What is your budget? The MC452 is a great amp so congratulations if you decide to buy it.
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I want to encourage you to upgrade your speakers, then change equipment.
IF you keep efficiency in mind when selecting speakers, then you would never need that much power.
One day, you will want to try tubes, perhaps both preamp and amp or integrated tube unit. Efficient speakers will be your friend then as well.
It’s about smaller: cost, unit size, unit weight, heat produced, placement options, it all makes a difference, including number and length of cables.
As for recommended preamp, I absolutely love my McIntosh mx110z tube tuner/preamp from the 1960’s, recently overhauled by Audio Classics.
It's MM Phono (2 inputs) stage sounds terrific, I use a SUT for MC, and I get remote volume from the amp.
Any McIntosh preamp will be a good match for the MC 452 and there are a lot of non-McIntosh stuff that would work as well.
What are your sources? And do you prefer solid state or tube?
The C2600 I bought as a demo was awesome - tube preamp with phono stage and DAC. There's also solid state preamps like the C47 that are an option.
Good luck in your journey.
Thanks to ALL responders. I have read so many reviews of various Mac equipment and yesterday was finally able to make the 4 hour trip to my nearest Mac Dealer to actually listen to some of it. Depending on when Mac (and the dealer) can actually get the equipment to me I have decided to go SS (and new instead of used). In making that choice I am compromising somewhat. I have decided on the C49 Preamp and the MC312 Power Amp (300w instead of the 450w on the used MC452). I really loved the Integrated MA9000 which (new) cost the same as the two (new) pieces I selected. I just felt it was more important to me to separate the equipment into to pieces. Just so much more flexibility and I have the space for both pieces. The only thing that pi...es me off is McIntosh. It is highway robbery in that you have to buy the NEW Preamp with the DA1 and then also buy the DA2 separate and have the dealer change it out. Having to pay for both DAC pieces (when you don't want the DA1) is not a good way to do business if you wish to cultivate repeat customers. And to add insult to injury, nobody will buy the DA1 now that the DA2 is out there, so that is a complete waste of $1,000 that goes straight into the pocket of McIntosh. That makes them a common thief in my book. Given the fact that I have virtually no hearing in my right ear, and it gets worse every year, I think this will be more than I can fully appreciate probably for the rest of my life.