preamp for MC452 Mcintosh amp

I am awaiting delivery on my new Mcintosh 452 power amp. Does anybody have one of these, and if so, what are you using for a preamp?
I've been very happy using the McIntosh C2300 preamplifier with my MC352 amp. The combination of tube pre with solid state amp works well for me and sounds great. The C2300 is full featured, and you'll be able to control both amp and preamp with the same remote. If you play vinyl, you'll appreciate the MM/MC phono stages in the C2300, which are quite good.
I've had my MC452 for about 5 months. It replaced a McIntosh MC275 v5 tube amp. The MC452 is a great amp but it takes a long time to fully burn-in. 200hrs is the minimum time IMO for it to start sounding good and its not fully burned in until about 500-600 hrs. I'm using a balanced vacuum tube preamp by Ray Samuels Audio called the A-10 Thunderbolt. It also is serves as my electrostatic headphone amp for my Stax SR-009 headphones.

The RSA A-10 is a great preamp and looks great too. It's not cheap at $6500 but I think it is comparable to preamps well over $10,000. It replaced a Convergent Audio Technology SL-1 Ultimate preamp and I haven't had any regrets. The A-10 is transparent, dynamic, and produces great imagining and soundstaging. I considered the C2300 but I'm glad I opted for the A-10. See my system for pictures.
I have a Pass X1 that will do until I can afford another round of upgrades. The MC 452 is replacing a Pass XA 30.5, once the the new amp has a few hundred hours on it I'll get more serious about trying different preamps. My dealer has Levinson, ARC, Krell and of course Mcintosh. He is recommending Mcintosh, he tends to know what works well with what. I just kinda wondered what other 452 owners were using. Thank you to everyone for their input.
I also use a C2300 with my MC453 - I think the C2300 will soon be discontinued though. Get one while you can.
When we brought the MC452 into our system with the existing CJ Act 2 Series 2, there was a serious impedence mismatch. Because the MC452's input impedence is 22K Ohms, you should consider possible impedence issues with any tube preamp. We then introduced a Pass external crossover (XVR-1) to split the signal between the monitor mains and sub. The Pass XO completely solved the impedence issue and we have been very happy with the Mac/Act pairing (particularly after rolling the ACT2.2 to NOS 6H30 DR). The MC452 is quite neutral and transparent; it will reveal changes up front. Good luck.
I have a MC452 and CJ ET3 my dealer leant the CJ to me when they first came out and when John at "Audio Salon" in Miami put the CJ on top of my MAC I thought oh no it doesnt match!
But once he played a clean burned CD All of our mouths literally dropped to the
floor.My best friend was here to hear the debut he has aTwo (2) Mac 275 Mono's
and a C2300 and said "your done" it sounds perfect!!!!!!
Im even pushing Maggie 1.7s so if there was a Weakness in the preamp it would show itself Loudly with these power hungry speakers!!!!!!!
My dealer,Charlie (He's bought Eight (8) Mac units from John at Audio Salon in Miami Florida at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables Florida.
Save $ and heartache and buy the ET3 and just enjoy the music and take a trip with the money you've just saved.
Call John at Audio Salon 305-322-8911John is my only dealer and now after 10 years a good friend!
Robert K. Manalapan Fl.