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Pair MC-240 amp with C-26 preamp?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by SaturationPt, May 16, 2017.

  1. SaturationPt

    SaturationPt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have an opportunity to buy a 240, would replace my 2505 and run downstream of the C-26.

    Probably temporary, I'd like to eventually find a tube preamp, but temporary is sometimes years for me.

    Has anyone run this combination and have you found it to sound good or is there something to this that is not musical?

    Opinions welcome, I know that this is mostly subjective and I know that it will probably be better with a tube preamp.
     
  2. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    Personally, I have a very difficult time discerning the dirrerence between an MC240 and an MC2505 in a blind listening test. I see no reason why your C26 wouldn't mate perfectly with an MC240.
     
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  3. Mike Gibson

    Mike Gibson Modulator Super Mod Subscriber

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    I agree with Tony. I would keep the 2505 though. I upgraded amps but kept my 2505. Not many amps sound as good to me.
     
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  4. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    What about the 2100 against the 275,?
     
  5. SaturationPt

    SaturationPt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thank you for the responses.

    I'm not sure about the 2505, nice sound I agree, not sure about going back to tubes either as they can be a hobby by themselves, but I might try both for a little while and decide.
     
  6. c_dk

    c_dk Super Member

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    When the C26 was on the drawing board back in the middle 60s, RR won't admit it, but they embraced some engineering compromises. Some of these were part of the comfort zone of tube engineers making use of the " new" technology of transistor's, others were expectations that were high for the day but seem pretty mundane in today's context.

    A restoration of a C26 can address many of these issues by rebuilding the power supply, going after noise in some of the supplies and as Kimo posted in his extensive C26 restoration, major contact cleaning.

    Sure replacing my C26 by a C32 was a huge upgrade back in 1979 but I do have to say the results of my project C26 has been a major step forward.

    Probably thousands used a "new" C26 with their "old" MC240s back in the day. I also know thousands were happy to leave their tube amps behind for the Mc2505 and MC2105.

    Back when I hosted a A/B/X comparison demonstration with the designer and major proponent of the comparator I wanted to use as amps under test a MC2505 and one of my DOB blessed MC240s. Clark would not allow it.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  7. 62caddy

    62caddy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I wonder what the fear was - that they would sound alike or that they wouldn't...:idea:
     
  8. SaturationPt

    SaturationPt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Interesting history, not too surprising however.

    Seems that transistors filled a need for more convenience, the wave of the future, better packaging (putting an amp in a wood case and in a rack), even more power but I do understand the charm in tubes.
     
  9. 62caddy

    62caddy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Tubes are to carburetors what transistors are to fuel injection are in a car: Balkier, needs more attention to keep running optimally but simpler & easier for a novice to tend.

    Later technology provides more efficient operation & greater reliability but requires more specialized attention when something does go wrong.
     
  10. SaturationPt

    SaturationPt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've maintained both, was a Tech (night job) at a stereo shop during college (early '80s), modified tube amps for my listening before that, but lost touch after family and household became more important.

    I have to say that I like transistor better for the convenience and low maintenance, but there's something beautiful about vintage tube equipment.

    I can't really say that in my opinion - categorically either is better for sound, I've heard some pretty bad examples of each, and some pretty good ones. Fortunately, Mc didn't build a lot of bad ones so picking a McIntosh with a good reputation is like "shooting fish in a barrel" somewhat.
     
  11. c_dk

    c_dk Super Member

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    You mean with Clark? His goal was to prove to the local AES that his invention was THE WAY to evaluate and prove that all amps statistically sounded the same.

    His method was flawed........Larry Archbald and I had a background conversation of what to expect from his A/B/X sales presentation.

    Again this demo was not to determine what amp sounded better but to prove that listeners could not tell the difference in the sound of two amps under controlled conditions.

    Did not matter that 1/3 of the listeners had a success of 6 of 6 or 5 of 6, did not matter that another 1/3 were wrong the same amount, the goal, I believe, was for him to sell boxes.
     
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  12. SaturationPt

    SaturationPt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have to admit, when the 2205 came out with those big meters, ... I didn't care if it sounded better!

    I'm really not a bad person though!
     
  13. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    a 2505 could put out over 75 watts before clipping a 240 about 55. I have owned both and because of the low dampening factor of either amp the way the combine with different speakers might surprise folks. Both worked well with Macs ML1 because of the critically damped woofer, guaranteeing great bass accuracy. But with Bozak or klipsch speaker depending on the model you might prefer the 240 or the 2505 on another. My 240's could be a little edgy some times and why I moved up to 275's. They were just smoother, I used a 240 for my Koss electrostatic headphones and it did a great job, but the 2505 I got later on which I still have did a better job. Its been powering different Stax headphones for nearly 30 years. If you push a 2505 to hard it can get edgy fast where a 240 is a little more forgiving. But I'd take a 502 with power guard if I had my druthers. I keep the 2505 as it is reminder of the past and works well and still meets specs. Its in semi retirement now.

    You notice I didn't mention the C26 as it will work equally well with either amp. At this point in time any 26 will need restoration. And I'm sure Terry DeWick can do the job. Also call Ryan at Audio Classics and have him describe their procedures for restoration and ask what mods are available.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  14. SaturationPt

    SaturationPt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for your input twiii.

    I really do like how the 2505 sounds, just have the opportunity and was thinking I might like having tubes around again. The comparison of the 2505 to McIntosh tube amps has me a bit surprised (as I have never compared them). Good to hear that the 2505 is still considered at least as musical as the 240 or even the 275 to many.
     
  15. catama

    catama AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    FWIW, I run a 240 with a C27 pre. Combination is delightful.
     
  16. byoungman1

    byoungman1 AK-47 Subscriber Subscriber

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    I run a SS C504 preamp with my MC240...a match made in heaven :D
     

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