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McIntosh C2200 Tube Preamplifier - All Analog for Purists

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Pickup currently unavailable at SkyFi 479

Mcintosh C2200 Tube Preamplifier - All Analog For Purists

McIntosh C2200 Tube Preamplifier - All Analog for Purists

SkyFi 479

Pickup currently unavailable

479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
United States


This is just about the last iteration of this series preamp before they added a DAC. Most purists do not want noisy digital circuitry in their analog tube preamp. Wonderful classic looks with modern circuitry and the convenience of a remote. Also has a very capable built-in tube phono section to accommodate just about any turntable. 

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.

McIntosh is known for offering distinguished home audio systems that deliver the ultimate experience in music and film. Offering products for two-channel stereo sound systems and multi-channel home theaters with surround sound, McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home audio entertainment experience for discriminating listeners around the world. Our iconic blue Watt output meter is globally recognized as a symbol of quality home audio. With a McIntosh home stereo system or home theater, listeners have the ability to create their own luxury audio experience – and truly live their music.


Amplifier recommendations:
Both solid state and tube should pair well with this unit.  Complementary amps would be an MC275, MC301, MC452, MC2102, and more.

There are six pair of outputs - three balanced, three unbalanced.

General sound:
Warm tube sound with great harmonics and laid-back delivery. 

Cosmetic condition:
We rated this a 7 with light signs of use and wear. See our detailed rating description here. Meters show some wear and discoloration (See Photos).

Working condition and Technical Notes:
Working properly, fully tested in our lab and listening room.  We lightly serviced this unit to get it working to specs by cleaning all controls, replacing bulbs, and testing every tube.

C2200, power cable, brand new current McIntosh remote, and manual.  

Will be packed using a McIntosh official double-box and McIntosh packing materials.

Original MSRP:

McIntosh Performance Features Include:
• Multichannel Pass Thru Mode
The Input Assignable, Automatic Pass Thru Mode allows
the C2200 to become part of a Multichannel Sound System for DVD-Audio, SACD and Home Theater. The Left and Right Channels of the C2200 become the two front chan- nels, simply by turning on the Multichannel Processor.
• Output Switching
Front panel Output Push-buttons control two Switched Out-
puts that allow sending signals to two separate Power Am- plifiers.
• Balanced Inputs and Outputs
Four balanced high level Inputs and three balanced Outputs are provided.
• Tone Control with Assignable Bypass
The Bass and Treble Control Circuit Elements can be re- moved from the Signal Path of any selected input.

Dimensions & Weight
17" wide by 7-1/8" high, 14" deep, and weighs 26.75 lbs.

Unit was built in the early 2000's

Stereophile by Sam Tellig

Link to Manual:
McIntosh C2200 Tube Preamplifier

Recommended Cables:

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best

Kimber Kable - Phono Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - Flagship Tonearm Interconnects - Best

Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Better

Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Best

Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Better

Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Best

The SkyFi Testing Process for Preamplifiers:
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 PCBs 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.

If the amplifier passes visual inspection, we move on to a full test of all of the tubes. We use an Amplitrex AT-1000 Tube Tester which is capable of testing both emission and Gm with a high degree of accuracy. We document the results of each tube and replace any weak or suspect tubes before proceeding. When we power on tube amplifiers for the first time we usually use a variac and current limited AC supply and slowly raise the voltage up to nominal mains level while monitoring plate, screen, filament, and negative bias supply voltages where applicable. If everything is in order we feed a low level test signal into the amplifier’s input and monitor its output on an oscilloscope across an 8 ohm dummy load. At this point we are just looking to verify basic function and confirm that the output transformers are not damaged. Once we have verified that the amplifier is safe to operate, we connected it to full mains power. For fixed bias amps we set the bias to manufacturer spec. For cathode biased amps we monitor the plate to cathode voltage to determine if the output tubes are operating in a safe range. Once the output section is verified we move onto bench evaluation.

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.



Original Box

Yes Included


Yes Included


Yes Included


Yes - Power Only

Physical Condition (Info Here)

7 / 10

Working Condition

10 / 10

SKU: 103832