McIntosh C45 Preamp - all Analog with Phono Input
This the of the last "Audio Control Centers" from McIntosh before they started including a DAC in every preamp.
It's therefore an all analog design for the purists out there, including a very capable phono stage along with abundant single ended and balanced inputs and outputs.
It would cost you about $6k today to buy the latest entry level version from McIntosh.
The optional TM1 AM/FM Tuner Module and RAA1 Remote AM Antenna are likely still available from McIntosh if you're interested. Simply drop us a note before purchasing so we can give you a quote that includes this upgrade.
A Small Sampling of Performance Features Include:
• Precision Tracking Variable Rate Volume Control
Volume levels are controlled by a new Multi-Stage Precision Digitally Controlled Attenuator System with a tracking ac- curacy of 0.1dB. Levels change in 214 individual 0.5dB steps. The Variable Rate Volume Control Circuitry provides an ideal rate of change with control rotation.
• Electromagnetic Input Switching with Level Trim Adjustment and Title Reassignment
Digital Logic integrated circuits drive Electromagnetic Switches on all Inputs and operating functions for reliable, noiseless, distortion free switching. All eight Inputs on the C45 can be matched in level, so that there are no abrupt changes in volume levels between the different Inputs. Any of the eight Inputs can have their Input Title reassigned to match the sources in the system.
• Moving Magnet Phono Input
There is a Precision Phono Preamplifier for Moving Magnet Cartridges.
• Precision Parts
Only the finest precision 1% tolerance resistors are used throughout.
Our Testing Process for Preamplifiers at SkyFi:
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and transistors are checked for signs of stress or damage. Special attention is paid to the power supply which is the most common source of failure for preamps. We then power up the unit and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the low voltage output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise to get a baseline.
At this point we will lubricate and clean all switches and potentiometers (that are not sealed) with a high quality contact cleaner, and then re-test all functions for any signs of noise or scratching.
Final testing involves putting actual music through the preamplifier We have learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to a familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage Kef speakers that we are super familiar with which will quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some preamps will then move into the listening room where they will be tested with our in-house reference system.
+0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz
Total Harmonic Distortion
0.002% maximum from 20Hz to 20,000Hz at rated output
Signal To Noise Ratio
Phono: 86dB below 10mV input (A Weighted)
High Level: 96dB below rated output (A Weighted)
Rated Output Voltage
2.5V Unbalanced Outputs (Main)
5.0V Balanced Outputs (Main)
Maximum Voltage Output
250 ohms Unbalanced
500 ohms Balanced
Phono: 47k Ohms, 65pf
High Level: 22k Ohms Unbalanced, 50k Ohms Balanced
Sensitivity for Rated Output
High Level: 450mV Unbalanced, 900mV Balanced
Maximum Input Signal
High Level: 5V Unbalanced, 10V Balanced
Phono to Tape/VCR Out: 40dB
Phono to Output (Main): 55dB
High Level to Tape/VCR Out: 0dB
High Level to Output (Main): 15dB
Bass Control: ±12dB at 30Hz
Treble Control: ±12dB at 10,000Hz
Width is 17-1/2 inches (44.45cm)
Height is 6 inches (15.24cm) including feet
Depth is 16-1/2 inches (41.91cm) including the Front Panel and Knobs
21 pounds (9.53 kg) net, 35 pounds (15.88 kg) in shipping carton
Some thoughts/and review from Kalman Rubinson over at Stereophile:
"While sound quality is our greatest concern, operational comfort is also important. The C45 was the most intuitive and pleasant-to-use preamplifier I have yet encountered. Push a button on the remote and the unit switches silently. Operate the volume control from the remote or the front panel and the preamp and display respond briskly. Want to change or trim any of your settings while that unit is in operation? No sweat. There are no surprising mutes or reboots, just results. The phono stage is quiet and clean but, of necessity, only two-channel; all I'll say here is that it worked well with an old Grado moving-magnet and a high-output Dynavector moving-coil."
Click here for a PDF copy of the McIntosh C45 Sales Brochure
Click here for a PDF copy of the McIntosh C45 Owner's Manual
Please click here for detailed specifics regarding our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.
Yes - Not Pictured
Yes - Power