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by Peter Familari

7th December, 2018


McIntosh is poised to release what is stylistically speaking, its most significant models of the modern era.

While the MC275 valve amplifier remains the brand’s most iconic model, the soon to be released C70 preamp and MC2152 power amplifier signal a new direction for McIntosh.

Designed to celebrate 70 years in the business of supplying the world’s music lovers with a horde of coveted audio products, the C70 and MC2152 are a nod to modernity and a new generation of audio buyers.

Both models have sleek and sensuously shaped contours that give each a much lighter looking profile than its traditional models known for their size, shape and bulk.

The C70 and MC2152 will initially be available only as a pair. Just 70 sets will be built with special marking designating them as 70th Anniversary Limited Edition Commemorative systems.

Here’s betting the 70 that can be ordered now, will sell out in no time at all.

After these 70 sets are sold, the rest of us can opt to buy the C70 or MC2152 separately but marked as 70th-anniversary models sans the limited edition logo.

But the lucky limited edition buyers get a pre and power amp with matching serial numbers, special plaques, a certificate and a McIntosh History book called For The Love Of Music. This book contains a certificate authenticating the pre and power amps as Limited Edition models.

The new MC2152 as well as having fresh, modern styling has a hefty power output of 150 watts per channel.  This power is derived from eight KT88 output valves along with four 12AX7A and four 12AT7 valves.

The 12AX7As are used for the Balanced and input amps and the 12AT7s handle voltage and driver amps.

There are LEDs under each of these eight signal input valves, and these can be set to three illumination levels that comprise the colours Green or Blue or natural amber when they’re set to “Off”.

The MC2152’s sleek chassis is made from bead blasted black anodised aluminium accentuated with matt finish carbon fibre side panels. 

The front panel features a backlit laser cut McIntosh logo flanked by classic McIntosh knobs. In a nod to safety, all the valves are covered by a 12-gauge stainless steel wire cage that has a black powder coated finish.

The amp’s three transformers are presented in glass-topped extruded enclosures displaying the wiring diagram for each while a 70th Anniversary badge is laser engraved into the top plate of the enclosures.

The MC2152 carries balanced and single-ended inputs. 

The C70 preamp is an all-analogue design that carries a front panel with the 70th-anniversary signature.

Its valve compliment comprises one 12AT7 and five 12AX7As that are visible through a glass panel fitted to the pre’s top cover. 

All controls are accessed via knobs and rocker switches that are a deft retro styling cue that harks back to Mc’s past. But modernity shows with stylish LED indicators that show input selection and volume levels.

The C70 has seven inputs consisting of two balanced and three unbalanced inputs and one for each of Moving Coil and Moving Magnet phono inputs. Outputs offered are two pairs each of balanced and unbalanced connections. 

The C70 also has a headphone jack and five rocker switches to control tone on/off, change between mono and stereo modes or switch the headphone HXD circuitry on or off. Outputs 1 and 2 can also be turned on or off.

Available as separates early in the New Year, the MC2152 70th-anniversary amp costs $29,995 RRP, and its matching preamp costs $13,995 RRP.

For more information visit McIntosh.


Peter Familari's avatar

Written by:

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: StereoLUX! Hi-Fi
Tags: mcintosh  synergy audio visual