Your Input, Changing from McIntosh C50 to McIntosh C2500

I have had a McIntosh C50 pre-amp and MC452 power amp (both solid state) for a few years now, am happy with them.  I've shied away from tube gear, as in the past I found the tubes in my old power amps deteriorated over time, but folks tell me that tubes last a long time, when used in "low power" applications, like that of a pre-amp.

I use an external DAC, so the one built into the pre-amp would not effect my buying decision.

I also have an external headphone amp and subwoofer pair, so having three balanced outputs is the best setup (both these pre-amps have those).

Thoughts about changing out the C50 for a C2500?
Since you don't plan on using the internal DAC, I'd suggest you consider going with a C2300 instead.  It will save some coin and get you a more straightforward signal path.  Either way, you won't be disappointed; the C2300 and C2500 are two of the very best tube preamps out there, and the phono stage in the C2300 got Harry Pearson to put one in his reference system.

I thought the C2300 was the best sounding preamp I've heard and still wish I could have kept it.  In my case, I just really had to go with SS to get full utility out of my system.  I'm very happy with my C50, but that C2300 was magical, especially with vinyl.  It might even convince you to get a turntable.

Good luck & happy listening!


I found a "new in a factory sealed box" C2500 and "pulled the trigger", UPS should deliver it in two days, thought I'd pull it out of the box and start the "break in" Tuesday night, by Friday will do the swap.

I have been very happy with my C50 and have received advice from several people that the C2500 with my MC452 is one of the best combinations I could find, so I hope the tube sound improves things.

Thanks for your help!
I've had a C1000 with SS for a while and added the tube unit this year.  I could never go back...enjoy!