I've compared the C41 and C42 head-to-head in the same system and the C42 definitely is more transparent. The speakers were B&W N802 and the source was an Oracle 1500mk2.
The C41 lacks dynamic snap in comparison, sounding kind of slow and uninterested. The C42 and C46 are clearly (pun intended!) better preamps - but the C41 does cost less.... It could all be due to the volume control. The 41 uses a typical potentiometer whereas the 42 and 46 (and 2200 and 200) use a fancy digitally-controlled analog volume with post attenuation.
The C42 and C46 are purely 2-channel. Neither have multi-channel inputs. You are thinking of the C45, which does, although it isn't a real multi-channel preamp by absolute standards.
There is no reason to fear tubes. If you use the preamp every day, you need to replace the tubes once a year. Simple as that. But the 42 and 46 are so good that you really don't have to go to the 2200 if you don't want to. I've had over a dozen preamps and my C42 has trumped them all. You can take a look at my system page for more info.
Aball (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)
hi had a c41 with a mc352amp and a mcd 301cd sold the c41 to use the mcd301 as a preamp cd player less is more not in this case i miss the c41 lost alot of iner detail with out it i am going to buy the 2200 macpre amp it is a good sounding preamp enjoy
Majic (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
had the same thought as Majic , was thinking of sellign my C41 to use a MCD 301 or MCD500 as a one box solution. But after reading Majic's post I am changing my mind. My C41 is a nice solid state preamp. I also used a C712 before moving on to the C41. The difference is definitely noticeable. Sound is more three dimensional with the C41, more detail and more relax sounding. Though the C712 certinaly delivers a wide soundstage and powerful dynamics.
I have heard C46 in a dealer and I thought it sounded more or less like a C41. Of course, different speakers and setup, but I don't hink there is much difference between the two preamps. The next logical step up the big Mac chain would be the C1000. I wouldn't mess around with anything in between.
Stanleys (Answers | This Thread)