Mcintosh C-2200 or Aesthetix Calypso?

I know I want a tube preamp and have narrowed the field down to these two. Both are available at the same price. After reading what members have to say about the Calypso, it seems like the clear winner ...but....I like the tone controls on the Mcintosh. At 12 o clock position the tone controls are inactive and out of the signal path, but can be used as needed otherwise. (According to Mcintosh) I know tone controls are frowned upon, but I have owned preamps without them in the past and found it to be frustrating when I felt the need to compensate for a bad recording. Associated gear is Classe Seven Hundred mono's, B&W 800N, and a yet to be determined CDP. Thanks for your advice.
You can not only fix recordings but your room as well with tone controls. You could even opt for the C46 (which I find more transparent and dynamic than the 2200) that has an 8 band EQ and is much more useful than just "bass" and "treble" control. I have the C42 with this feature and it has made an incredible improvement in tonal neutrality that even a "better" preamp w/o EQ would never be able to match in my room.

time is the ultimate judge of a component's worth, but i would agree with you won't own a component called a 'calypso'...
Thanks Arthur. The ability to fix room problems with tone controls is something I had not thought of. I will be doing room treatments at some point, but this could help until get the treatments done. Do any other members have any thoughts on these two preamps?
Hi, I see you decided to change preamps. Good decision! You've narrowed it down to the same two that I did. As you may remember from your CD player thread, I have the C2200 and I am very happy with the choice. I've heard the Calypso is warmer. Since I was mating it to the MC-402, (sounds more like tube than solid state), I decided to go with the synergy of McIntosh for both amp & preamp. If I remember right, you have a bright high end issue. You may find that the Calypso works best for you. Either way, I think you'll be very pleased. I'm not sure if you have access to the two but it would be worth your time to go and listen. A good high end shop should allow you to bring in your amp to determine how they match. Good luck on your decision. Bill
im not picking on you but i cant get past how the use of tone controls wouldnt be thought of,the whole out of the signal path deal is absurd to me.

buy the c2200 & forget about preamp's for a long time to come:)
Ive owned the C2200 twice and curently own a MA2275, dont base your decision on tone control for the C2200...they are useless and dont give you any range. I think I know where your headed with the 800N, Ive been down that exact road and the C2200 didnt help. Never heard the Calypso but the best results with a tube preamp I ever achieved with the 800's was with an Arc Ls25. Good luck
Well, it looks like I have found all of the Mcintosh guys!
Arthur and Bill....have either of you directly compared the C42 (solid state) and C2200 (tubes)? I was drawn to the 2200 because of the tubes. I have since read that Mcintosh tube and SS preamps sound remarkably alike. I am thinking the C42 at half the cost (used) may be the better value. Your thoughts?
Bill....You are right about the bright B&W's. I have decided to buy the best digital front end I can afford and get rid of the B&W's if they cannot fit in. That is why I am not too concerned with tubes anymore. The solid state C42 would leave extra dough for a good CDP. Waddya think?
I've heard both and preferred the SS -- sorry. Please note that the 2200 was running stock tubes, no tweaks -- just plain vanilla.
I also happen to have preferred the Calypso (over the 42) driving a classe Omega. Calypso also plain vanilla. {Valhalla wire, yba 1 cdp.}
FWIW, YMMV, etc. Cheers
Don't underestimate the importance of a good preamp. I personally like tubes in my Preamp and a SS Amp. To me, it is the most musical dynamic sound. This combo has worked for me with 801N. I also like the way McIntosh mates with B&W. If I was you, I would go listen and decide what is best. Perhaps a good place to start would be to audition the C-2200 and the C46. You shouldn't have a difficult time getting a heads to heads comparison. I think both are excellent preamps and its really a matter of preference, but if you decide on tubes I would not rule out the Calypso without an audition if at all possible. It may be what puts your entire system in synergy. Bill
I never compared the 2200 to my C42 directly. I did hear the 2200 several times but in unfamiliar systems.

If I were in your shoes, I would get a C42 and buy a very nice CDP with the money left over. Arthur
baffled-the differences in the mac tube and ss pres are more slight than most and the phono sections in both are really good. that eq on the 42 is like four wheel drive. even if you only need it every now and then..its great to have
Hello I will throw my thoughts into the pie, your thread is a good one as both preamps are in the same price range.

as far as Mac goes I own both the C2200 and the C46, also have the 252 amp and the 2751v....I have heard in my house the new C1000 (ss version) the C41. I have not heard the Calypso, but what I find is when you jump into the Mac pond it is all quite good, their gear is more similar than different, there are differences in the C46 and the C2200, to me I like them both it just depends on my mood....I use mostly the tube/tube combo and the ss/ss combo although I have mixed and matched...for instance a really nice combo on my Khorns is the c2200 and the 252. I also have small B&Ws and the tube gear really does well on them. This is probably no help, but to me I enjoy the different combos very much, it would be nice if anybody has heard the C2200 with the Calypso though.

I agree that a used C42 would be a very good value
I have to disagree with some of the posts. I had both C-46 and C2200 in my system and had enough time to compare. I would never agree they sound simillar. To my ears and VERY reaviling Thiel 2.3 speakers I find C 2200 to have much better sound. Suprisingly I had more bass fullness with C2200. It also did much better with highs sounding more open and vibrant. As no surprise it has rich organic sound you can NEVER find in C46. You can easily take 2200 to yet another level of performance by changing tubes to some premium NOS. I have a great luck with various 5751 subs. Stock tubes are noisy, premiun NOS tubes make it very quiet pre.
On the other hand Mac SS pre is sounding dull and greyish to me - no exitement at all.
I, on the other hand, cannot agree with you. Mac SS pre sounding "dull and greyish" seems like a joke to me. I compared the C42, the C2200, and the C200, which I now own. The C200 sounded the best in all regards, as it should, costing much more than the others. But even when I compared the C42 and the C2200, the differences were small. Partly, it depends on the taste of the listener. If Baffled listens to jazz and chamber music etc only, the C2200 will be the slightly better choice - if large orchestral music and pop or serious rock enter the equation, the C42 might be better. To get a good hang of the differences, I think that the comparing review of the C46/C2200 and MC2102/MC402 in TAS, which can be downloaded from the McIntosh-website, is a very accurate one.
Velo62....thanks for your comments on the tone controls. I have ruled out c2200 based on your advise. In fact, I have decided to completely do without tone control......a big step for me that I may regret. Based on all of the positive comments in the Calypso threads, I have decided to buy one. No way to audition......none in stock locally....this is truly a blind faith purchase. I should have it in the next day or two. I also have a Musical Fidelity Trivista CDP on the way. I can't wait to hear what I have been missing. Cables and room treatments are next.....and maybe some big blue power meters for the Calypso!

You will not regret the Calypso purchase. Jim White and his auditioning/critique crew, in my opinion, tread the finest of lines between traditional tube and solid state virtues. I've owned a lot of preamps over the years (disclosure - never a Mac). My Janus gives more pure musical satisfaction than any of them by a wide margin.

I'm sure that I don't need to tell you not to substitute to major pieces of gear at once. You'll never sort out the individual sonic attributes of either if you do so. Congratulations on your purchases!
I too bought my Calypso without hearing it regrets!
Congrat's on your purchases, I hope they all work out well.

...dont base your decision on tone control for the C2200...they are useless and dont give you any range

I don't agree with this statement; I have never used the tone contols on a C2200 but the sound difference that the tone controls makes on the MA2275 are clearly audible.
the tone controls on all macs are there because they have always been an absolute neccesity for a music lover. its like 4 wheel drive(not needed most of the time, but when it is there is no subsitute.