McIntosh C 28 – High End Stereo Equipment We Buy

McIntosh is one of the most dependable brand names when it comes to high-end audio systems. For years the brand has been recognized by audiophiles throughout the world as equipment that delivers clear and consistent quality in music. McIntosh is probably best known for its amplifiers and preamps, but the company produces many other components and parts for stereo and home theatre.

What are the specs for the McIntosh C 28?

Years Manufactured:
1970-1978
Frequency response:
20Hz to 20kHz
Total harmonic distortion:
0.1%
Gain:
62dB (MM), 20dB (line)
Input sensitivity:
2.5mV (mic), 2mV (MM), 250mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio:
78dB (MM), 90dB (line)
Output:
250mV (line), 2.5V (Pre out)
Semiconductors:
26 x transistors, 4 x diodes, 2 x bridge rectifiers
Dimensions:
16 x 5.4 x 15 inches
Weight:
25 lbs

What else to know about the McIntosh C 28?

"When compared to other solid state preamplifiers, it's only flaw has to do with the fact that McIntosh used many Ceramic Disk Capacitors in the signal path. It is a well known fact that over time, ceramic disk capacitors will drift, magnetize and even transform and change their dielectric chemical properties resulting in poor sonic performance.

The sound of the C-28 can be described as dry and analytical but very precise and clear. In comparing with Headphones between the source CD, Reel, Cassette, etc. and the C-28 Output, a slight grain seems to be added to the music. I can attribute this upper frequency grain to the degradation of the components and maybe some noisy transistors that an upgrade can make right.

The C-28 controls are all precise and noise free. The Preamplifier is extremelly attractive and solidly built. One look inside and the First-Class McIntosh craftmanship is evident throughout. McIntosh factory craftsmen and craftswoman initials and dates are visible throughout the interior of the C-28 giving a real testament to that McIntosh pride and workmanship.

The C-28 features Discrete Bass and Treble Tone Controls and a complete set of Input and Output level adjustments on the top panel, including a Headphone and Center Channel level. The McIntosh C-28 Preamplifier also offers two sets of RCA Outputs with a combined derived Center Channel RCA on each. The McIntosh C-28 also features a separate Line Level Output and a full set of Source Input connections: Phono 1, Phono 2, Tape 1, Tape 2, Tuner and Aux. It also features a High Filter, a Low Filter for those warped LP's and a tone contour switch with Presence, Normal and Loudness. You can switch power to an amplifier via a top mounted switch. Note that the AC sockets do not accept the modern polarized types. Both AC prongs must be the small (Hot Lead) vintage types.

The McIntosh C-28 Stereo Preamplifier proves that McIntosh was and still is at the cutting edge of Audio technology as many of the features found in the C-28 are relevant in today's Multi-Channel, separate Sub-Woofer Home Theater environments.

I have to reiterate that the passive components that make up these state of the art Vintage Pieces of equipment do not all stand the test of time. Back in the 70's, Ceramic Disk capacitors were commonly used in most production environments. Silver Mica was considered an expensive alternative back then. The Ceramic Disk Capacitors do not even appear in their factory service manuals parts list, I checked my original copy. Back then, Engineers probably assumed that these capacitors never go bad. Ceramic Disk capacitors, more so that drifting carbon composition resistors, always degrade over time affecting both the sound quality and possibly the longevity of the component if high voltages are present and severe arcing occurs.

The only thing that I could suggest to improve the performance of the C-28 to better-than-new is to have a competent technician upgrade the Electrolytic Capacitors that form part of all the signal path's to the newer Black Gate or ELNA Cerafine types. These new electrolytic capacitors are the state of the art reference and I could not see why one would not use them as sonic upgrades, unless originality is more important than sound quality for some collectors of Vintage Gear. I would also hunt for carbon composition resistors that have drifted in value, perform a final voltage check on all of the Power Supply sections and change all of the Ceramic Disk capacitors to tested and matched Silver Mica types.

C-28 Preamplifiers are state of the art components that offer reliability and excellent long term performance. Upgraded versions with better components offer dramatically better sound quality that can often compare to modern components costing several hundreds more." - AudioReview

Brief History of McIntosh

Long mapped-to Binghamton New York – the current headquarters and manufacturing center for McIntosh Labs – not many people know the brand was originally launched outside of the Nation’s Capital in Silver Spring Maryland, in 1949. In 1956, the brand built their original facility in New York, according to the official brand website.

Other McIntosh Products We Often Buy

Typically, StereoBuyers purchases mostly used amplifiers, especially the vintage amps and high-end McIntosh models such as the MC202 or MC252, and the C220 preamp, for example. We have also purchased many pre-owned tuners from McIntosh over the recent years, including the MR67 and MR78 models, for example.

StereoBuyers has purchased tens of thousands worth McIntosh brand equipment since 2014, with individual buys ranging from $100 to well over $50,000. If you are moving, ready to upgrade, or have McIntosh equipment you do not or will not be using, why not contact us today to find out if it is worth good money?

If you are interested in selling your used McIntosh equipment to us in the greater NYC area or Colorado, please click here to fill out a Free Quote Form and we will get back to you. If we agree on terms, we come to meet you where you want, and pay cash.

The following images show actual McIntosh equipment purchased by StereoBuyers.