Now available in the UK is the McIntosh C2500, a 15-input analogue/digital preamplifier complete with switchable phono stage, four digital inputs capable of handling high-resolution audio and an asynchronous USB-B socket.
The £7495 preamp uses a combination of valves in its analogue output section and 32-bit/192kHz digital-to-analogue conversion, and can be used with line sources such as CD players, moving-coil or moving magnet phono cartridges, digital sources delivering content at up to 24-bit/192kHz or computers at up to 32-bit/192kHz.
Handbuilt in the McIntosh factory in Binghamton, New York, the C2500 has the classic styling of all the company's products, plus a complement of six dual-triode 12AX7A valves. There are those adjustable moving coild/moving magnet phono inputs, six line inputs, two sets of balanced inputs, two optical and two electrical digital ins, and that USB-B socket.
Outputs are provided for up to three stereo power amps, on both phono and XLR sockets, and there's also a processor in/out loop for easy integration with surround systems.
Assignable tone controls are provided, along with gain-matching for the various inputs, and there's a range of home integration features including RS-232 and 12V trigger sockets, eight data ports and an input for an external infrared sensor, should you feel the need to hide the preamp away.
Oh, and there's a 6.3mm headphone socket on the front, too, along with those very McIntosh output level meters.
The McIntosh C2500 is available now through UK distributor Jordan Acoustics.
Written by Andrew Everard