McIntosh MX110 Tuner Preamp, All Tube with Custom Cabinet

$3,499

For the first video on our new YouTube Channel, we thought we would start with the classic McIntosh MX110. One of our favorite vintage tuners.  

This one is in pretty sweet condition in a very nice black and champagne gold finish.

This particular sample is a later model "Z" serial number, which came after the "M" serial number from McIntosh.  The primary difference between these series was the style of the faceplate and the balance control.  Note on the earlier "M" series the balance control was a slider potentiometer that would fail over time.  For MX110's that we've had, we've always bypassed them.

This special MX110 comes in a custom made solid walnut cabinet made by a local cabinet maker, with a clear plexiglass top that is quite striking.  It allows you to see all the cool tubes, rectifiers, valves, and transformers inside.

Since this unit is in such good shape especially with regards to the chrome-work, it really shows off nicely.  The cabinet is solid walnut and looks like it's veneered at the edges as well, so it's about as high in quality as it gets.

It looks very similar to the original McIntosh cabinets, so you can mix and match with other Mc pieces even though this is a special one-off custom piece.

Let's talk a little bit about the features of the MX110, starting off with one of my favorite things the tuner section.  It's a vintage tube unit and the tuner uses this really neat indicator that's an actual tube with fluorescence inside (used often for either VU meters or signal indicators), so as you tune stations you'll see this tube react and give us our signal strength.

Other things to point out about this preamp tuner starting with the input selector - you will see that it has two Phono inputs, plus the FM, Auxiliary, and Tape inputs.  With turntables having made a comeback a lot of our clients have tablets with two arms, or the luxury of having two turntables.  This preamp will handle both scenarios.

Moving on you will see that it has independent bass and treble controls, and what's neat is that it's also independent for the left and right channels.  So in case you've got an oddly shaped room and you want to play around with the bass and table response, left vs right, this is the one.

For physical controls, in the center you'll see the power switch and the balance control which are pretty self explanatory.  There is a muting button for muting the tuner, filters for both low and high, loudness compensation, tape monitor, and a phase 0 / 180 switch.

Moving on to the mode function nowadays you are more likely to just keep this on stereo mode, but in the old days when you had your regular recordings and you wanted to play around with inverting left vs right, or sending one channel to both speakers, or vice versa, this was pretty versatile.  Especially when you had a mix of mono and stereo recordings.  Nowadays you kinda leave it alone in stereo mode unless you've got a mono recording, and you can then sum it up to L+R output.

Lastly the Panlocs allow you to lock the unit into the cabinet which is a neat feature of pieces from this era.  The Panlocs in conjunction with the wooden cabinet made a really nice solid fit.

This particular sample has really clean front glass, all the writing and the lettering is intact, and the glass all around the meters is also in very nice shape with only very minimal bubbling in the upper left hand corner.

The metal champagne finish is in fairly good condition, but it looks like it has a rub mark below the balance/filter controls.  I believe someone told me that there was some writing on there, maybe a previous owner had written something, so when it was taken off it removed some of the champagne finish.  It is noticeable but only upon close-up.  I think you'll appreciate that at an average distance it looks pretty amazing.

Flipping the unit around there is a Main Stereo output, Tape outputs, a Summed output, 3 convenience outlets for connecting a power amplifier/other components, and an Antenna connection with 300 and 75 ohms.  For inputs there are Tape Monitor, Auxiliary, Tape Head, Two Phono inputs, and then you can see the Panlocs in the corners.

Overall really really nice chrome work, usually they tend to rust as they were at some point kept in someones moist basement.  But this once seemed to escape that all together.

This would pair nicely with a MC2125 or a MC2105 from the same era in a wooden cabinet.

Item

Included

Original Box

No

Manual

No

Remote

No

Cables

Yes

Physical Condition

7

Working Condition

10

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