Oct 062013

This has been quite an eventful week (and weekend!). Yesterday the the restored vintage mint+ McIntosh MX110Z tuner-preamplifier that I purchased from vintage vacuum-tube specialists Tom Manley & Terry DeWick in Knoxville, Tennessee, arrived.

MX110Z with MC30 in background

The MX110Z was in pristine condition (mint+ actually) and needed hardly any restoration, with only a few internal components needing to be replaced. After a tune-up at the hands of Tom & Terry the MX110Z was ready to go! The MX110Z is as all-original as they get, right down to the original manual that was included (just like with my MC240 amp that I bought from Tom).

MX110Z with manual

I had first thought I was going to need to run a step-up transformer with the MX110Z, but it turns out that there’s enough gain in the the MX110Z and the MC30/MC240 amps that its not really necessary.

I’ve been listening to a lot of vinyl today, and I have to say now that the phono stage in the MX110Z has had time to warm up for a day its really strutting its stuff and sounding really, really, good. Shelly Manne, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, and Richard Wagner were all incredibly satisfying through the MX110Z!

The MX110Z is not as preternaturally quiet as the superb NVO phono stages, but it still really delivers the musical experience in spades!

MX110Z with vinyl

Another thing the MX110Z delivers is remarkably good sounding FM radio. My local Northwest Public Radio station sounds ridiculously good through the MX110z’s tuner section, and I’ve had it playing when I haven’t been listening to LPs. To say it has been a treat would be a massive understatement! (the photo below is from a few minutes ago in my dark listening room with the tuner engaged)

MX110Z with tuner on

The MX110Z has definitely won me over – its a keeper! Today I’ve been listening to it with the McIntosh MC30 monos, but this coming weekend will be a vintage weekend and we’ll try it with the MC240 too and see what happens! (magic I suspect!) Many thanks to my buddies Ron & Leo for getting me going in a vintage direction – you guys rock!

MX110Z with MC30s

In the photo above you can see the external Duelund crossovers for my Westminster Royal SEs. I’ve been writing my bum off this weekend on the article about the Duelund-Westminster project, that is scheduled to appear in the next issue of Positive Feedback Online (as well as reproduced here after publication in a logical presentation of the different parts of the project from the article). I hope you enjoyed the Introduction (Part 1) that I posted yesterday. Here’s a couple more photos from the review:

53 view of HF level side of XO

That’s part of the high-frequency crossover above … and below is a nice view of the low-frequency side of the Duelund crossover in the bottom half of the photo.

60 LF- IN binding post connection to LF+ OUT binding post

Bird’s eye view of the perpendicular L2 Duelund CAST inductor … and the Duelund CAST resistors just in front of it – beautiful components!

59 C4 L1, R4, and L2 close-up

Ok, its time to get back to writing on the Duelund article, and listening to a little music through the West’s …

Wests with Duelund & Mac

In the next few days I’ll have three new LPs to tell you about that I think you’ll like … and here’s a final Mac photo for you to enjoy!

MC30 with MX110Z

Thanks for stopping by, and from my home to yours, may the music playing make you happy!

 Posted by at 8:02 pm

  4 Responses to “The Week In Review and a Look Ahead! McIntosh, FM, Duelund, and Vinyl”

  1. Glad you like the 110! I know I am very happy with mine (though it is currently undergoing minor surgery) and the MC225 that goes with it.

  2. Hey Bart,

    Sweet system. I haven’t heard the MC225 yet but everybody tells me its awesome! I’m loving this vintage Mac gear, it doesn’t get much better than this!



  3. I meant to say also that the wood case for the 110 woul look great on yours with your system. I recently picked up a slant leg version for mine and I like it.

    • Hi Bart,

      I think you are exactly right, a wood case for the 110 would look great. Assuming I survive the government furlough nonsense occurring at the present, I’m planning on adding one. I had my eye on the McIntosh cabinets made by Matt here.



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