Electrolytic caps dry out over time causing values to drift a little and also be more prone to failure. There have been improvements in parts/hardware quality and materials since the C-200 was made. Consider a complete recap job as a longterm goal. As long as the preamp is operating with no issues, there is no rush do do anything, just enjoy it for the time being.
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I'm probably the biggest fan of this pre-amp. I recently had mine recapped with Nichicon gold and it is stunning. I have another that is going to be done with blackgates. The preamp originally was done in Elna gray caps....which were popular in the mid-late 70's but not the best. About 20-22 caps need to be replaced or by-passed in the signal path. Also the 2 prong power outlet needs to be changed to a 3 prong type. Message me if you want I have a great tech that was trained on these older Accuphase units by the factory. A word of caution as some of the caps and resistors were specially matched for the circuts and should not be replaced. Message me if you like.
I find the stock C200 very transperent and open with one drawback.....the highend lacks a liitle smoothness. The soundstage is very large and is layered. Musical notes are on the uncolored side of the spectrum and the bottom end is full.
My upgraded example is totaly natural and uncolored with a transperency that leaves the impression of a live setting. So the biggest improvement is in it's ability to reproduce the source material with uncanny realism with a noise floor that is way way down.
Now if somebody can share their observations on the later Accuphase preamps that would be interesting.
So I just got it in... And WOW.. .this is just an amazing amp! I immediately noticed a difference! I was using a McIntosh C45 the neutrality of this amp is phenomenal! Albeit though, just to be fair, it slightly on the brighter side for the mid/high ranges (like the higher end of a violin or a lyre.)
But one issue though that i was a lil confused about and I hope you current owners can help.. When I first set up my system, I plugged my CD Player into AUX 1 and I heard nothing, so then I plugged it into my Tuner slot and it played like normal, (listening values at about the 11 o'clock range on the volume knob.)
Then I tried the AUX 1 and 2 again, and cranked it up all the way till the max to get a faint output. So then I realized it wasn't broken..
But What are AUX 1 and 2 used for if its sensitivity is so low?
BTW, the phono stage sounds AMAZING... and I mean at pretty much a $100 over the cost of my Musical Surroundings Phonomena, You really can't go wrong with this pre amp.
Yes the C200 is very natural. My experience is that McIntosh and ARC of that era will sound colored surprisingly so. The Aux 1 and 2 outputs are the main connections for everything but a tuner and phono. The ouput level should be the same as the tuner. I use Aux 1 for my DAC which connects to my CD transport and my sattelite receiver. I normally have the volume control at 9:30 to 10:00 o'clock....11 is very loud and 12 will produce rock n roll levels. Check it further...connections ect. You may need a tech to look at it.
Well I picked up my uncle's Accuphase C-200 preamp and E-202 Integrated. He didn't want them anymore and gave them to me because he knows I'd appreciate them. Am I glad he gave them to me. They are tanks.
I'm playing with the C-200 now and marveling at it's sound so far. I've adjusted some of the tone controls and tried various outputs and inputs and I haven't heard any noise or distortion. My uncle had it dormant for 2 years or so I'm just warming it up. Before that I think he used it off and on for some years. I'm going to give it a listen before I bring it to a tech.
Anyone have a manual for the C-200 that they would like to share? I found some old adverts and service docs.
I'm curious about what the Power Amplifier button on the bottom does. I've pressed this button both times when listening to music and haven't heard anything different.
Also the power cord with the C-200 I've got isn't original. It looks like a GE power cord from a lamp. I found this online but was wondering if anyone had any experience with it.
Hosatech Power Cord, IEC C9 to NEMA 1-15P, 8 ft
This cable is designed to connect an electrical appliance with a C10 inlet to line power. It is ideal for use with vintage hi-fi components.
Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors for lower resistance and increased current flow
Black PVC jacket for durability, flexibility, and low visibility
Intended for use in North America and nations that have adopted the NEMA standard
Conductor(s): 18 AWG x 2 OFC
Connector(s): IEC C9 to NEMA 1-15P
Length: 8 ft
Any other thoughts, opinions and ideas on the C-200 would be appreciated.