McIntosh C 20 – 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 20?

Frequency response:
20Hz to 20kHz
Total harmonic distortion:
60dB (MM), 20dB (line)
Input sensitivity:
2mV (MM), 100mV (ceramic), 250mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio:
85dB (line)
250mV (line), 2.5V (Pre out)
15-5/8 x 4-7/8 x 12 inches

What else to know about the McIntosh C 20?

"Well, my first post on this forum! Been pretty much exclusively on the Tube Audio forum, with a couple of posts on Vintage Solid State. But, here I am....and delighted to be here! Actually, I might have been here sooner had I been much of an enthusiast....but sadly, my experience with my former McIntosh MC-40s was not as fulfilling as I'd hoped it would be. I had purchased a set of these about 3 years ago.....paid nearly $3K for them, and after about 2 weeks, they went into the closet! After a couple of attempts to sell them at about $2500, then $2000....I finally accepted an offer at $1500. Economy in consideration.....I was glad to see them go. And, I thought my McIntosh ownership days were over until I got an email last week in response to a Wanted to Buy ad I have on Craigslist for old Console Stereos. A gent emailed me indicating he had an old McIntosh C-20 Pre-amp, and a Dynaco ST-70 of unknown condition. The pre-amp was his, but the power amp was a friend of his and had been recovered from a dumpster. After finally working the details of 'a deal' out, I took delivery of both this morning. And....WOW!! What a pre-amp!! I'm absolutely delighted with this thing! I have a functional ST-70 here that I'm working on.....doing some up-dates and converting it to 6GH8 drivers. I use a pretty nice 'tube' CD player....and I have the Dynaco plugged into stacked up Klipsch KG-4s running in parallel for 4 ohms. I have to say, the C-20 as mated to the Dynaco and playing through these speakers is simply breath-taking! I did about 5 hours of listening today.....from Rock, to Jazz, to Blues, and even a bit of stuff in between! I was captivated! And, I'm only running the pre-amp at about 90 VAC. I don't expect too much of a difference when I hit it will full wall current....but MAN....this unit is extraordinary! I've been swapping around between about a dozen different pre-amps....from Dynaco PAS-2s and 3s....PAT-4s, Yamaha SS units, Kenwood SS units, old Eico HF-85, a custom built unit made in California as a one-off from a EE buddy of mine.....and I even purchased a unit from China that was 'supposed' to be 'killer'!! More on that in another post. But, suffice it to say that that unit was about the lamest of all of 'em. I even borrowed my son's Music Angel.....and HATED IT!! I even tried a headphone amp! All I can say is: I wish I'd found this C-20 about 3 years ago!! But, it's mine now....and I'm tickled to have it. It has RCA tubes in it, and I'm wondering if anyone wants to comment about that, vs installing something else; ie Telefunkins, Mullard, Amperex, etc. I find it hard to believe this could get much better!...but any suggestions about the unit, it's up-keep, maintenance, repairs or up-grades....would be greatly appreciated. BTW, eventually I plan to run with with my Citation V, and into some Cornwalls! For seems VERY HAPPY right where it is! Final note: This unit is, I believe, the oldest version...with the brass strip across the belt-line.....between the black knobs and brass knobs. If anyone can clarify that for me as well, I'd like to know where it stands in the family tree. Many thanks!!" - From

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.