08 March 2013


A couple weeks now,
and the old McIntosh MC2300 is still heating up the house.
perich brothers (and sister): hot rod amplifier
temporary setup
mcintosh mc2300 - sansui 9090 - jbl 4311

With the temporary hook-up to the sansui 9090's preamp a bit overkill,
I've been on the hunt for a real preamplifier or control amp.
mcintosh c24 project

Sean had horse traded me with a super nice 60's mcintosh c24 preamp,
as usual a passed down project.
mcintosh c24 guts

For a 50 year old piece of electronic equipment,
this was like brand new inside,
looking anyway as there was no sound.
mcintosh c24 tone board?

The layout is so simple looking,
this would be the perfect preamp to do some hotrodding to.
Tech's will change those capacitors,
the larger black battery looking things for example,
to different brands and styles to change or upgrade the sound.
 (rubycon/black gate, elna, nichicon etc.)
There are also some really high end versions out there.
Audio Capacitors

After a couple weeks of looking at this thing,
I realized that right now this was out of my comfort zone.
If the pre had at least worked it would be a different story.
With this one it was like looking at a bowl of spaghetti,
I didn't know where to start.
Changing the parts isn't difficult,
it is the testing and knowing where and what values to look for.
This will probably go down the road...
sansui seven receiver

At the swap meet I found a killer deal on an early 70's Sansui Seven.
The guy said it was scratchy but for the price it was worth a gamble.
sansui seven receiver back end

The pre-out option made this one a good consideration as a preamp.
That's where the U shaped connectors are - right there in the center.
sansui seven receiver guts

Well the sound was way worse than scratchy,
more like garbled.
I did the cheap clean and lube to the pots - controls,
but no luck.
sansui seven quick fix

The sound was distorted early on,
even through the headphone jack,
so as a preamp it was another project.
Now this one is on the way to Texas - FEDEX best deal!
shipping vintage receiver - fedex ground

By chance another preamp had popped up on craigslist,
and truthfully I wasn't really searching to intently,
although it doesn't seem like it from this post!
fisher cc-3000 control amplifier - preamp

This may be blasphemy to the hardcore McIntosh followers,
but I was actually looking for a Kenwood Basic C1 or C2  preamp.
a little sterile or new especially for a MC2300.

The idea was to hear if the "color" of the amp would be enough,
without the warmth of the early solid state.

Those Kenwoods are supposed to be an easy amp to upgrade
Online Store
with the similar capacitor upgrades.
mcintosh mc2300 - fisher cc-3000 preamp

When this Fisher popped up,
it seemed similar enough that it was worth a listen.

A quick test and this definitely needed a quick cleaning.
This newer (80-81) technology is way different than the early stuff.
Very simple and sparse layout.
This thing doesn't even have a headphone amp or jack!
Remember the cap swap I was just talking about?
This one seemed way easier to do.
Why does opening these up make me think about tearing them apart?
fisher cc-3000 preamplifier guts

With the Fisher hooked up,
the sound was crisp and clear.
A relief after the earlier misses.
mcintosh mc2300 + fisher cc-3300 + sansui 9090

Now at least the Sansui 9090 can be rewired to itself,
and separated from the McIntosh.
While the Fisher may be underkill for the McIntosh specs,
it is a simple way to allow some budget listening hours.
The sound is actually really clean!
mcintosh mc2300 - fisher cc3000 - sansui 9090 - jbl 4311

Now I really got to figure out a place to put this stuff.
I've been knocking around an idea for a rolling stand,
which is exactly what I don't need to spend my time on!


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