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McIntosh Reissues Classic 60s Amps, Price Adjusted for Inflation

by April 07, 2009

McIntosh celebrates 60 years of hi-fi with reissues of classic amps. Included are the MC75 monoblock tube amp (originally released back in 1961) and the C22 preamp (introduced back in 1962). The components circuitry has been updated since their 1960s originals hit the market – and of course their prices have been adjusted for inflation.

For decades I’ve made a hobby of raiding garage sales and used hi-fi shops, wading through dusty old outdated equipment looking for those proverbial gems in the rough. When you look past dusty old 8-tracks and abandoned Pro-Logic receivers you might fin something interesting once in awhile. 

On a very rare occasion I’ve actually found equipment made by that legendary high-end audio company, McIntosh. Ironically, because of the distinctive McIntosh old-school esthetic you can sometimes find them used but priced well below what you’d expect. Obviously it’s being sold by the uninitiated who mistakes a long-lost relative’s stereo collection from the attic for old junk. I’ve had the opportunity but lacked the peace of mind to take advantage. 

But who can blame the naive seller. If you’re used to only seeing new receivers at big box stores with black metallic finish, cluttered with logos and lights – you might be forgiven for thinking a dusty old, partially scratched two-channel McIntosh integrated amp isn’t worth a lot on the open market. Such has been the fate of more than a few that have wound up on the floor of a garage sale. Hopefully someone picked them up and they weren’t simply discarded. 

I’ve never owned a “Mac” but friends have.  I have to admit, although they sound flawless, even more than sound quality I revere the company’s esthetic and reputation, I’ve just never been able to justify the price. 

If you want to bring a few pieces of hi-fi history into your audio-room, but never scored a goldmine at local garage sales, now is your chance. 

The audio legend announced its 60th anniversary limited-edition reissues just last week. The complete “Classic System” package will consist of two MC75, 75 Watt monoblock amps and a C22 preamplifier. It’ll include a special collector’s edition of the McIntosh book For The Love Of Music, signed by author Ken Kessler, McIntosh co-founder Sidney Corderman and McIntosh President Charlie Randall. 

Details on the updates to the historic systems are light but a few modern upgrades have been revealed. The company’s press release says it provided a few updates that’ll improve reliability while retaining the sonic character of the original. The MC75 amps will put out 75 watts into 2, 4 or 8 ohms and is built on a triple polished titanium stainless steel chassis, gold in color. Like the amps McIntosh says the preamp has also been modernized with a number of enhancements.

The C22 features balanced inputs and outputs a moving coil and moving magnet phono amplifier. It also features an IR remote control. 

The price for the complete kit is a heart-stopping $15,000. We’ll file this under one of those impractical purchases even at the best of economic times. But if you’re in the socio-economic bracket that doesn’t mind springing the big bucks you might want to hurry. McIntosh has only made 120 sets of this classic system.

About the author:

Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad".

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Recent Forum Posts:

tbergman posts on May 11, 2009 12:56
NativeTexan, post: 565120
Well when you think about $15000 for the system, that is FAR less that the average bass boat (average in my area $35,000) or an in ground pool or matching Harley's yet you see these items all the time. When compared to other options and the length of service and the high level performance, the McIntosh gear is some of the least expensive electronics on the market.

It may be less expensive than a bass boat, pool or two Harley's, but I don't see how you can call it "some of the least expensive electronics on the market."
NativeTexan posts on May 11, 2009 10:43
Well when you think about $15000 for the system, that is FAR less that the average bass boat (average in my area $35,000) or an in ground pool or matching Harley's yet you see these items all the time. When compared to other options and the length of service and the high level performance, the McIntosh gear is some of the least expensive electronics on the market.
bandphan posts on April 24, 2009 12:56
Their solid state amps form 73 on are just just as solid as those made today. Mine was made in 79 and provides everything asked of it. Huge autotransformer, power to spare, and flawless performance. Stable down to 1ohm and tremedous protection. I agree that many amps can provide close to the same performance at lesser price but I've had zero reason to complain and other than two tape decks and a reel to reel, no other gear that I've owned. other than some speakers have stood the test of time.
Pyrrho posts on April 24, 2009 12:24
tbergman, post: 557279
But you can buy 40+ EP2500s for the price of that McIntosh… But price minded thinking isn't whats selling these.

Yes. And that is why the reliability argument doesn't work for me. It would be different if we were putting something on a space probe and could not go out and replace it, but in my home, if something fails, I can easily put a new one in. And if it gets stolen or something, it will be better if it is cheap.

Also, being solidly constructed is not the same as being reliable in use. There are other brands of old gear that, in my experience, seem as reliable as McIntosh gear, even though they are not quite as solidly constructed.

But if I were wealthy, I might consider buying McIntosh gear, but not remakes of their old gear. It would be their new designs or I would go with a different brand.
tbergman posts on April 23, 2009 17:32
B3Nut, post: 556652
Will that Mc still be playing years after the Behringer reached its end and did its best Chinese fireworks impersonation? You betcha.

But you can buy 40+ EP2500s for the price of that McIntosh… But price minded thinking isn't whats selling these.
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