My Humble 2-Channel McIntosh Rig


A work in progress but as it sits today:

Preamp: McIntosh C48
Power Amp: McIntosh MC-500
DAC: PS Audio DirectStream Sr.
Music Server: Aurender N100H 4TB
DDC: Matrix X-SPIDIF-2
SACD: Marantz SA14s1
Speakers: Celestion Ditton 66 Studio Monitors
Sub: SVS SB-2000 Pro


Humble, mmm hmmm. Very nice, indeed

I am a fan of the Mac equipment you have and since the amp is way oversized for the vintage speakers, plus the needed sub, I imagine your dynamics are thrilling. The PS and Aurender items are significantly overpriced for what you get, but I’m sure the sound is transparent. The questions I have for you are: 1. how recently was everything recapped, including the speakers? 2. Have you measured your room and placed the speakers accordingly?
Thank you for your comments MeiamRare and it always amuses me how people jump to conclusions, and I mean that humorously. I am from the old school that the less you have to turn up an amp, the less it is likely to distort. I have a lot of overhead ad don't have to turn it up more than 30%.

Why would you say the "needed sub"? Did you think their was a deficiency in my system the required it? The Celestions have a 18kHz - 40kHz rating where the SV-2000 Pro has a range of 19kHz - 240 kHz. Isn't the hobby all about try to create the listening experience I enjoy and to look for ways that I might improve on it?

The PSD was originally bought as a a discontinued PWD for a steal. I bought a PWD -> DSD Sr. upgrade kit for almost 1/4 the retail price as the seller was having trouble getting rid of it. The PSD Sr. retails in Canada for $8700 + tax. I have spent less than $5000 to get to the same level as a brand new DSD Sr.

My Aurender N100H 4TB was a trade-in and since you don't know what I paid for them, I'll let you sit on that one for a while.

I bought all Solen caps from France three years ago and they have been sitting in a box since then waiting for me to pull the trigger. Last week I bought a second pair of Celestion Ditton 66s out of Montreal which will be shipped this Monday. I will swap them out so I can finally get my recap job done. I do not plan to recap anything other than the speakers. Not saying it's not done but have not found many people that recapped an MC-500 without destroying the resale value.

I have had a Beranger ECM8000 for the past two years. Two weeks ago I bought a PreSonus Audiobox USB and have REW installed on my laptop. I have not done any measurements because I am right in the middle of finishing off the replacement of the diaphragms for my 1" super tweeter and my 2" midrange drive on my left channel. Since my replacement Ditton 66s will be arriving next week, I am not doing anything until I temporarily swap out the replacement pair.
Not sure what you mean about jumping to conclusions, can you explain?

Regarding the sub, would be interesting for you to measure the Celestions’ output with REW. I haven’t seen any spinoramas on them, but a review said they output very little below 30 Hz. The specs provided by the manufacturer in this regard are, frankly, worthless as they show nothing about roll-offs or unevenness. I don’t say that as a criticism of the speakers; nearly all speaker specs provided in marketing materials are too general to have any value.

Regarding caps, if the Macs don’t need them after nearly 30 years you’re lucky. I’m not aware of any loss in value from maintaining Mac equipment properly, which does include replacing failed components.

Regarding the cost of the DAC and server, I’m glad you got good deals. From an engineering/SQ POV it’s not necessary to spend that much, rather 1/10th the cost will deliver superior results. You asked for comments. :)
There is value in the aesthetic appearance of the original McIntosh caps. Since Mac no longer makes them, you are stuck with 3rd-party caps from China or Germany with a high probability the German caps came via China. They don't look the same.

I agree with the marketing hype and it’s hard to say how prevalent it was 30 years ago compared to today but it’s definitely there. I am most anxious to do a sweep on my new 66s coming next week, my existing 66s, and then my existing 66s when I recap them. I have never used REW before and will definitely be all ears from the experienced.

I have been through several less expensive DACs (as well as other hardware) and you and I know, ‘superior results’ is subjective to the listener. Apparently I found room for improvement as do many other PSD users. The ironic part is I’m not in the 5% that can hear all the amazing things the other 95% of us can’t. I struggle to tell the difference between DSD128 and DSD256 (I can’t), however, I can hear a difference between DSD64 and DSD 128. I could never say that with my previous equipment.

Anyway, I posted my setup to share my joy with others that think like minded and have an appreciation for the fruits of our labor. I wish you all the best with the equipment of your choice and thanks for chiming in reminding me my amp is too powerful, my speaker specs are marketing hype, my sub specs are b**l, and that I overpaid by 90% on my DAC and server without knowing what I paid for them in the first place. Have a great day if that is possible. You come across as petty and malicious.
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Being humble (and simple) is good!! The less hardware you have in the system the better it will sound. My (also humble) system is very simple: a Mac SACD player feeding the MA8900 amp, which drive a pair of Goldenear Triton One.R speakers. Sounds incredible with amazing dynamic range. Lots of headroom, not only in the electronics (SACD, amp) but in the speakers as well. Very enjoyable listening with classical music SACDs...
You come across as petty and malicious.
Sir, next time I will just end with "very nice, indeed", as you clearly don’t want to read anything more than that, including praise for your Mac equipment and "your dynamics are thrilling."

You come across as fragile and cranky.

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