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McIntosh C32 Vintage Preamp with Phono and EQ - Serviced & Upgraded

Sale price$4,801.00
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Pickup available at SkyFi 479

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Mcintosh C32 Vintage Preamp With Phono And Eq - Serviced & Upgraded Preamplifier

McIntosh C32 Vintage Preamp with Phono and EQ - Serviced & Upgraded

SkyFi 479

Pickup available, usually ready in 24 hours

479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
United States


The C32 is a full featured preamp with just about every function you could want for a complete system.

If you have vintage speakers or want to get a bit more out of your modern speakers, then you'll likely appreciate the front mounted 5-band EQ built into this preamp.

This super clean example received a light service at our shop and is now working and sounding wonderful. 

Faceplate is as clean as we've seen, while the top shows some light scratches. No rust anywhere indicates it was well cared for. 

The built-in phono section lets you connect your turntable without the need for additional gear.

The C32 was produced in the mid 1980's and originally sold for $1,649. That's $4,500+ in today's dollars with inflation.

Matching McIntosh wood cabinet is also available if you want to make this a vintage set. Please contact us for details.

Cosmetic Notes:
Light wear to top cover.

Service Notes:
This C32 was extensively serviced before arriving here at SkyFi. The C32 suffers from an age related problem with the ribbon cables that connect the various boards within the unit. We were pleased to see that all of the troublesome ribbons were already been replaced with quality parts.

It also looks like all of the electrolytic caps were replaced and all RCA jacks upgraded to gold plated parts. This unit passed all of our bench testing with flying colors. 

The bottom cover has two service stickers. One from the most excellent George Meyer AV in Los Angeles, and a second from renowned McIntosh restoration specialist "Bob The Tech Audio".

Brand Background:
McIntosh Laboratory is an American manufacturer of handcrafted high-end audio equipment based in Binghamton, New York. The company was founded in 1949 by Frank McIntosh. The company designs and produces audio amplifiers, stereo tuners and other consumer electronics products.

Single Owner

General Sound:
Neutral sound with little to no coloration

Cosmetic Condition:
8. See our detailed rating description here.

Working Condition:
Working perfectly and tested in our lab and listening room.

Just the unit and power cord.

Original Manufacturers Packing

Link to Manual:
Click Here

Testing Process:

We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect the PCB’s for discoloration from resistors or transistors that may have been running hot. On vintage units we often spot check select capacitors for value and ESR.

When we first power on a preamplifier we connect its RCA output to a Sencore PA81 Power Analyzer which simulates real world loading conditions and gives us an oscilloscope interface. The first order of business is checking that the volume control works smoothly throughout its entire range with acceptable channel balance. This is accomplished by feeding a 1KHz sine wave into one of the preamp’s line level inputs while monitoring the preamp’s output on an oscilloscope. We then switch to a 1KHz square wave to test the tone controls, loudness function, and filters where applicable. During this step we are watching for equal alteration of the test signal by both channels. This also helps us identify dirty controls that will need treatment. Once the basic line stage functions are verified, we test each input individually. This is especially important for devices that use relays to select their sources. If the preamp is equipped with a phono stage we test that as well. We use an inverse RIAA filter which allows us to feed a reference test signal into the phono input with the proper RIAA equalization and level. A square wave or sine sweep is used to verify that the device’s phono stage is faithfully reproducing the RIAA curve. If the preamp under test has balanced inputs and/or outputs these are tested as well.

We finish up our bench testing with a listening test with our bench amplifier and reference speakers. During this test we check for hum or hiss that may not have shown up in earlier testing. We also check that all of the tone controls and filters perform as expected. If the preamplifier has remote control functions these are also tested. Preamps with tube circuits or complicated power supply topologies are connected at our long term test rig for extended stress testing under real world conditions.

SKU: 105132
Mcintosh C32 Vintage Preamp With Phono And Eq - Serviced & Upgraded Preamplifier
McIntosh C32 Vintage Preamp with Phono and EQ - Serviced & Upgraded Sale price$4,801.00