McIntosh C26 PreAmp Preamplifiers

3.75/5 (8 Reviews) MSRP : $450.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John Rein a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 1, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I have had one of these in my bedroom for years. It is a nice preamp with decent sound and much quieter than you would expect for early solid state. If you are the market for a vintage system on the cheap this is a great place to start. The caps are most likely getting tired so you may want to have it checked . I had mine done with new caps and totally cleaned and serviced, what a difference. I see one person wrote 3 negative reviews of the C26 so he must have hated it. Like everything in audio the sound is one you will either love or hate but it is a cheap way to start with Mac. There are many better preamps in the world but don't overlook this piece it gives you a taste of the Mac sound without the high price. I would warn you that it is not going to compete with the classic Mac tube preamps like the C11, C20 and C22 but it only costs a fraction of these guys. The other great buy in the Mac line of preamps is the C28. It was made for so long and there are so many out there that it is pretty cheap but I think I would still pick the C26. Remember that the reason people buy these is a combination of sound and beauty. A friend has one with the matching MC2105 on Klipsch Cornwalls and he just decided to get rid of his more expensive newer tube gear. Once again matching is the key. If it matches great if not get ridof it and buy something else

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by sahvens a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2010

Bottom Line:   
"Come on people. I owned one of these turkeys when they were new. Within a couple years, I replaced it with a better preamp costing less than 1/2 as much, and I'm now 6 preamps beyond that one, each an improvement."

Such is the case with just about any of the 1st generation Solid State gear.

I've had this preamp and it is nice. Of course new MC pre will best it hands down. I think the price it gets (around $500 on ebay ) has to do with the quality of the build, the looks, and that McIntosh still supports there vintage gear to this day. Any one who gets this preamp is a vintage enthusiast or a collector and as far a vintage SS gear goes this is a real gem.

All vintage gear should be gone though by a tech. McIntosh will test and restore any of it's old gear. Caps dry out and resistors shift values etc. You are not hearing the gear for what it is if you don't have it brought into spec. Old vintage gear can be DANGEROUSE! if not looked at and restored.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:2
Submitted by dmorgan a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2008

Bottom Line:   
Come on people, ease up on this unit. Admittedly this preamp has a lot of crosstalk between inputs, and lacks the type of inner detailing which could be described as analytical, but what a HUGE soundstage. Very warm. Looks cool. Worthwhile if found for cheap, and approached with realistic expectations - entertaining vintage equipment which might be entertaining in your system. Contemporary comparison doesn't apply.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $150.00



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:1
Submitted by keith baker a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Come on people. I owned one of these turkeys when they were new. Within a couple years, I replaced it with a better preamp costing less than 1/2 as much, and I'm now 6 preamps beyond that one, each an improvement. Mac was great in tubes, but only mediocre in solid state for years. Great now, but not tthe C26. For $50 I might buy one just to see what it is t like compared to my more recent McIntosh preamps, but the prices people get on eBay for this are just silly.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Myer-emco



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by lculot a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2002

Bottom Line:   
First piece of Mac equipment that I used. Absolutely stunning given the cost and performance. I then decided to pitch the Parasound and Adcom amps and buy a used Mac 2125. No regrets. I haven't tried the phono stage.

N.B. When I first got it, the soundstage and distortion was noticable. They replaced the output-stage transitors, so it's a dead-quiet amp and runs like new. If you have an old one, it might benefit from a tune-up, done at any Mac shop.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   QAudio/Cambridge




Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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