Good Pre-Amps For McIntosh

Any suggestions for a "synergistic" combination between McIntosh MC 601 monoblocks? I have some pre-amp problems and am thinking of replacing the pre-amp.

Stick with a McIntosh pre-amp? Go with something else? Tube or solid-state? The input impedance on the 601's is 22K. Speakers are Revels Ultima Salon 2's with a pair of Rel Subs.


If you hate McIntosh there's really no need to post. Heck, I already know that I'm an uncultured idiot who can't hear real sound and wasted my money etc. I originally wanted the Levinson 53's, but they were out of my range. 

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If you don't want a Mac preamp I can suggest two that work well with my MC75 mono's.   I have just purchased a PrimaLuna EVO 100 Tube Preamplifier, it's really brought my system to life.  Also I've had experience with Quicksilver audio line preamp.   Both very high quality. 
I have the 452 Amp with a 2500 preamp. 
Recently added the Audio Research CD 9 and love the sound. 
Been thinking about a Ref 5SE or a Ref 6.
Also have the Revel Salon Ultimate 2.
Soundstage is the best ever.
I appreciate all the suggestions and hope for more. I just wish I could afford buying them all and switching all of them out and picking the best one for my room and setup. Alas. Less children or more audio? I opted for more and less.

I suppose it's a good thing my ears are going, but you know, I think that when you can listen and do listen; the brain keeps that information and brings it back even when the ears don't.

I'm a professor and I often bring students into my office at the University and let them listen on my small system there (still good) and some of them (if they have the ears for it) are "blown away" (because no one listens to good stereo reproduction) or many (perhaps most) don't really *hear* the difference. It's amazing. I often let them choose their own music, but often find that the mix of the music is awful (try Imagine Dragons first album - definitely done on a home computer).

I might have to start a thread on this topic in another forum to see other folks experiences. Right now I have one good friend and my Brother (who has a fine system and who lives 2 hours away) who can really *hear* like I do. It's not just the style of music, it's the engineering, mix, production, and dimensionality, etc. of what is in the music and can be reproduced with the proper equipment. 

One day the studios may disappear, and the budgets dry up, and we'll all be condemned to MP3 quality files. It will be "high-end" stereo's fault. I bought "high-end" as a 20 something - nah not $20,000 equipment, but good enough to really hear good sound. There were good audio stores in relatively small towns. Of course, back in those days a bunch of mushrooms or a few hits of acid made a big difference on a high/low end system ;). Not that I would ever do something like that even though it was legal at the time.

Thanks again!

I was using a C47 with my MC452 and it didn’t sound bad by no means but I felt I was missing something. It seemed a bit lean to my ears. I now have a C2300 and absolutely love it. I like that it has no DAC or anything other then the analog inputs I have a Simaudio 380D DSD that handles the digital side and streaming. I think the Tube pre and SS amp or amps in your case is the ultimate set up. I prefer the matching Pre-amp and amp. Good luck!
I have a C220 McIntosh pre amp in conjunction with a pair of MC501 amps.  The drive a 4 ohm load, 3.6 Maggie’s and the sound is amazing.

It would be my guess that the same reasonably priced pre amp would have great synergy with your 601s.  And if it doesn’t’ work for you, you can always get your money back as the C220 holds its value.    One is worth more now than when I bought it a number of years ago.  A win - win proposition.

Good Luck in your journey!