McIntosh-C8 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

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C8

2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

  • 5 analog inputs (1 balanced, 2 unbalanced, 2 phono)
  • (4) 12AX7a vacuum tubes
  • High Drive headphone amplifier
  • Optional dealer installed upgrade to DA2 Digital Audio Module available

The C8 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier has an open chassis industrial design similar to our popular MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier, and MA252 and MA352 Integrated Amplifiers. When combined with an amplifier (like the matching MC830 Amplifier), source components such as a turntable, CD player (see the matching MCD85 SACD/CD Player) or streaming music player, and a pair of speakers, it can help deliver a lifelike audio experience in your home.

Similarly sized to our MA252 Integrated Amplifier, the C8 is powered by four 12AX7a vacuum tubes housed inside stylish protective cages. For inputs, the C8 comes with 1 balanced and 2 unbalanced analog inputs, plus 1 Moving Coil and 1 Moving Magnet phono inputs with adjustable loading to play cherished vinyl collections. All inputs can be given user-friendly names in order to simplify user control. Bass and treble tone controls help fine tune your music to your personal preferences. For outputs, it has 1 balanced and 2 unbalanced; 1 of the unbalanced outputs can be configured as a subwoofer output for use with a powered subwoofer to further enhance low frequencies.

While the C8 does not come equipped with any digital inputs, it is digital-audio-ready as our DA2 Digital Audio Module can be installed in it. Adding the DA2 is an optional dealer installed upgrade. The DA2 has 7 digital inputs: 2 coax, 2 optical, 1 USB, 1 MCT (for use with our MCT500 or MCT80 SACD/CD Transport), and 1 audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC)1 connection. The DA2 is powered by a next generation, Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). Its audiophile-grade DAC is highlighted by improved dynamic range and improved total harmonic distortion. For high resolution audio playback, the USB input can support native playback of up to DSD512 and DXD up to 384kHz, and the coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz.

For personal listening, the C8 comes with our High Drive headphone amplifier that has plenty of power and flexibility to drive a wide range of headphones. Power Control ports allow for easy system power up and shutdown by sending power on/off signals to other connected McIntosh components. The user selectable Auto Off feature will turn the C8 off after 30 minutes when there’s been no user input or if no audio signal has been detected. Home Theater Pass Through allows the C8 to be seamlessly integrated into your home theater system, and Data Ports can send remote control commands to connected source components.

Input selection, bass, treble, tone bypass, balance and input offset levels can be adjusted using the front panel knobs or the included remote control; all settings, volume level, and input selection will be shown on the front panel display. The C8 sits atop a stainless steel chassis that’s polished to a mirror finish; classic McIntosh-styled die cast aluminum name badges are attached to each side. It has a black glass front panel with silver trim, an illuminated logo, and rotary control knobs.

 

ELECTRONIC SPECIFICATIONS

  • Number of Channels
    2
  • Total Harmonic Distortion
    0.08%
  • Frequency Response
    +0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20kHz
    +0, -3dB from 15Hz to 100kHz
  • Maximum Volts Out (Balanced / Unbalanced)
    16V RMS / 8V RMS
  • Sensitivity High Level (Balanced / Unbalanced)
    900mV / 450mV
  • Sensitivity Phono (Moving Coil)
    0.45mV
  • Sensitivity Phono (Moving Magnet)
    4.5mV
  • Signal To Noise Ratio (High Level)
    95dB
  • Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Coil)
    75dB
  • Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Magnet)
    80dB
  • Voltage Gain (High Level)
    15dB
  • Voltage Gain (Moving Coil)
    75dB
  • Voltage Gain (Moving Magnet)
    55dB
  • Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced)
    44K ohm, 22K ohm

CONNECTIVITY

  • Balanced Input
    1
  • Unbalanced Input
    2
  • Phono Input Moving Coil
    1 (adjustable)
  • Phono Input Moving Magnet
    1 (adjustable)
  • Upgradeable Digital Audio Module
    Yes: DA2 can be installed
  • Digital Coaxial Input
    0
  • Digital Optical Input
    0
  • Digital MCT (DIN) Input
    0
  • Digital USB Input
    0
  • HDMI (ARC) Input
    0
  • Digital AES/EBU Input
    0
  • Balanced Fixed Output
    0
  • Balanced Variable Output
    1
  • Unbalanced Fixed Output
    0
  • Unbalanced Variable Output
    2
  • Headphone Output
    1/4″ High Drive
  • Input Level Match
    Yes, +/- 6dB
  • Home Theater PassThru
    Yes
  • Unbalanced Analog Connector Type
    Standard
  • Service Port
    1

CONTROL

  • Tone Controls
    Bass and Treble
  • Tone Bypass and Input Assign
    Yes
  • RS232 Control Input
    Yes
  • Power Control Output
    1 Main, 2 Trigger
  • Rear Panel Data Port
    2
  • Rear Panel IR Sensor Input
    Yes

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Multi-Chassis or Single
    Single
  • Output Meters
    No
  • Vacuum Tube or Solid State
    Vacuum Tube
  • Power Consumption (On)
    50 Watts

WEIGHTS & DIMENSIONS

  • Unit Dimensions (W x H x D)
    12-9/32″ (31.2cm) x 7-5/8″ (19.4cm) x 16-1/4″ (41.3cm)
  • Unit Weight
    18 lbs (8.2 kg)
  • Shipping Weight
    25 lbs (11.3 kg)

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