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Audio Design Pre-Preamplifier MCP-1 - Fully Restored - $250 obo

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Note:  This is a Pre-Preamplifier, what used to be known as a Head Amp.  That term now seems to be used for Headphone amplifiers, causing some confusion. 


No, it's not for headphones - and no, it's not a preamplifier.  All it does is boost the signal of a Moving Coil cartridge to the same level as a Moving Magnet cartridge.  But that it does very well. 



For sale is this head amp that dates back to the 1980’s. I'm asking $250 USD but will consider any reasonable offer.  

This was manufactured by Audio Design in Kitchener and is a clone of the McIntosh Moving Coil Preamp (MCP)-1 that was made around the same time.

This is a Class A amplifier using transistors that have extremely low noise characteristics, making it ideal for this type of device.  It can boost either 20 dB or 30 dB, allowing a moving coil (MC) cartridge to be used with a moving magnet (MM) input.

It's the perfect thing for anyone who has a moving coil cartridge, but a preamp with a moving magnet input only - which is not that uncommon. In fact, quite the opposite.  A good MC phono section for any preamp is expensive to manufacture, which is why so many have a MM input only.

I bought this unit in the 80’s and used it for a number of years.  A short while ago I completely restored it, replacing all of the old electrolytic capacitors with Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors.

The Nichicon capacitors are an aluminum electrolytic type that are designed for use in high grade audio equipment.  They provide a rich sound in the bass register and provide a clearer high end.

I also replaced the RCA jacks with a gold-plated type – the original metal jacks were looking a bit drab and gold plated just does a better job.  I can’t remember what the brand name is for these – I suspect they may be Vampire as I tended to use those before anything else.

With the new capacitors and RCA jacks this unit never sounded so good. In other words, perhaps it's not only as good as new, but maybe even a bit better.

The loading resistors across the input can easily be changed.  These were originally friction fitted into a well.  I added a light bit of solder to ensure a good connection, as this is a weak point in the chain with a very low-level millivolt signal.

The resistors now installed are a Vishay Dale metal film type with a 1% tolerance and rated at 100 ohms. They should be suitable for a wide range of MC cartridges.  If not, they’re easy to change out for anyone with a fine point soldering iron.

The case is made from metal plate, none of that sissy sheet metal stuff for Audio Design.  There is a bit of wear as can be seen from the pictures.  I was reluctant to repaint the case as the original finish is actually quite good.

As always, I’m willing to consider offers from any serious buyer. I don’t have the original box but will package it securely for shipping.  The unit comes with the external AC power supply.


This unit is for sale in Canada or the US only, with payment by e-Transfer or PayPal.  Shipping is to the buyer's expense using the actual cost using the Canada Post calculator (once a shipping address is known).










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