Once you go MAC you never go back.... My journey
I have wandered in the high-end audio wilderness for many, many long years. Having owned both vintage (Sansui, Marantz, Dynaco, Scott) and high-end (Levinson, VTL, Krell, MBL) I decided to again go vintage.
I slowly downsized my current system (VTL, Classe) and start over (I took my time, a couple of years to be exact).
Since I have friends who have vintage Mcintosh gear (that they swear by) as well you terrific 'Goners, I have two wonderful resources for my research.
After a year of dedicated listening to friends vintage Mcintosh gear (MC-2105's, C-32's, MC2255's, etc) I made the decision. I would purchase preowned MAC separates with the understanding that a 25+ year old audio equipment may require a couple of hundred dollars worth of repairs, etc. With the extra cash from selling off my overpriced system, I went online and purchased two gorgeous Mcintosh separates- the Mcintosh MC-2155 and C-28. When I first listened to my "new" vintage system I was initially disappointed as the preamp was dull and dark. It sounded like my Becker Mexico car radio.
I immediately took both components to a trusted audio repair shop in town and told them to restore the C-28 to it's former glory. I had them change the electrolytic capacitors with newer ELNA Cerafine types on the C-28.
Upon return from the repair shop I was floored... I could not believe it was the same C-28. The C-28 was better than new! The C-28 became a 1973 giant killer! Only it was 2007! The C-28 opened up my cd collection to new levels! Liquidity, warmth, soundstage, and that EUREKA feeling we audiophiles drool about!
Although my $7500 VTL revealed more in source recordings, it lacked the complete passion and authority my "new" old C-28 now commanded. For the first time in a long time Joni's Mitchell's haunting lyrics in "Amelia" sent shivers down my spine. Listening to the C-28 paired with the 2155 is like sipping an expensive Brandy for the first time.