McIntosh C1100 vacuum tube preamplifier


McIntosh Laboratory has launched a new preamplifier that offers the company’s finest preamp performance to date. The new C1100 is a two-chassis design, allowing the control and power sections to remain completely separate from the audio section. The C1100 comprises the C1100 controller and the C1100 vacuum tube preamplifier. Inside each chassis, the left and right channels are electrically and mechanically isolated from each other to allow true dual-mono operation. The C1100 boasts the lowest noise of any McIntosh preamplifier ever produced. The two boxes are connected together via a pair of shielded umbilical cables. All power control, data ports and external control connections are dual- microprocessor-managed and located in the C1100’s controller chassis. The unit can be operated either directly on the front panel or using the remote control.


The C1100 vacuum tube preamplifier houses the audio connections and circuitry, and features 12 analogue inputs: six balanced and four unbalanced connections, plus adjustable-loading moving magnet and moving coil phono inputs. For the outputs, two sets of balanced and two sets of unbalanced connections provide flexibility with partnering power amplifiers. Twelve vacuum tubes in total (six 12AX7a and 12AT7) power the preamplifier. Compared to its predecessor, the C1000, which had eight valves, the additional four valves lower its dependency on solid-state circuitry.

The C1100 preamplifier is fully balanced to perfectly match any of McIntosh’s Quad Balanced amplifiers. The amp incorporates classic McIntosh design cues and with black-glass front panels, blue meters, a stainless steel chassis, illuminated logos and brushed aluminium end caps. Full C1100 specifications can be found on the McIntosh website, the C1100 sells for £12,995 and is available now.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments