McCormack DNA 1 Deluxe power amp or McCormack DNA 0.5 (Rev) power amp?

pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,701
I have pretty much decided to go to the next level in my audio journey and have read great things about the McCormack DNA 1 Deluxe and DNA 0.5 Rev (upgraded model) power amps. From what I have read, many say that the DNA 0.5 (Rev) is the sweet spot of the McCormack DNA series. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with both amps and can let me know which they preferred. I know the DNA 0.5 has 125 watts compared to the DNA 1 Deluxe's 185 watts but, at 4 ohms the DNA 0.5 goes to 200 watts (and I believe my Polk SDA 2BTL are 4 ohm speakers, is that correct?) so I am not worried about the difference in watts and am sure either amp would not have a problem driving the SDA 2BTLs with ease. What I would most like to know is which amp has a better overall sound (subjective, I know). I prefer a more neutral and musical sound rather than anything too warm or cold or clinical, if that helps. I am currently using a Parasound HCA 1500A power amp and Parasound P/LD 1500 pre amp to drive my SDAs. Am I correct to assume that the McCormack power amp and pre amp combo would be a big upgrade over my current Parasound power amp and pre amp set up? Thanks.

Comments

  • halohalo Posts: 5,205
    pglbook wrote: »
    I have pretty much decided to go to the next level in my audio journey and have read great things about the McCormack DNA 1 Deluxe and DNA 0.5 Rev (upgraded model) power amps. From what I have read, many say that the DNA 0.5 (Rev) is the sweet spot of the McCormack DNA series. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with both amps and can let me know which they preferred. I know the DNA 0.5 has 125 watts compared to the DNA 1 Deluxe's 185 watts but, at 4 ohms the DNA 0.5 goes to 200 watts (and I believe my Polk SDA 2BTL are 4 ohm speakers, is that correct?) so I am not worried about the difference in watts and am sure either amp would not have a problem driving the SDA 2BTLs with ease. What I would most like to know is which amp has a better overall sound (subjective, I know). I prefer a more neutral and musical sound rather than anything too warm or cold or clinical, if that helps. I am currently using a Parasound HCA 1500A power amp and Parasound P/LD 1500 pre amp to drive my SDAs. Am I correct to assume that the McCormack power amp and pre amp combo would be a big upgrade over my current Parasound power amp and pre amp set up? Thanks.

    Yes, in my humble opinion, the McCormack amp(s) will be an improvement in sound quality > the Parasound amp/preamp combo. Not bashing Parasound at all here. FWIW, I have a McCormack DNA-125 available in the FS section that has been modded by Bob Backert of RHB Sound Dezign. I think it would be perfect for your needs. https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/185041/mccormack-dna-125-stereo-power-amp-w-mods-by-bob-backert#latest

    Even if you don't go with the amp I have for sale, I would still, wholeheartedly, recommend the McCormack > Parasound.

    Good luck with your search!
  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,701
    edited February 5
    Thanks, Halo. I appreciate your feedback. I will also now have to do some research into the McCormack DNA 125 as I am not familiar with that model.

  • StevieBStevieB Posts: 248
    pglbook wrote: »
    Thanks, Halo. I appreciate your feedback. I will also now have to do some research into the McCormack DNA 125 as I am not familiar with that model.

    Jump on it like a hobo on a hotdog. :p
    McCormack DNA-1 Amp, Parasound Halo P5 Pre Amp, Denon DVD 2900 CD player, Adcom GDA 700 DAC, VPI Traveler TT with Denon 103R cartridge, Lounge Audio MKiii phono pre and Copla SUT, Polk SDA SRS 3.1 TL speakers, Tributaries series 8 IC's and speaker cable.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,446
    StevieB wrote: »
    pglbook wrote: »
    Thanks, Halo. I appreciate your feedback. I will also now have to do some research into the McCormack DNA 125 as I am not familiar with that model.

    Jump on it like a hobo on a hotdog. :p

    LOL, I like that.

    Grab a McCormack, any model will be an improvement over what you have now. Don't let the lower wattage fool you either, they seemingly never run out of steam. If you can find one with some upgrades done to it, all the better. Good luck.
    HT SYSTEM-
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    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
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  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,701
    tonyb wrote: »
    StevieB wrote: »
    pglbook wrote: »
    Thanks, Halo. I appreciate your feedback. I will also now have to do some research into the McCormack DNA 125 as I am not familiar with that model.

    Jump on it like a hobo on a hotdog. :p

    LOL, I like that.

    Grab a McCormack, any model will be an improvement over what you have now. Don't let the lower wattage fool you either, they seemingly never run out of steam. If you can find one with some upgrades done to it, all the better. Good luck.

    Thanks, Tony. I am looking every day and trying my best to get one but they are not easy to find for sale. I've searched all the usual sites (eBay, audiogon, etc.) and there is not much out there at present. I was contemplating getting the DNA 125 listed in the Flea Market but that one sold yesterday. I know you are a big fan of McCormack, so, on another topic, what would you recommend would be a good pre amp to match with one of the McCormack DNA amps? I was looking at the McCormack RLD 1 pre amp but that is also rare to find. Do you think my Parasound P/LD 1500 pre amp would match well with a McCormack DNA amp? The Parasound P/LD 1500 is a pretty rare (and excellent) pre amp (John Curl designed, similar to the legendary P/LD 2000 model). I just had that pre serviced and even the technician who worked on it commented on how impressed he was with it. If not, what other pre amps would you recommend to match with a DNA amp? Thanks again.

  • halohalo Posts: 5,205
    pglbook wrote: »
    Thanks, Tony. I am looking every day and trying my best to get one but they are not easy to find for sale. I've searched all the usual sites (eBay, audiogon, etc.) and there is not much out there at present. I was contemplating getting the DNA 125 listed in the Flea Market but that one sold yesterday. I know you are a big fan of McCormack, so, on another topic, what would you recommend would be a good pre amp to match with one of the McCormack DNA amps? I was looking at the McCormack RLD 1 pre amp but that is also rare to find. Do you think my Parasound P/LD 1500 pre amp would match well with a McCormack DNA amp? The Parasound P/LD 1500 is a pretty rare (and excellent) pre amp (John Curl designed, similar to the legendary P/LD 2000 model). I just had that pre serviced and even the technician who worked on it commented on how impressed he was with it. If not, what other pre amps would you recommend to match with a DNA amp? Thanks again.

    I'll field this with my experiences if I may. I paired that McCormack amp with three different preamps in the time I owned it.
    1. Jolida Fusion tube preamp
    2. Cary AUdio CPA-1 preamp
    3. Parasound Halo P5 preamp

    All of them had their good points and none of them sounded bad but the Jolida was the best, followed by the Cary and, finally, the Parasound. Tubes go well with the McCormack amps. The Jolida was reasonably priced for a tube pre and the tube compliment was good for tube rolling. The Cary had a very warm sound to it that I enjoyed quite a bit. The P5 was a good "jack of all trades" and the sound was nice. No complaints on any of them but the Parasound was the least "engaging" to me of the three. Keep in mind, though, that all three are very good choices on their own. Many other preamps out there that wouldn't perform as well as any one of them.
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,488
    tonyb wrote: »
    Don't let the lower wattage fool you either, they seemingly never run out of steam. If you can find one with some upgrades done to it, all the better. Good luck.

    I had SMC upgrade a DNA-1 for me just over a year ago, I agree it doesn't seem to run out of breath. I paired it with a stock RLD-1 not too long ago and I'm quite pleased. I have the itch to get the RLD-1 upgraded but may wait on that.

  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,701

    [/quote]

    I'll field this with my experiences if I may. I paired that McCormack amp with three different preamps in the time I owned it.
    1. Jolida Fusion tube preamp
    2. Cary AUdio CPA-1 preamp
    3. Parasound Halo P5 preamp

    All of them had their good points and none of them sounded bad but the Jolida was the best, followed by the Cary and, finally, the Parasound. Tubes go well with the McCormack amps. The Jolida was reasonably priced for a tube pre and the tube compliment was good for tube rolling. The Cary had a very warm sound to it that I enjoyed quite a bit. The P5 was a good "jack of all trades" and the sound was nice. No complaints on any of them but the Parasound was the least "engaging" to me of the three. Keep in mind, though, that all three are very good choices on their own. Many other preamps out there that wouldn't perform as well as any one of them. [/quote]

    Thanks, Halo. Much appreciated. I am currently looking at getting a mint DNA .5 Rev B amp but the price seems a little high to me ($1,100) although I know they do not show up that often. Last nice one sold on eBay for around $850 and there is currently one listed on eBay for $850 but that one has some rubbed and faded lettering on front panel. Just a question if it fits my budget. What do you think of the 41,100 price on the DNA .5 Rev B. Would I be crazy to pay that much for it?

  • Gerres26Gerres26 Posts: 483
    If the price is too high just be patient. The amp you want will eventually show up for sale. I'm not sure if the $1100 is a little steep or not but I can tell you that i have a dna125 and I don't think I'd let it go for under $900...they are just hard to beat for the cost.
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