McIntosh C22 Preamplifiers

C22

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
vintagedude1951   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 08, 2002]
Strength:

looks and sounds great.

Weakness:

none

Great preamp, sound superb, after more then 30 years this amp still works like new one. I got it from ebay.I had so many different preamps this one the best one if you see one of these and if price is right for you buy it I am sure you will love it.

Similar Products Used: marantz,paragon,many others
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
McIntoshMC275   Casual Listener [Mar 24, 2002]
Strength:

When the bass & treble controls are at "12", they are out of the circuit. I also like the ability to listen to records, usually from the 60''s. They all sound correct thru McIntosh tube equipment.

Weakness:

I should have bought it sooner, but I was in a solid state haze for many years. What did I know, I was a young, punk kid!

Why would anyone consider an original C22, when the re-issue is far, far superior to the old one?? The noise floor is alot lower, all the parts are current state-of-the-art. If you can find a new one still on a McIntosh dealers shelve, it comes with a 3 year warranty from the date of purchase. Try to get THAT on eBay!!!!!!! You''ll spend at least 2K for a who knows how it was used, 3 decade old, ready to be refurbished mail order surprize. Why are they all sold "as is"? ANYWAY..... This is the best pre-amp of all time, just better. Music sounds REAL. And, of course, it''s not overly bright like the transistor garbage folks are led to believe is "detailed". Get a brain, folks! Detail does not mean BRIGHT! For those that care, the other links in my audio chain: McIntosh MC275 re-issue amp (stainless rules, why settle for old PITS!!)Rega Planet 2000 cd player, Music Hall MMF-7 w/ Goldring cartridge, MR71 FM tuner- with the Richard Modaffari modifications.(audioclassics.com & WELL worth it) Paradigm Reference Studio 100, Version II speakers. All cables are Tributaries, including the fully balanced pre-amp to amp connections. Yeah, another advantage over the OLD C22.

Similar Products Used: Nothing compares to McIntosh equipment. And I don''t even work for them!!!! Nor do I get any type of kick-back! Yeah, get yourself McIntosh tube products and HEAR for yourself. I think there is ma
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MIKE DEMIRBAS   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 07, 2002]
Strength:

Perfect unit.

Weakness:

None.

This is it. C22 is best Mcintosh unit period. I had try alot of hi end gears in the past but this one made in 1965 and sound super,it is hard to find, no body wants to sell his C22, I am using all Telefunken tubes and Mc30 Mono blocks great sound comes out of my Tannoy golds, combination of this set is very affordable compare to mega bucks hi end JUNK out there. Build and sound quality is exceptional well detailed and easy to listen, you will like it too.

Similar Products Used: C.J., AR, Krell, ML.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bobby   a Casual Listener [Mar 25, 1999]

The C22 Commemorative was something I purchased mainly as a matching piece to the MC275 reissue I obtained earlier. I plugged it into a system which also consisted of a Rega Planet CD player, a Mac MR71 FM tuner, and Paradigm Studio 100 loudspeakers.
With all tone controls, loudness switch, and filters set to flat, the C22 is undoubtedly warm, especially in the mid-bass region. Compared to the Audio Research LS8 that I also have, I could hear that the C22 blurred some finer details on recordings. I suppose that some people might find this sound to be very seductive and may indeed prefer it over other pre-amps that are more neutral and transparent. But while weightier mid-bass is an audible coloration, it also offers up a soundstage that is fairly deep and wide compared to the aforementioned ARC and the conrad-johnson PV10AL.

Should an audiophile purchase the C22? That would depend on someone's tastes and priorities. If you like a warm and rich sound to sink into, then this pre-amp is for you. But if you like a crisp, quick, and detailed sound, then you are better off looking at something else, unless you are willing to fiddle with the tone controls and the problems that come with using them (i.e. phasing and distortion.)

For anyone who is a fan of the classic tube sound of the 1950s and 60s, then you must audition this pre-amp. Although I had no original C22 to compare to, I had an original C11 pre-amp which had a similar circuit and features. The overall sonic characteristics of the two were fairly close, but the C22 reissue was quieter and lower bass extension. Of course, the C11 I have is close to 40 years old and the age of the capacitors and other components might have been factors in the difference. But in terms of sonics, the Mac engineers were very faithful to the originals. There are a few changes that are part and parcel of the new C22. For example, the LP equalization rocker switch has been replaced with a 2nd tape loop switch. Some of the input choices on the source selector knob have been re-named. Balanced outputs have been added in addition to the usual RCA jacks. The phase switch, panloc buttons, and panel brightness control have been deleted. Last but certainly not least, some 12AT7 tubes are now used as opposed to the all 12AX7A complement that the old C22 used.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Jerry   an Audiophile [Mar 04, 1999]

I've owned the Commemorative Edition (reissued version) for about 8 months. It has a smooth, warm, wonderfully balanced sound; and great control flexibility without getting in the way of the music.
Associated equipment: SAE 8000 tuner, Mac C-22 preamp, CJ Premier 4 amp, Thorens TD125 TT w/SME 3009MkII arm & Grado 8MZ cartg, Pioneer PD65 CD, Denon DRM-740 Cass Deck, Martin Logan Aerius i speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Allen L. McLeod   an Audio Enthusiast [Jun 23, 1998]

I have owned this pre-amp for a year and I do not plan on getting rid of it. Don't get me wrong, I have heard other pre-amps with more resolution. But to be honest, these high resolution pre-amps tend to give me listener's fatige. They are just too damn bright! I think people tend to assocate resolution with brightness. The C-22 (re-issue) sounds natural, the tones blend together like they do at a live performance. That is not to say the C-22 is muddy - quite the opposite - it is very translucent and there is plenty of depth and resolution. You need really good speakers to hear this pre-amp. I would like to know what speakers Akepot has on his system (last reveiw). I have listened to a lot of diferent speakers through this pre-amp and the McIntosh MC-150 solid state power amp and I find most speakers do not cut it. The B&W Matrix 803 had beautiful transparentcy but no body. The PSI 800 had nice tone, but were way too aggressive: a sound in your face effect. I have no problem with people who like this type of sound. If you are looking for a stereo that sounds like a recording studio then buy a bright carver amp and some B&W speakers (any line, I have heard them all). But if you want a natural, more like the world, acoustical sound, I would go with the C-22. Yes, the C-22 has a very mid-range sound - but so does the world! There are so many poorly equalized sound systems out there, espacailly movie theaters, that people do not know what true sound is. They buy a sound system that sounds like what they are used to: sibblelinse in the treble and ooopth in the bass. But here in the real world "s"s do not stand out it conversations and people's foot steps do not go "buoph, buoph". That is not to say the C-22 falls short on the highs and lows, it just means the highs and lows are well defined by the mid-range. With that thought in mind, if you do not have the right speaker, you are not going to hear the imaging, depth and natural range the C-22 is capable of. Most 2-way systems fall short, because they lack the deadecated mid-range driver. And because I like an acoustical, more worldly sound, I find most speakers are way too aggressive. The speakers I have liked best on this system have been Martin logans and other bi-polar speakers like definitive (although I think definitives are better for Home Theater). I have not bought speakers yet, so I will keep you posted on the ones I go with. In terms of the C-22, Sound, Looks and Build Quality are 5 stars. Come on, you got to love the glossy black glass front, the metallic green lettering and the silver knobs!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Patrick   an Audiophile [Jan 19, 1999]

Just purchased a new C-22 reissue. Great preamp, very flexible. It replaces a solid state Mac MX-118 tuner/preamp. Hard to tell the difference since I changed from a pair of MMGs to a pair of Paradigm Reference 20s at the same time I shifted preamps. I do find the C-22 sound to be more relaxed and pleasing to the ear. The highs are silky without being shrill, and voice is more intimate. Low bass is on par with the solid state Mac. All in all, I love this unit. Bought it to match a mint+ MR-67 tuner, and I wanted to get into tubes. What a sight to see these two sitting next to eachother.

This unit is very well built (had the covers off already) and should last a lifetime of solid service.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Pete   an Audio Enthusiast [Jul 05, 1999]

I have a c-22 matched with a mc-275 and mr-71 along with altec lansing duplex speakers... Ive compared it a few times with the commemorative issue..and i think hands down, the original sounds nicer, sweeter..I love the preamp, and i cant get over how great it sounds..sometimes..im just in awe.. I will never sell this preamp.. ive had it handed down to me,and will hand it down to my kids..long live Mc.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
James Lyon   an Audio Enthusiast [Jul 26, 1997]

Purchased in 1970, at close since the new transistor units were coming out.I have had to replace the ON/OFF switch once and the "ON" printing is about 50% rubbed off.
I have yet to hear another preamp that made me want to sell this one.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
James Lyon   an Audio Enthusiast [Jul 26, 1997]

Purchased in 1970, at close since the new transistor units were coming out.I have had to replace the ON/OFF switch once and the "ON" printing is about 50% rubbed off.
I have yet to hear another preamp that made me want to sell this one.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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