C32 Ribbon Cables?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by steelgtr, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. steelgtr

    steelgtr Well-Known Member

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    557
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    Are the ribbon cables in the C32 a big problem? Is that what keeps these from being desirable or did Mac use ribbon cables in all the components from this vintage? I found one where the guy had them all replaced with wire but wants $875 for it! Out of my price range but I think i'm wanting a pre with the 5 band EQ and variable loudness. Still considering a Mac 4100 as a tuner/pre for around $700 locally.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all AK'ers!

    bob
     
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  2. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    I paid $800US for a refurbished C32 about a year, it has been a reliable performer.....no problems at all.
    It was one which Terry Dewick worked on.

    If you get one which has been untouched for 30 years, then expect to have problems, otherwise go for one which has been through the hands of a McIntosh expert tech....
     
  3. steelgtr

    steelgtr Well-Known Member

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    Do all the C3x preamps have the ribbon cables?
     
  4. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

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    No. My C34V uses wire harnesses, no ribbon cables. I did have to push a wire back into its connector (with a knife blade contact) once.
     
  5. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    No, the C30,33,and 34 are a different and newer design than the C32.

    The C32 was the first one they did with the 5 band EQ.
    To be honest, I would go for a C30,33,34 if you can, the performance and reliability is improved from the C32. I would have done this if I had a little more product knowledge at the time I was purchasing my first McIntosh pre-amp....
     
  6. steelgtr

    steelgtr Well-Known Member

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    The lack of an EQ defeat switch isn't that big of deal?
     

     

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  7. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    The C32 has one, however in the C30,33,34 I believe when the tone controls are flat, they are indeed out of circuit.
    Its a pretty cool feature......the C40 I have is like that too....
     
  8. clinic-audio

    clinic-audio all on YAMAHA untill 1990

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    Hello Steelgtr !

    Yes ! ribbon cables in the C32 are a big problem :yes:

    Here are some pictures about a renewed C32 :thmbsp:
     

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  9. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

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    Owning a C34 I can tell you that having the tone controls disappear when set to flat is nice but kind of worthless for an A-B, "EQ in-out" test. Plus, once you set the tone controls to flat, the odds of resetting them to their original position is about zero. They are mean't to be set once and left alone. These comments probably apply to any older Mac piece with the 3 or 5 band control such as the 504, 6200 and 4100. I will guess that the newer units do have bypass buttons. Check Roger Russell.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  10. kevzep

    kevzep Its all about the Music Subscriber

    There is no EQ bypass on the C40,33,30 either....there is an EQ in/out on the C32 which is OLDER than the aforementioned....
     
  11. CountD

    CountD Super Member

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    1,239
    $875 for a C32 that has been worked on is a deal. If it's clean, that's a price that a C32 was going for two years ago. If you want something that will not give you trouble, give you years of service, and you will have for a very, very long time get a C34. The C34 is the finest SS from that lineage, and has best performance, best build quality, and best sound. However, the bad news is if you think C32 is expensive at $875, you won't be able to find a clean C34 for less than $1275.
     

     

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  12. steelgtr

    steelgtr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Count

    Best sound is really important. But I'm sure as you go up the line and further in time, that's what you get. It's always about budget and diminishing returns, too.
     
  13. steelgtr

    steelgtr Well-Known Member

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    Are all C-34's "V" models?
     
  14. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

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    Yes. "V" stands for Video. Electronically, it is the same as a C33 except the C34V has one phono input and the C33 has two. On the C34V, a ribbon cable is run from the front Listen switch to a large D connector on the back. There is a separate video switch box available that uses the signals from the D connector to control which video goes out. This allows audio and composite video to be switched together. Video actually never goes into the C34V. One other little thing is that the C33 uses old school labels for the inputs such as AUX1 and AUX2. The C34V uses terms such as CD and LASER. Note that LASER is a little outdated but has nothing to do with the performance. They are all just line level inputs. I love my C34V. It sounds wonderful and looks beautiful.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  15. steelgtr

    steelgtr Well-Known Member

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    What is the "expander" feature I see on some of these models?
     
  16. clinic-audio

    clinic-audio all on YAMAHA untill 1990

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    Hello John

    I love my C34V. It sounds wonderful and looks beautiful

    YES ! I always recommend this model to my customers looking for a great MCINTOSH preamplifier without encoder in volume control ...:thmbsp:

    There is no remote but It is real pleasure to use a C34V and it is a really reliable unit . I sold around 12 pieces and none get troubles ...

    The black video box coming with the C34V is the MVS1 (MCINTOSH Video Selector 1)

    :thmbsp:
     

     

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  17. steelgtr

    steelgtr Well-Known Member

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    So, you guys all all agree that a C33 should sound the same and as good as the C34V?
     
  18. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

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    I'm waiting to see how many people have owned both at the same time and run an A-B test. I've never owned a C33. I can't say there were not any minor tweaks made to the C34V when the transition was made.
     
  19. clinic-audio

    clinic-audio all on YAMAHA untill 1990

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    In fact , the C34V is a C33 with video extension (MVS1) and some other details
     
  20. emmvette

    emmvette Big Speakers R Better! Subscriber

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    I've owned two c32 preamps and neither has had ribbon problem. Both were original. I've since had one recapped and completely gone through - it had no ribbon cables problems, but the tech was contentious and handled them careful as they should be.

    C32's are beautiful and very functional units.
     

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