McIntosh Preamp for McIntosh MC7270

I have a McIntosh MC7270 driving a set of Snell Type A speakers. I am spinning a VPI Nomad table with a Grado Gold Cartridge. PBJ Kimber speaker wires and monster interconnects to the turntable. I have not been running a preamp (becuase VPI says not to) and am 100% I am not getting the input gain that I need out of the VPI Nomad turn table. What McIntosh preamp would be best matched to my MC7270? For me the sonic quality is absolutely needed but I like a matched system for ages/looks. Thoughts


Well, I see you have a non-defeatable phono stage built into your TT.

It’s default cartridge was Ortofon 2M Red, which is MM moving magnet, with a strong 5mv output signal, then that goes into the built in MM phono stage which boosts that strong 5mv signal up to Line Level.

Grado Gold is also a 5mv signal, should be OK,

Have you asked VPI about this?


... I am not getting the input gain that I need ...

Are you saying the amplifier won't play loud enough? It looks like what you're using should drive the amp to full output.

With a built-in, non-defeatable phono stage in your TT, you can't run it into another phone pre and then into your 7270.

There's a warning right there on VPI's site -- "WARNING: The Nomad’s phonostage is not defeat-able and MUST NOT be plugged into another phonostage.  Doing so could result in serious damage to your speakers."

Is Amp OK?

Have you got a CD player you can plug into the amp (turn amp's gain down first, play cd, raise gain, lots of volume?


Is TT ok?

do you have another unit to temporarily try it? Take TT to a friends house? Take TT to Store (call, prearrange). IOW, is the TT's built-in phono output up to line level?


McIntosh amps have a switch on the back, two optional input sensitivities which can change the volume out. Default is 0.75v; verify that,

TURN GAIN (volume) controls way down 1st, then try the other 2.5v setting. Play TT,  Gain up slowly, Big or small difference?

from manual, page 16

"INPUT SENSITIVITY Switchable: 0.75 volt or 2.5 volts-level control provided for higher input voltages."



How Select Source?

Do you only have a TT plugged into the amp's input jacks, OR, do you have more than 1 source, and if so, how are you selecting which source goes to the amp's input jacks?

How high are you turning your GAIN (volume) controls?



I believe the phone amp in the TT has went cold. Yes it is not playing loud and missing details and bass. The amp is 40 years old with OEM caps and the table is 20+ years old. Both may need a little love. Although I am thinking I need a preamp and wanted thoughts about TT direct to amp?