stevebrown

Mcintosh pre with atc or other actives, info pls

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Hi all,

I`m currently considering a Mcintosh c2500 or c2600 to run directly into my atc active speakers.

Sadly I can`t arrange a loan or trial and they are not inexpensive and I would hate to waste the money

Does anyone have any relevant experience using Mcintosh into active speakers.

All comments appreciated.

Cheers

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Super Wammer

Hi Steve, I don’t have that experience, but ATC are very capable when contacted by email or phone, and I have experienced that.  I’d suggest you contact them with the specs of your proposed purchase and ask them the question. 

The most obvious question is, I guess, whether the gain will enable you to use a sensible range of the volume control.  As you know, ATC also make preamps, so you could do your own comparisons on paper too.  It sounds a potentially joyous pairing so I hope it works out!

PS. Just remembered ATCs own forum, which I’ve not looked at for a while, but it might be worth a quick search of.

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I have been using a McIntosh C2200 for about five years.I know it’s sound  very well as I have a few other pre amps to compare against.I have also had ATC active 20’s in the past, but not at the same time.The Mac has a very well judged sound being very fluid & dynamic with just a touch of midrange warmth .The ATC’s I had were a little dry in the midrange so I think they would be a great match and your newer C2500 should be too if not even better.I  personaly  would want a valve pre with any ATC speaker and McIntosh are superb !

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Posted (edited)

Hi thanks both for your replies, I did check the aTC forum,  but its very quiet, not a lot of postings and nothing matching atc and McIntosh.

I have atc scm aslt50s , active towers and really like the bass and mid, 100%, occasional issues with the treble, but that could easily be down to my sources, they have  original seas driver not the atc new version , so I might upgrade that over time.

I had tubes previously, cj qnd wondered what adding a little warmth to the ATC`s would do and really like the Mcintosh feature list on the preamps, if the sound is right I could see keeping the pre for life as I probably will the speakers, hence the possibility of the purchase.

one question hifimad1 does the c2200 run hot ?, I live in Portugal, 32c today and around that for 6 months of the year and I could not cope with a room heater

cheers

Steve

Edited by stevebrown

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No the 2200 does not run hot,very slightly warmish .It won’t be an issue.

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Super Wammer

I believe the newer driver is considered significantly better.  There’s a thread somewhere from when @Fourlegs had his updated by ATC.  Well worth it, I’m sure, though I appreciate that shipping from Portugal may need some planning. 

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Super Wammer

Are you watching the Flash posting on (Tube?) Preamp Porn Potential .. lots of views on preamps there.

No way would I spend the kind of money you are looking to spend without an audition. 

Perhaps check out Emporium and other dealers that do second hand as well as new hifi and see if they will let you home dem (for the cost of you couriering the stuff to and from) .. dealers must be feeling it in the lock down so may be very open to such a suggestion.

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McIntosh preamps seem to have a unique “chocolatey” character. Some believe the “McIntosh sound” is largely due to the preamp. I recently bought a C47 which is the solid state equivalent of the C2500 I think. It seems to bring a magic to the system, giving a solid, substantial tone to everything passed through it. It has a very low noise floor, you can hear a pin drop. The onboard DAC is superb too. If you’ve never heard a McIntosh I’d recommend an audition first as I imagine they could be a Marmite thing. Having said that I bought blind (deaf?) and I just love it. I may change speakers and sources in the future but I don’t think I’ll ever change from McIntosh for the preamp at least. Next stop will be to try one of their power amps. Oh and the ability to adjust bass and treble from the remote control is wonderful, you can get a listenable sound from almost any recording. Wouldn’t want to do without that again either. The input trim is handy too as a dynamic adjustment. I’ve found increasing the input gain gives a punchier sound and vice versa. The whole user interface is excellent with a very useable volume range and the product looks and feels a million dollars, especially at night.

Reading online it seems a number of folks have changed from the C47 to the C2500 and enjoyed the slightly softer, airier presentation but I wouldn’t rule out the Mac solid state preamps either, they are lush!

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Sounds like a McIntosh pre-amp could be a good fit for ATCs which are, if anything, a smidge on the lean side. I've got a Wadia as the pre and it goes well, for what that's worth.

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