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Amplifier wattage for AR3a


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Have a set of mid 68 3a's with cloth Alincos that have been restored (correct potentiometers and new capacitors) otherwise all original. Looking at a new tube amplifier (150wpc vs 75wpc). Question is the 150wpc too much power and is the 75wpc too little? Driving them now with a transistor 80wpc and they do sound good. Do not want to damage anything because this set sounds amazing and has a lot of sentimental value (they were my fathers). I don't listen too loud, but I do enjoy hearing them go where the music goes. They are also in a fairly large room that could handle a bit more volume.

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The key is clean power from an amplifier capable of operating into a 4ohm load.   75wpc is good; 150wpc is better.   Clean transient power for a millisecond during a crescendo is more easily tolerated than clipping distortion at a lower volume level.

You mention that your speakers have original drivers, meaning the tweeter and midrange domes are 54 years old.  Be careful when turning up volume.

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AR-3a can actually dip down as far as 2 ohms at some low frequencies. Most amps rated at 4 ohms can handle that, but it never hurts to check with the mfr before making a buy decision.

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Thank you so much, looking at the McIntosh 1502 which does have 2ohm binding posts. I have heard to try both the 2 ohm and 4 ohm setup to see which sounds better, but both will still have 150wpc. Didn't want to invest in such an amp that will certainly be good enough for any future modern speaker but damage these classics that cannot be  easily replaced. BTW, the stands are the modern JBL L100 Classics stands and are a perfect fit.IMG_6462.thumb.jpg.0ee29416a45cff5b4e86334e59b0e925.jpg  

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FWIW, I have been alternating between a 55 watt/channel McIntosh 1900 and 35 watt/channel Dynaco ST-70 with a pair of 3a in a room that's approximately 16' x 25'. Both amplifiers are more than adequate.

3a.jpg

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Martin,

Looks like you can do what I wish I had done: A side-by-side comparison of the 3a and the KLH Five. So what are your impressions? btw, I didn't fully appreciate the Fives until I resealed the surrounds with Roy's special goo. Have you tried it?

Kent

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The contest was surprisingly close, in fact, I couldn't declare an outright winner. As you'd expect, the 3a reached a bit lower, but aside from organ pedals, there really wasn't much music to be found that low, in my collection, anyway. I think most people would be happy with either speaker as both are fine reproducers.  As for woofer surround treatment, I used a very light coating of smelly tire-repair goop that made an audible difference on both pairs. 

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The biggest difference I noticed when I compared the 3a to the Five way back when they were new was that the 3a had wider dispersion and a slightly more "airy" quality to the sound. Any other difference between them could be compensated for by the level controls.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The AR amp was a real 60wpc. Those were “big” watts and that was enough for the 3a. Personally I’d go for at least 100wpc and something that can handle 4 ohms or less. The new Crown amps are often mentioned as good bargains but there are many choices.

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On 9/16/2021 at 6:41 PM, JKent said:

The AR amp was a real 60wpc. Those were “big” watts and that was enough for the 3a. Personally I’d go for at least 100wpc and something that can handle 4 ohms or less. The new Crown amps are often mentioned as good bargains but there are many choices.

 

“Power to the People, Power to My Speakers” or: AR speakers are best Listened and Enjoyed with High-Power Amplification.

About 50 years ago when I was a young man doing everything I could do to reach the level of better and higher fidelity in my listening, I purchased in kit form, what at the time was considered almost high power. At the time I was barely enjoying my brand new AR-3a’s because although musical instruments and voice never sounded more realistic in sound-quality because of their quality, something was sorely missing.

One interesting aspect that I noticed was I had to almost make a concentrated effort to hear cymbals and though they were seemingly there occasionally, they still weren’t vivid or crashing tingly sounding as I knew they sounded in person in the bands I had played in from 1964 onto ’73 or at concerts I had gone to. Nor did cymbals or higher register frequencies from different musical instrument’s leading and trailing edges in those ranges as I typically heard in a live performance. So, I obviously knew that in order to get more sound in the treble range I needed to turn up that tone-control but, that raised the noise-level and wasn’t very natural sounding and off balance to the overall sound. I lived that reality for a number of months all the while I was continuously reading more and more information on the benefits of good sounding balance music systems. Every chance I got, I also continued taking trips to the too few stereo stores in the boro in which I lived and on many a good day traveled by boat and subway to visit the numerous stereo stores in the boro of Manhattan, NYC which I actually started doing in 1967. This afforded me the run-in’s with eager and sometimes pushy salesmen who were more than willing to use the ‘switching’-boards’ that had the fun ability to switch between different amplifiers and speakers, turntables.  My approach was to specifically hone in on my favorites of components and speakers and to immediately request what I wanted to hear.

 

‘What it was like in the early '70s’:

In those early years there was a new ‘phenom’ creating a stir in the then glorious world of high-fidelity. It was something that was creating somewhat of a stir for some folks while still creating a degree of confusion and I’ll tell you why.

As far back in 1971 and before, the general public was still relying upon anywhere generally speaking from 15 to 35 watts per-channel to power their stereos. That amount of watts was pretty much the going number for most folks. If someone had 75WPC which was not common, that person was big-timing-it. The knowledge of the benefits of higher-fidelity due to higher watts was relatively unknown to the masses. Besides, even though AR Corp. a number of years earlier had reached the amazing status of holding almost one-third of market-share in consumer speakers sales, the awareness or even the known necessity of high-power amplifiers was something most had no concern of even though in that and earlier period AR’s were grossly listened to with under-powered amplifiers. Much like some do today, many raise their chins in a posturing defiance insisting that their stereos sound "great" as is and certainly there is no need to play their music any louder than they do at home already. Or, not unless it was New Year's Eve and the neighbors and family were over tearing up the rug and spilling drinks on the living room floor, who needed more watts?

I’ll never forget the moment I finished building my new and not common to most, transistor amplifler (back then it was: "gee, no tubes for once").  I was now rolling in the upper echelon of ‘real’ high-fidelity because everything I read before that moment indicated that to reproduce the lower registers of bass, it required more watts and to render cymbals cleanly and clearly along with other high frequencies would all sound better if an amplifier wasn’t struggling to make the power necessary to reproduce those frequencies. An under-powered amplifier would tend to clip or distort, and sound thin therefore, modifying the original reproduced sound and not sounding realistic. With a small amp, and this apparent ’small-ness’ of sound, I wasn’t a happy listener. Mind you, I’m not implying loud. I’m talking bigger, fuller, more emotionally involving, where music has the ability to touch the heart and inspire but, with the small amp all that wasn’t there and fully realized.

 

‘With the hope of the future, better things will come’.

By approximately the close of the ‘60s the Crown Corp. who, known for excellent professional-studio 10-1/2” tape recorders came out with an improvement on the 1960s entry of the D-60 amplifier except,  for their new entry the D-300 produced a huge (at the time), 150 watts per-channel RMS @ 8ohms. This new revelation was great except for the sometimes evident audible grainy-ness and at times stringent high-frequencies that seemed to be by-products of the ‘new’ solid-state devices being used known as the transistor. Consequently, that Crown amp was one of the only of it’s type and for a short time notable in the spread of a new dimension of stereo at the time. That was the ability to make the stereo-typical (pun intended) stereo to come-alive and reproduce and present music in a more realistic fashion. With-in a years time, a young enterprising physicist from this county’s west coast devised a similar newer design with even more power of 350wpc @8 ohms. With a fair amount of advertising Bob Carver had unleashed upon the world a evolutionary giant step in the furthering of stereo sound to offer even more realism and coming closer to the original musical experience.

 

‘One Thing for Certain’

With-in less than 24 months Mr. Carver introduced a 350 WPC ampliflier and later a 200WPC amp and a very innovative and excellent sounding pre-amplifier. Shortly thereafter other major companies from the USA and abroad came out with their versions of high-powered amplifiers and more flexible pre-amps, better turntables, improved phono-cartridges and cables. It was considered part of the “Golden-Era” of high-fidelity. The “Power-Wars”  ensued and the race was on. More and more consumers were buying into high-power. Many other speaker manufacturers were coming out with acoustic-suspension speakers because now, the higher power necessary to realistically reproduce sound was available . And, these same manufacturers also up-ing their game by manufacturing higher power amplifiers also.

 

“Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do

There are some individuals on this forum and other forums that will and do either dismiss and dispute most of what I’ve said here. Though to me, I've  been a major proponent (AKA fanboy) of AR speakers judiciously powered with high-power amplification since 1974,(what were you listening to?).  I firmly believe that anyone who disagrees with my rants is primarily due to the fact that they themselves don't use anything over 200WPC.

Back In 1971, I hooked-up my brand new AR-3a speakers with a low watt Dynaco ST-35 amplifier @ 17.5 WPC hoping for the best and I was very disappointed until a few months painfully went by and I bought into another amp. Hey, great sound was all pretty new to me, I was in the process of learning, even if I knew enough already to buy AR-3a’s.

So, in less than a few months, I excitedly purchased and built a Dynaco ST-120 kit that promised 60WPC RMS with a pedal to the metal and balls to the wall 67WPC RMS at clipping. In a very short time I realized my satisfaction level was only ever so slightly elevated. This newer purchase only gave me slightly bigger bass and only slightly more realistic sounding higher frequencies in terms of ‘size’ or volume. However, that lousy amp was a mistake of a purchase. I ended up tearing it down and rebuilding major parts of it several times. By mid-late 1974 I bought my first Phase Linear PL-400 and was extremely happy ever since. In 2009 there came two PL-700's and there I rest to this day.

 

‘Afraid of the Watts?’ ‘Why?’

The ‘pushers’ of anything lower than 150+WPC @8 ohms with an AR-3a speaker are with-in the group of non-cognoscenti who more than likely have never spent adequate time intently listening to a system that approaches the realistic musical levels and excitement that the use of high-power with inefficient speakers affords. You’ll have nothing to fear but, the ‘new’ level of enlightened enjoyment.

Below a popular advertising piece right around the same times that I’ve spoken of. By 1972 through the end of and beyond into the early 1980’s many folks were to become believers and are certain of the ways of achieving a higher degree of reproduced musical quality because of higher amp power.

P.S. To JKent, I recall quite a few years ago a few folks using the term “Big Watts” or last week someone said “Mac-watts” when referring to their amps but, in all seriousness, there is no valid measurement either electrically or otherwise that can be measured and called ‘Big-Watts’. And if this misleading expression is valid, please explain to me and others what is meant by big-watts? Is the bass bigger, fuller, the treble higher, brighter, is it a particulat flavor or color? Do other amps get the participation award just for being there also? Beyond amps sounding different by design, I find that ‘big-watts’ term bogus and should be left to the unknowning.

It is nothing more than misinformed with misleading statements. Because, otherwise that connotation would define ‘colored’ or an editorialized sound quality and is not desirable to me.

 

https://community.classicspeakerpages.net/topic/10649-do-ar-speakers-really-sound-that-good-more-new-video/

 342794015_arplcopy.thumb.png.dd98363df03897da2f4af11d20a1e943.png

369

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Thank you so much for the thoughtful and experienced perspective. I have always wanted a tube amplifier, but I may need to re-examine this desire. I have seen a major increase in quality in the 3a's by applying more quality wattage, but tubes can only get you so far in terms of wattage. I just didn't want to damage by applying 300 - 450 watts of solid state power.

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More watts won’t damage speakers so long as you don’t turn it up to 11. Clipping is the real enemy and it’s caused by too little power.

Big watts is short hand for the more conservative method of measuring and rating amplifier power. Many modern amps don’t have the sustained power their wpc numbers suggest.

btw, ignore any reference to wpc @ 8 ohms. For the 3a you MUST have an amp rated for 4 ohms or less.

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1 hour ago, JKent said:

 

btw, ignore any reference to wpc @ 8 ohms. For the 3a you MUST have an amp rated for 4 ohms or less.

As we all known the AR3s and AR3a rated 4 ohms and using 4 ohms Amp for them. But I am curious most of the Asian AR3s collector that they you the Fisher 500TX and 800-T for the AR-3 and AR3a and they said those amps are perfect matching ... as I read over the Fisher Manuals, both of the 500tx and 800-T rated 8 ohms... although they turned the volume up to 11 .. but from the AR Foreign forums I didn't hear any thread about the AR3s speakers cooked the Fisher receiver,,,,  so that make me really confusion about using those Fisher receiver for the ARs speakers. Hope some one can explain clearly about this Fisher 500tx-800-T + AR3s if they set up, the safety....?

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13 hours ago, jnolan5784 said:

I just didn't want to damage by applying 300 - 450 watts of solid state power.

On 8/15/2021 at 9:18 PM, jnolan5784 said:

I don't listen too loud, but I do enjoy hearing them go where the music goes. They are also in a fairly large room that could handle a bit more volume.

To be bullet proof, all you need is enough 4 ohm rated watts to achieve 15db of headroom. Keep in mind that most recordings don't need more than 9db of headroom.  Recordings of solo concert grand piano and some orchestral recordings or any recording that relies on a low noise floor to hear all of the music, can hit 12db to 15db.  Unless you listen to Hirez movie soundtracks you will never need 20db of headroom.  The chart below is from AR and applies to all of their speakers.  106db in watts is 100 times the power required at 86db, which is the average continuous safe listening level for your ears. 

image.png.3d50219bebc5ce7e50bbd434a3b3e72b.png

 

"Mac watts" refers to the tendency of McIntosh to publish power ratings for products that can be as much as 30% below actual performance capability.

 

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1 hour ago, Aadams said:

"Mac watts" refers to the tendency of McIntosh to publish power ratings for products that can be as much as 30% below actual performance capability.

 

This is exactly right; under-rating the power of their amplifiers is practically a McIntosh hallmark.

Also, most McIntosh amplifiers utilize an autoformer to deliver rated power regardless of loudspeaker impedance.

Regarding the Fisher equipment mentioned, I'd suggest that the goal of these set-ups is to have a "period correct" system, and not necessarily optimum performance.

 

 

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   2 hours ago,  ar_pro said: 

""This is exactly right; under-rating the power of their amplifiers is practically a McIntosh hallmark.""

FM says: So what, the rest of the world uses the term 'Conservatively Rated', do we have to talk with different terminology when speaking of each and every amplifier?  That's just plain old McIntosh elitism or semantics?  Why not simply state +  or - with-in a range?

""Also, most McIntosh amplifiers utilize an autoformer to deliver rated power regardless of loudspeaker impedance.""   FM says: Correct, you get what they advertise, no doubling of their power ratings. But, that's merely flaunting and using a design principle almost as a bragging right that has no practical validity.

""Regarding the Fisher equipment mentioned, I'd suggest that the goal of these set-ups is to have a "period correct" system, and not necessarily optimum performance.""

Far be from me to criticize MAC components I appreciate their quality, they've always been a stalwart in the industry with over designed tougher componentry, intelligent circuit topography, built with a virtual military use design philosophy and all of that is admirable and good. But, in practical consumer terms, if I wanted to purchase the same amount of watts I shamelessly now use but in a Mac amp, I wouldn't be able to afford my car payments. And if I we speaking 'period', I've perfectly placed myself already. Gosh, I'm dug-in deeply into vintage.      Repair wise, using the car analogy, if I owned a Caddy, Benz, Beamer, Tesla, etc., I may drive around more confidently but, when I had service done even for simple tune-ups, the following year, I might be looking elsewhere. And if I may be sharp edged for a moment? Mac can be looked upon as having that high-brow Euro-car posture except in actuality, they're built in the USA and owned by a Japanese concern, not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just saying. It's just that in my opinion, the feelings I get about Mac components is the same feeling I get when I see a 'Hummer' passing on the street. 

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9/19/2021

Last time I upped my system’s power amplifiers in 2009, I was already using two Phase Linear PL-400’s to power four LST speakers.  Then I moved on to two Phase Linear PL-700 amplifiers.  I only gained about 3db in actual volume level. Do I always use the higher volume levels?  No, but listening at a realistic volume level of say a classical piece where the VU meters are hovering around 75 to 135 watts @4 ohms and a large transient suddenly bursts out of the speakers I watch my meters indicate about 200 to 350+ watts @ 4 ohms each channel. And just to spread more excitement or distain and animosity that my posts seem to stir, these refurbed amps will lift up to 700 WPC RMS.  LST’s have no qualms with peaks of 1000 WPC, or so Julian Hirsch reported in testing the LST in 1972. Fifty years or so lately, I still exercise caution as I always have when using high power.

Now, given the fact that the AR-LST speaker is never phased (no pun) and doesn’t bat an eye-lash at such increases except for reproducing it and letting my ears enjoy. This is where power ratings are necessary and should be considered when planning how much ‘realism’ you want your music to have. With low-wattage, the ability of not distorting or adding any unknown/undesirable anomaly to the sound is paramount if you want to say it’s a high-performance system and is realistic sounding. That would be difficult to do well as the low powered amp would be working very hard and still not offer the 'huge-ness' rendered by big power.

In my long history of using inefficient AR speakers going far back into personal history, the amps I used have ratings @8ohms wpc. I went from 17.5 then to 60, then, 200 and now 360 watts per-channel at 8 ohms. Respectively at 4 ohms, the 17.6 watt-er probably at peak hit 22 watts. The 60 watt-er did 67, it’s been reported. And the 200 WPC watt PL doubled to 400 WPC and the 360 WPC PL-700 will do 700 WPC.

Each increase certainly raised the volume by what was a discernible measure. Each increase of wattage did enable my music to come out of the veil of lower power and forgive these unscientific terms, it was; 'bigger', ’clearer’ ‘faster’, a ‘deeper’ sense of and ‘wider soundstage’, all the while coming across more relaxed with-out any hint of strain and at the same time showing more latitude, strength and the most important quality ‘control’. When an amp has enough power to control the power it unleashes the music sounds more natural, when a lower power amp has to be pushed to the same volume, it loses control in the form of clipping and distortion and ultimately failure if conditions continued.

Control of the actual notes allowing music to flow and present itself in a more ‘natural’  and flowing way. These are some of the benefits of using a ‘HIGH’ power amp. The standard of the industry for many years was to solely quote 8 ohm ratings, as far as I recall, the additional 4 ohm ratings became more prevalent during the advent of the super power amps.

FM

P.S.  Was it in 1972 or so that the FTC enforced testing at 1/3 power?

Below, some quick easy helpful reading:

  https://www.google.com/search?q=FTC+inforced+testing+at+1%2F3+power&source=hp&ei=GW1HYZSkGM6r5NoP0Kq8-Ac&iflsig=ALs-wAMAAAAAYUd7KZv0dtxfMPilKrxg9ulofCSBBGBF&oq=FTC+inforced+testing+at+1%2F3+power&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAwyBQghEKsCUIYDWIYDYJkRaABwAHgAgAF1iAF1kgEDMC4xmAEAoAECoAEB&sclient=gws-wiz&ved=0ahUKEwjUlOODwovzAhXOFVkFHVAVD38Q4dUDCAw

 

Reading:  https://www.google.com/search?q=decilbel+watts&source=hp&ei=WltHYaT6D8Kp1QGUipT4Cg&iflsig=ALs-wAMAAAAAYUdpapUX0tytEU-apBeD2pv7hyFiwNGQ&oq=decilbel+watts&gs_lcp=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&sclient=gws-wiz&ved=0ahUKEwikj7iNsYvzAhXCVDUKHRQFBa8Q4dUDCAg&uact=5\\

 

Disclaimer: When using  high-power amplifiers it is strongly recommended to use appropriate 'fuses' with the speakers for maximum protection to avoid damage to the speakers.

 

 

530

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""This is exactly right; under-rating the power of their amplifiers is practically a McIntosh hallmark.""
FM says: So what, the rest of the world uses the term 'Conservatively Rated', do we have to talk with different terminology when speaking of each and every amplifier?  That's just McIntosh elitism.


We're not parsing words, we're parsing numbers; the term "conservatively rated" is ambiguous and indeterminate, but having the actual output power of an amplifier consistently & demonstrably test above its manufacturer's advertised rating is a measurable thing, and it's something that Mac's been doing for a long, long time.


""Also, most McIntosh amplifiers utilize an autoformer to deliver rated power regardless of loudspeaker impedance.""   
FM says: Correct, you get what they advertise, no doubling of their power ratings. But, that's merely flaunting and using a design principle almost as a bragging right that has no practical validity.


No, it demonstrates - and guarantees - the amplifier's ability to reliably deliver the rated performance into a spectrum of loudspeaker loads.


For example, let's take the Fisher 500TX mentioned in Ronan's post: it's rated by the manufacturer at 65 watts/channel (at 1 kHz) into an 8 ohm impedance. Would you care to guess what it might deliver into a 4 ohm load? Any idea how stable it might be across the range of an AR-3a? Good luck answering these questions based on Fisher's specifications. And this isn't to take a poke at Fisher, as this sort of specification was not uncommon with manufacturers in the era of the 500TX, with McIntosh being one of the exceptions.


Far be from me to criticize MAC components I appreciate their quality, they've always been a stalwart in the industry with over designed tougher componentry, intelligent circuit topography etc. etc. With a virtual military use design philosophy and all of that is admirable and good. But, in practical consumer terms, if I wanted to purchase the same amount of watts I shamelessly now use but in a Mac amp, I wouldn't be able to afford my car payments. And if I we speaking period, I'm perfectly placed myself, gosh, I'm dug in deeply already. Repair wise using the car analogy, if I owned a Caddy, Benz, Beamer, Tesla, etc., I may drive around more confidently but, when I had service done even for simple tune-ups, the following year, I might be looking elsewhere. And if I may be sharp edged for a moment? Mac can be looked upon as having that high-brow Euro-car posture except in actuality, they're built in the USA and owned by a Japanese concern, not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just saying. It's just that in my opinion, the feelings I get about Mac components is the same feeling I get when I see a 'Hummer' passing on the street. 


Regarding "not that there's anything wrong with that", Mac is owned by an American holding company named The McIntosh Group, encompassing Sonus Faber, Wadia, and Sumiko, and they are currently planning to expand the Binghamton, NY factory and hire additional workers. 


With their famous Big Blue Meters, polished steel chassis, gut-busting weight, and 70 year history, it's probably safe to say that the perception of McIntosh amps as being reliably "American" in performance and appearance could be close to universal. 


Disclaimer: no one is implying anything negative about your Phase Linear amplifiers - they might be wonderful!

But there are any number of excellent amplifiers to choose from; you must surely recognize that there's more than a single path forward, right?

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AR_PRO said: 

""Disclaimer: no one is implying anything negative about your Phase Linear amplifiers - they might be wonderful!

But there are any number of excellent amplifiers to choose from; you must surely recognize that there's more than a single path forward, right?""

"Let Me  Be Frank, After-All, That Is My Name"

FM says: tell me, did I disgrace Mac?  I only spoke of my amps and also commented about the 'nose up in the air' that's seemingly a general attitude of Mac owners. Silly but, that's the premise I sense, 'One-up-manship' exists in all areas.  I praised the Mac construction and design. Fun to look at though I still question the necessity of being so over-built for home use. Granted, there's no doubting their quality though they're not the only show in town. There are any number of other amplifiers that are available built with even more quality and loftier prices.

For my needs if I were to buy two Mac amps of comparable wattage is questionable for me although doing so would not make much sense because in that case I'd be listening to costlier speakers also, so, where does it end? So, if I dropped about 10 to 15 or more grand on comparable sized amps, I'd probably drop another 15 to 20 big ones or more on speakers. Would I be here explaining to anyone why I did?

 AR_PRO , please post a photo of your system, I'd like to see your system and what you actually use as a basis of reference. Do you own Mac amps?

See below, I did a whole lot of praising Mac except where I mention some people's attitudes.

Also AR_PRO , you are right and I stand corrected, Mac was purchased by another concern a few years ago.

HERE'S WHAT I SAID:  ""Far be from me to criticize MAC components I appreciate their quality, they've always been a stalwart in the industry with over designed tougher componentry, intelligent circuit topography etc. etc. With a virtual military use design philosophy and all of that is admirable and good. But, in practical consumer terms, if I wanted to purchase the same amount of watts I shamelessly now use but in a Mac amp, I wouldn't be able to afford my car payments. And if I we're speaking 'period', I'm perfectly placed myself, gosh, I'm dug in deeply already. Repair wise using the car analogy, if I owned a Caddy, Benz, Beamer, Tesla, etc., I may drive around more confidently but, when I had service done even for simple tune-ups, the following year, I might be looking elsewhere. And if I may be sharp edged for a moment? Mac can be looked upon as having that high-brow Euro-car posture except in actuality, they're built in the USA and owned by a Japanese concern, not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just saying. It's just that in my opinion, the feelings I get about Mac components is the same feeling I get when I see a 'Hummer' passing on the street. ""

 

 

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Actually, both JKent and Aadams responded to your own query regarding "big watts" and "mac watts"; and to Kent's point about the inability of some modern amplifiers to maintain sustained power, I mentioned that the Mac specs were consistent in this area, regardless of loudspeaker impedance. 


Anyway, please go back and re-read my previous post, which was written in response to your questions, and meant to enlighten, not critique. If you take specific exception with anything, please feel free to express it. 
 

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No complaints here I would address but, Ar-Pro, you find necessary to defend the Mac, you must own them. The power wording is still semantics. The transformer insures the same advertised numbers at the varied ohm taps, there's no doubling of wattage at 4 ohms and it's the same rating at 8 ohms. Bench testing is the only valid number, there's no mystery or supposed magic numbers.

I did out of curiosity and just for giggles priced out new possible Mac models. I’m driving four LST so, I require sufficient power enough and as I’m since 1974 accustomed to what high power amps afford me using the amps I do. I could buy used but, new is always a treat with anything so, I’ve listed approximate new prices below..

Likely candidates would be the MC 611 mono-blocks x 4 at around $7, grand each so that’s $28, grand.

Or, the MC 462 x 2 as they are stereo models and that would be $18, grand for both.  Space wise, these make more sense.

Those are big numbers, and don’t seem to be a sensible or realistic hi-fi purchase for me especially since I’m completely happy with what I use presently. 

Ultimately this thread should probably end, we’ll be beating a dead horse. Unless you heard mine and I heard yours or if we had an idea of what you use there's no point in continuing.

I'm not just starting out obviously so, if ‘OP’ “jnolan5784” is actively seeking answers, he’ll have to indicate a price range and do much research and learning before taking the plunge. I wish him good luck in his search.

FM

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