hey Joe, thanks for your input.

    Yea, I was looking at the MA352, and besides the price I decided it simply had more than I needed.

    Both the MA252 and MA352 use the same pre-amp section, headphone amp, and phono stage from what I have been able to determine.

    The 352 has twice the power, but for me the 252 has plenty. The 352 has one additional xlr and one additional rca inputs. Nice but the 252 has all I need. The 352 has two sub outputs versus one on the 252. One is fine, certainly for now and probably forever. The 352 does have the nice McIntosh blue meters. That would be nice, but not really necessary, and certainly not for $2500 more . Oh yea, the 352 has the five band eq with the five little knobs on the front versus the 252 having just bass and treble. Ok, great, but I have not used tone controls in, forever... so it again will just look cool, but never be used. I actually like that on the 252 you can turn off the tone controls.
    McIntosh MA252 w/Gold Lion Tubes | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Falcon Northwest PC | Roon & HQPlayer | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 | W4S Recovery | U-Turn Orbit Special | SimAudio MOON 110LP v2 | Ortofon 2M Black & Bronze | Record Doctor V | McIntosh MR7083 | Oppo BDP-105 | KEF R700 | ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3010 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000 | Astell&Kern AK240 | Audeze LCD-i4 | T+A AMP 8

  4. #4
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    I just mentioned the MA352 as an endorsement for others seeing this. There’s a handful of McIntosh gear that is simply outstanding. Those are on the list. As you can tell now with the MA252, well deserved accolades.
    Joe

    Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M, JBL 590.

    Job INTegrated, Naim Supernait 2 w/ HiCap-DR.

    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2, Misho Myronov Wooden pre.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3 (X2 - one as backup), Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos.

    Lumin U1 mini, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, Audio Mirror Tubadour III NOS R2R Tube Dac w/ upgrades.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  5. #5
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    I just mentioned the MA352 as an endorsement for others seeing this. There’s a handful of McIntosh gear that is simply outstanding. Those are on the list. As you can tell now with the MA252, well deserved accolades.
    Totally agree, and the MA352 is a gorgeous unit. If I could justify the difference it would be sitting on my shelf. I agree the MA252 and MA352 would definitely deserve to be on the list ...
    McIntosh MA252 w/Gold Lion Tubes | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Falcon Northwest PC | Roon & HQPlayer | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 | W4S Recovery | U-Turn Orbit Special | SimAudio MOON 110LP v2 | Ortofon 2M Black & Bronze | Record Doctor V | McIntosh MR7083 | Oppo BDP-105 | KEF R700 | ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3010 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000 | Astell&Kern AK240 | Audeze LCD-i4 | T+A AMP 8

  6. #6
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    I definitely preferred the Gold Lion 12AX7s over the stock tubes back when I had my C2300 preamp. Like Joe said, they're not all that expensive. Give them a try.
    Rance


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  8. #7
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    What are you hoping to gain by tube rolling?
    More bass, warmer, faster, more detail, more sparkle ???
    While 5751's have a slighly lower gain, they have been superior to 12ax7's in everything that I have tried them in.
    Many flavors available in both the tube families that you have mentioned.
    My System:
    A trusty old Pioneer PD-65 as a Transport, Lumin A-1, a Merrill Heirloom T.T. as sources. A Lampizator DAC to Teo Cables to a SP-14 Tubed PreAmp, Pass XA30.5 , Fusion speaker cables, AudioKinesis Zephryn 46 Speakers. pair Rythmik F-12 subs, EP2050, Kaplan Power cables, Cerious Tech Graphine XT P.C., Hydra power conditioner, Two dedicated 20Amp power lines. DIY corner traps and Acoustic Geometry Curves for room treatment.

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  10. #8
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    I haven't tried tube rolling in mine but I have considered it. It should be interesting to see what you think of the Gold Lions in the 252. When the MA352 came out, I tried to justify trading in my 252 but in the end, I realized that I really don't need any more power or features than I already have.
    - Steve

    McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amp • Lumin D2 Streamer w/ Sbooster BOTW MK II Power Supply & Emo EN-70e ethernet isolator
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  11. #9
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    I will certainly let you know. I probably won't grab any until I sell some other pieces.
    McIntosh MA252 w/Gold Lion Tubes | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Falcon Northwest PC | Roon & HQPlayer | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 | W4S Recovery | U-Turn Orbit Special | SimAudio MOON 110LP v2 | Ortofon 2M Black & Bronze | Record Doctor V | McIntosh MR7083 | Oppo BDP-105 | KEF R700 | ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3010 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000 | Astell&Kern AK240 | Audeze LCD-i4 | T+A AMP 8

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  13. #10
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    Re: MA252 Tube Rolling

    I have been reading user's reviews (along with a few publish professional reviews). It seems like a vast majority (like 99 out of 100) people who have listened to this amplifier absolutely love it. Many many people have reported that they looked at the amp and had to have one. Every one seems to report back how much they love their MA252!

    One reviewer was talking about pitting it against his $30,000 Pass pre/amps combo. Obviously the MA252 could not match the Pass, but he was amazed at how good it did. So he had to find integrated amps to compare it against. His buddy had a Luxman so he loaned it to him for a while. Comparing the two, while the Luxman excelled in some areas over all the McIntosh proved itself and he very much preferred it. His wife called it silky smooth. His buddy came over (the Luxman owner) to listen to the Mc and they ended up listening for several hours. He was thoroughly impressed! Of course I am paraphrasing here, not quoting his review .

    The point is that most everything I read, and I am talking A LOT of user reviews, it appears as if people love the MA252!!! I definitely can understand why.
    McIntosh MA252 w/Gold Lion Tubes | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Falcon Northwest PC | Roon & HQPlayer | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 | W4S Recovery | U-Turn Orbit Special | SimAudio MOON 110LP v2 | Ortofon 2M Black & Bronze | Record Doctor V | McIntosh MR7083 | Oppo BDP-105 | KEF R700 | ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3010 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000 | Astell&Kern AK240 | Audeze LCD-i4 | T+A AMP 8

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