Levinson 326s or McIntosh C200 ?

Has anyone heard both of these preamps in the same system? I would expect the Mac to be a bit warmer and the Levinson to be a bit more dynamic and detailed. This will be used primarily as a line stage for cd and a pass thru for theater surround.
Thanks in advance !
You may be suprised. I've heard both but never side by side. The 326 is a very refined, fairly smooth sounding preamp. Polite, as well. I wouldn't call it cold or very analytical, though. Its good all around and should work well with a wide variety of equipment. The Mac may be a little warmer and just a bit less detailed. It will the more dynamic of the 2. Its another good all around choice. Neither would be my absolute first choice, but I think both are great preamps.
Levinson 326 gets my vote. It sounds fantastic and the user interface is the best of just about any component I've ever used. It's dead quite and very resolving. The blackest background I have heard in my system.

It's the one component I have no real desire to upgrade. Pride of ownership is also off the charts.
I agree with Hk_fan. The 326S is a classic, as in one of the top preamps ever, IMHO.
If you don't mind, why these 2 preamps? Was there a reason that you narrowed down your choices to these 2? I'm just curious. Like I said before, I think you can't go wrong with either. One other thing I will add, but you probably know already, is that both units are extremely well made. If you plan on keeping the preamp for a long time, you shouldn't have any type of major issues from a reliability standpoint.
I have had a BAT VK51SE and and am not aware of preamps that are clearly better in the price range. Okay gentlemen (and ladies)what else under $ 10,000 competes with these and has a surround processor loop and is fully balanced?
Thanks to everyone !!
Great choices. My experience was similar but also included the Cary SLP-05. With my equipment the Levinson was too analytical while the Mac was flat, so much in fact that my wife, who had just arrived home from work walked in while the Mac was playing told me to take out the Mac, it was ruining the music sound. I was astonished! I always wanted a Mac. Well, the bottom line is I put in the SLP-05 and never looked back! Honest. Whoever said, that all the music you love comes from the pre-amp, is right on. Of course, sourse sourse and sourse but the Pre-amp must have that synergy with your power amps to clinch the deal. For me, I use a mono pair of PassLabs XA 100.5 and love them to death and forever. I wondered about the 100 watts at 8 ohms and 200 watts 4 ohms. But that has never been an issue. They drive total output in class A, the only way to fly. Whatever your decision take a 10 day test drive to drive them all then make your decision. It more time but well worth the effort to your own peronal nirvona. Good luck
A C200 sounded flat? Line stage? What speakers?
I had a C100 for over 14 years and loved it. They say sound wise the C200 is identical but has HT bypass. My C100 was very quiet, detailed, full bodied, and sounded fantastic at low levels. No doubt the C200 would be the same or even better.
"Whoever said, that all the music you love comes from the pre-amp, is right on."

Its great to see that more and more people are starting to realize just how important a quality preamp is for great sound.


I share your opinion on BAT. They make some of the best stuff out there. Some other great alternatives under 10k that I would recommend are; Ayre, Aesthetix And Audio Research.