Here we have the perfect processor/preamp for your dream McIntosh Home Theater system. It has some special qualities that make it THE BEST choice for the AUDIOPHILE. Ill explain, but first you should know&
This MX136 was found in our warehouse with a broken faceplate. It might have been taken to an installation, opened up, and then brought back to the store to be returned to the factory for a new faceplate. Once every few years this happens.
It looks to be in such perfect shape, otherwise, that I doubt it was used, but who knows? Its been sitting in its box, frozen in time, for a while.
Anyway, The faceplate has been replaced by a 30+year McIntosh expert and it looks like new again.
McIntosh does have this rule you need to know about, regardless of whether this was ever used or not&
If its advertized on EBAY, its USED. End of story. If you win the auction, dont even THINK of calling McIntosh to register the warranty. It has none. It has been tested, though, and everything seems super.
This MX136 has the special McIntosh box-within-a-box, packing, power cord, manual, and remote control.
WHATS AN MX136? How does it differ from the MX120?
Other than the just-released MX150 processor, the MX136 was McIntoshs best processor/preamp. It is a step up from the MX120. It has more inputs, more outputs, and a super-cool feature I will tell you about later that lower models dont have, and even the new MX150 does not have.
It has LOTS of inputs&PHONO, TUNER, CD1, CD2, TV, SAT, DVD, VCR1, VCR2, LV and TAPE1, TAPE2, all rename-able. There are ELEVEN composite video inputs, ELEVEN S-Video inputs, FIVE Component-video inputs, and FOUR HDMI video inputs. There are THREE coax digital audio inputs and THREE optical digital audio inputs. There is an EIGHT-CHANNEL external input for use with a Blue-Ray players internal decoder. There are BALANCED OUTPUTS FOR ALL CHANNELS and TWO BALANCED STEREO inputs.
There is a SECOND ZONE built in so you can have a movie (or anything else) playing in the main room and listen to and/or watch anything else in other rooms. There is an RS232 control jack to interface with third-party control systems. There are POWER CONTROL jacks to allow the MX136 to turn other McIntosh components on/off automatically. There are KEYPAD/SENSOR jacks so you can control the MX136 from other rooms. You can even put your system in a closet and just have an external sensor. I told you there was more than enough!
WHAT MAKES THIS A BEST-CHOICE FOR AN AUDIOPHILE?
If you want to go into Home Theater but youre concerned about keeping your high-end sound, several features make this your best choice. You no longer need to keep your high-end two-channel preamp and try to interface it with your processor. Unless you have a McIntosh C2300, C500, or C1000 preamp, or a small handful of other super-duper-high-end preamps, the MX136 will be at LEAST as good as your old two-channel preamp. Here are the reasons&
1) The MX136 contains the same high-quality PHONO preamp as in other McIntosh two-channel preamps. Its super quiet and has accurate equalization. Most other processors have a cheap-and-dirty afterthought phono section, if any at all. If do not have a turntable, tell the MX136 that in its setup and the phono input is now an extra high-level input to use with whatever you want.
2) The MX136 has a VERY sophisticated eight-channel ANALOG volume control. Almost all processors use digital volume controls. Thats great for keeping the unit slim, light, and cheap, but it does BAD THINGS to the sound. As you lower the volume on a digital volume control, you reduce the number of digital BITS that the preamp has available for the music and the sound quality suffers. Thats the #1 reason why most audiophiles dont like the sound of any home theater processor they have ever tried, especially at low volumes. The MX136 is one of a tiny number of processors with a true fully analog volume control. It sounds great at any volume. When you turn the knob, you are sending pulses to a microprocessor. That in turn figures out what volume you want and selects the exact resistance to raise or lower the volume. Once the volume knob is released, the micro is a non-issue. In other words, no- compromise sound.
3) Even when you are in STEREO mode, most processors still always digitize your music! Thats because of the SUBWOOFER CROSSOVER. When they say they have a pure stereo mode, that assumes you have NO SUB! The solution was for McIntosh to incorporate TWO SUBWOOFER CROSSOVERS into the MX136. One is a digital crossover for digital-source listening. The other is an ANALOG CROSSOVER. That means that your analog sources come enter in analog form and stay that way throughout the preamp, both through the volume control and subwoofer crossover. You dont want YOUR vinyl going through A-to-D and then D-to-A conversions, do you? Even worse, two of them!
4) So you have a GREAT pair of speakers up front&say some x&x 803s. They have GREAT BASS! Your subwoofers bass is louder, and a little deeper, but not a clear and musical. On the other hand, you DO want to use your sub for movies. The smallish woofers in your speakers do fine with music. They were NOT, however, designed to pump out explosive movie bass soundtracks at sofa-shaking sound levels. Thats why you bought your sub. But what about when you want to do pure music listening? With other processors, it involves turning on your TV and going into the setup menu to turn off the sub and switching your front left and right speakers from SMALL to LARGE. Unplugging you sub is NOT the solution. Then you are feeding the bass to nothing! Setting your processor to LARGE for the front left and right speakers is worse. Now you are endangering your expensive woofers with sound effects. Even worse, both your sub AND your speakers overlap in the bass, so you now have lots of hot zones and dead zones of bass in your room. MX136 TO THE RESCUE! There is a hidden feature in this processor. Take the MODE knob and turn it the STEREO. Now turn it ONE MORE CLICK. The dot stays on STEREO, but the display reads, for a second, TWO-CHANNEL. I dont care where you set the crossover frequency of your sub during setup (its variable, by the way). You could have said your speakers are large or small during setup. Nothing matters now. Your music is now coming out FULL-RANGE from your LEFT and RIGHT FRONT speakers ONLY and your SUB is OFF and ALL CROSSOVERS and ALL PROCESSING are bypassed. In other words, you now have a GREAT McINTOSH TWO-CHANNEL PREAMP!
5) A set of LEDs on the front panel always tell you the status of each channels input and output. As an example, when you activate the hidden 2-CHANNEL MODE, all the surround light go off, along with the subwoofer light. Only the FRONT LEFT and FRONT RIGHT LEDs stay lit to confirm whats going on.
You might notice how nice the illumination of the front panel lettering is on this model. Thats because its McIntoshs newest type of lighting; it uses LEDs and fiber optics. This gives brighter and more even lighting. More importantly, the LEDs will last almost forever, instead of needing replacement every five years or so, like the light bulbs used in previous models. Check it out : www.hifisellnbuy.com