Hi-Fi World reviews the “stunning clarity and shocking power” of the MC2152 Amplifier and C70 Preamplifier

Awarded 5 out of 5 Globes.

McIntosh MC2152 and C70 5-globe review by Hi-Fi World

2019 marks the 70th Anniversary of McIntosh. To mark this occasion, in late 2018 we introduced the MC2152 70th Anniversary Vacuum Tube Amplifier and the C70 70th Anniversary Vacuum Tube Preamplifier. Noel Keywood of Hi-Fi World has since reviewed both the MC2152 and C70 together as system.

Rated at 150 Watts per channel, Keywood says the MC2152 stereo amplifier displays “visceral power” with an “exceptional” measured output of 220 Watts. But thanks to its vacuum tubes (a.k.a. valves), it’s not only a “sonic juggernaut” but also displays “massive sound staging” – as if you could walk in to the aural space it creates. This was true when playing Gustav Holst’s “Mars, Bringer of War” by the London Symphony Orchestra; it was as if the “whole orchestra had just turned up to play for me.”

McIntosh MC2152 70th Anniversary Vacuum Tube Amplifier

He adds the MC2152 does not just bring power, but also “resonant insight” that allowed him to hear into the instruments, and proving to him that the MC2152 has “enormous low end timbral resolution.” On “Your Latest Trick” from Dire Straits, the haunting guitar that’s surrounded by echo was “vividly clear. Noise and hum were zero” in the C70.

McIntosh C70 70th Anniversary Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

Regardless of what Keywood played through the MC2152 and C70, the pair sent it back into his room with “stunning clarity and shocking power.” The combo are “truly amazing – a visual and audible display like no other.” Awarded 5 out of 5 Globes.

(Note: 70 Commemorative versions of the MC2152 and C70 with matching serial numbers and special markings were offered and quickly sold out in December 2018. Those commemorative versions are sonically the same as these non-commemorative units reviewed here by Hi-Fi World.)

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(Excerpts taken from original review by Noel Keywood / Hi-Fi World / www.hi-fiworld.co.uk / July 2019)