FedEx delivered the set of my ‘new’ restored vintage McIntosh MC30s mono amplifiers today that I purchased from Yves Beauvais at Vintage Vacuum Audio after hearing my friend Leo’s MC30s that impressed me so much.
I unpacked the Mac’s and set them up in the system with my Westminster Royal Duelund Special Edition loudspeakers, and put on some LPs to listen to. These are great sounding amps! Yves equipped them with a thoughtfully selected vintage complement of tubes and they are sounding mighty sweet.
I couldn’t help myself, though, as I was in a tube rolling mood, so I thought I’d try some of the current production tubes from my tube stash in the little MC30s just to see what would happen. In the photos on the right side of the MC30 is the Shuguang 274B rectifier with its artful ST bottle shape that I purchased from The Tube Store. Between the transformers are the Tung-Sol 6L6G also with an ST bottle shape that I purchased from Jim McShane.
I have to say that the vintage tubes did out perform the new production tubes by being warmer, richer, smoother, and just more musically engaging. However, you might like to know that it was not a huge difference – these new production tubes are pretty darn good too. Although if someone were to let me try their stash of vintage Western Electric 350B & 274B tubes in the MC30s I wouldn’t say no! In fact, if Santa were to grant me one wish this year – after world peace of course – it would be that Western Electric would start producing 350B & 274B tubes again!
I’ll put the vintage tube set back in the MC30s, but its nice to know there are options should those wonderful vintage tubes become harder to come by or become prohibitively expensive.
A word to the wise: If you run across a nicely restored set of vintage McIntosh MC30 monos, an MC225, or an MC240, I heartily recommend that you add them to your amplifier stable. They’re really something special, and you will not be sorry. In fact you may wonder after hearing them – like me – if there has really been any advancement in audio electronics after all those years since the Macs were new. Vintage Macs play music superbly well! These Macs are still relatively affordable overlooked treasures from the Golden Age of vacuum tube audio and they are a bargain from a performance standpoint. Get them while you can before the price goes out of sight!
From my home to yours, may the music lift your spirit tonight!
Thanks for stopping by!