McIntosh launches C22 Mk V preamp and MC1502 power amplifier

McIntosh kicks off its 8th decade.

by Andy Bassett
Hi-Fi News


McIntosh launches C22 Mk V preamp and MC1502 power amplifier

McIntosh, the American high end audio manufacturer, has announced its two latest amplifiers - the C22 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V and the MC1502 Vacuum Tube Amplifier.

After the recent re-jigging of distribution for McIntosh products (now under the auspices of Fine Sounds UK), the company has been quick to announce its two latest products. And like clearing up the morning after a birthday party, McIntosh is using both of these products to replace the 70th anniversary model that preceded each one in 2019. 

And, as always, the company has put its decades of experience to good use in its new products.

C22 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V

The new C22 Mk V directly replaces last year’s anniversary C70 Limited Edition 70th Anniversary Vacuum Tube Preamplifier and uses a single 12AT7 and five 12AX7A valves, all of which are visible through a top-mounted glass panel. 

There’s a mix of rocker switches and knobs to give old school tactile control over all the available functions and the bypassable rotary tone control knobs for bass and treble can be adjusted in 2 dB increments. For a more modern touch, input selection and volume levels are given visual feedback via LED lights.

McIntosh C22 Mk V
McIntosh C22 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V

Connectivity includes two balanced inputs, three unbalanced inputs and both Moving Coil and Moving Magnet phono inputs, making this preamp very turntable friendly. Rotary knobs can also be used to adjust phono input impedance and capacitance. There’re also two pairs of balanced and unbalanced output connections which enable signal transfer to two separate power amplifiers if required.

McIntosh C22 Mk V
McIntosh C22 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Mk V - rear

Late night and solo listening sessions are easily accommodated using the high-quality High Drive headphone amplifier which restores the sound stage directionality present in loudspeakers to the headphone sound stage using McIntosh’s Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD). 

Data ports are also present, to control connected McIntosh source components via the included remote control.

MC1502 Vacuum Tube Amplifier

McIntosh's new 150 watt valve power amp directly replaces the 2019 MC2152 Limited Edition 70th Anniversary Vacuum Tube Amplifier and, as such, it features identical audio specifications to the MC2152, but in a more typical McIntosh design. 

The MC1502 is powered by eight KT88 output valves split evenly between the stereo channels and a further four 12AX7A and four 12AT7 small signal valves are also employed to manage the input sections, voltage and driver amp circuits. All sixteen valves are secured safety behind by a 12-gauge stainless steel wire cage with a black powder-coated finish.

McIntosh C22 Mk V
McIntosh MC1502 Vacuum Tube Amplifier

The longevity of the KT88 valves in enhanced by Air-Pipe cooling of the sockets which have ceramic base construction with gold-plated contacts to protect against atmospheric contamination. Further protection is afforded by McIntosh's Sentry Monitor technology which monitors the output current and shuts the amplifier down if it exceeds safe limits.

McIntosh's patented Unity Coupled Circuit output transformer technology means that the MC1502's full 150 watts can be delivered to almost any pair of speakers, regardless of whether they have 2-, 4- or 8-ohm impedance and is a version of the technology that was first introduced when the company was founded in 1949.

The MC1502 includes both balanced and unbalanced inputs, plus McIntosh's patented Solid Cinch speaker binding posts. 

McIntosh C22 Mk V
 McIntosh MC1502 Vacuum Tube Amplifier

Both the C22 and MC1502 use McIntosh’s Power Control Technology which allows other connected McIntosh components to automatically turn on and off and the timeless look of each one -  including the polished stainless-steel chassis, McIntosh illuminated logo and die-cast name badges, aluminum end-caps and retro black-glass or black powder finish cage - is designed to fit into any McIntosh system, from the 1950s to today.

The C22 Mk V tube preamp and the MC1502  tube amplifier can be ordered now from Authorized McIntosh dealers with UK shipping from September and US shipping expected to begin in August 2020.   

UK pricing has yet to be announced.

Drop into the comments section to let others know what you think of this news from McIntosh.

Source: Press Release
Image Source: McIntosh

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