Seems the new, yet to be shipped c12000 preamp is inexpensive/cheap ($16k) compared to other 2 chasis preamps. Is this high end?
would prefer a linestage. Ss vs tube feature is cool.
better choices out there?
@emergingsoul It depends, Many consider McIntosh to be pricey Mif-Fi. I do not.They have a house sound that they cling to, and if you enjoy it that is all that matters. Build quality wise, it top tier and you be able to easily find a dealer in many parts of the country.
Even so, before investing in the Mac listen to a few other things as well. Then develop your preferences and know what you are getting into. Mac Tube pre-amps are pretty neutral and have a sound akin to a SS amp. If able try and audition Preamps in both camps.SS realm try a Hegel, Michi, Classe,Pass Labs, Mark Levingson, then move to Tube designs from Cary, Rogue, Conrad Johnson, BAT, VTL, Prima Luna, ARC, Zesto Audio are a few suggestions, This list can be paired down by what is available in your area, Whatever you do do not buy the Mac without hearing what else is out there. Also do not get hung up as to whether or not the power supply is separate. Advantages yes, but there are single chassis designs that have great isolation as well. The BAT I am auditioning now and the Zesto Audio I auditioned before have built in ones it are still very quiet. Which is the main advantage that a separate power supply offers in a component.
I suggest your primary goal should be finding something you enjoy listening to first.