McIntosh C49 preamp features an upgradable DAC module

posted on Friday, 21st June 2019 by Steve May

High-end  Hi-fi 

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McIntosh has unveiled the C49 Preamp. Offering plug and play turntable compatibility, with an upgradable high-resolution DAC (the company’s DA1 Digital Audio Module), it's both versatile and future-proof.

The six-input DA1 Module can be replaced by newer McIntosh digital audio modules as new technologies and formats emerge. With 13 user definable inputs, the design is classic McIntosh, with black glass front panel, tactile knobs, illuminated logo and aluminium end-caps.

The C49 boasts two balanced variable outputs, two unbalanced variable outputs and one unbalanced fixed output. Also on board is McIntosh’s High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD).

C49 Back Hi Res

There are 6 digital inputs, comprising two coaxial, two optical, one USB and one proprietary MCT (for use with McIntosh’s MCT-enabled SACD/CD transports). For analogue enthusiasts, the C49 has two balanced, three unbalanced, one Moving Coil and one Moving Magnet.

The upgradable DA1 module is powered by an advanced eight-channel 32-bit DAC (which is run in Quad Balanced mode) that supports high-resolution audio including DXD 384kHz and up to DSD256.

Users can fine tune its bass and treble output via tone controls, while power control ports allow for the triggering of other connected McIntosh components; the C49’s data ports can send remote control commands to connected source components. The C49 can also be seamlessly integrated into home cinema systems via the Home Theater Pass Through mode.

The McIntosh C49 retails for £5495, and is distributed through Jordan Acoustics.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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