Sep 162013

It was another mighty fine Vintage Sunday at Jeff’s Place, with Ron (back), Pete (middle), and Leo (front) stopping by.

Leo Pete and Ron

The reason Leo has such a big smile is because he just bought a pair of beautifully restored vintage McIntosh MC30 mono amplifiers from Yves Beauvais at Vintage Vacuum Audio and they were sounding absolutely stunning on the big Westminster Royal DSE (Duelund Special Edition) loudspeakers.

Leo Pete and Ron 2

Vintage Vacuum Audio did an absolutely fantastic job of restoring Leo’s MC30s inside and out. They probably didn’t look that nice when they were new!

Leo's MC30

The chassis was completely re-chromed … the tubes were deluxe vintage too … the trannie covers were beautifully repainted …

Leo's MC30 2

… we sipped some superb vintages while listening to some great jazz on 45 RPM …

Leo's vino

All of the vintage Macs are highly desirable, and run circles around most modern amplifiers. The ‘holy trinity’ of vintage Mac-dom is arguably the MC30 (below), the MC225, and the MC240 (below).

MC30 and MC240

What did I think of the vintage McIntosh MC30 mono amplifiers? After hearing Leo’s restored MC30s I contacted Yves and ordered a pair of MC30s for myself to keep my MC240 company. I don’t know who the lucky person will be to get them, but Yves has one more pair of MC30s for sale. How much are they? $15,000? $10,000? Nope, they are around $3000.

Certainly vintage Macs are one of the biggest bargains in audio and their value will only continue to rise. When was the last time you heard of the value of an amplifier rising? Well, with vintage audio that’s what happens. There were only so many built, and they are incredibly musical, so they’re only going up in value over time.

MC30s and MC240

Another closeup of the MC30 …


Another view …

MC30 2

When I make discoveries of wonderful vintage products … the Garrard 301 comes to mind … and I write articles about them, the price goes through the roof. You used to be able to buy Garrard 301s for a pittance but now nice ones are really expensive, and in fact they’re generally out of the price range I can afford. So I am giving you a heads up … vintage Macs are the next Garrard 301s.

MC30 3

You better buy them while you can, because before long when people realize how really good they are the price will go through the roof and they’ll become unaffordable and the purview of collectors.

MC30s and MC240 2

Another …

MC30 x

There was a time when you could buy a Picasso for a reasonable price, or a Monet. Not anymore. Ok … I am making too much of the investment value of these McIntosh amplifiers, when in fact I should be talking about how well these amplifiers play music. They play music remarkably well, much better than just about any current production amplifier at any price.

MC30 y

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the vintage McIntosh world … and I’ll have much more to say about them in the future.

MC30 z

From my home to yours, may the music be playing sweetly!

Thanks for stopping by!

 Posted by at 6:50 pm

  15 Responses to “Another Vintage Sunday At Jeff’s Place: The McIntosh MC30 Mono Amplifiers”

  1. Hi Jeff,
    Beautiful restoration.
    I’m surprised to see the Dueland crossovers outside their boxes. heat?

    Your probably aware but I saw that Patricia Barber is playing in Seattle soon.

    Thanks for all of the great photos,

    • Hi Mike,

      Actually my Duelund crossovers have never been in boxes, but not because of heat, because there is no heat, but just because I like they way the look. If I saw a pair of really cool enclosures that still kept the Duelund components visible, now that could be fun!

      I’ve got to start hanging out at Jazz Alley in Seattle some more!

      Thanks for stopping by!



  2. Thanks for sharing Jeff,
    Arguably progression in Highend (Or mid) audio is not necessary a linear progression towards better sound but possibly gyrating around some bushes and trees to prove some point.Indeed a great product.

  3. hello
    i am interested to buy your MC30
    I am serious contact me please

  4. Hi Jeff, thanks for such a great site and information! I was wondering … (since you have both amps on hand now) ~ Can you please explain some of the differences soundwise in comparison of the MC240 and MC30’s?


    • Hi Hans,

      You’re in for a treat, as I’m going to be writing an article for Positive Feedback Online about the Mac MX110Z pre, the MC240 stereo, and the MC30 monos. These are wonderfully musical audio components, and I’m going to do my best to tell you about the vintage experience and how the MC240 and MC30s compare to each other. I wish I had an MC225 to throw into the mix too, but I don’t have one handy. Perhaps in due time.

      Stay tuned, as there will be much more to come on this topic in the not too distant future. My interim advice is that if you can find any of these items I mentioned in nice condition, buy them, they’re a lot of fun!

      Thanks for the kind words and stopping by!



  5. Awesome, I can’t wait to read more! I’m a vet an on a fixed income and have been looking for McIntosh pieces for a very long time. I recently aquired a C220 preamp and since I can’t afford any of their new stuff, perhaps vintage amps are the proper route. While the MC30’s have become pricey, I noticed that MC225’s and MC240 are still very reasonalbly priced and they would be more within my budget (especially if I can get a good deal on them).

    Also, hopefully you have found a reasonable solution to using your speaker cables or have decided to go with something else and that will be in the article as well? At any rate, thanks again Jeff for all of the wonderful writing and information, etc.

    Take care,

    • Hi Hans,

      I’ve found that much of the vintage gear is more musically satisfying than a lot of the modern gear, and I’ve found people to be happier with it over the long haul.

      The Mac gear is nice (Marantz too) because it can be kept running forever with a little judicious service.

      I think you’ll find that a MC225, MC240, or MC30 monos (the arguable pick of the litter of vintage Mac amps) will serve you very well over the long haul.



  6. Hi Jeff, just checking back in … any updates on the vintage Mac articles yet? I have been (im)patiently waiting to hear and read more! 🙂



    • Hi Hans,

      The last piece of the puzzle for the vintage Mac article is falling into place today with the arrival of the vintage McIntosh MC225.

      That will give me the 3 most desired vintage Mac amplifiers to write about: the MC30 monos, the MC225 stereo, and the MC240, along with the MX110Z tuner-preamplifier.

      This article should be a blast!



  7. Whoa … this is so cool! I have been considering the MC225 as it is at the upper limits of my budget compared to the MC30 and MC240. This makes your article even more important to me … so hurry up would you? LOL 🙂

    I have a friend who happens to own a Mac MC225 and also 70 watt Shindo mono blocks (the Shindo model designation escapes me at the moment) that he pairs up with Harbeth 40.1s. He has told me on a few occasions that the Macs are better in almost every catagory except for volume. Considering how revered the Shindo amps are and the enormous price differences ~ this speaks a lot to me that the Mac vintage amps must be something special.

    Thanks as always for all the great reads (I’m a fan and visit often).


  8. Hi Jeff,

    Have you had a chance to try your McIntosh amps with your Harbeth speakers? I recently got the mc30s from vintage vacuum audio. For now, I pair them with tannoy autograph mini in my office system. I’m planning to upgrade the system soon and move to a spare bedroom. I was thinking harbeth m30.1 or maybe the new Tannoy Eaton that is coming out soon.

    I enjoy your website very much!

    All the best,


    • Thanks for the kind words, Mark, appreciated!

      You’re challenging my memory, as I go through a lot of different combinations here to see what happens, but I don’t think I’ve tried the MC30’s with the Harbeth’s yet.

      The MC30’s are such good amps, that I can’t imagine that they’d be anything but stellar with the Harbeth’s.

      The new Tannoy line is very interesting, and I hope I can give them a listen one of these days.

      So much cool audio gear, and so little time!



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