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McIntosh C55 2-Channel Solid State Preamplifier

Sale price$9,000.00

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
• 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


Roon Tested logo

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.

McIntosh C55 Preamplifier


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.

The digital section is housed in our 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.

McIntosh C55 Preamplifier

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 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.


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. 

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.

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.2

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


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 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 C55 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 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.


  • 8-band analog equalizer to fine-tune your music with precision, creating a personalized audio experience (the equalizer can be bypassed if desired).
  • 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 C55 Preamplifier
The 8-band analog equalizer offers precise adjustments at key audio frequencies.


  • 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


  • 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 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


  • Multi-Chassis or Single Single, two-layer
  • Output Meters Yes
  • Vacuum Tube or Solid State Solid State
  • 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 (12.5 kg)
  • Shipping Weight 43.5 lbs (19.7 kg)

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

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 C55 2 - Channel Solid State Preamplifier - New
McIntosh C55 2-Channel Solid State Preamplifier Sale price$9,000.00