Mcintosh C48 Preamplifier With Built In DAC

Super feature rich preamp from McIntosh featuring a built in DAC, 5 Band EQ, and phono section (MM+MC)!

Tested, cleaned, and working absolutely perfectly. We even ordered a brand new remote (official McIntosh modern style) and will ship in a factory shipping carton.

"The C48 is the ultimate McIntosh preamplifier value, bridging the two worlds of conventional analog stereo source with the latest digital music sources."

McIntosh Performance Features Include:
• The C48 offers control of 8 analog sources including phono cartridges, plus 4 additional programmable digital inputs and one dedicated USB computer music input.

• Unique features include home theater pass through, amplifier meter light control and RS232 software upgradability.

• Five band tone controls that may be actively programmed by input, moving coil and moving magnet phono sections are fully adjustable from the remote control volume control.

• Moving Coil and Moving Magnet Phono Inputs
The C48 contains two different precision Phono Preamplifier Circuits. One for low output Moving Coil Phono Cartridges with selectable resistance loading, the other is for Moving Magnet Cartridges with selectable capacitive loading. Both circuits use the latest designs to provide the lowest possible noise and distortion. The RIAA Correction Equalization Circuitry utilizes close tolerance resistors and capacitors for an extremely flat frequency response.

• Digital Audio Inputs
The C48 has Coaxial, Optical and USB Digital Inputs to Decode PCM Signals from an external source. The C48 Up Samples the Digital Signal to 192kHz with 32Bit resolution before the Digital to Analog process begins. The USB Input sends basic commands (e.g. Play/Pause, Next, Back, etc.) to the computer by using the C48 Remote Control.

• Inverted Double-Chassis Design:
All analog signals and amplification are nestled into the top section, protected from any noise generated by the power supply or digital circuits that are contained in the bottom section. This achieves the performance of a dual-box component with the convenience of a single-chassis component and provides for ultra-short cabling between sections.

• Silent Electromagnetic Switching:
Signal routing is accomplished through digital controlled electromagnetic switching devices. Precision switch contact, isolated from environmental contamination inside inert gas-filled tubes, provide the most reliable, quietest and lowest distortion switching possible.

•VRV (Variable Rate Volume)
Digital Controlled Attenuator:
The output attenuator controls volume over 214 steps of 0.5dB each with accuracy within 0.1dB. The volume vs. rotation rate varies as preamplifier gain varies and attenuation changes occur at the zero crossings of the audio signal to prevent audible artifacts during adjustment.

Click below to add our recommended matching cables from Kimber Kable, all brand new as SkyFi is an official Kimber dealer.

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects

Kimber Kable - XLR Interconnects

Kimber Kable - Coaxial Digital Interconnect

Kimber Kable - Optical Digital Interconnect

Kimber Kable - Power Cords

Technical Specifications

Frequency Response:
+0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20kHz
+0, -3.0dB from 15Hz to 100kHz

Total Harmonic Distortion:
0.002% maximum from 20Hz to 20kHz

Rated Output Voltage:
Unbalanced Outputs 1 & 2: 2.5Vrms
Balanced Outputs 1 & 2: 5 Vrms

Maximum Voltage Output:
Unbalanced Outputs 1 & 2: 8 Vrms
Balanced Outputs 1 & 2: 16 Vrms

Signal To Noise Ratio (A-Weighted)
• High Level, 100dB
• Phono, 88dB

Input Impedance
• High Level, 22K ohms unbalanced, 44k ohms balanced
• Phono MM, 47K ohms; 50 to 750pF, in 50pF steps
• Phono MC, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 or 1,000 ohms; 100pF

Maximum Input Signal
• High Level, 5V Unbalanced, 10V Balanced
• Phono MM, 50mV
• Phono MC, 5mV

Voltage Gain
• High Level to Record Output: 0dB
• High Level to Main Output: 15dB
• Phono MM to Record Output: 40dB
• Phono MC to Record Output: 60dB

Output Impedance
220 ohms

Headphone Load Impedance
100 ohms to 600 ohms

Digital Input Sample Rates
• Optical: 16Bit, 24Bit - 32kHz to 96kHz
• Coaxial: 16Bit, 24Bit - 32kHz to 96kHz
• USB: 16Bit, 24Bit, 32Bit - 32kHz to 192kHz

Overall Dimensions (W x H x D):
17-1/2” (44.45cm) x 6” (15.24cm) including feet x 18” (45.72cm) including the front panel, knobs and cables

26.5 lbs (12kg) net,
41 lbs (18.6kg) in shipping carton

Click here for a PDF copy of the C48 Sales Brochure

Click here for a PDF copy of the C48 Owner's Manual

The SkyFi Testing Process for Preamplifiers:
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.



Original Box





Yes - Modern


Yes - Power Only

Physical Condition


Working Condition


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