05.31.2023 | Reviews & Awards
Reviews & Awards

C12000 and MC3500 Named "Stereo Preamplifier and Power Amplifier of the Year 2023"

McIntosh MC3500 and C12000 Sound + Image award

We are pleased to announce that our C12000 Solid State and Vacuum Tube Preamplifier and MC3500 Vacuum Tube Amplifier Mk II have been named "Stereo Preamplifier and Power Amplifier of the Year 2023" by the Australian magazine Sound+Image.

C12000 Solid State and Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

The C12000 is the next generation of our acclaimed two-chassis preamplifier design. The two-chassis design allows the audio section to be completely separated from the control and power sections. The absolute isolation of a preamplifier's two main functions – control and sound – is achieved by this unusual but effective design.

Splitting these primary purposes of a preamplifier up into separate chassis will deliver the purest sound reproduction possible. It includes our Hybrid Drive technology that uses the best of vacuum tubes and solid state to produce the best sound performance.

MC3500 Vacuum Tube Amplifier Mk II

The MC3500 Mk II is inspired by the original 1968-71 McIntosh MC3500 – the amplifier that inspired a generation when it powered the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The MC3500 Mk II is a conservatively rated 350 Watt monoblock that incorporates everything we have learned about vacuum tube amplifier design since the 1960s.

It has been upgraded to modern standards and with modern components to deliver an audio performance worthy of its predecessor and the legacy of their shared model number – all while adhering to the original design as much as possible.

Simply Sounds Natural: Pure, Simple, Unadulterated Music

Originally reviewed by Sound+Image's sister publication Australian Hi-Fi, they said the home audio stereo system comprised of the C12000 and MC3500 Mk II "simply sounds natural. Listen to it and you'll discover that you are listening to music — pure, simple, unadulterated music. It's not 'bright' or 'hard' or 'soft' or 'warm' or 'euphonic'… it’s just as you'd expect music to sound: natural"

They added that they "can unhesitatingly recommend them to anyone who is desirous of owning an all-analogue audio amplification system that will bring not only them but also their children and, we have no doubt at all, their grandchildren, a sense of pride in the privilege of being able to own such products — and not only every time they look in their general direction but most especially every single time they listen to it… no matter what type of music they are listening to, now or in the very far distant future."

Click here to read the full review, and here for the full list of all the winners of the Sound+Image Awards 2023.

Special thanks to Synergy Audio Visual.

(Excerpts taken from original review by Australian Hi-Fi / February 10, 2023)