New (to me) amp: McCormack DNA-125

1246710

Comments

  • tratliff
    tratliff Posts: 1,338
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Re-reading the response from TMR, I don't like the tone of that email at all.

    Why is it that it "isn't going to work for you" versus there being something physically wrong with the amplifier? It's being spun around back on me like the issue lies with me, not the amp.

    You might be being a bit hyper sensitive. If you are not happy with the purchase then take them up on the return and move on.
    2 Channel
    Legacy Focus SE's, 2 REL Carbon Limited, Norma Revo IPA-140, VPI Prime w/SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC, Parasound Halo JC3, Denon DP-59l w/Denon DL-301MKII, Marantz SA-14s1, AudioQuest Thunderbird Speaker and Interconnect Cables, AudioQuest Thunder Power Cable

    Vintage
    Pioneer SA-9800, Pioneer TX-9800, Pioneer PL-630 w/Ortofon 2m Bronze, Technics RS-1500, PSB Imagine T2's
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,682
    agreed, if not happy return it while you can and move on.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    They'll pay for return shipping under the condition that there is actually an "issue".

    "I'm happy to provide you with a return shipping label. Once the unit gets back here I will be able to test it further. If it is determined that there is indeed an issue I will be able to issue a full refund. If we are unable to recreate any issues I would need to deduct the shipping from the return amount. I always error on the side of the customer but I will need to confirm that there is an issue before I would be able to issue a full refund."

    Sorry this thread ended up having such a lame ending.
  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 12,284
    If you happen to have to pay the shipping, at the very least you should reap paying shipping at their rates instead of what us street people have to pay
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • DaveHo
    DaveHo Posts: 3,262
    IMHO, your making a mountain out of a mole hill. Many amps hum slightly. Heck mine hums more on certain days than others. There's no rhyme or reason. Sounds to me like you have buyer's remorse since the McCormack didn't blow you away.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,682
    edited January 2018
    DaveHo wrote: »
    IMHO, your making a mountain out of a mole hill. Many amps hum slightly. Heck mine hums more on certain days than others. There's no rhyme or reason. Sounds to me like you have buyer's remorse since the McCormack didn't blow you away.

    I doubt that's his case. The different sound signatures of both amps are so different, it should be readily apparent. Be like comparing SDA's to monitor 50's, if someone said they sounded the same, one might wonder if something was amiss.

    While it may be true some amps have a natural hum to them, it is correctable by various means. If the OP doesn't want to spend the additional funds to try and correct it, he's better off sending it back.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    Thanks for speculating what my true motive for returning it was, but that's completely false and isn't related at all to the issue that I had with the amp.

    That's nice that many amps may "hum slightly", but there's also many that simply don't. I now need to find one that doesn't.
    DaveHo wrote: »
    Sounds to me like you have buyer's remorse since the McCormack didn't blow you away.

    Yeah, you have to wonder don't you, if something is amiss with that particular DNA-125.

    I spent 30 minutes on the phone yesterday talking with SMc Audio discussing the amp and its characteristics. I mentioned twice about the sound quality being the same as my previous NAD, and both times was told that was abnormal and that it should definitely not be that way.
    tonyb wrote: »
    I doubt that's his case. The different sound signatures of both amps are so different, it should be readily apparent. Be like comparing SDA's to monitor 50's, if someone said they sounded the same, one might wonder if something was amiss.

    While it may be true some amps have a natural hum to them, it is correctable by various means. If the OP doesn't want to spend the additional funds to try and correct it, he's better off sending it back.

  • Tony M
    Tony M Posts: 10,621
    I'm glad this bad experience is winding down for the better.

    Drew is NOT hyper sensitive. His wife was also ANNOYED by the hum. ;)

    I definitely don't want to pay 800 for a humming amp. Even if it was a KRELL or BAT monster amps that originally cost 15K each. Remember that Steely Dan Phrase ?, No Static at all !!! FM. Well that's me, no static hiss or hum for me since FM came out in the early 70's I believe. .

    I want to listen to music without added hiss to the sound. Doesn't everybody. S/N ratio's are important, are they not ?.

    If you don't mind hearing hiss and your amp hum, some might describe you as being not critical enough. Like Cathy said not so long ago, we all have our own personal likes when it comes to our stereos and H. T. 'ers. What pleases us doesn't necessarily have to please others. Enjoy what we have and don't worry about what others say.

    From the reviews on this Amp that are on line, I would have to agree, Drew SHOULD have been BLOWN AWAY by it's performance... There's NO BUYERS REMORSE here. Good grief, the amp didn't improve his sound over the NAD. Maybe NAD is UNDERATED by some here on the forum. I for one LOVE NAD equipment . Who's to say Drew won't try buying something else with his refund to advance his and his wife's listening pleasures.

    Good luck Drew.

    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • motorhead43026
    motorhead43026 Posts: 3,896
    edited January 2018
    I have 4 different amps all different manufactures. See my signature, and all hum to some degree.

    Oh, and the white noise in the tweeters, I experience that as well. That was attributed to my preamp. I am now running my Anthem 225 integrated. It has a very low noise floor, but it is still there if my ear is right up on the tweeter.

    Good luck in your search.

    I think Geppy has a 225 for sale. It is a great integrated.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.

    Imagine making politics your entire personality.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    I hooked my NAD int. back up last night, ZERO hiss from the tweeters, literally nothing coming out of them, regardless of volume knob position. Put my ear an inch from it's toridal transformer, ZERO hum from it, dead silent.

    I still want to go tube pre and SS power amp, so I'm still on the lookout for an amp that doesn't hum.
    I have 4 different amps all different manufactures. See my signature, and all hum to some degree.

    Oh, and the white noise in the tweeters, I experience that as well. That was attributed to my preamp. I am now running my Anthem 225 integrated. It has a very low noise floor, but it is still there if my ear is right up on the tweeter.

    Good luck in your search.

    I think Geppy has a 225 for sale. It is a great integrated.

  • motorhead43026
    motorhead43026 Posts: 3,896
    edited January 2018
    When I say hum, I have to be using my amps as a pillow to actually hear it.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.

    Imagine making politics your entire personality.
  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 12,284
    I have 4 different amps all different manufactures. See my signature, and all hum to some degree.

    Oh, and the white noise in the tweeters, I experience that as well. That was attributed to my preamp. I am now running my Anthem 225 integrated. It has a very low noise floor, but it is still there if my ear is right up on the tweeter.

    Good luck in your search.

    I think Geppy has a 225 for sale. It is a great integrated.

    Didn't you have improvement with hum using the PS AUDIO - Dectet Power Center
    Power Conditioner
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • ^^I don't have any hum at the speakers at all. I am referring to mechanical hum at the transformer.

    But yes, I really appreciate the Dectet
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.

    Imagine making politics your entire personality.
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    It's possible that the hum wasn't even coming from the transformer, but another component inside the amplifier.

    I tried to isolate the physical location and I determined the source of the hum was originating from the left and right sides, about half way back. That's why I thought it might be those red things I circled - thermal protection sensors/circuits apparently. It was not coming from the front center where the EI transformer was mounted.

    SMc mentioned that part of their upgrade is removing those thermal protection sensors. It's very possible that shipping the amplifier to SMc and letting them work their magic on it would've resulted in me having a completely different experience with it. The problem is I would be out at minimum another $1k to do that.
    DSkip wrote: »
    Could there be a gain setting causing the transformer to hum?

  • ^^I agree, another 1k would be hard to swallow.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.

    Imagine making politics your entire personality.
  • kharp1
    kharp1 Posts: 3,453
    I will say the McCormack became my favorite before I moved on to different things, but, it had been modded when I bought it, I would seriously consider modding this piece as it has a considerable reputation and reacts well to mods. I'm not sure what the upgrades would be for $1k, but, I would get a detailed breakdown of the mod and give it serious consideration. Obviously, they are no longer in production, and still are sought after. Something to consider. I understand the disappointment of shelling out another $1k and not liking the end result, and, it's highly unlikely that you would be able to recoup the upgrade cost.
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,612
    I'm just wondering if anyone else on the forum has paired the McCormack amps with the Polk LSiM bookshelf speakers like the pairing Drew has?

    If so, has anyone who has done this used a different amp than the McCormack with those speakers and what was the outcome/difference if any?

    Not saying you aren't hearing what you're hearing Drew, just wondering if anyone else has a similar experience? Maybe it's the combination that doesn't work? Do you have other speaker cables or interconnects that you can try in this setup?

    This is the "experimentation" I was talking about before as there are so many variables that can alter the sound in a stereo setup. System synergy is no joke. It can be maddening.
  • motorhead43026
    motorhead43026 Posts: 3,896
    edited January 2018
    Could it be a high impedence issue?
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; LAT International speaker cables, ZU Mission IC's and power cables all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    Other; M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All vintage Polk have had crossover rebuilds and tweeter upgrades.

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

    It is imperative that we recognize that an opinion is not a fact.

    Imagine making politics your entire personality.
  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 1,694
    Clipdat wrote: »
    ...With regards to it having been damaged during shipping, unless the transformer physically came detached during shipping there isn't much else that could cause this that wouldn't immediately cause the fuses to blow...

    With all due respect, this is a false statement. I routinely ship amps and preamps all over the country, and there are several forms of shipping damage beyond the transformer coming loose (and some far more frustrating and insidious). Just to name a few, stress cracks in PCBs that are almost invisible to the naked eye (but still sever the traces), bias and voltage pots jarred out of alignment, buss connectors shaken loose, frigid temps causing condensation inside the chassis, and so on. I’ve personally experienced all of these - and yes, one transformer that came loose and beat the he11 out of the innards. Point being that there can be damage that you cannot detect without proper test equipment.

    "Conservative Libertarians love the country, progressive leftists love the government." - Andrew Wilkow


    “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    I completely agree. Those aren't my words, that's from the TMR Audio customer service manager.

    I raised an eyebrow when he was implying that the only damage an amplifier is susceptible to during transit is a knocked loose transformer. As you mentioned, there are plenty of other things that can happen to sensitive electronic devices during shipping.

    I didn't feel like getting into an argument with him about shipping logistics and electronic design. He also later in that paragraph incorrectly referred to the unit as having a toroidal transformer when it doesn't.
    daddyjt wrote: »
    Clipdat wrote: »
    ...With regards to it having been damaged during shipping, unless the transformer physically came detached during shipping there isn't much else that could cause this that wouldn't immediately cause the fuses to blow...

    With all due respect, this is a false statement. I routinely ship amps and preamps all over the country, and there are several forms of shipping damage beyond the transformer coming loose (and some far more frustrating and insidious). Just to name a few, stress cracks in PCBs that are almost invisible to the naked eye (but still sever the traces), bias and voltage pots jarred out of alignment, buss connectors shaken loose, frigid temps causing condensation inside the chassis, and so on. I’ve personally experienced all of these - and yes, one transformer that came loose and beat the he11 out of the innards. Point being that there can be damage that you cannot detect without proper test equipment.

  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    Bit of a moot point now because the amp is back in the box and waiting to be picked up by FedEx tomorrow.

    But yeah would still be interesting to know if anyone else has tried the DNA-125 and LSiM 703 combo.

    halo wrote: »
    I'm just wondering if anyone else on the forum has paired the McCormack amps with the Polk LSiM bookshelf speakers like the pairing Drew has?

    If so, has anyone who has done this used a different amp than the McCormack with those speakers and what was the outcome/difference if any?

    Not saying you aren't hearing what you're hearing Drew, just wondering if anyone else has a similar experience? Maybe it's the combination that doesn't work? Do you have other speaker cables or interconnects that you can try in this setup?

    This is the "experimentation" I was talking about before as there are so many variables that can alter the sound in a stereo setup. System synergy is no joke. It can be maddening.

  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,682
    Good for you. If I was in your shoes , would do the same thing.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • gmcman
    gmcman Posts: 1,667
    Tony M wrote: »
    From the reviews on this Amp that are on line, I would have to agree, Drew SHOULD have been BLOWN AWAY by it's performance... There's NO BUYERS REMORSE here. Good grief, the amp didn't improve his sound over the NAD.

    I'm not saying there isn't the possibility of an issue with the Mccormack, but you can't compare the two in that context...imho.

    You're referring to an integrated setup compared to an amp being fed by DJ mixer.

    Not remotely a fair comparison IMO.

  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,682
    BTW....and just a suggestion, after returning the amp keep an eye open for a Butler amp. They run very quiet with no hum or hiss through the speakers. Helps too they sound fantastic as well.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 11,100
    Have you ever personally heard or used a Tascam XS-8, or its functionally equivalent model, the Ecler HAK 320?

    If not, please decline from making further comments about your preconceived notion of it's inferior sound quality.
    gmcman wrote: »
    I'm not saying there isn't the possibility of an issue with the Mccormack, but you can't compare the two in that context...imho.

    You're referring to an integrated setup compared to an amp being fed by DJ mixer.

    Not remotely a fair comparison IMO.

  • Tony M
    Tony M Posts: 10,621
    tonyb wrote: »
    BTW....and just a suggestion, after returning the amp keep an eye open for a Butler amp. They run very quiet with no hum or hiss through the speakers. Helps too they sound fantastic as well.

    Isn't Butler the Co. that provides a " LIFE TIME " warrantee. ?

    I was going to do some back checking on my memory to find out what amp company said they would provide" lifetime service " to any defective part . Parts and labor ! ;)
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • txcoastal1
    txcoastal1 Posts: 12,284
    Tony M wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    BTW....and just a suggestion, after returning the amp keep an eye open for a Butler amp. They run very quiet with no hum or hiss through the speakers. Helps too they sound fantastic as well.

    Isn't Butler the Co. that provides a " LIFE TIME " warrantee. ?

    I was going to do some back checking on my memory to find out what amp company said they would provide" lifetime service " to any defective part . Parts and labor ! ;)

    Bryston is the company I think you are speaking of
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC

    erat interfectorem cesar et **** dictatorem dicere a
  • Tony M
    Tony M Posts: 10,621
    edited January 2018
    ^^^^^^
    Thanks . :) I'll look into that right now.

    I just found an ad for one of Bryston's amps and it states..." 20 year factory warrantee ".

    I could have easily construed that to be a lifetime warrantee for sure !

    When you posted their name, it rang some bells for sure. ;)
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 47,222
    Bryston has a 20 year warranty, not lifetime.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • Tony M
    Tony M Posts: 10,621
    F1nut wrote: »
    Bryston has a 20 year warranty, not lifetime.

    I understand that now after I saw an ad just a minute ago.

    For some, it might be. Just sayin. :s

    For me it probably would be. :(:#


    There just might be 1 Co. that does offer the Life time. But I'm beginning to wonder now. :(
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.