Hi, thanks for all the replies. I actually was able to audition both the Parasound JC-2 and the McIntosh C49 at home last month, and I thought I would post an update.
I ended up keeping the JC-2. I find it to have a quieter background, and more open soundstage with good separation between instruments. Bass production is OK, it is fast and tight, but wouldn't mind it being a little more prominent. There's a bit of a roll off at the top end which works well with my B&W Diamond speakers. Overall, it's a more relaxing sound and I feel I can listen to it for hours without fatigue.
As with the C49, it couldn't be more different than the JC-2. JC-2 is the bare minimum 'straight wire with gain' design with zero bells and whistles. Whereas C49 has a ton of features including phono stage, headphone stage, defeatable tone control, upgradable DAC. Sound wise, the C49 is not bad. More prominent in the bass but maybe a little less tight than the JC-2. The treble is a little too bright at times for my speakers. I found myself wanting to dial down the treble via tone control quite often. The background is pretty quiet, but not as quiet as the JC-2. Sound stage is not as open as the JC-2. Overall, the C49 is more forward sounding with a little more prominent bass.
I wanted so much to like the McIntosh. It's hard not to like that classic McIntosh look. Maybe also because it is such an iconic brand. There seems to be wide spread thinking that McIntosh matches well with B&W speakers. But in the end, I chose the JC-2 because it just sounds better to my ear, and I love that low noise floor.
Hope this helps. Cheers!