McIntosh C20 - can and should I bring it back from the dead?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by neevo, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    First I have to tell you , I love this thread.
    Your efforts and dedication are unmatched in recent memory .
    I also think your nuts.
    Please take that as a compliment from someone who questions their own sanity from time to time.
    For the time and effort you're investing in this you could have bought any number of preamps (plug and play).
    I get that it's a labor of love. Also something of an obsession now. Maybe therapy too:idea:

    I suspect it will turn out spectacular. I hope it lives up to all your expectations sonically.
     
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  2. hugo454

    hugo454 Gold Member Subscriber

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    I totally agree.fantastic job.
     
  3. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    I think that’s something we can all agree on :rflmao:

    My wife certainly said something along those lines with an expletive dropped in too when I was reversing the pantograph down the driveway :wtf:
     
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  4. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    Do not be stymied or slowed in your forward progress. This is an epic journey that will give you a measure of satisfaction that cannot be obtained simply by purchasing.
     
  5. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    It’s the journey, not the destination for sure. Plus I find it easier to find smaller sums of money to work a project over a long time vs cash up front.

    Further developments... I now have a proper mill in the shed. A deal too cheap to pass up.

    Will post some pics when I have time. Currently sitting in emergency though as I’ve split my thumb by accidentally hitting it with a hammer.

    Will be fine. First shop injury and I’ve bought a Morse taper removal tool so I don’t do it again.
     
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  6. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    OUCH!!!!!

    I been there. Didn't have to go to emergency room, but it is a pain not soon forgotten. Hope you mend soon!
     

     

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  7. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    Thumb is healing fast and yesterday I cut my first piece of metal on my new mill. Still a few more parts to get for the mill and then I’ll be making my end panels again.

    It cuts beautifully, so much better than using my lathe! That was steel too so I imagine it will rip through Alu like butter.

    I’m also a week away from picking up my fresh new chassis. Haven’t seen pics so I’m a bit apprehensive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  8. PanheadXR290

    PanheadXR290 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you have the skills you have 30% of the job beat already ,the other 70% is sourcing period correct or OEM correct replacement parts ,I paid $600 for my C-20 in a true 7 condition along with the factory box & receipt around 20 years ago ,now they sell for over $2k in clean shape ,I worry you'll spend twice as much restoring the preamp than what you could purchase a super clean example , soaking the rusted nuts and bolts in Naval jelly will take care of removing rust ,if it we're me I'd purchase new everything if I was dead set on a restoration because the time in cleaning parts alone you could build one of those wooden model 17th century sail ships of the line kits .
     
  9. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    I’ve been keeping tabs on the cost and think I’ll have it done for $1500 but that doesn’t include purchasing of tools like the mill.

    I’d struggle to get one close to $3-5k here in Australia so I’m sure I’ll be ahead financially, plus I’ll have the satisfaction of building it myself and customising the look for me too :)

    The chassis chroming came in under budget too, took 2-3 months mind you, but was only $300.
     
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  10. PanheadXR290

    PanheadXR290 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've yet to sell any McIntosh in AUS ,what's the deal with prices so much higher than the US ,is it customs duty fees ? For what it's worth I've shipped at least 50 pieces of Mcintosh gear to China , Japan and several Indo China countries ,the oberwhoverwh majority of the time we get around duty fees by labeling the gear as electronic parts ,I will pull the boards ,the transformer and harnesses ,split the amp/preamp/processor or multi disc player parts into multiple packages ,always removing the glass & packing for a trip to hell & back ,once customs peeks inside the Japanese & Chinese save thousands in import fees by taking the piece to their tech & having it reassembled ,the Chinese tax American electronics so high that a pair of Klipsch Belle's I sold for $3,600 USD cost the buyer over $5,000 in import fees ,if that's your case you may want to consider buying any future gear through a seller with access to a tech who can disassemble your gear so it can legally be bought as electronics parts .
     
  11. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    It’s an Australia thing. Everything here is more expensive by a significant factor.

    It’s a little bit of duties but mostly it’s pricing from distributors and retailers to cover costs from rent, wages and services. Australia has one of the highest costs of living but then out wages are higher too.

    It’s hard to justify though on some things. An Australian product can be cheaper to buy and be delivered from the US vs locally. Go figure :dunno:
     

     

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  12. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    So, its like Alaska, but warmer?
     
  13. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    Can everything in Alaska kill you too?
     
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  14. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    The bears can be something other than cuddly.
     
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  15. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    Like our drop bears...

    upload_2019-1-7_16-39-47.jpeg
     
  16. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Bill Ferris and nj pheonix like this.

     

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  17. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Australia's less tourist friendly answer to the Western American jackalope.
    Jackalopepc.jpg
     
  18. Phototone

    Phototone Super Member

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    This preamp does not have a chrome plated chassis. It is dull cadmium plated, and the top plates are black painted. I have restored 3 of these from scrap units, I know. Also the knobs on the OP photo are not original.
     
  19. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Interesting, thanks for clarification.
     
  20. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    Is cadmium laid over copper? That seems to be how my chassis was plated.

    Also @Phototone which knobs aren’t original? I assume you mean the black plastic ones? If so I’m pretty happy with how they look as they are pretty damn close to other C20’s I’ve seen with black upper knobs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019

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