Product Overview: The New McIntosh C2700 Preamplifier
McIntosh Expertly Blends Analog and Digital Audio Technology with this Versatile Preamp
This blog has now been updated; you can view this updated post here.
Last month, we introduced the McIntosh MA352 integrated amplifier. If you’re an analog purist, there’s much to love about the MA352, which combines the warmth of a tube powered preamp with the raw power of a solid-state amplifier.
With the new C2700, McIntosh Labs brings more options on the table. The MA352 is an all-analog design, with no digital circuitry—anything digital, like a CD player or a streaming audio player—is external. The C2700 mixes it up a little, making for an extremely versatile preamp that you can use for all your two-channel sources, including TVs. While it still uses a tube preamp for that smooth, warm sound purists love, it comes out-of-the-box ready to connect to all your digital sources.
Is this the McIntosh audio preamp any audio enthusiast, analog purist, or digital music maven could love for their two-channel Marietta rig? There are two ways to find out—visit our 20,000 square-foot showroom in Marietta or continue reading below for the pertinent details. Either way, you win.
Two-Channel, with a Twist
Usually, when you think about a pure two-channel component, you don't think of HDMI connections. But that's precisely what the C2700 has. Why? Because it makes it easy to pass TV sound through for high-quality TV sound. The digital componentry of the C2700 downmixes Dolby Digital and DTS signals into stereo, which is convenient and leaves no soundtrack bits out from TV, streaming, and movie sources which typically have multi-channel sound. What's more, the HDMI ARC capabilities can power up the preamp and the TV at the same time, set the right audio input, and unify the volume control.
The C2700 contains McIntosh's advanced DA2 Digital Audio Module, which lets the preamp accept all manner of digital sources. There are two coaxial, two optical, 1 USB, and 1 MCT inputs as well as the aforementioned HDMI ARC input. The module features a 32-bit, Quad Balanced, 8-channel DAC (digital to analog converter) that’s compatible with a wide variety of formats including 24-bit/192 kHz high-resolution audio and DSD.
Analog is not left out by any means. There are three balanced connections, four unbalanced connections, and both Moving Magnet and Moving Coil phono inputs for a turntable. With so many inputs, this preamp rivals the highest-end multi-channel receivers in audio hub flexibility. But this component is for a stereo-only setup, and for customers that demand the best in two-channel high-fidelity audio.
McIntosh Build Quality and Timeless Design
Like all McIntosh components, the C2700 features traditional and timeless design cues. The blue analog VU meters, the black glass LED-lit front panel, stainless steel chassis, and aluminum end caps all reinforce that this is a McIntosh audio piece built to last. The analog and digital sections are housed in their own independent chassis to avoid signal corruption.
There are more details. too. When you want to listen solo, the ¼-inch headphone jack is driven by McIntosh's High-Drive Headphone amp, which can power practically any high-end headphones. Power Control ports can turn on other equipment automatically, like the McIntosh amplifiers you'll undoubtedly want to pair with the C2700. This component is designed to be the heart and soul of the best two-channel setups.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: With audio, the proof is in the listening. Visit our Marietta showroom to experience McIntosh audio for yourself as well as more great audio brands like Klipsch Heritage, Monitor Audio, and many more. So come in, call us at (770) 955-8909, or click the button below to connect with us right away. We’re eager for you to see and hear the best in audio in the Atlanta area.