Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Recent Ebay Highlights: The McIntosh MPI-3

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It's easily the coolest piece of hifi gear ever made: The McIntosh MPI-3 (Maximum Performance Indicator). It doesn't pass audio; it's just a scope. The one pictured above recently sold on Ebay for $510.00. I'd love to have one, but am waiting for one that's easy (read: cheap) to get. I see the MPI-4 more often than the MPI-3, but the display on the MPI-3 is much cooler. Apparently, the MPI-3 had tubes and the MPI-4 was solid-state (you could see the tube-warmth!) Anyway, the MPI-4 was considered an improvement as it was a dual-trace oscilloscope that could show either or both channels plus it displayed power level with a peak/hold feature. Whatever. It wasn't as cool. Antonio Ceretti has a picture of an MPI-4 so you can see what it looks like:

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It seems that the display tubes for both the MPI-3 and the MPI-4 are available on Ebay. Here's one for the MPI-3:

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Marantz offered tuners with scopes for a while. Here's a video of the scope in a Marantz 2110:

This is a pretty good approximation of the display in the MPI-3, except the MPI-3 display was green, not blue and the Marantz display is smaller than the on in the McIntosh. Anyone have any clue what the Marantz is displaying? Is it a stereo phase meter or something?

I've heard Technics had a tuner with a scope but I couldn't find anything on the internets about them.

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