McIntosh C8: tube preamp with built-in phono stage and headphone amplifier
The new McIntosh C8 tube preamp is inspired by the existing MA252 and MA352. The model is based on four 12AX7a lamps installed in special protective and decorative housings. According to the press release, the C8 features one balanced and two unbalanced inputs, one for an MM cartridge LP turntable, and one jack for MC turntables. Bass and treble controls are also available to the user.
Out of the outputs, the device was equipped with balanced and two unbalanced connectors with the ability to switch to the subwoofer connector mode (only one unbalanced output). There are no digital ports, but the model can be supplemented with a DA2 module with all the necessary current inputs and a 32-bit DAC with support for DSD512 and DXD up to 384 Hz via USB.
Additional features include a built-in headphone amplifier and Home Theater Pass Through technology for seamless integration of the preamplifier into the DC. Like the new MC830 all-in-one, the C8 also features proprietary Power Control ports that allow the unit to automatically turn on and off when it is connected to other McIntosh components.
As expected, the C8 was made in a special corporate style. The engineers used aluminum and black glass. The controls are backlit. The C8 preamplifier comes with a remote control. The new McIntosh C8 will arrive in the US this month for $3,500.