McIntosh C12000: Next-gen two-box Preamplifier

The new McIntosh C12000 Preamplifier offers valve and solid state outputs, plus new levels of user customisation

McIntosh C12000
McIntosh C12000

The new McIntosh C12000 Preamplifier benefits from a unique two-chassis design that isolates the audio section from the control and power sections for ultimate sound quality. In addition to 12 analogue inputs, six balanced, four unbalanced and two phono inputs, the C12000 Preamplifier offers both valve and solid-state output for maximum flexibility with partnering equipment.

The preamp comprises the McIntosh C12000 Controller Module and C12000 Preamplifier Module. All power control, data ports and external control connections reside in the C12000 Controller, where dual isolated power supplies drive the left and right channels, while a dual microprocessor governs the control system.

C12000C and ST Angle Right2 Close Up Balanced background hi res scaled

The McIntosh C12000 Preamplifier Module houses the audio connections and circuitry. Inside, the left and right channels are electrically and mechanically isolated to allow true dual-mono operation, for uncompromising stereo separation and signal purity. The controller and preamplifier units are connected via high-performance umbilical cables which are specifically designed to prevent outside noise from leaking into the audio signal.

McIntosh C12000

User adjustment options have increased over previous McIntosh preamps, reflecting a new level of personal customisation. The C12000 benefits from programmable phono inputs with adjustable capacitance and resistance-loading for greater compatibility with turntables. The phono stage utilises four 12AX7A valves (two per channel), in a fully balanced configuration with RIAA equalization.

The C12000 employs fully balanced circuitry to match the performance in any of McIntosh’s Quad Balanced amplifiers. The preamp benefits from classic features, including black glass front panels, iconic blue meters and custom-machined brushed-aluminium handles. Both units feature a stainless steel chassis, polished to a mirror finish, plus hairline brushed black titanium stainless steel.

McIntosh’s high-output, high-drive headphone jack with user-selectable Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) technology is also included for late night and personal listening.

C12000C and ST Front Top Phono 1 hi res scaled

Pricing and availability

Orders for the C12000 can now be placed with authorised McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in early 2022. The price is £8,495 per unit and £16,990 for the complete preamplifier.

Visit for more information.

What do you think?

4.7 / 5. 32

All TechWeek writers are indepentent and from many different countries. Some english misspelling and grammar mistakes may occur. Report article.

Tech Week