New to hobby: McIntosh D150 w/ McIntosh Amp vs. Rotel Separates


Active member
Apr 20, 2022
New to the forum and hifi hobby. I am looking to build a system but having trouble finding which direction to go in. I use a Sonos Port as my source streaming Tidal and wanted a 2 channel system that I wouldn't have to manually turn on when I wanted to play music.

I found that the Rotel RC-1572 MKii preamp had a signal sense feature which would do this and have purchased that. I also have a McIntosh D150 DAC which has a power trigger in which the port can trigger on.

My amp was a Rotel RB-1050 and I was trying very hard to like the McIntosh paired with it because in my mind I'm thinking this is a more expensive brand and piece so it should be better, but it sounded too bright to where it was almost painful at high volumes. With the Rotel preamp I didn't have this issue. It sounded great and was much more laid back.

I was wondering if the D150 wouldn't have this issue if I paired it with a McIntosh MC152 or any McIntosh Amp. I have had older Rotel separates that were given to me by my dad and have always wanted to eventually graduate to McIntosh.

My other option is getting the Rotel RB 1582MKii and pairing that with the RC 1572 Mkii and being done with it.

My question is, since the McIntosh D150 isn't a true preamp but a DAC rather with Preamp capability, should I stick with the Rotel or should I pursue the McIntosh route? I've seen that the D150 & MC152 pair is common so I was thinking that the Mcintosh D150 and Rotel pair might be causing the brightness issue. Running B&W CM9 S2 speakers. Thanks!
All I can say is a system needs synergy and this is more easily obtained if your components are from the same manufacturer.
You seem very keen on McIntosh, any why not, so assume you have the funds the MC152 might be the way to go.
Have you tried using the RC 1572's tone controls?


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