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  Mcintosh C-2300 first impressions
I bought an C2300 from an authorized mac dealer with return rights minus shipping. I have 11 days to listen to it. My current preamp is the Counterpoint SA-5.1 that has had the line and phono stage upgraded by Mike Elliott (the original designer/engineer of Counterpoint gear). Since I use a low output cartridge, I also use the Counterpoint SA-2 in conjuction with the SA-5.1. My amp is the Jadis Defy 7 MKII. What I was hoping to achieve was to retain all of the sound quality of the SA-2/SA-5.1 combo while lowering the noise floor compared to my current phono section (the line section of the SA-5.1 is very quiet).
My initial impression from my first night of listening is that the C2300 has a refined, polite presentation in a button-upped British sort of way with a sweet top end. However, it sounds thin much like a SS preamp sounds and it doesn't have much in the way of a bottom end which can even be heard on acoustic bass. Forget any type of wowie-zowie bass punch with this preamp. Voices also don't sound as real as my current preamp. And these listening impressions come from listening to LPs, CDs, and 15 ips 2 track tape. I guess if I didn't know any better I could be happy with this preamp, but unless things improve soon it will be going back.
For those of you who own and love the C-2300, I would love to know what preamp it replaced in your system. I love all of the creature comforts this preamp has to offer with 8 inputs, 4 sets of balanced inputs, a cool remote, etc. I do think it is a bit garish looking in person with different shades of green lights as well as blue. If this preamp doesn't start fleshing out more of the music, it will be going back. And please don't tell me that it takes magic Telefunken 12AX7s to make this preamp come alive. I have heard mixed reviews with some owners not liking the Telefunkens at all and actually preferring the Mcintosh selected 12AX7s while others who are hooked on Telefunkens of course swear by the improvement they expected to hear.

Mepearson  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (1-34 of 34)
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02-12-10   I do hope things work out for you with this new unit... i'd ...   Blindjim

02-12-10   Give it some time. my cj preamp bloomed after some 50 to 10 ...   Audiolui

02-12-10   Once the preamp has broken in a little more, you really shou ...   Tricon_dave

02-12-10   Agree with all the others that you need to give this some ti ...   Oscar44

02-13-10   The one thing that i found with the mac preamp is that it is ...   Tzh21y

02-13-10   Oscar, i never thought the 2300 would be a significant step ...   Mepearson

02-13-10   As far as i'm concerned your observations have little or no ...   Davvie

02-13-10   I agree with all the above observations and suggestions. it ...   Jgiacalo

02-13-10   On day 10, switch out the stock tubes for some decent ones. ...   Jdmeyers77

02-13-10   Like others have said... you can't expect to optimize the s ...   Pdreher

02-13-10   Ten days is indeed not very long, either for the equipment t ...   Kirkus

02-13-10   I appreciate everyone's comments. i should have clarified t ...   Mepearson

02-13-10   I would suggest a step up for your cartridge. the classic i ...   Breuninger

02-13-10   Peter-i have the counterpoint sa-2 pre-preamp. you really s ...   Mepearson

02-13-10   So, a $6k preamp cannot be expected to sound very good until ...   Oscar44

02-14-10   I guess mr pearson actually waited to opine until after the ...   Davvie

02-14-10   The 2300 is an outstanding preamplifier, there is no doubt a ...   Tzh21y

02-14-10   is it possible the 2300 is a bad match for your amp? from ...   Knghifi

02-14-10   Happily, this is beginning to be a tale of two preamps. yes ...   Mepearson

02-14-10   I thought i preferred the stock tubes until i put the teles ...   Tzh21y

02-14-10   So which telefunkens does everyone prefer for the 2300? smo ...   Mepearson

02-14-10   Ah, sounds like the new tubes mac installed needed to settle ...   Jamnesta

02-14-10   the smooth plate tele is a touch warmer than the ribbed pla ...   Knghifi

02-14-10   It does not matter if they are tele's, mullards, or any nos ...   Tzh21y

02-14-10   If your interested in saving some money ,a really good new p ...   Davvie

02-17-10   When i re-read my initial post, i don't feel so bad. the c23 ...   Mepearson

02-19-10   I am really happy for was just a matter of time the ...   Davvie

04-30-10   I own the c2300 for several months and over that time i can ...   Phillyb

05-10-10   I took home a demo c2300 for 24 hours. it looks nice, but it ...   Talk2me

05-10-10   What you need is all nos telefunken ecc803s (only nib and no ...   Opus111

05-11-10   The c2300 is a solid built preamp better balanced than the c ...   Chatta

05-11-10   I worked my way up from rotel to a mcintosh c2200 and was to ...   Miner42

05-12-10   Miner42, you mention in your post that the c500 is close the ...   Adamg

05-13-10   I am repeating what was explained to me by current c500 owne ...   Miner42

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