I got the opportunity to review McIntosh’s brand new C2700 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier. Once the shock wore off, and I was able to process the opportunity; I came to the realization that I didn’t own a stand-alone amplifier. Not to mention that most of the time, I review entry-level gear and my own, hi-fi setups while totally amazing, aren’t of the high-end variety. So, I reached out and let them know that I wouldn’t be able to do the review justice. And lo and behold McIntosh decided to help me out and send along an amplifier befitting of the C2700 Preamplifier. The 450w per channel MC462 Power Amplifier. So now, sitting on my shelf are two of the heaviest, most expensive, imposing, and badass looking pieces of hi-fi kit I’ve ever had in my home.
I led with HEAVY because it wasn’t something I normally associate with home amplifiers. Sure, speakers and subwoofers are heavy by right of their size, but man, these McIntosh pieces are something else. The C2700 tips the scales at just under 30 pounds (45 pounds boxed) and the MC462 weighs a whopping 115 pounds (148 pounds boxed). Wow!
The McIntosh C2700 Preamplifier is a beast. It sports 16 inputs (9 analog + 7 digital), Five 12AX7A and 1 12AT7 vacuum tubes, it supports files up to DSD512, it comes with DA2 Digital Audio Module installed, it… it has a whole bunch of amazing features that I’ll need time to absorb. I’m going to be perfectly honest, I’m embarking on a new frontier. I love me some hi-fi but when it comes to the upper echelon of audio nirvana, I’m a neophyte. This review is going to be one of discovery for me. I’m about as curious as every other casual audiophile to see what the highest levels of hi-fi sound like. Will I be blown back into the wall like Marty McFly strumming a guitar in Back to the Future? Will I be blown back in my chair like the Maxell Tape commercial? (I’m totally dating myself). Or, will music just sound a little bit better?
I’ll be surprised if I’m not blown back a teensy bit. The monster that is the MC462 amplifier replaces the highly regarded MC452 amplifier because it somehow wasn’t powerful enough. The MC462 blasts out 450 Watts per channel. With a dedicated McIntosh Autoformer™ connected to each audio channel, the full 450 Watts is available to any speaker regardless if it has 2, 4, or 8 Ohm impedance. Now I just have to find a speaker that can take advantage of that much power. McIntosh claims that filter capacity has been increased by nearly 50%, which has resulted in a 66% increase in dynamic headroom from 1.8dB to 3.0dB which allows the MC462 to easily handle drastic swings in dynamics with virtually no distortion.
All in all, this will be a fun review. but you’ll just have to wait a bit longer for it. I have a lot of listening and learning to do!