McIntosh MC 152 – High End Stereo Equipment We Buy

McIntosh is one of the most dependable brand names when it comes to high-end audio systems. For years the brand has been recognized by audiophiles throughout the world as equipment that delivers clear and consistent quality in music. McIntosh is probably best known for its amplifiers and preamps, but the company produces many other components and parts for stereo and home theatre.

What are the specs for the McIntosh MC 152?

Power Output per Channel:
150W @ 2, 4 or 8 Ohms
Number of Channels:
2
Total Harmonic Distortion:
0.005%
S/N below rated output:
118dB Balanced, 115dB Unbalanced
Dynamic Headroom:
2.0dB
Damping Factor:
>40 Wideband
Rated Power Band:
20Hz to 20kHz
Frequency Response:
+0, -0.25dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz, +0, -3.0dB from 10Hz to 100,000Hz Dimensions (W x H x D), 17-1/2"" (44.45cm) x 6"" (15.24cm) (including feet) x 21"" (50.8cm) (including front panel and cables)
Weight:
75 lbs (34 kg)
Shipping Weight:
85 lbs (38.6 kg)

What else to know about the McIntosh MC 152?

"The MC152 may not have quite the prodigious arc-welding power of some of its bigger brethren but it still has the traditional McIntosh strength of exercising a firm grip over virtually any loudspeaker you care to pair it with. Hooked up to our reference Tannoy Definition DC10Ti floorstanders (via the 4 Ohm ‘speaker taps) and fed a variety of files from CD to 24bit/192kHz high- resolution via the impressive Chord 2Qute DAC (see review elsewhere this issue) and the MC152 impressed from the off with its big, spacious sound.

On King Tubby’s ‘Dub Fever’ collection the MC152 proved capable of generating earth-shaking levels of bass yet without losing the sense of air and atmosphere that pervades these tracks and makes them work so well. Electronic beeps and chopped, distorted guitar effects emerged from seemingly nowhere – swelling into the mix and then disappearing in the blink of an eye.

Just as importantly the McIntosh threw a big, wide soundstage into the room which made the listening a truly immersive experience. Importantly, though, the MC152 can also tread gently when needed. The mid-band has a slightly lush and generous quality to it which is more akin to a good valve amplifier than a 150 Watt solid-stater. On a 24/96 rip of Eleanor McEvoy’s delicately recorded ‘Non Smoking Single Female’ the McIntosh imbued the walking bass part with real timbre while vocals were wonderfully rich and romantic. The track simply flowed in a natural, organic manner.

Yet this isn’t done at the expense of essential detail.The MC152 has the ability to catch the leading edge of notes and subsequent decay without the artificial haze some transistor amplifiers impart.This made it sound wonderfully lifelike.

Moving onto something a little fiercer in the shape of The Sex Pistols’ ‘Never Mind The Bollocks...’ and I could hear why McIntosh has long been a favourite with rock fans. The marching boots at the start of ‘Holidays In The Sun’ had me thinking an invading army was streaming across the room while Steve Jones’s opening guitar chord wasn’t just big, it was positively gargantuan.And when the pile-driver drums and bass kicked in I could thoroughly understand why one reviewer famously described this album as a big, bad beautiful sound. The McIntosh MC152 made it sound all of those things – and in all the right ways.

Overall, it was the combination of power, control and overall coherence that made the McIntosh work so well with seemingly all musical genres. I’d never mistake Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the Minnesota Orchestra’s rendition of Ravel’s glorious ‘Rapsodie Espagnole’ for the Sex Pistols, but it was just as thrilling via the MC152.

Individual instruments were located firmly in place within the stereo image, with good height and depth, while the dynamic contrasts between the various movements were handled with pinpoint precision.

The work ends with an exuberant burst of orchestral colour in the fourth movement and the McIntosh captured all the joie de vivre of the finale without ever letting it spiral out of control or congeal into an indistinct cacophony – even with the volume pushed well higher than usual.

If I’m going to level any criticism then :I have to say that the same piece played through the mighty MA8000 did have slightly more air and space to its delivery than on the MC152 – giving it a little more overall grandeur and impact. But if you’d never heard the former it’s not something you’d ever be worried about.

That’s because this new McIntosh power amplifier is a very impressive piece of equipment in its own right. It may be the smallest of the company’s range of power amplifiers (both in terms of physical size and power output) but it still packs a significant punch – combining a big, punchy sound with a liquid, thoroughly Both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs are provided, as well as taps for 2, 6 and 8 Ohm loudspeakers. musical midband and a detailed delivery. I can well see it recruiting a lot more hi-fi lovers into the ranks of McIntosh converts.

CONCLUSION

McIntosh’s new MC152 combines plentiful power output with a sonic signature that brings the best out of all genres of music. It can be subtle and fleet-of-foot when needed – yet is just at home pounding out deep bass lines, crashing guitar chords or orchestral crescendoes. Not just a cut-down version of McIntosh’s bigger power amplifiers but a great performer in its own right." - Hi-Fi World

Brief History of McIntosh

Long mapped-to Binghamton New York – the current headquarters and manufacturing center for McIntosh Labs – not many people know the brand was originally launched outside of the Nation’s Capital in Silver Spring Maryland, in 1949. In 1956, the brand built their original facility in New York, according to the official brand website.

Other McIntosh Products We Often Buy

Typically, StereoBuyers purchases mostly used amplifiers, especially the vintage amps and high-end McIntosh models such as the MC202 or MC252, and the C220 preamp, for example. We have also purchased many pre-owned tuners from McIntosh over the recent years, including the MR67 and MR78 models, for example.

StereoBuyers has purchased tens of thousands worth McIntosh brand equipment since 2014, with individual buys ranging from $100 to well over $50,000. If you are moving, ready to upgrade, or have McIntosh equipment you do not or will not be using, why not contact us today to find out if it is worth good money?

If you are interested in selling your used McIntosh equipment to us in the greater NYC area or Colorado, please click here to fill out a Free Quote Form and we will get back to you. If we agree on terms, we come to meet you where you want, and pay cash.

The following images show actual McIntosh equipment purchased by StereoBuyers.