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2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

Model # C2600

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The C2300 was one of the most admired McIntosh vacuum tube preamplifiers ever made. Its successor the C2500 has been even more popular. Building upon those successes is the C2600 which incorporates the best of the previous models while adding our advanced digital audio section and upgraded tube circuitry design.


The C2600 is a versatile vacuum tube preamplifier with an expansive set of 16 inputs to connect virtually all your analog or digital music sources. For audio purity, the analog and digital sections are housed separately in our dual chassis design to prevent signal corruption. Analog inputs include 3 balanced, 4 unbalanced plus 1 each dedicated Moving Magnet and Moving Coil phono inputs. Digital inputs consist of 3 optical, 2 coax, 1 USB and 1 McIntosh exclusive MCT connection. Three sets of balanced and unbalanced analog outputs will connect the C2600 to your amplifier .


"Lately, I've reviewed a few preamplifiers that are priced much higher than this preamp, but when I put the McIntosh C2600 in my system I was pleasantly surprised. I was not only surprised with its sonic performance, but that this performance comes with so many features. Its number of inputs, tone controls, programmability, not to mention high-performance internal DAC and superb phono section." - EnjoyTheMusic.com


The C2600 features a 32-bit/384kHz, DSD digital-to-analog-converter (DAC). The optical and coax inputs will decode digital music at up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback. The C2600 is also capable of decoding and playing DSD files; the USB input accepts PCM signals up to 32-bit/384kHz and supports DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 plus DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. When paired with the MCT500 SACD/CD Transport, the proprietary MCT input offers a secure DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs in order to deliver the purest possible sound quality.


"The McIntosh C2600 is among the finest preamplifiers we've tested. It has everything you need in one cabinet, which looks much more expensive than it is. The sound of C2600 is so natural, and it does not matter what kind of input you use." - Lyd & Bilde


With the C2600, all inputs can be renamed to your preference and are available all of the time, giving you more freedom to configure your system. The outputs have also been updated to be easier to operate when bi-amping or tri-amping so that your highs and/or lows are not accidentally turned off. Bass and treble tone controls can adjust individual sources as needed. For headphone listening, the addition of Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD ® ) brings an added dimension to your music. The Home Theater Pass Through feature allows for seamless integration into your multi-channel home theater system.


The C2600 is one of many McIntosh products to receive Roon Tested designation from Roon Labs. It has been profiled and tested by both Roon and McIntosh for maximum compatibility. Roon will recognize it and send it audio optimized for its capabilities. No fiddling with checkboxes or dropdowns, Roon Tested devices are automatically identified and configured out of the box for a superior customer experience.


The C2600 features classic McIntosh design cues that not only blend with existing systems but also with any room décor. It can be paired with a variety of amplifiers, speakers , room correction devices , CD players , turntables and tuners to make a complete home audio system. Contact your local dealer to learn more.


Electronic Specifications
Number of Channels 2
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.08%
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) 75dB
Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Magnet) 75dB
Voltage Gain (High Level) 15dB
Voltage Gain (Moving Coil) 60dB
Voltage Gain (Moving Magnet) 40dB
Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced) 44K ohm, 22K ohm
Connectivity
Balanced Input 3
Unbalanced Input 4
Phono Input Moving Coil 1 (adjustable)
Phono Input Moving Magnet 1 (adjustable)
Upgradeable Digital Audio Module No
Digital Coaxial Input 2
Digital Optical Input 3
Digital MCT (DIN) Input 1
Digital USB Input 1
HDMI (ARC) Input 0
Digital AES/EBU Input 0
Balanced Fixed Output 0
Balanced Variable Output 3
Unbalanced Fixed Output 1
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 0
Control
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
General Specifications
Multi-Chassis or Single Single, two layer
Output Meters Yes
Vacuum Tube or Solid State Vacuum Tube (5) 12AX7a and (1) 12AT7
Power Consumption (On) 50 Watts
Weights & Dimensions
Unit Dimensions (W x H x D) 17.5" (44.45cm) x 7.625" (19.37cm) x 18" (45.72cm)
Unit Weight 29.5 lbs (13.4kg)
Shipping Weight 45 lbs (20.4kg)

Extended warranties are usually very inexpensive and can save you thousands in the future. It's simple and inexpensive to purchase extended warranties and one of the smartest ways to protect your investment.

Electronics can be large, heavy, and expensive and you probably don't have the special tools or expertise needed to fix them in a crisis. If you can spare a few thousand dollars without batting an eyelash for new electronics should they break tomorrow, don't buy a warranty. But if you're like most of us, protect yourself by purchasing inexpensive extended warranties when you buy a new product and save yourself big money in the long run.

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