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McIntosh Audio A Tradition of Excellence

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Old 09-08-2019, 08:18 PM
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Default C2300 Tube Test Day

I test my tubes in my gear once a year, usually in June. I have been a bit lax this year, but today I managed to motivate myself into pulling the C2300 out of the living room rack and testing the 12AX7 tubes in the line stage and moving coil phono stage. I have Gold Lion ECC83/12AX7 tubes in the line stage and Telefunken ECC83/12AX7 tubes in the moving coil phono stage. My tube tester for small tubes is the Maxi-Preamp 2 from Maxi-Test. After 15 months daily use of the C2300, both pairs of 12AX7's still tested strong and closely matched. No reason to install new tubes at this time. That's good news. I reinstalled the tubes in the preamp, and reinstalled the preamp in the rack. I love my C2300 preamplifier. It's feature rich, quiet as a mouse, sounds remarkable, built like a tank, and is all analog.






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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:14 PM
Marmarosa Marmarosa is offline
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Dan,

Could you please tell me who is the stock tubes´s manufacturer in this preamp?

Big differences in terms of sound quality between the stock tubes and the Gold Lyon´s ?

Thank you.

Chema.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmarosa View Post
Dan,

Could you please tell me who is the stock tubes´s manufacturer in this preamp?

Big differences in terms of sound quality between the stock tubes and the Gold Lyon´s ?

Thank you.

Chema.
Chema.......When the McIntosh C2300 was in production the factory was using tubes made in China. I think they were made by Shuguang. I don't know exactly when McIntosh made the decision to begin using JJ Tubes as their branded tubes, but as I have been told, JJ Tubes are what McIntosh presently uses. I pulled the Made In China tubes out of my C2300 years ago and now use Gold Lion 12AX7 and Telefunken ECC83/12AX7 tubes exclusively. Yes, there is a considerable improvement using Gold Lion tubes. I have no problem recommending them.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:06 AM
Marmarosa Marmarosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Chema.......When the McIntosh C2300 was in production the factory was using tubes made in China. I think they were made by Shuguang. I don't know exactly when McIntosh made the decision to begin using JJ Tubes as their branded tubes, but as I have been told, JJ Tubes are what McIntosh presently uses. I pulled the Made In China tubes out of my C2300 years ago and now use Gold Lion 12AX7 and Telefunken ECC83/12AX7 tubes exclusively. Yes, there is a considerable improvement using Gold Lion tubes. I have no problem recommending them.
Thank you very much, Dan,

Why don´t you use the Gold Lion in the phono section?

Chema.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Marmarosa View Post
Thank you very much, Dan,

Why don´t you use the Gold Lion in the phono section?

Chema.
Chema.......The Telefunken tubes measure about 3dB quieter than the Gold Lion tubes. Both manufacturer's tubes are quiet, but the Teles are the best. I use an Ortofon Cadenza Blue moving coil cartridge in the living room system. It is a low output moving coil. The extra 3dB lower noise floor is an advantage to how quiet the background remains.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:29 PM
Marmarosa Marmarosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Chema.......The Telefunken tubes measure about 3dB quieter than the Gold Lion tubes. Both manufacturer's tubes are quiet, but the Teles are the best. I use an Ortofon Cadenza Blue moving coil cartridge in the living room system. It is a low output moving coil. The extra 3dB lower noise floor is an advantage to how quiet the background remains.
Thank´s again Dan,

Using a MM cartridge, the benefits of Tekefunken tubes should be equivalent, isn´t it?

Chema.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:29 PM
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I believe the stock tubes are JJ.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:07 PM
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Very nice Dan. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:54 PM
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Dan,
Was this tube testing in preparation for your new amps?
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miner View Post
Dan,
Was this tube testing in preparation for your new amps?
Kevin......Yes and no. By that I mean yes, I knew the new amps were on the way and I wanted to ensure the C2300 performance wasn't being held back by weak tubes. The no part of the answer is I normally have an annual schedule for preventative maintenance that I usually perform each year in June. I was lax this year and let June, July, and August slid by without doing my due diligence. This has been a tough year for me. Here it is September already, so the arrival of the MC75's triggered me to get in gear.

When I perform my annual tube testing I keep records of each tube's numbers, i.e. transconductance, gain, and in the case of the small tubes, noise. That way when next year's tests are done I can refer back to the previous year's numbers for reference. I also test and record the information on all new tubes purchased, again as a reference point for testing annually once new tubes are put in service. I also test new tubes to ensure that when I pay for matched tubes they actually are matched. I have found a couple instances where one out of four matched tubes was way off the mark. I buy from reputable tube venders so getting a replacement happens without an issue. Like everything else, some things require specialized tools. Owning tube preamplifiers and tube power amplifiers practically demands that a tube tester be available.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A

Last edited by jdandy; 09-12-2019 at 10:17 PM.
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