McIntosh announces C12000 preamp with 2-chassis design

McIntosh announces C12000 preamp with 2-chassis design
(Image credit: McIntosh)

High-end hi-fi brand McIntosh has announced a new preamplifier, and it's a suitably well-engineered proposition.

The C12000 preamp has a unique two-chassis design that isolates the audio section from the control and power sections. This segmentation means there's little to no interference in the audio processing, resulting in what McIntosh describes as "ultimate sound quality".

There are two parts to it: the C12000 Controller Module and C12000 Preamplifier Module. The former contains all power control, data ports and external control connections, with dual-isolated power supplies driving the left and right channels and a dual microprocessor governing the control system. The Preamplifier Module houses the audio connections and circuitry, and isolates the left and right channels electrically and mechanically for true dual-mono operation. The result? "Uncompromising stereo separation and signal purity," according to McIntosh.

It's more customisable than previous McIntosh preamps, with programmable phono inputs with adjustable capacitance and resistance-loading for greater compatibility with turntables. And it features no fewer than 12 analogue inputs (six balanced, four unbalanced and two phonos), with both valve and solid-state output making for maximum flexibility when it comes to integrating it into your setup.

There's also a headphone jack with user-selectable Headphone Crossfeed Director tech, if you want to listen solo.

The C12000 is unmistakably McIntosh, with the company's signature blue meters, black glass front panels and brushed-aluminium handles. Both chassis are made of stainless steel that's been polished to a mirror finish, with hairline brushed black titanium stainless steel elements.

Each unit costs £8495, or £16990 for the complete preamp. Orders are live now, and shipping starts next year.


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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.