Replace the stock tubes. I have used many brands of tubes (Teles, Mullard, Mazda, Amperes, Solvtek) and settled on Psvane Treasures fron Grant Fidelity. I also liked Gold Lion reissues.
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I have a 2300. I have it paired with an Arye solid state amp and the sound is just magical. I would definitely roll tubes so you can hear your options. I have tried Telefunkens, re-isssue Gold Lions, and Psvane. I have allowed each about 100-120 hours. Each time I have returned to the stock McIntosh tubes. I found the better to be the Psvane(T-series Best $99.00/pr), the highs seemed crisper and but slight decrease in bass. Midrange was nearly identicaI. Still, in my system and set up in my room I am back to using the stock tubes. I cannot tell you any one is better, these just sound better to me. They each have their own sound.
Remember you have only 2 tubes each, for the line stage, phono MM stage, and MC stage (6 tubes total). If you are not running a turntable and just using the line stage you only need 2 tubes to roll. If you have a TT and are using the phono stage, you really only 2 more tubes depending if you are running MC or MM. Just leave the stock tubes in the phonos stage you are not using.
While I am not a big McIntosh fan, and have not cared for the McIntosh amplifier sound, the C2300 is as quiet and as a neutral sounding pre-amp as I have heard. With all the options it has, have you should be most happy.
For more recommendations look up the 2300 on the following forum. Please note, however, most posts are from strict McIntosh only systems. http://www.audioaficionado.org/mcintosh-audio/
Best of luck, this is one great piece of equipment.
For my system the Psvane Treasures fron Grant Fidelity are excellent with the C2300 good as my NOS tubes For NOS the Brimars work very well, just make sure they are the ones in the black and red box's not the red and yellow boxes which are really poor sounding compared to the ones in the black and red box's. Brimars are very musical sounding. Did not like Tele's smooth plates as much as the other two above. Bugle Boys just sound thin, same as 5751's. Might as well purchased solid state with those tubes in the C2300. Great preamp regardless of cost and their designs are so good that they don't need to changes models a lot, like ARC does, guess they cannot build it right the 1st time.