McIntosh Laboratory Simultaneously Launches C55 And C2800 Preamplifiers

McIntosh Laboratory’s twofold addition, the C55 solid state-based and the C2800 valve-based components, aim to round the company’s preamplification stable.

The solid state C55 is a progression from the award-winning C53 which precedes it, while both it and the C2800’s valve circuitry embrace many of McIntosh Laboratory’s proprietary technologies. The two preamplifiers share the same super-generous input/output array based on no less than nine analogue inputs and seven digital options (all featuring ‘Electromagnetic Input Switching’ for noiseless “distortion-free” switching). Both the C55 and C2800 also feature a high quality built-in phono stage and an on-board digital-to-analogue converter (DSD512 capable). The DAC module includes connectivity for USB-B audio, HDMI ARC, two optical Toslink and two S/PDIF coaxial RCA sockets, plus McIntosh Laboratory’s proprietary MCT connection of the company’s CD transports.

Further, the two preamplifiers also share three sets of balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analogue outputs provided to allow bi-amplification while McIntosh Laboratory has now reintroduced a ‘Processor Loop’ after its absence from previous generation models. Shared across both preamplifiers is McIntosh Laboratory’s high quality HXD (Headphone Crossfeed Director) headphone amplifier with front panel 6.5 mm jack connectivity.


The C55 and C2800 preamplifiers feature McIntosh Laboratory’s own precision balanced, digitally controlled attenuation/volume level which is accurate to 0.1dB. While the C55 features a by-passable 8-band analogue EQ system, the C2800 features electronic treble and bass adjustment in 1dB increments. A memory function recalls the tone control settings individually per input.

Solid power supplies are fully regulated and encompass high quality, noise-free R-core power transformers. Both preamplifiers employ an “Eco-friendly” power management system which switches over to standby after a 30 minute period of signal inactivity.

From April 2024, the C55 and C2800 preamplifiers – and other McIntosh Laboratory components – will feature ‘McIntosh Connect’, a brand new control app which will be available for both iOS and Android devices. The C55 and C2800 have received ‘Roon Tested’ status.

Of course, both the C55 and C2800 preamplifiers feature McIntosh Laboratory’s industrial design language, with the iconic lettering, green company logo with gothic-style font, the attractive blue meters, and a mix of retro knobs and switches.


The new C55 solid state and C2800 valve preamplifiers will be available via Australian importer Synergy Audio’s country wide specialist audio dealer network.

McIntosh Laboratory C55 & C2800 Preamplifiers
Price: C55 AU$16,995, C2800 AU$17,995

Australian Distributor: Synergy Audio
+61 3 9459 7474