McIntosh C22

McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V

The McIntosh C70 AC 70th Anniversary Stereophonic Preamplifier presented last year was, nomen est omen, entirely dedicated to the celebrations surrounding the 70th birthday of McIntosh Laboratory Inc. The place of this solution, offered in a limited edition only, is now taken by the new McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V.


For McIntosh Laboratory Inc., 2019 was all about celebrating its 70th birthday, manifested in the presentation of extraordinary products, all of which boasted remarkable performance data, features and unique design.

Among the solutions presented during the anniversary year was the McIntosh C70 AC 70th Anniversary Stereophonic Preamplifier, which the company presented to match the McIntosh MC2152 AC 70th Anniversary 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier, also presented in 2019.

After McIntosh Laboratory Inc. replaced the McIntosh MC2152 AC 70th Anniversary 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier with the regular production model McIntosh MC1502 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier, the successor to the McIntosh C70 AC 70th Anniversary Stereophonic Preamplifier is now available in the form of the new McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V. Here and there, the Americans are using solutions that are technically identical to the Anniversary models, but with a conventional design that can be easily combined with any other solution from McIntosh Laboratory Inc.

Although the new McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V doesn’t really have a “normal” design, it uses the same design element that already caused a stir with the Anniversary model, namely a retro look, as the manufacturer himself puts it.

On the inside, the McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V is said to be a state-of-the-art solution. Six 12AT7/12AX7A tubes are used here, whereby one did not omit to give the view of these naturally not freely, at the top, effectively illuminated, as it is suitable for a solution of the Americans.

So that one is well informed about how the own preamplifier is built up in detail, one finds a block diagram of the circuit design right next to the glass window.

Two balanced inputs as well as three unbalanced connections are available on the new McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V for various source devices. For vinyl lovers, the developers have even equipped the new tube preamplifier with an integrated phono preamplifier, which can be connected to one drive equipped with MM and a second equipped with MC pickup system. The manufacturer describes the quality of this phono preamplifier as outstanding, so there should be no need to invest in an additional solution. The impedance and capacitance can be adjusted directly on the glass front of the McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V using separate controls.

The new McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V is also ideal for those who occasionally want to enjoy music on their own, as it features an integrated headphone amplifier. This is also to be beyond any doubt, as the unique McIntosh Crossfeed Director technology HDX is used here.

A bass and treble control allows the sound characteristics to be very sensitively adjusted in 2 dB steps to suit your own ideas.

The new McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V offers both unbalanced and balanced outputs and of course trigger inputs and outputs in the form of so-called power control for centralized control of multiple components.

According to the manufacturer, the McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V has a polished stainless steel housing and an illuminated McIntosh logo. The operating elements are all of very high quality, for example with aluminum end caps on the encoders. With its “retro-black” glass and aluminum front panel, the McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V is said to fit perfectly into any hi-fi system consisting of components from McIntosh Laboratory Inc. from any era – from the 1950s to today.

A generous rack is a must, because with dimensions of 44.5 cm in width, 15.24 cm in height and 45.72 cm in depth, this solution requires a lot of space and weighs 11.3 kg.

According to information currently available, the new McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V will probably be available from specialist dealers in October 2020. The recommended retail price is stated as € 7,480. As already mentioned, according to the manufacturer, the new power amplifier McIntosh MC1502 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier is the right partner to play with.

Getting to the point

After McIntosh Laboratory Inc. replaced the McIntosh MC2152 AC 70th Anniversary 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier with the regular production model McIntosh MC1502 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier, the successor to the McIntosh C70 AC 70th Anniversary Stereophonic Preamplifier is now available in the form of the new McIntosh C22 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V. Here and there, the Americans are using solutions that are technically identical to the Anniversary models, but with a conventional design that can be easily combined with any other solution from McIntosh Laboratory Inc.

Manufacturer:McIntosh Laboratory Inc.
Distribution:Audio Components GmbH
Price:€ 7.480,-

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