McIntosh C2300 phono input

I am interested in the C2300 to pair with my MC601 monoblocs. I am also into vinyl a lot so the phono input is of high interest.
What's the quality of this input compared to separate phono section?
How quiet is the input as residual noise is very annoying to me. I let go my Aesthetix Rhea for that reason in spite of it's features and sound.
The phono stage in the 2300 is quite nice. It holds its own, depending on your expectations. Your tube choice is also worth considering, the stock tubes are pedestrian. It holds its own with some very good phono stages in the $1500 range, especially if you are able to run balanced cables. Good luck.
So far, I have been very pleased with MC phono results using the C2300. It is better than the P75 Dynavector phono stage I had previously. The sound is neutral, with realistic soundstage and excellent retrieval of nuance and detail. I am happy at this point, although I would be interested in hearing from others who have moved up the line from the C2300 MC phono section.
The C2300 phono section is superb and nothing in the Mc line is any better, only more versatile. It made Harry Pearson's reference system for a while after it was introduced. You would have to invest a great deal of cubic dollars to improve on it. As noted by others, you might want to fool around with different tubes after break-in if you find the stock rig wanting. Happy listening!
Dear Goldorak, I want to clarify that when I was referring to running this preamp balanced, I was merely referring to how quiet the c2300 can be when doing so. The phono stage on this pre utilizes single ended connections for both the MM and MC phono stages. Good luck in all you do.
Goldorak, I have a C2300 going into my MC601's and like what I hear. I did switch the stock tubes in the line and phono stage and think it is an improvement. I just purchased an Audia Flight phono stage and will be comparing it with the C2300's phono input but unfortunately my new cartridge hasn't come in yet so I haven't been able to compare. Hopefully I will have it in a few weeks.
Gentleman, I too have the C2300 and a pair of the MC601s. My VPI TT is very happy with the MC phono of the C2300. First, it already sounded good right out of the box but, after 500 hours it really started to sing but still a little bit bright because of the stock tubes. So, I change my tubes on the MC with the original 1950 telefunken smooth plates and that did it for me as it gave me way better sound stage, better low end, more of a natural sound, and no more brightness. I think the phono stage of the C2300 is like the stand alone phono stage that cost $5000 plus out there. What's also nice about the C2300 phono stage is that you can adjust the impedance from 50 ohms to 1000 ohms. C2300 is truly an excellent match with the MC601s
I, too, am fortunate enough to be able to won a C2300. I will echo what others have said in regards to the phono sthae (MC). I use mine with a Rega P9 and Lyra Delos. Superb. I wa slooking at a outboard stage but could find nothing in the $2500 range I was willing to spend that outshone the C2300 stage.