I am the original owner of a McIntosh C712 that I use with an MC2102 and Maggie 1.7i’s. I have been reluctant to part with it due to my reliance on the variable loudness knob. I have been considering a C46 or C50 due to the 8 band EQ. Are these units that superior to the C712?
I own a C712 and love it. I bought it used a few years back from the late Frank Gow at Audio Classics. He was Gordon Gow’s son, McIntosh’s original designer. He told me that the pre-amplifier circuit that McIntosh has used in its solid state one box preamps for about the last 20 years has not been changed. He assured me the C712 used the same as the C46. However, that does not mean the newer one might not sound better, but it will have the same character, according to Frank. I have heard the C46 and believe it might be slightly quieter than the C712.
The manuals list the S/N ratio as follows:
C46 High Level: 97dB (A Weighted)
C712 A Weighted: High Level: 105dB below rated output, (95dB IHF)
I am not a technician so I can’t tell. Does this mean that the C46 is 2db quieter than the C712?
I was thinking about visiting Audio Classics this summer and comparing it to a newer Mac pre-amp to see if an upgrade is worth it.