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McIntosh C55 2-Channel Solid State Preamplifier

Regular price $9,000.00
Sale price $9,000.00 Regular price
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McIntosh Solid State Preamplifier Overview

Product Information

Model: C55 | UPC: 842548113367


What's In The Box

Product Information

Model: C55 | UPC: 842548113367

The C55 Preamplifier is a pinnacle of sonic excellence designed for audiophiles, music enthusiasts, and dedicated McIntosh fans alike. As a torchbearer of innovation, it takes the baton from its predecessor, the multi award-winning C53, and propels your home audio experience into new realms of audio nirvana. With precision and craftsmanship, the C55 proudly takes its place as a true industry leader.


  • 16 inputs: 7 analog, 2 phono, 7 digital
  • Dedicated Subwoofer output
  • Controllable by McIntosh Connect app
  • Includes Processor Loop and 8-band analog equalizer
  • Supports 24-bit/192kHz and DSD512 files
  • Roon Tested

Inputs In Abundance

With a staggering 16 inputs (9 analog and 7 digital), the C55 becomes the nerve center of your audio universe. Analog inputs include 3 balanced and 4 unbalanced connections, along with 2 phono inputs configurable 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

The digital section is housed in McIntosh’s DA2 Digital Audio Module and is powered by an audiophile-grade Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). The DA2 offers an array of connections, including an audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC)1 input, ushering your TV sound into a new era through your home stereo system. Dolby® and DTS® multi-channel audio formats are expertly converted to exquisite two-channel audio for a captivating listening experience.

The DA2's other 6 digital inputs consist of 2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB, and 1 MCT. The USB input supports DSD512 and DXD 384kHz. The coax and optical inputs decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback. 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

To connect the C55 to your power amplifier(s), there are 3 stereo sets of variable balanced and unbalanced outputs that offer advanced connection flexibility. All 3 sets of outputs can be active at the same time, and each can send the audio signal of the source component to 3 separate audio systems.

Additionally, the Main output and Output 1 can be used for bi-amping a single speaker system via the built-in adjustable High Pass and Low Pass filters. In this setup, 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. The adjustable crossover allows you to 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.

Furthermore, Output 2 can be configured as either mono or stereo and can 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 C55 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 C55 can be connected to your network which will unlock control options offered through our 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 C55 including Volume control as well as Input and Output selection.


Select McIntosh source components3 that have a data cable connected to the C55 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. This feature will bring added convenience to setups that have a secondary set of power amplifiers and speakers connected to one of the C55's outputs, such as an outdoor system where you will no longer be forced to go inside to control its basic functionality.


Another benefit of adding the C55 to your network is the ability 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: 0.005%
    • 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): 80dB
    • Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Magnet): 82dB
    • 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: 8-band (each band adjustable ± 12dB )
    • 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: Solid State
    • 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 (12.5 kg)
    • Shipping Weight: 43.5 lbs (19.7 kg)

What's In The Box

  • C55 2-Channel Solid State Preamplifier
  • Remote
  • Power Cord
  • Manual
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