Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Receiver - McIntosh MAC 4200

My McIntosh addiction continues to rage out of control. I found this MAC 4200 on eBay two days ago and thought it would complement my collection well. . .plus it was a local pick-up so I'd save on shipping. See all the excuses I come up with?!?

The MAC 4200 is a mean-lookin' motha. The menacingly-dark faceplate, black pushbuttons, and large red LED tuner window give this unit a real Darth Vadar feel. This is in stark contrast to the white and silver purity of the MAC 4100. This is what the 1980's did to gear design, and even McIntosh decided to follow suit with their receivers. It's okay by me - I love this look.

But this isn't what you wanted to know, now is it? How does it sound?

It sounds every bit as good as any other good-sounding receiver I own. To me, the real strength with McIntosh gear lies in its retention of value, build-quality (MTBF), brand prestige, and industrial design (in the eye of the beholder). Sure, the specs tell me that this puppy will put out cleaner sound (lower distortion) at much higher volume levels than comparable receivers, and this is a good thing, but it's not how I listen to music. Don't get me wrong - I love the idea that, if needed, I could crank this puppy up to near-clipping and it will still output clean sound, it's just that I doubt I ever will. That's what the bigger McIntosh amps in my collection are for :)

I do love the five band EQ and the variable loudness control. Typical loudness controls apply a fixed amount of compensation for listening at low volume. McIntosh employs a separate volume circuit that applies loudness proportionally. Between this and the five band EQ you can cater the sound to your listening volume and environment very effectively.

Here's the data sheet from Berners.

Have any stories or photos of your McIntosh receivers? Leave a comment or shoot me an email - thanks.


  1. I just bought a McIntosh MAC 4200 with a pair of Klipsch Forte speakers. I brought it home and everything works, and it sounds AMAZING. Do you have any idea what this setup is worth?

  2. Well, the MAC 4200 in very good condition is worth about $700 USD. The Klipsch Forte pair in very good condition could fetch $350 or so. Looks like a grand for the system. Thanks for writing in!

  3. Thanks for all this great info on the MAC 4200. I have one in mint condition that I was looking to sell, where might you suggest I look to put this guy up?

    Take care and have a great evening!

  4. Hi Shane - When it comes to selling gear, you basically have three main choices: eBay, CraigsList, and Audiogon. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. If you don't want to worry about shipping, CraigsList might be your best choice. Expect to get a little less though than you would from the broader audience and competitive bidding action that eBay provides. If you don't have the original boxes this came in, you'll want to get it double-boxed and professionally packed by the UPS Store or your mailing house of choice. I've sold a couple of items on as well and had a good experience from them. You might get upwards of $800 for a McIntosh 4200 in good condition on eBay or Audiogon. If you try selling on CraigsList, be prepared for people to try to talk you down in price. Hope this helps! Best of luck selling the unit. --Tom

  5. Hi Shane, I am interested in buying your McIntosh 4200. Do you still have it for sale?
    Hifi Collector are you selling yours?

  6. Hey Anonymous, I am about to put my Mac 4200 on ebay in the next day or two. I will also be listing my pair of Klipsch Forte 1 speakers separately from the receiver.

  7. Hi Shane,
    Would you consider selling it to me?
    If you want to send pics and details to my email. It is
    Hope to hear from you,

  8. I have a 4200 since it was new and have had it back to the factory twice for cleaning and calibration (which used to be free or dirt cheap).I bet I have had this unit on close to 100,000 hours over the last 30 years and it still sounds terrific to my ears. The original Mac speakers still chug along beautifully. It is such a pleasure owning something that was made with pride.

  9. I notice there is a Mac 4200 on Ebay right now and am thinking of buying it. I've been looking for that rock-and-roll sound (will combine it with a pair of classic tube amplifiers) and have heard one of these before.

    How high do you think I should go?


  10. Re the 4200 on eBay, if it's in good physical condition and works well, $800 is a fair price, but I've seen them go for as high as $1,100. Great receiver - good luck!

  11. I have a 4200 Mac im tring to sell Works great in good Con. missing a few knobs asking $500

  12. My wife recently came into a 4200 Mac that her father left her. It's in great shape. Any recommendations for contemporary speakers for it?
    Thanks in advance.

  13. Hi Bistro - I wish I could point you in the right direction, but I haven't bought any "new" speakers in almost a decade. I really like the B&W CDM series from a few years back - 2002 or so. But everyone's tastes are different. What sounds good to me in my listening space may not sound good to you in yours. I suggest finding a stereo shop near you - not a Best Buy, but a dedicated home theater or HiFi shop that will help guide you in your decision. Thanks for chiming in. --Tom

  14. I have a McIntosh 4100 for sale 500$ 740-223-5398 marion ohio



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