This Sounds Like A Pretty Good Deal -- Opinions?

Fellow music lovers,


I have the chance to purchase a McIntosh MC-225 that has already been gone over by a pro and been refurbished along with a McIntosh C11 that has undergone the same loving treatment.  I can purchase both for a total of $3,500 or just the MC-225 for $1,800.  Basically getting a deal from a good friend of a good friend.  I already have an ARC SL-17 I was going to use as the Preamp, but he is making it very hard not to take both pieces.  The MC-225 and C-11 are currently hooked up together in one of his vintage systems.


I guess I'm looking for validation and help at spending my money, LOL.  Is it a no-brainer to buy both pieces?  Does anyone have any experience with an MC-225 paired with a C-11 or an ARC SP-17?  Which had best synergy together?  These pieces would be pushing a 1987 pair of Klipsch Forte's with the Crites Crossover upgrades, and most likely only have a turntable with phono preamp and a streaming unit connected.  Turntable and phono preamp to be determined -- streaming device is a Bluesound Node.


Thank you for your input.


I don't have any experience with those particular units, but I did have a McIntosh 275 once and I loved every second of the time it was in my house.  I'd say if you can live with the power output of 25W stereo, 50W mono, I would jump on it.  Remember your speakers dictate the power draw, but you can always add a subwoofer and trim maybe 70 to 80% of your power requirements from the McIntosh.

Sound like a good deal to me.  ARC is good stuff but McIntosh has "The Class Act".

 Absolute steal for that piece if even in descent condition. Zero risk there. Looking at Hifi Shark nice examples of this amp are asking 3X or more what you can get this one for. Same thing with the preamp. 

The purchase of the McIntosh MC-225 and the McIntosh C11 sounds like a good deal. I probably would ask for more information on what is means to "been gone over by a pro and been refurbished".

Were any parts replaced? What exactly was refurbished? Are all the parts replaced using McIntosh parts? Do the components come with any warranty? I would confirm that all speaker connections and RCA jacks are rust free and look good. What happens if after 6-months or a year, you have technical issues with these components? Are parts for the McIntosh MC-225 and the McIntosh C11 still available and can you find someone to work on them? What is the condition of the tubes and cost to replace them?

Can you audition these components before you purchase? I suggest you compare the McIntosh MC-225 and the McIntosh C11 units vs. a new integrated amplifier priced around $3,500 (your budget price). A newer unit might sound better, provide peace of mind since it is new and a path for improved sound quality in the future. Just a thought.



The MC225 is one of the most sought after McIntosh tube amps. In poor shape(not working) they go for a premium price.  That amp with the C11 preamp will give that richness to the sound that was very sought after in the 70’s.  If you don’t buy it, tell your friend I will buy it.  I will travel to pick it up, very serious. I was going to purchase a tube integrated for around that price but I would rather have the combo.  

Just curious. If you buy both pieces, are you going to use a low output pickup? If not try the phono stage in the C11 first.

great gear, but agree "gone over and refurbished by a pro" is meaningless without lots of details...

If you decide to purchase the MC-225, you may as well get the C 11 as well to maintain system synergy. You know the Macs work well together so why risk a mis-match? You can easily sell the ARC or keep it for a back-up. For those prices, it's sort of a no-brainer but as others have stated, be absolutely sure of what you are getting by asking for details about what work was actually performed on the two units.

Thanks to all who gave input.  I did buy buy both pieces.  I had checked ahead of time about the work.  It was done by a shop that specializes in McIntosh gear, and they replaced the electrolytic power caps and the coupling caps, and brought both components up to specs.  The C-11 also had a new glass face installed.  


They are currently hooked up and sound fantastic together.  Anxious to get them home.  I appreciate the validation -- it did appear to be one hell of a deal, and less than 25 minutes away from me.  No shipping worries!  If I knew how to attach photos I would!





The Macs will have a synergy of sound. ARC preamps in my experience will dig out a lot of low level detail, too much in my system. I'd buy the pair and sell the losing preamp. This assumes the amp can drive your speakers. 

That’s an incredible price for a fantastic amplifier. The 225 was one of their best amps. So were the mc30s which I have two of and will probably never part with. Along with an MX110z which I’ll also never part with. I don’t know about the c11 but all macs have synergy. I say go for it!

Wow! That was indeed a killer deal, and you were smart to jump on that before they were spoken for. Congrats :) 

@mulveling @stereo5 


Thanks for your input.  He also has an MA-230 and MA-5100 for good prices, but I was happy with what I got!

@allenf1963 If you want to post photos just upload them to a photo hosting site like Imgur or Postimage and copy paste the pic right into the thread. Alternatively you can start a virtual system in that section of the site. Congrats on your killer new gear!

Good for you! If you decide to keep your current preamp you could probably sell the Mac for what you've got in the whole deal.