I’m a big fan of the C20 but I never realized how gorgeous the brass trimmed version is compared to the steel.
The green writing on the black glass against the brass metalwork is simply stunning.
This particular sample came to us as part of a large collection where it sat on the shelf for many years with little to no use. This is reflected in the both the condition and the lack of wear.
If you haven’t heard a McIntosh tube preamp from this era than you owe it to yourself to try it at some point. The simplicity of the design comes through in its sonic signature enveloping the listener in warm, present, yet precise sound.
There are treble and bass adjustments separate for the phono section versus the line inputs. I had never seen this before in any preamp but it makes total sense.
There is an aural compensation knob which is like an early loudness filter that boosts the frequencies at low volume.
There are two separate phono inputs supporting all sorts of cartridges perfect for an audiophile with two turntables or dual tonearms.
On the back you’ll find a bunch of switched outlets perfect for power controlling a bunch of other vintage gear with a single power switch.
The unit was fully tested and serviced. All potentiometers were cleaned and lubricated, all tubes were tested on our professional and calibrated BK747 tester, all capacitors were tested for tolerance and leakage and replaced as needed, all bulbs were replaced to ensure long life.
After bench testing the unit was used as the primary preamp in our very well equipped listening room where it performed for weeks without hiccups.
Cosmetically the unit is absolutely gorgeous and in incredible condition considering its age.
The brass trim work around the faceplate has a deep and vintage looking patina.
The cabinet looks like it was hand rubbed with oil for 50 years.
The glass is clean and the lighting is strong and visible.