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McIntosh C2800 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

Regular price $9,000.00
Sale price $9,000.00 Regular price
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McIntosh Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Overview

Product Information

Model: C2800 | UPC: 842548113282


What's In The Box

Product Information

Model: C2800 | UPC: 842548113282

The C2800 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier is a masterpiece of audio passion and engineering precision. Crafted for discerning audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike, performance has been woven into the very fabric of this audio treasure. At the heart of the C2800 lies methodically designed vacuum tube circuitry. Leveraging the latest designs to all but eliminate noise and distortion, the C2800 reduces them to minuscule levels. Its four vacuum tubes, or valves, deliver a listening experience that transcends expectations. The C2800 has proudly earned the McIntosh name.


  • 16 inputs: 7 analog, 2 phono, 7 digital
  • 4 Vacuum Tubes
  • Dedicated Subwoofer output
  • Controllable by McIntosh Connect app
  • Includes Processor Loop
  • Supports 24-bit/192kHz and DSD512 files
  • Roon Tested

Inputs In Abundance

With its 9 analog and 7 digital inputs (16 total inputs), the C2800 will become the nucleus of your home audio system. There are 3 balanced and 4 unbalanced analog inputs, plus 2 phono inputs that can be configured for either Moving Coil or Moving Magnet phono cartridges to connect your turntable(s). Both phono inputs feature adjustable Gain in 6dB steps from 40dB to 64dB as well as RIAA equalization.

DA2 Digital Audio Module

McIntosh’s DA2 Digital Audio Module houses the 7 digital inputs and is powered by an audiophile-grade Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). The DA2 offers a variety of inputs, including an audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) input that will give your TV sound new life when played through your home stereo system. Multi-channel audio formats from Dolby® and DTS® will be expertly converted to two-channel audio for an enthralling listening experience.

The DA2 has 6 other digital inputs: 2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB, and 1 MCT. The coax and optical inputs decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback, while the USB input supports DSD512 and DXD 384kHz. And to get the best sound quality from the high-definition audio on your SACD collection, the MCT input offers a secure, custom DSD connection when paired with McIntosh’s MCT series of SACD/CD Transports. The entire DA2 module is upgradeable and could be replaced by a future module should new digital technologies become available.

Innovative Outputs for Personalized Listening

Offering advanced connection flexibility, there are 3 stereo sets of variable balanced and unbalanced outputs to connect the C2800 to your power amplifier(s). All sets of outputs can be active simultaneously, and each can send the audio signal from the source component to 3 separate audio systems.

Bi-amping a single speaker system can be accomplished using the Main output and Output 1 and their built-in adjustable High Pass and Low Pass filters. In this configuration, the High Pass outputs could be connected to a vacuum tube amplifier, and the Low Pass outputs could be connected to a solid-state amplifier. Then the adjustable crossover would let you optimize the performance of your amplifiers to your speaker’s specifications and to your listening preferences. Output 1 offers trim level control, which allows two different amplifiers to be volume balanced when bi-amping.

Additionally, Output 2 can be configured as either mono or stereo to allow it to send audio signal to a stereo audio system in another room, to a single mono subwoofer, or to 2 separate stereo subwoofers.

Return Of the Processor Loop

The C2800 features the return of the Processor Loop, something not available on the last few generations of McIntosh preamplifiers. The Processor Loop allows you to insert an external signal processor (such as their MQ112 Environmental Equalizer or MEN220 Room Correction System), dynamic range expanders, or other devices without having to place it between the preamplifier and power amplifier(s). This is usually more convenient and can allow for better performance. The Processor Loop is also the perfect place to connect an analog tape recorder, a high-end cassette deck, or a 3-head reel deck that allows you to record from a source component and hear the recording just seconds later so you can monitor your recordings.

Network Connected

In addition to using the included remote control or the front panel controls, the C2800 can be connected to your network which will unlock control options offered through McIntosh’s complimentary Connect app (scheduled to be available April 2024). Designed for both Android and Apple devices, the Connect app can be used to control key functions of the C2800 including Volume control as well as Input and Output selection.


Select McIntosh source components that have a data cable connected to the C2800 will be partially controllable via the app's Source Control feature. With Source Control, users will be able to control many of the source unit's functions from the app, such as changing radio stations on a tuner, or playing a disc in a CD Player. Source Control will bring added convenience to setups that have a secondary system connected to one of the C2800's outputs, such as an outdoor system where you will no longer be forced to go inside to control its basic functionality.


When connected to your network, the C2800 will also be able to receive periodic firmware updates. These firmware releases can add new features or provide important performance updates.

Elevate Your Auditory Journey

All this cutting-edge audio technology resides within the iconic McIntosh design – a black glass front panel adorned with blue meters, rotary knobs, and an illuminated logo. The polished stainless-steel chassis adds a touch of elegance, making it a perfect companion for amplifiers, CD players, turntables, and more.


  • Electronic
    • Number of Channels: 2
    • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.08%
    • Frequency Response
      • +0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20kHz
      • +0, -3dB from 15Hz to 100kHz
    • Maximum Volts Out (Balanced / Unbalanced): 16V RMS / 8V RMS
    • Sensitivity High Level (Balanced / Unbalanced): 900mV / 450mV
    • Sensitivity Phono (Moving Coil): 0.45mV
    • Sensitivity Phono (Moving Magnet): 4.5mV
    • Signal To Noise Ratio (High Level): 100dB
    • Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Coil): 75dB
    • Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Magnet): 75dB
    • Voltage Gain (High Level): 15dB
    • Voltage Gain (Moving Coil): Selectable 40dB, 46dB, 52dB, 58dB, or 64dB
    • Voltage Gain (Moving Magnet): Selectable 40dB, 46dB, 52dB, 58dB, or 64dB
    • Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced): 44K ohm, 22K ohm
  • Connectivity
    • Balanced Input: 3
    • Unbalanced Input: 4
    • Phono Input Moving Coil: Up to 2 (unit has 2 Phono inputs; each is user configurable as either Moving Coil or Moving Magnet)
    • Phono Input Moving Magnet: Up to 2 (unit has 2 Phono inputs; each is user configurable as either Moving Coil or Moving Magnet)
    • Upgradeable Digital Audio Module: Yes (DA2)
    • Digital Coaxial Input: 2
    • Digital Optical Input: 2
    • Digital MCT Input: 1
    • Digital USB Input: 1
    • HDMI (ARC) Input: 1
    • Digital AES/EBU Input: 0
    • Balanced Fixed Output: 0
    • Balanced Variable Output: 3
    • Unbalanced Fixed Output: 0
    • Unbalanced Variable Output: 3
    • Headphone Output: 1/4" High Drive with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®)
    • Input Level Match: Yes, +/- 6dB
    • Home Theater PassThru: Yes
    • Unbalanced Analog Connector Type: Premium gold-plated solid brass
    • Service Port: 1
    • Network Connection: 1
  • Control
    • Tone Controls: Bass and Treble
    • Tone Bypass and Input Assign: Yes
    • RS232 Control Input: Yes
    • Power Control Output: 1 Main, 4 Trigger
    • Rear Panel Data Port: 6
    • Rear Panel IR Sensor Input: Yes
  • General
    • Multi-Chassis or Single: Single, two layer
    • Output Meters: Yes
    • Vacuum Tube or Solid State: Vacuum Tube (3) 12AX7A and (1) 12AT7
    • Power Consumption (On): 75 Watts
  • Weights & Dimensions
    • Unit Dimensions (W x H x D): 17.5" x 7.625" x 16.5"
    • Unit Weight: 28 lbs (12.5kg)
    • Shipping Weight: 43.5 lbs (19.7kg)

What's In The Box

  • C2800 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier
  • Remote
  • Power Cord
  • Manual
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