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Sandra

McIntosh 1100 cd player

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Hello, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Has anybody heard the McIntosh MCD1100 cd player? I am getting ready to purchase my dac very soon, and have just about decided on the Berkely Alph 2, but then started reading about this cd player. At $10,000, it is approx. twice as much as the Berkely but by the time you buy the converter it is almost as much as the McIntosh. Looks are very important to me and I have always loved the look of Mcintosh. I am going to be getting a Berkely 2 in shortly to demo, probably in a week or two. I have tried to get home demo's of the Aesthetix Pandora and the DCS Debussy, but can't seem to swing it from dealers. I will probably go to Seattle this spring during my vacation to listen to the MCD1100 and a few other cd players just to finalize my decision. I was wondering if anybody here has heard the MCD1100? Thank, Sandra

 

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products, but their CD player is not one of them. Some of their tube amps are outstanding, although not the best tube gear out there.

 

Their preamps and cd players are mediocre by comparison to the equipment you are looking at, IMO.

 

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I would look at the Esoteric products. Much better performance! I would never buy another CD player. Many are dumping there highend CD players for a properly setup music server frontend like I did.

 


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Yes, I will be hooking up my dac or cdp to my computer but the MCD1100 does have digital inputs for doing this. I listened to the MCD500 and, while I thought it was a nice player, I wasn't really impressed with it. I heard a few others, much cheaper, that were just as goood as the MCD500 but the 1100 is supposed to be much better.

 

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were taking is a much better one.

 

I do like McIntosh tube amps, but it begins and ends there. And not all of their tube stuff.

 

 

 

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There are a lot of good products out on the market right now and what is bliss for one will be ok for another and brand loyalty (at least what someone has at that particular moment) runs deep on internet blogs and forums. That said, if you dig the McIntosh and love how it looks then I personally see nothing at all wrong with that player.

 

It plays SACD and CD beautifully, has a nice number of digital inputs including USB, can function as a digital control center, can also be used easily as a preamp straight into a good amp also. I have not listened to this model at length but have listened to the MCD500 extensively and while it was not the most "transparent" digital source in the shop I always found myself enjoying it and loving the easy way it had with other sources and being able to run it straight into an amp. It didn't hurt that it looked beautiful sitting on top of a cabinet!

 

The thing is that if you are not really looking at playback of cds as being your main listening source then there are better options out there. For SACD and CD playback you can get into a Marantz SA8004 player for $1,000 which will give you a huge slice of the McIntosh for a lot less and then add a dac for your music server if you want to go that route. The Marantz has almost all the functionality of the McIntosh except it does not have the capability to serve as a preamp.

 

As long as you are in Seattle you might want to find the Linn dealer there and give a listen to the new DSM products to see what a modern Dac/Network streamer brings to the party also.

If aesthetics are important to you (and why not?) then the Linn will appeal through it's sleek and clean styling along with it's impecable iPad interface and flexiblity as far as digital inputs and being able to play virtually any music file out there. Oh, it also happens to be state of the art in it's playback. Gorgeous.

 

(I'll probably get my hand slapped for that)

 


David

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Well, I think I will stick to my plan. I don't know why dealers are reluctant to send out demo pieces, they are covered by cc. One dealer told me he had a bad experience sending out a demo cdplayer, but I would think it would help sales. I'm really reluctant to buy anything spendy without hearing it first. Berkely dealer is more than willing to send me a demo dac.

 

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bad time for dealers with storefronts. They have too many people using their demos and then searching the web to buy it at rock bottom prices. On top of that, McIntosh dealers are required to make a huge investment in their equipment and the company has no issue opening another dealer several miles away. Their aren't too many companies willing to help out their dealers and few really enforce their so called restrictive covenants with the dealers they sign up, so the dealer is in many cases getting royally screwed.

 

I am not sure what the right answer is but the storefront is going the way of the dinosaur.

 

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and it's too bad as I really like looking at things in person. I think that stores would have an easier time of it though, if their customer service was better. I think that this is the downfall of a few of them around my area, although I don't want to mention names. Everytime I think of No returns, restocking fee, exchanges only, I think of Costco and how liberal they are with returns and also how successful they are. Most companies would do good to follow in their footsteps instead of trying to make it more difficult for the consumer to purchase something.

 

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Hi Sandra - There are dealers who will work with you and provide a demo unit as well as great customer service. The trick is finding them. Ask the CA forum members what dealers they recommend. Maybe open a new thread about the topic.

 

Trust me I talk to some great dealers who would enjoy working with someone such as yourself.

 

 

 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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I think I will do that. I'm very interested in the Berkely Alpha II because I've been hearing so much about it, but there's still that curiosity about how a few other players would sound in my system. I don't buy equipment very often, so I think it's important to demo it at home, especially if you're paying a high price for it.

 

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The stores are having a heck of a time and not necessarily because of bad service or management or whatever they are getting blamed for. It is simply because as Priaptor has pointed out, many folks shop the internet and find something used (although it has to be new SOMEWHERE along the way) and are merely using the dealer to listen to something or bend their ear to find out what is best, etc, etc. There ARE spots in the USA where that is not completely the case of course and thank goodness there are pockets of successful dealers that as Chris has pointed out would be happy to let you borrow some gear to see if fits into your system.

 

I am surprised though at what people think is a proper time to have something on loan to see if it "fits" into ones system or whatever. When I talk to the higher end car dealers I find that people in general are MAYBE getting a car on loan for a weekend or night to see if they love it enough to purchase it.

In that case we are looking at an investment of $30,000 up. Nobody balks. They simply drive it for a day or two, think about it and decide.

 

THAT is where things are so difficult in the audio business. There are SO many products on the market and people seem to need to try ALL of them in order to decide what they want to listen to music with, and the dealer is supposed to stock them and loan them for days on end to people that are constantly looking to the "next big thing" or the latest they just read about on the internet. And people wonder why there are less and less hifi shops.

 

I venture to guess that sevice in the high end audio business is better than a lot of folks belive it is. Especially if they give their dealer the opportunity to sell them something that is!

 


David

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in all dacs, just 3, and this was after careful research with ones that I think would sound good with my system. I emailed 4-5 dealers, as I don't have any high-end shops around here except one that carries very little high-end products. They all promptly emailed me about the product, then when I asked them if I could home demo (paying for shipping both ways as well as put in on my cc)it, I never heard from them again. The one exception was the dealer from Ohio that says he had a bad experience once and wouldn't send one out. The Berkely dealer was very willing to send me a demo. As soon as he sends it in for the upgrade, he is sending it out to me. I know there is a time limit for demoing (30 days I think) so I also don't think I wanted to listen to a player for days on end. If a dealer has a negative view of customers wanting to hear a product that costs thousands of dollars, and thinks that they just want to listen to the next big thing, they probably shouldn't be in business anyway. Most of the dealers I emailed were more than willing to take my cc for payment, but few of them wanted to go the extra step in making sure I really liked the product. They could have at least answered me back and said "no, we don't do that" instead of just ignoring me. When I bought my new car in 2009, I drove it 2-3 times first and looked at it another 2-3 times because it's a huge investment, just as is a $10,000 to $15,000 dac. It seems like fewer and fewer retailers anymore want to take the extra step, it's more important to get your money.

 

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what you are asking these guys for?

 

First, they have storefronts. Their overhead is significantly more than the guy dealing from their home or strictly over the internet. Secondly, they have to make a HUGE investment in the equipment they carry. No dealer is giving them DACS, speakers, etc. for free for carrying their line. They have to pay for it and have to sell at least 3 units just to pay for their Demos.

 

You yourself said you called 4-5 dealers demonstrating no allegiance. If I were a dealer and you wanted to demo a piece of equipment, not only would I ask you to pay for shipping but I would ask you to pay a non-refundable payment that would go towards the purchase of the piece if you choose to purchase it. No way, would I give a 30 day trial and be without my show piece with nothing to show for it at the end if you didn't like it or worse yet if you did and chose to buy it from the cheapest guy on the internet.

 

I understand your point of view, but to the guy with a storefront a 30 day demo with your only skin in the game being that you are willing to pay shipping is a nonstarter for almost everyone with a real store. This is why there are now just a handful of real storefronts and most demoing is done at shows or by dealers from their homes with minimal investments. Also why we are seeing more and more manufacturers selling direct.

 

 

 

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If they would have asked me for a deposit along with the shipping charges, I would have gladly done this. It would still be much better than paying for a piece of equipment that sounds terrible in your system. Most of my complaint comes from the fact that they never even responded to me after I asked if they have home demo's. How hard is it to say "no" or "yes, with a deposit we can let you listen to it for a week" instead of just not even answering back. Then I have to start all over again with another dealer. It's strange too, how the Berkely dealer was so willing to give me a home demo, even knowing I was going to listen to 2 others. If one can do it why can't more? I think most dealers are shooting themselves in the foot with such poor customer service, not just audio but TV's also. Just get on other sites and see what poor customer service is available after the sale. Just about nonexistant. Most dealers want to make a quick buck, then move on to another customer instead of spending a little bit of time and effort with a person.

 

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Hi Sandra - Keep looking for the right dealer. I suggest you call the dealer instead of emailing.

 

Hi Priaptor - I agree with some of what you said but not all. It's kind of a chicken or the egg scenario. There's not many dealers around anymore and fewer dealers are doing in home demos. Which one came first?

 

I personally know dealers who send equipment across the country for an in home demo and have never been burned. They are good judges of character. I also know dealers who have driven hundred of miles to put on in home demos simply because the customer asked.

 

Some of the oldest and best dealers in the country haven't lasted this long without offering impeccable customer service. When a dealer expects customers to rip him off the customers will. Professional dealers with good people skills who care for customer's needs first and foremost attract honest customers.

 

 

 


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Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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I know that customer service can be a double edged sword but the dealer should give the customer the benefit of the doubt, especially if he does his homework. I have excellent credit, and with a little communication from the dealer, I think we could have worked out a solution that would fit us both.I personally think that at a certain price point, the manufacturer should carry a demo piece somewhere at his dealerships, even if just one. Then you could get on a list to demo it, it's better than buying then returning it to the dealer in 2nd hand shape.

I willl take your advice Chris and call a few dealers. I will probably end up with the Berkely as I am very impressed already with his customer ettique and service, also knowing the Berkely is a great piece.

 

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With most of what you are saying Chris and it is a shame that Sandra has had the bad fortune of not just one but three or four dealers that are basically telling her to go somewhere else. I do applaude her decision to go to Seattle and go to a couple of shops there that have a few of the products she is looking for and then meeting the people behind the telephone face to face before asking about sending a multi thousand dollar piece of equipment through shipping hell. I know how Fedex and UPS treats things and it is not pretty. The way those dealers treated her was totally uncalled for but if they were choosing to not ship something and had told her that she may have had a different reaction.

 

The other thing not mentioned in this is the simple fact that a dealer sometimes sells things that they may not be crazy about and if they know that they will be sending a product out there to compete against product "B" then they know they really might as well not bother. Unless a dealer has just a few select lines and is behind them 100% then you can see how this conundrum can come up.

 

My thought would be for Sandra to contact the manufacturers who's products she is interested in and tell them about her situation. The manufacturer may steer her to her closest dealer and also pave the way a bit in making sure that she get's the demo she is hoping for. There may be a bit more leeway between the dealer and the manufacturer at this point making the whole transaction go a bit smoother. I always recommend that a client researches a company they are thinking of spending a large amount on anyway and this might be a nice intro to their products. If it is an imported product then the importer can surely be able to give a bit more background and details on their unit also.

 

In home demos are THE backbone of this industry and the only thing I was in disagreement about was the length of time one should expect to have a product in ones home to audition. A couple of days is plenty in my experience to see if it is something you want to live with.

 


David

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I really don't agree about the length of demo time because: an arrival date is just a luck of the draw and I also work 12 hour shifts 3 days in a row. If the product got to me during those 3 days, there is no way I could demo the product until my day off. Then I would need at least 2 full days to listen to it, so I would have to have it for approx. 1 week. The key to all of this of course, is communication. Everybody should know exactly what is expected, then there should be no problem with a home demo.

I also thought about whether I should let them know that I would be demoing 2 others, the Berkely dealer didn't seem to be a bit bothered by it, he was very nice and helpful. Besides, I don't like misleading anybody, and I wanted them to know I may not purchase their item, depending on the outcome of the 3 that I was to demo. Of course, since I can't seem to arrange a demo, I guess it's all mute at this point. I am going to take Chris's advice and call them, maybe I'll get a demo with one of them.

I'll probably be happy with any of them that I end up with which will probably be the Berkely. Going over to Seattle to listen may lead me to something else but we'll see. Signing off for now. Sandra

 

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I see where you're coming from on that. I doubt that any other manufacturer would have a problem with you demoing their product against the Berkely as long as it was apples to apples as far as cost. Good luck in your search, it will be worth the trouble.

 


David

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The McIntosh products are built beautifully and can be a "fit and forget" purchase that you fall in love with over daily use and interaction with it.

 


David

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Hi realhifi,

 

I adore McIntosh gear (recently bought a MC275 tube amp and C2300 tube preamp) and would love to get the 1100 cd player, but it's beyond my budget at the moment, and it's gonna' be a long moment I fear:)

 

I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules but I would strongly suggest you visit the Audio Afficianado site, where you will find the most incredibly helpful and knowledgeable members regarding everything McIntosh.

 

enjoy the shopping,

ron

 

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I'm so happy to hear that! Really, your forum is the best, unquestionably. I worked in a university library for many years and can't get my head around the idea that we should not direct others to the information they seek, because it is located somewhere else. That you encourage this speaks voluminously about your character :)

 

And actually, the place I suggested to realhifi does not allow users to link to outside sources :(

 

Oh, may I ask about the December Sonata review and guest (or second) writer you mentioned previously?

 

Happy New Year,

ron

 

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