McIntosh C220 All-Analog Tube Preamplifier w/Phono
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McIntosh C220 All-Analog Tube Preamplifier w/Phono
479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
First ever C220 into the shop, like new and extremely well cared for. Even the McIntosh remote control is in superb shape with none of the stickiness/peeling usually seen from the rubber of this era in consumer electronics.
The C220 is all analog with no pesky DAC's that will be outdated in a year. Launched in 2006 and so popular it was sold for 10 years through 2016.
We're fans of the soft tube glow from the top panel, along with a super-crisp font display. Musically it was a joy to listen to when paired with either a solid state or tube amplifier in our listening bay.
The dedicated tube phono section with two 12AX7A's is also superb with no need to go external.
Comes to you complete with the original McIntosh remote, manual, and double shipping cartons.
McIntosh Performance Features Include:
• Electromagentic Input Switching with Level Trim Adjustment and Title Reassignment
Digital Logic integrated circuits drive Electromagnetic Switches on all Inputs and operating functions for reliable, noiseless, distortion free switching. All eight Inputs on the C220 can be matched in level, so that there are no abrupt changes in volume levels between the different Inputs. There is also a Record Monitor function for checking the progress of a recording. Any of the eight Inputs can have their Input Title reassigned to match the sources in the system.
• Precision Tracking Volume Control
Volume levels are controlled by a new Multi-Stage Preci- sion Digitally Controlled Attenuator System with a track- ing accuracy of 0.1dB.
• Low Distortion
Distortion levels of all types are less than 0.08%. Music is amplified with total transparency and accuracy.
• Phono Tube Saver
When the Phono Input is selected to be Off in the Setup Mode, the power going to the Tubes performing the Phono Amplification is removed, thus extending the life of those two tubes.
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.
8/10 = Very Good. Excellent front faceplate, one minor flaw on chassis side or top.. See our detailed rating description here.
Working perfectly and tested in our lab and listening room.
Unit, remote, manual and power cord.
Original Manufacturers Packing
+0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz
Total Harmonic Distortion
0.08% from 20Hz to 20,000Hz
2.5V for rated input
Maximum Voltage Output
8V RMS Unbalanced
16V RMS Balanced
Sensitivity (for rated output)
High Level, 450mV unbalanced, 900mV balanced
Signal To Noise Ratio (A-Weighted)
High Level, 90dB below rated output
Phono, 80dB below 10mV input
High Level, 22K ohms
Phono, 47K ohms; 65pF
Maximum Input Signal
High Level, 5V Unbalanced, 10V Balanced
Phono, 50mV (@ 1,000Hz)
High Level to Tape Output: 0dB
High Level to Main Output: 15dB
Phono to Main Output: 55dB
Headphone Output Impedance
16 ohms to 250 ohms
Phono Circuitry: 2 - 12AX7A
High Level Circuitry: 2 - 12AX7A
120 Volts, 50/60Hz at 75 watts
Width is 17-1/2 inches (44.45cm)
Height is 6 inches (15.24cm) including feet
Depth is 18 inches (45.72cm) including the Front Panel, Knobs and Cables
Link to Manual:
Kimber Kable - Phono Interconnects - Better
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.
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.