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  • Quality Head Amp

    I read somewhere that these McIntosh head amps are really good. Too bad its $1500 or I'd pick it up and give one a try.

    https://www.audiogon.com/listings/ph...6801-bethel-ct
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

  • #2
    You might look at Bob's Devices SUTs.

    High Fidelity step up transformers for high end turntables with moving coil cartridges handmade from Bob's Devices. MC Step up transformer
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
      You might look at Bob's Devices SUTs.
      I'm sure those are good transformers Myles, but transformers and head amps are different animals. I prefer the electronic gain (ss or tube) of a head amp and it's more flexible cartridge loading capabilities. Some head amps also have adjustable gain which is rare with transformers. My Electrocompaniet MCII has both adjustable loading and gain which I really like for tweeking the cart to the mm phono stage. The McIntosh mentioned has adjustable loading (inputs) of 10,20,40,90 ohms that's pretty decent.
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • #4
        In case anyone missed the description of the unit:

        Here's a rare one---the Mcintosh MCP-1 Moving-Coil Preamplfier.
        For the true McIntosh Collector...

        From the look of the RCA jacks, this has never been used. There are some imperfections on the rosewood top. Included the original McIntosh factory box (which, conveniently, fits perfectly into a USPS flat-rate, medium, priority-mail box). I'm grading this 8/10 because of the top's imperfections.

        Here's some info copied from the Roger-Russel site: "The MCP-1 moving coil preamplifier was designed to complement the new McIntosh moving coil cartridges, MCC 800 and MCC 1000. By designing an outboard solid state preamp, also referred to as a Head Amp, it enables owners of earlier McIntosh equipment to use these cartridges with their existing system without purchasing a whole new preamp. It also provides a superior preamp that will work with any other moving coil cartridge.
        The moving coil cartridge typically puts out 0.3 millivolts compared to 3.0 millivolts for a moving magnet type. One solution to increase this low voltage is to use a transformer. However, a transformer that operates at extremely low voltage levels has several problems. The ease with which the magnetic core concentrates lines of magnetic force vary with the voltage level. This variation adds distortion to the music signal at low frequencies. In addition, transformers are very susceptible to hum pickup and must be positioned away from power transformers in nearby equipment or other sources of stray alternating current fields.
        One solution for a solid state preamp would be to make it battery operated and avoid the problems of hum fields from a power transformer. However, battery failure is a problem that McIntosh customers should not have to endure.
        The McIntosh MCP-1 has a unique power supply that has no transformer and the power supply operates at a frequency of 200 kHz, which is way beyond the audio range. A separate power supply is used for each channel. The unique solid state design also keeps the hum and noise levels at an unusually low level."
        Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

        Comment


        • #5
          head amps are noisy. Transformers are a better way to go. I have an Allnic H3000 head amp. Some people swear by them. I can't tolerate their noise in my system.
          Christian
          System Gear

          Comment


          • MylesBAstor
            MylesBAstor commented
            Editing a comment
            I'd love to hear more about your experience!

        • #6
          Mine isn't noisy
          Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

          Comment


          • #7
            the Music Reference RM-4 was a great piece, it was Roger's first product and used a pair of 6dJ8/6922 tubes, using it wide open it would give you 30 db of gain. they're fairly inexpensive on the 2nd hand market the key is using the best, lowest noise tube you can find. he claimed a staggering (for tubes) s/n of >80 db.
            TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

            "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

            Comment


            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              IIRC it was a favorite of HP's in the early days.

          • #8
            Originally posted by Rob View Post
            the Music Reference RM-4 was a great piece, it was Roger's first product and used a pair of 6dJ8/6922 tubes, using it wide open it would give you 30 db of gain. they're fairly inexpensive on the 2nd hand market the key is using the best, lowest noise tube you can find. he claimed a staggering (for tubes) s/n of >80 db.
            I like the way Roger thinks the RM-4 was a great piece. I had the corollary to that unit back during the same time period. The Counterpoint SA-2 it was a phenomenal piece paired with the ARC SP8 at the time. I bought them both new and kept them until just recently. I like active head amps for phono better than xfrmrs. I have never heard a Kondo $25K type -- maybe that would change my opinion-- all others rob life from the event IMO. Active units are more dynamic if you can manage the noise.

            Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
            Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
            Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
            Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
            Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
            Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

            Comment


            • mep
              mep commented
              Editing a comment
              The only Counterpoint gear I owned that ate tubes was the 7.1. Face it, it was the bottom of the line in Counterpoint preamps and it was cheap. The SA-3.1 was a much better preamp than the 7.1 and the 5.1 was a big leap up from the 3.1. By today's standards when compared against hybrid tube preamps that use JFETs on the input to the tubes in order to boost the signal and reduce the S/N ratio, they are noisy. There is something to be said for the sound of pure tube circuits though-especially when the rectifier and the voltage regulation is pure tube as well.

            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              The Kondo SUT is indeed very good. It totally changed the way I thought about SUTs. None of that hardness I had associated with the SUT from the '90s. Great resolution of space. But the SFz is only $12K.

            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              What tubes did the SA-4s use?

              I heard the SA9/11 back in the early days at American Audiophile in Lynbrook, LI. They were using a SOTA/ET1/AQ404, (?) CP amp and Vandy 2s. The imaging was spectacular. With that classic tube sound--especially compared to the way too common hard and grainy solid-state sound of the day!

          • #9
            IIRC I have seen the MCP-1 for sale multiple times over on HiFi Do in Japan. There aren't any now but there are 4 Mark Levinson JC-1s for sale...
            Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
            https://www.edsstuff.org

            Analog: Walnut VPI Prime TT, HRX Pulley + 3 Belt Drive + ADS, Dual Pivot Assy, Tru Lift, HW-40 Feet
            Analog 2: Ortofon Windfeld Ti + Bob's Devices VPI Sky 30 Stepup + Liberty Audio B2B-1, Stereo Squares Dust Cover, Wayne's Audio Peripheral Ring
            Analog Care: VPI MW-1, Kirmuss KA-RC-1, Record Doctor V, Hunt EDA VI Brush, AQ Brush, Discwasher Record Care Kit
            Digital: TASCAM UH-7000 USB Interface, Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai Universal Disc Player, NAD C448 Internet Radio/Streamer
            Digital 2: Digital Audio Workstation (Toshiba P75-A7200 w/MS Windows 10, 24GB RAM, 1.5 TB Crucial MX300 SSD Internal Storage, Intel i7-4700MQ Processor)

            Amp: Rogue RP-9 Line Preamp, Schiit Loki Tone Ctrls, Parasound A21 Power Amp
            Speakers: Magnepan MMC2, REL T9/i Subwoofer
            Headphones: Stax SR L700 MkII + Woo Audio GES, Focal Clear + Schiit Lyr 2, Stax Lambda Pro + SRM1 Mk II
            Wires: Kimber Hero ICs, Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables, AQ Leopard Phono IC, Pangea Silver USB Cables, StraightWire Expressivo ICs
            Power: Furman Elite 15 PFi

            Comment


            • #10
              Originally posted by EdAInWestOC View Post
              IIRC I have seen the MCP-1 for sale multiple times over on HiFi Do in Japan. There aren't any now but there are 4 Mark Levinson JC-1s for sale...
              Do you remember what the typical asking price was for the MCP-1 was? $1500 seems a little high.
              Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post

                Do you remember what the typical asking price was for the MCP-1 was? $1500 seems a little high.
                The MCP-1s below are from some years ago. Each one sold for 120,000 yen which is approximately $1000 now.

                If the MCP-1 in question is in prime shape $1500 is not out of line for the head amp.

                Unfortunately the MCP-1 is getting old and will not perform like it should unless it gets those old electrolytics replaced. If you are going to buy the MCP-1 for a collection and you need to have the Mac head amp to fill in that part of your collection then its worth it. From a purely audio performance point of view I question whether the MCP-1 is that great a performer. Maybe it was when it was new but how does it stack up now?

                Here are some sales at HiFI Do for the MCP-1:

                http://www.hifido.co.jp/KW/G0306/E/1...2141-74258-00/

                http://www.hifido.co.jp/KW/G0306/E/120-10/C12-71772-72017-00/


                Ed


                Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
                https://www.edsstuff.org

                Analog: Walnut VPI Prime TT, HRX Pulley + 3 Belt Drive + ADS, Dual Pivot Assy, Tru Lift, HW-40 Feet
                Analog 2: Ortofon Windfeld Ti + Bob's Devices VPI Sky 30 Stepup + Liberty Audio B2B-1, Stereo Squares Dust Cover, Wayne's Audio Peripheral Ring
                Analog Care: VPI MW-1, Kirmuss KA-RC-1, Record Doctor V, Hunt EDA VI Brush, AQ Brush, Discwasher Record Care Kit
                Digital: TASCAM UH-7000 USB Interface, Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai Universal Disc Player, NAD C448 Internet Radio/Streamer
                Digital 2: Digital Audio Workstation (Toshiba P75-A7200 w/MS Windows 10, 24GB RAM, 1.5 TB Crucial MX300 SSD Internal Storage, Intel i7-4700MQ Processor)

                Amp: Rogue RP-9 Line Preamp, Schiit Loki Tone Ctrls, Parasound A21 Power Amp
                Speakers: Magnepan MMC2, REL T9/i Subwoofer
                Headphones: Stax SR L700 MkII + Woo Audio GES, Focal Clear + Schiit Lyr 2, Stax Lambda Pro + SRM1 Mk II
                Wires: Kimber Hero ICs, Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables, AQ Leopard Phono IC, Pangea Silver USB Cables, StraightWire Expressivo ICs
                Power: Furman Elite 15 PFi

                Comment


                • #12
                  what about that Levinson JC-1, is that a good head amp? Is it a John Curl design? Do you know what the input impedance and gain is?
                  Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    I don't see the replacement of a small handful of caps to be a limiting issue with using an MCP-1. The pics on roger-russell don't show how the board access would be but if one can get to the bottom of the boards, the cap replacement is maybe an hour, including the time needed to determine what to order and placing that order. For MC cartridges I have head amps, phono amp (to line level) and SUTs. Just so it sounds good, I don't care, just not hung up on a specific type of amplification.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      I have an original Vendetta Research SCP1 that is utterly silent and sonically outstanding.

                      I​​​​​​ tried SUTs including some of the best and they all had hum and hash to some extent. The Vendetta at least in my system is far superior to an SUT.
                      Primary 2 channel stuff: Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk 3.3, Pass Labs X600.5 amps, Aerial SW 12 subs, True Sound Works Ultimate Apogee Divas, Dunlavy SC4s, VPI HRX Reference w Avenger mag drive and Reference footers, Gimbal Fatboy, Yamaha GT2000 for Mono, Miyajima Kansui, Miyajima ZERO, Fidelity Research MC-201 & 202, VPI ADS, Vendetta Research SCP-1, Audio Note UK- 3.1X II balanced DAC, Meridian Sooloos, Western Electric Speaker wire, mostly diy balanced interconnects, Furutech Power Cords

                      Comment


                      • kcin
                        kcin commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That is one phono pre I'd love to hear.

                    • #15
                      Originally posted by Blue Shadow View Post
                      I don't see the replacement of a small handful of caps to be a limiting issue with using an MCP-1. The pics on roger-russell don't show how the board access would be but if one can get to the bottom of the boards, the cap replacement is maybe an hour, including the time needed to determine what to order and placing that order. For MC cartridges I have head amps, phono amp (to line level) and SUTs. Just so it sounds good, I don't care, just not hung up on a specific type of amplification.
                      Interesting comment and agree have become agnostic because #1 the phonostage must be quiet and dynamic!

                      The Kondo SUT broke the mold for me. Didn't sound like my preconceived notion of what a SUT should sound like e.g. Bright and loss of information.
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                      Comment

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