McIntosh C2700 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

McIntosh has revamped its preamplifier range with the addition of the new C2700 vacuum tube (valve in Australian-speak) preamplifier which mixes refined tried-and-true valve circuitry with the company’s latest digital technology.

The 12AX7 and 12AT7 valve-based C2700 (six valves in total viewable through a glass panel display atop the unit) accepts McIntosh’s new DA2 Digital Module which debuted recently in a spate of the company’s products. The DA2 module’s connectivity features a total of seven digital options including two S/PDIF coaxial and two Toslink optical inputs which are capable of 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. The USB input now accepts high resolution files to up DSD512 (up from the DA1’s DSD256). McIntosh’s MCT link is also offered as an interface with MCT-capable McIntosh digital transports.

A new audio-only HDMI (ARC) return input/output allows for the improved sonic performance of running your TV through the Hi-Fi system. Multi-channel setups are catered for via Dolby and DTS compatibility with 2-channel system configurations receive high quality down-converted audio. CEC-enabled TVs can be controlled via the C2700’s own remote, alleviating remote control congestion in the home.


Analogue inputs have been provided for most thoroughly. The C2700 features four RCA unbalanced inputs and three XLR balanced ones. Vinyl is catered for via two additional inputs which allow Moving Magnet (MM) or Moving Coil (MC) cartridge types. Outputs include three variable XLR balanced and three variable RCA unbalanced plus a fixed unbalanced connection. A stream of Power Control and Data Ports are included for communication with connected McIntosh gear for remote turn-on, etc..

The C2700 preamplifier also features McIntosh’s renowned High Drive Headphone Amplifier with the company’s enhancing Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD). The in-built headphone amplifier is said to be capable of driving just about any headphone on the market.

McIntosh has quoted a frequency response of +0dB/-0.5dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and a Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of 0.08 percent, again, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) has been specified as 100dB for the line stage and 75dB each for the phono inputs.


McIntosh’s usual high standard of build quality and aesthetic design are features of the C2700, with the unit styled with the trademark black glass LED backlit fascia, retro-fashion controls and rotary knobs, aluminium end caps and the traditional illuminated company logo.

As far as the unit’s versatility, a McIntosh representative told SoundStage! Australia, “The new C2700 can be paired with an assortment of amplifiers, CD players, turntables, tuners, media streamers, room correction devices and speakers to complete a home audio system.”

The new McIntosh C2700 preamplifier will hit Australian shores soon after its release later this month in North America.

McIntosh C2700 Preamplifier
Price: AU$15,495

Australian Distributor: Synergy Audio
+61 3 9459 7474