McIntosh MC-240 Stereo Tube Amplifier (1967)

McIntosh  MC-240 Stereo Tube Amplifier (1967)
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Item # 12173
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McIntosh MC-240 Stereo Model Tube Amplifier (1967), made in Binghampton, NY, chrome and black enamel finish.

An unusual addition to our showroom, here's a fabulous example of the McIntosh MC-240 Stereo power amplifier. This classic from the golden years of tube audio was a top seller in its time and coveted nowadays by collectors and audiophiles alike. Long mapped-to Binghamton New York, the current headquarters and manufacturing center for McIntosh Labs, the brand was originally launched outside of the Nation's Capital in Silver Spring Maryland in 1949, founded by Frank McIntosh. In 1956, the brand built their original facility in New York and has since been recognized by audiophiles throughout the world for their consistent and high-quality audio equipment.

This, the model MC-240 stereo power amplifier, was made between 1961 and 1969. It was the company's first stereo amplifier, McIntosh having previously focused exclusively on mono-block amps. This was also their last new tube amplifier design before they abandoned tube in favor of transistor amplifiers. Many consider the McIntosh MC240 the finest power amplifier of its time, period. Besides being a staple piece of classic vintage Hi-Fi equipment, these McIntosh tube power amps have on many occasions been used for live music amplification, most notably by Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead as well as the Joe Cocker Band during Woodstock. Brian Wilson also reportedly used the MC-240 while producing Pet Sounds.

This particular model 240 is the final model of the three most widely seen versions. Between '65 to '69, McIntosh made 6,644 units of this version out of 16,896 total MC240s of all variants. The serial number is sadly too worn-off to read, but the presence of the line voltage switch on the control panel indicate it is earlier than 45G44. Dateable '66 components suggest a manufacture year of 1967.

True to its name, the 240 is a twin 40-watt amplifier capable of flexible operation; with selectable modes via the throw switch above the inputs and gain controls. It can be run as a stereo amp with a balance control, a "twin" amp for independent sources or in series as a 80-watt mono amp. Each mode has corresponding level controls and sets of stereo and mono RCA inputs. The speaker outputs accommodate impedances of 16, 8 and 4 ohm and this model also features a selectable line voltage input switch between 117 and 125V. Two sets of 6L6GC output tube pairs yield 40 watts of power through the company's hand-wound unity coupled output transformers.
 
Height is 8 in. (20.3 cm.), 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm.) width, and 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm.) deep.

Cosmetically, this amplifier is in good shape for its age, showing only minor-to-moderate wear overall. The chrome-plated chassis and panel surfaces are largely untarnished but much of the stenciled lettering has been worn off around the controls. There is some minor corrosive spotting on the top of the chassis. Transformer covers are undented and only show typical wear and scuffing. All knobs and switch tips are original and nicely intact. The square tube cage is missing as is extremely common for these amps.

Electrically, this MC240 is all original; the power and two output transformers are original to the unit, reading 'Type M-207A', 'Type M-210-A' and 'Type M-210-B', respectively. All pots date to mid-late 1966. Minimal restoration work has been done in the interest of preserving originality and well-functioning components where ever possible. Following typical practice, power filter capacitors have been replaced with exact spec multi-cap assemblies, courtesy of M2 Circuits in Canada, as well as any under-performing resistors, diodes and capacitors. The power output and frequency response has been measured and operation ensured to spec. This fantastic sounding amplifier is ready for another 50+ years of reproducing (or making) music for future listeners. Excellent - Condition.