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New Toy - C37!

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by Ferrstein, May 3, 2018.

  1. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    I just picked up this beauty from AudioClassics. As I"m sure everyone here knows those folks are truly great to deal with from start to finish. This bad boy came with a remote, manual, and box. It looks to be in almost unused condition!

    Anyway, thought y'all would enjoy a picture of this thing. I will install it into my big rig for audition this weekend. I don't intend to leave it in that system but I'll see how it sounds. Right now I have a BAT VK-40 there. My real plan for this is to match it up with my MCD7007 and MR7082 tuner in a custome cabinet.

    Cheers!

    C37 Preamp.jpg
     

     

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  2. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,020
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Very nice. Congrats!
     
  3. jlovda

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

    Messages:
    3,432
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Get a 7083 tuner. Better specs.

    John
     
  4. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    If one pops up cheap I may grab it and do a comparison. For now it turns out I mostly listen to only one station (91.3 The Summit) at my house. The 7082 tunes it in perfectly and sounds fantastic!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  5. jlovda

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

    Messages:
    3,432
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Sorry, I misread your original post. I thought you looking for the CD player and tuner.
     
  6. Dave B.

    Dave B. AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    Central Pa.
    It sure does. That looks like the twin brother of the C35 that I bought from AC. It was in the same pristine condition as your C37. You'll enjoy the heck outta this unit. Extremely flexible. Congrats!

    Dave
     

     

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  7. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,060
    Location:
    west Texas
    It was the last of the 16 inch wide units and had the best specifications at the time. a friend of mine who became confined to a wheel chair really enjoyed his. If I remember correctly he had a MC 7200 driving Mac speakers with a MQ 107. He was really happy with the unit. He really enjoyed the graphic tone controls. He used his MX 117 as a tuner and the pre-amp section became the controller for the remote speakers driving another MC 2100 for his remote speakers. He and his wife were senior citizens and having the mid graphic control helped them with their hearing issues with TV broadcasts and opera recordings.
     
  8. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    Thanks all! I'm super pumped about it. I'm cutting wood for a custom cabinet for this system. It will live in my living room. Complete with a Linn LP12 inside the cabinet. I think it'll sound sweet!

    No worries. Truth is I like to buy and (sometimes) sell Mcintosh gear. Who knew?
    I currently have:
    1. MR77, very nice. I have later style knobs and end caps. It looks totally sweet.
    2. MX117, dead mint
    3. MX117, needs a light and has the wrong end caps
    4. C34V, dead mint (I have two of these and really only need one)
     
  9. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    Okay, so I finally gave this thing a listen. Since this unit has balanced outputs I put in my "big rig" system this weekend. I had it driving a pair of Crown Macro Reference amps in mono into Acoustat Monitor 3s with MK-121C interfaces. Source was an LP12 with a Hana SL cartridge. The C37 doesn't have MC phono so I used my Ayre P-5xe phono stage into the CD input on the C37. The C37 stood in for my long-term reference preamp, the BAT VK-40.

    Short story: The C37 sounds fantastic! It has a solidity to the sound that I'm not sure I've heard before. Every image in the 'stage was as solid as a rock. Very impressive. Tonally it was brighter than the BAT, to the point that I turned down the top two EQ knobs just a smidge. Maybe turned them from noon (flat) to 11:00 or so. Not much really. At that setting it was a pleasure to listen to. And how cool is it to have an EQ available? Loudness was set to flat. I listen kinda loud so it seemed inappropriate.

    The first couple albums I listened to (Lyle Lovett's "Pontiac" and Alison Krauss / Union Station's "New Favorite") sounded great. If I were to nit pick I'd say the BAT seems to throw a deeper soundstage. Having said that the perspective of the C37 was different. It was as if the stage moved a bit further away compared to the BAT. It just seemed like the stage itself (the distance between the front and back of the stage) was a bit more shallow with the C37. Thi images themselves seemed more solid on the C37 though - as if I didn't need to imagine where they were located at any time. Really a cool effect! A couple hours later (I had to step out) I put on a couple more albums: Nora Jones' "Come Away With Me" and Gregg Brown's "The Poet Game". I had left the system on while I was out. This time the depth seemed to be back on par with the BAT. "Feeling the Same" from Nora's album popped guitars up on the wall and really opened up. "My New Book" by Gregg Borwn was equally as impressive. I listened to quite a few albums and determined there was nothing I didn't like about the C37. Alas, this unit is slated to my other system, so I will be putting the VK-40 back in for another comparison. Sometimes on the A/B/A I am able to identify other differences. For now the C37 will stay in until I get the other system built. I'm really enjoying listening to it!

    One slight issue that I can address: This thing has too much gain. I'm at somewhere between 10 and 12 out of 100. My BAT goes from 0 to 99 and I'm usually around 60-70. I will likely just turn down the gain on my Crown amps while the C37 is installed, but I can also select less gain in the Ayre phono stage. This isn't really a big issue but the difference between the BAT and the C37 is striking. At first I thought the C37 was noisey as I hooked everything up and turned the volume to 30 or so. Luckily I didn't drop the needle at that setting! With the volume being so touchy I decided to leave the remote control in it's box to prevent hearing loss :)

    Anyway, that was a long-winded way of saying, "I like it". Thought y'all might enjoy. Happy listening!
     
  10. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,440
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Crown Macro Reference amps in mono! Wild man like me!!

    I've always admired the C37, yet never owned one.

    Post up a few pics.
     
  11. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    Yeah, the Acoustats like power. I run the MRs in current mono mode into my Model 3s. It makes for a fetter soundstage and a bit more detail... but to be honest it is an incremental improvement over "just" one MR in that system. My other system (the one this preamp is ultimately slated for) also has two Macro Reference amps, but in that case I'm driving Acoustat Model 6 speakers. Those each have two interfaces so I'll be driving both MRs in stereo mode. Feeding four channels with the C37 presents a bit of an impedance load (net 5k), but the C37 has an output impedance of 600 ohms which should work well with that.

    Pictures... so... you see the thing is my equipment room is embarrassingly cluttered. I'll tidy it up this weekend and take a snapshot of my equipment rack. It's as you stated... "Wild". :)
     

     

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  12. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    Here is my rendition of the cabinet I'm making for system #2. This system will be located in my living room so I needed to improve the appearance in order to maintain domestic tranquility. The cabinet is a traditional face frame cabinet made out of Walnut and Walnut veneered plywood. All equipment will be "face loaded" into the cabinet, meaning there is a vertical panel and all you will see is the face of the equipment. The bottom cabinet has two Crown MR amps with modified faceplates to allow faceloading. I also custom cut some end caps to match the McIntosh gear. Should look good together since the MR amps are green backlit. The top cabinet will contain a C37, MR7082, and MCD7007. The top lid will lift and an LP12 will live there. The back is open for ventilation and there are air exit slots hidden under the top piece trim. The bottom cabinet is isolated from the top from a heat standpoint. Also the Crown amps have a fan that pulls through the face and out the sides. I suspect things will stay cool but I will force cool the cabinet if needed. It's coming along but slowly. I have all the plywood and some of the face frame pieces cut. Then it's a few hours on the router table and the glue-up begins!

    McRack.jpg
     
  13. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,190
    Location:
    West Michigan
    I use one of those in one of my home systems. The C37 uses a completely different input switching scheme than the earlier remote controlled preamps, one that Mac still uses today.

    It therefore uses different input coupling/ blocking caps at the input and I intended to do a comparison between a few updated inputs and stock ones, like I have done with previous test subjects, I have not yet got around to this one.

    If it is half as effective as the other C3x preamps it should be special and give us some insight what we might need to do with the C4x preamps in a few years.
     
  14. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,440
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Very cool. I worked for Rockford just after they killed off Acoustat. I also run BIG mono blocks (MC2600s) and would agree with your assessment in regards to the soundstage. I have two MC2300s in my other system ... Lol.
     
  15. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    Yes, I read your thread on the C35 with great interest. I'd be very interested to hear what you find. BTW I'll be driving sorta that way this fall (around Labor Day I think). Perhaps I could stop by for an A/B comparison? Probably be pretty rare to have two C37s in the same room...
     
  16. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    That's awesome! I used to buy parts from Dave Goodwin. Super nice guy. I also spoke with Jim Strickland a couple times but IIRC he wasn't ever at Rockford? Of course Andy Szabo is a big help even today with these. I've owned many Acoustats over many years. In fact my avatar is a picture of my Model 8s in my old house. Sadly they wouldn't fit in the new place and I had to go with the little ol' Model 6s. I'm also a big fan of the servo tube amps, but it's hard to match the level of power the Crowns can provide. The only issue I've had with the full-range Acoustats is short-lived bass transformers in the interfaces, no doubt due to the amounts of power I'm putting into them. I'm setting up a pair of Spectra 33s now mostly because they have more reliable transformers. We'll just see about that. :) Also I want to experiment more with the Spectra array. I haven't played around with that much although I did have the Spectra 66s for a while. I actually preferred my Model 6s to those.
     

     

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  17. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Dave Goodwin was just downstairs from my office, in tech repair. He was the resident Acoustat expert and did all repairs personally until Rockford discontinued servicing them altogether. Jim Strickland worked for Rockford for some time and during my whole tenure there. What a super talented individual he was. Jim passed several months ago unfortunately.
     
  18. Ferrstein

    Ferrstein Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    I collected/repaired/rebuilt Acoustat servo amps for many years. The fellow I worked with had one with a serial number "Jim 1". Needless to say it was a very early model. Yes, he was a truly brilliant individual to be sure.
     

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