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McIntosh C2800 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

Sale price£7,072.00

Click here to schedule an appointment to visit our store.

Please note this item must be purchased in store and we will not ship under any circumstances. Click here for more information about this policy.
Please support your local McIntosh Dealer.

Standout Features:
• 16 inputs: 7 analog, 2 phono, 7 digital
• 4 Vacuum Tubes: (3) 12AX7A and (1) 12AT7
• Dedicated Subwoofer output
• Controllable by McIntosh Connect app
• Includes Processor Loop
• Supports 24-bit/192kHz and DSD512 files
• Roon Tested


Roon Tested logo

    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. The C2800 has proudly earned the McIntosh name.

    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.

    McIntosh C2800 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier
    The C2800's four vacuum tubes, or valves, are visible through a glass panel located on the top of the unit.


    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.

    Our 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)1input 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.

    McIntosh C2800 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

    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 our 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.


    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.

    McIntosh Preamplifier back panel
    The Main output and Output 1 have adjustable filtering capabilities for bi-amping, while Output 2 can be used to connect a subwoofer.

    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.2

    McIntosh Preamplifier back panel
    The Processor Loop has unbalanced Send and Return connections.


    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 our 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.

    McIntosh Connect app


    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 our complementary 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 components3 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.


    • Electronic bass and treble circuitry allows for adjustments of low and high frequencies in precise 1dB steps. The C2800 remembers your tone control circuitry bypass setting for each input.
    • High Drive Headphone Amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) technology brings an added dimension to headphone listening.
    • Home Theater PassThru for seamless integration into your home theater system.
    • Has received Roon Tested designation from Roon Labs. 
    • Power Control lets you easily turn other connected McIntosh components on and off.
    • Data Ports can send remote control commands to connected source components.
    • Electromagnetic Input Switching for reliable, noiseless, and distortion-free switching. 
    • Level Trim Adjustment for matching analog input levels to prevent abrupt changes in volume levels.
    • Precision balanced, digitally controlled attenuator system for accurate volume control with 0.1dB accuracy.
    • Fully regulated power supplies and a special R-core power transformer for stable, noise-free operation.
    • Eco-friendly Power Management System that will turn the unit off after 30 minutes of inactivity (can be disabled).


    McIntosh C2800 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier


      • Number of Channel 2
      • Total Harmonic Distortion 0.08%
      • Frequency Response +0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20kHz
      • 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) 4K ohm, 22K ohm


      • 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


      • 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


      • 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


      • Unit Dimensions (W x H x D) 17.5" (44.45cm) x 7.625" (19.4cm) x 16.5" (41.9cm)
      • Unit Weight 28 lbs (12.5kg)
      • Shipping Weight 43.5 lbs (19.7kg)

    Brand Background:
    McIntosh Laboratory is an American manufacturer of handcrafted high-end audio equipment based in Binghamton, New York. The company was founded in 1949 by Frank McIntosh. The company designs and produces audio amplifiers, stereo tuners and other consumer electronics products.

    Brand New

    RCA and XLR Inputs and Outputs, Removable IEC Power Cord

    General Sound:
    Neutral sound with little to no coloration

    Cosmetic Condition:
    New = Factory sealed and unopened. See our detailed rating description here.

    Working Condition:
    Working perfectly and tested in our lab and listening room.

    Unit, remote, manual, and power cord.

    Original Manufacturers Packing

    Original MSRP:

    17.5" (44.45cm) x 7.625" (19.4cm) x 16.5" (41.9cm)

    28 lbs.

    Link to Manual:
    Click Here

    Recommended Cables:

    McIntosh Balanced Audio Cables (XLR)

    McIntosh Audio Cables (RCA)

    McIntosh Digital Audio Cables

    McIntosh Power Control Cables

    Kimber Kable - Ascent 14 Gauge Power Cord - Better

    Kimber Kable - Palladian 14 Gauge Power Cord - Best

    Click here to schedule an appointment to visit our store.

    Please note this item must be purchased in store and we will not ship under any circumstances. Click here for more information about this policy.
    Please support your local McIntosh Dealer.

    Mcintosh C2800 2 - Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier
    McIntosh C2800 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Sale price£7,072.00