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New McIntosh C2600 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

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  • New McIntosh C2600 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

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    The C2300 was one of the most admired McIntosh tube preamps ever made. Its successor the C2500 has been even more popular. Building upon those successes is the C2600 which incorporates the best of the previous models while adding our advanced digital audio section and upgraded tube circuitry design.

    The C2600 is a versatile preamplifier with an expansive set of 16 inputs to connect virtually all your analog or digital music sources. For audio purity, the analog and digital sections are housed separately in our dual chassis design to prevent signal corruption. Analog inputs include 3 balanced, 4 unbalanced plus 1 each dedicated Moving Magnet and Moving Coil phono inputs. Digital inputs consist of 3 optical, 2 coax, 1 USB and 1 McIntosh exclusive MCT connection. Three sets of balanced and unbalanced analog outputs will connect the C2600 to your amplifier.

    The C2600 features a 32-bit/384kHz, DSD digital-to-analog-converter (DAC). The optical and coax inputs will decode digital music at up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback. The C2600 is also capable of decoding and playing DSD files; the USB input accepts PCM signals up to 32-bit/384kHz and supports DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 plus DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. When paired with the MCT450 SACD/CD Transport, the proprietary MCT input offers a secure DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs in order to deliver the purist possible sound quality.

    With the C2600, all inputs can be renamed to your preference and are available all of the time, giving you more freedom to configure your system. The outputs have also been updated to be easier to operate when bi-amping or tri-amping so that your highs and/or lows are not accidentally turned off. Bass and treble tone controls can adjust individual sources as needed. For headphone listening, the addition of Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) brings an added dimension to your music. The H​ome Theater Pass Through feature allows for seamless integration into your multi-channel home theater system.

    The C2600 features classic McIntosh design cues that not only blend with existing systems but also with any room décor. It can be paired with a variety of amplifiers, speakers, room correction devices, CD players, turntables and tuners to make a complete home audio system. Contact your local dealer to learn more. ​Electronic Specifications

    Total Harmonic Distortion

    Frequency Response

    +0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz
    +0, -3dB from 15Hz to 100,000Hz
    Maximum Volts Out (Balanced / Unbalanced)

    16/8 V RMS
    Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced)

    44K ohm, 22K ohm
    Phono Voltage Gain

    Moving Magnet: 40dB
    Moving Coil: 60dB

    High Level Voltage Gain

    To Main Output: 15dB
    To Fixed Output: 0dB
    Signal To Noise Ratio

    Dual Mono Power Supply

    Dual Mono, Fully Balanced



    Headphone Output

    Yes 1/4", High Drive with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®)
    Inputs Balanced

    3 Stereo
    Inputs Unbalanced

    4 Stereo + 2 Phono
    Variable Outputs Balanced

    3 Stereo
    Variable Outputs Unbalanced

    3 Stereo
    Digital USB Input

    1 (accepts PCM signals up to 32-bit/384kHz; supports DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 plus DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz)
    Digital Coaxial Input


    Digital Optical Input

    Digital MCT Input

    Phono Moving Magnet Input

    1 (adjustable)
    Phono Moving Coil Input

    1 (adjustable)
    Record Processor Loop

    Input Level Match

    Yes, +/- 6dB
    Home Theater Pass Through



    Tone Controls

    Bass and Treble
    Tone Bypass and Input Assign

    RS232 Control Input


    Power Control Output

    1 Main, 4 Trigger
    Rear Panel Data Ports

    Rear Panel IR Sensor Input


    General Specifications

    Multi-Chassis or Single

    Single, two layer
    Output Meters


    Tube or Solid State

    Tube, 5 ea. 12AX7a and 1 ea. 12AT7
    On, Power Consumption

    50 Watts

    Weights & Dimensions

    Dimensions (W x H x D)

    17.5" (44.45cm) x 7.625" (19.37cm) x 18" (45.72cm)

    29.5 lbs (13.4kg)

    Shipping Weight

    45 lbs (20.4kg)

    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

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