McIntosh C2600 Tubed Preamplifier Review

January 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“McIntosh’s proprietary HXD Circuitry for the built-in headphone amplifier put me in mind of SPL’s Phonitor X and its Matrix system, which is similar to McIntosh’s in that it is about experiencing headphone playback more as though listening – in the 3D-presentation sense – to a pair of stereo loudspeakers. Imbued with a wide and high sound stage that, like well-placed loudspeakers in a room, created a sense of extreme breadth in playback that like the Phonitor X, reminded me that headphone amplifiers not utilizing this type of circuitry can sound spatially smaller in comparison. The C2600’s headphone output can have HXD turned either on or off, so if this isn’t your cup of tea, you can get a more familiar headphone listening experience without it enabled. Utilizing a number of headphones of various impedance loads (from the Sennheiser 820 HD @300 Ohms, to the LCD-4z @15 Ohms) there was never any intimation of lack of drive or dynamics from the C2600. Resolution was outstanding without ever straying into etched, or sharp and pointy territory.”

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