I'm little confused here. Do you mean a new (for you) but nice, old C-22? Or, has McIntosh come out with a newly updated version of the old C-22?
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Based on your virtual system, you will very likely find the C22 to be quite different from what you're used to. I don't like a lot of the words used to describe the difference between tubes and SS gear, but I do think you will find it to have a quieter background, superior soundstage/image and be less harsh. It will do wonders for your vinyl rig. I'm guessing you'll be running the output into your Rotel power amp and B&Ws; if so, the tube pre / SS power combo what many folks prefer in a hybrid rig. I sure did.
Build quality of anything McIntosh is superb, so if you go for it you will have an heirloom piece. Do note that it will take the tubes 50 to 100 hours of use to really start performing.
Good luck & happy listening!
I used my fresh-from-the-factory C22 yesterday for the first time. Using for phono duties with a VPI Classic 2/Blackbird combo. First impressions very positive! I purchased because it has tone controls! I don't listen to vinyl that much and want to make adjustments when necessary. Really nice looking box!
I can't speak to the C-22, but I have been happily using a C220 for about 6 years. Many Mac preamp owners have had good results from upgrading the tubes. I replaced the stock tubes with Mullard reissues (~$40 per pair), and got smoother sound, lower noise, and an expanded soudstage. And I absolutely love the functionality of my C220, which is not as extensive as the C-22. I would guess you will enoy your purchase a great deal.
I recently purchased an NOS (New Old Stock) Mcintosh C2500 full function Pre-amp. If the C-22 performs the same, it's a winner. My C2500 has reacted to tube rolling really nicely and has make a HUGE improvement in my overall systems performance. Like you, it is my first Mcintosh piece and now I am kicking myself for not buying a Mc pre sooner. The C2500, being of a newer design may have more features, internal DAC and two Phono section but that is just fluff but for me it's all about how it has taken my entire system to the next level. Also when I compared product at or near the same price range the Mcintosh, offered more bang for the buck.
After a look at current setup and making a choice to start minimizing gear on the racks (2 DACs) I have decided to simplify. I ended up picking up a new C47. Appreciate all the feedback. Looking towards settling back this weekend and unboxing and setting up. Am very much taken with the simplicity of this piece.
So many are quick to rip on McIntosh, calling the sound dated, slow, dull etc.. I have owned quite a bit of Mac gear throughout the years and have always found it ultimately listenable for hours on end. Build quality is top drawer. I think that you will find that all Mac preamps have a similar sound (I did), whether tubes or solid state. That always impressed me, because they are equally voiced. And yes, I love tone controls. When I want a little more top end I adjust the treble, a little more bass, same thing. I have too many friends that adjust their treble and bass by changing cables.. I just shake my head.
Enjoy your C-22. It's and excellent choice.