A Sound for Sore Eyes – McIntosh 1502 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier

2020 was the year that vinyl outsold CDs; can you believe that? If you are going to blast your fresh copy of the White Album from your modern record player, you might as well have a retro-styled but powerful amplifier to complete the look. Enter the McIntosh 1502 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier (aka MC1502). This amp uses vacuum tubes to deliver noise-free powerful signals to your speaker of choice, and it does so with a timeless industrial aesthetic.

mc1502 2-channel vacuum tube amplifier

The Why

Eight vacuum tubes power this throw-back piece of audio equipment. Each tube includes Air-Pipe cooling at the base to keep it running for years to come. As further protection, an attractive black, powder-coated, 12-gauge stainless steel wire cage covers the tubes. The amp’s chassis is made from polished stainless steel, while the tube sockets have a ceramic base with gold-plated contacts. Say goodbye to atmospheric contamination! And if the amplifier ever exceeds safe limits, the built-in Sentry Monitor technology automatically shuts it off.

What we like about this amp (aside from the fact that’s it’s just beautiful) is that you can send the signal to almost any speaker. The MC1502 Vacuum Tube Amplifier works with speakers that have 2, 4, or 8-Ohm impedance. The amp connects to speakers with secure Solid Cinch speaker binding posts.

To round it all out, you get a nice, ambient halo from the vacuum tubes. You don’t need candles when you have the romantic glow of classic technology lighting up your music room!

This machine weighs 118 pounds, so don’t plan on moving it around willy-nilly. Give it a dedicated spot in your entertainment space, and let its industrial aesthetic and powerful, noise-free amplifying ability do the talking for you.

mc1502 2-channel vacuum tube amplifier

The Buy

Like a lot of high-end audio equipment, the MC1502 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier isn’t available directly from the manufacturer, although McIntosh’s MSRP is around $11,000. You’ll need to find an authorized dealer, so the price may vary. But we think the hunt is worth it for such a beautiful (and functional) piece of equipment.

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mc1502 2-channel vacuum tube amplifier