Brand: McIntosh

McIntosh - C8 Tube Preamplifier

Equipment Amplification Preamp
Availability: In Stock
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McIntosh - C8 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Preamplifier image

McIntosh - C8 Tube Preamplifier


Analog Purity and Musical Warmth: McIntosh C8 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Offers Audiophile-Minded Control, Playback, Phonostage, and Simplicity 

Analog purity and vacuum tube warmth combine to wondrous effect in the McIntosh C8 preamplifier. Fueled by four 12AX7a vacuum tubes housed inside stylish protective cages, this 7.625 x 12.28 x 16.25-inch (HWD) command center focuses on audiophile-quality playback marked by gorgeous resolution, inner detail, and midrange clarity. Needless to say, it looks great while doing so. 

Prizing inviting sonics over fancy bells and whistles, the U.S.A.-built C8 touts one balanced and two unbalanced analog inputs that accompany MC and MM phono inputs with adjustable loading. All inputs can be named to further ease the level of control offered by C8. Similarly, the 18-pound unit puts you in the driver’s seat by including bass and treble tone controls that allow you to fine-tune music to your personal preferences. One balanced and a pair of unbalanced outputs (one of which can be used as a sub output) speak to the balance of flexibility and simplicity provided by C8.

For personal listening, McIntosh’s trademark High Drive headphone amplifier drives a wide range of headphones without breaking a sweat. If you have other McIntosh gear in your chain, Power Control port permit easy system power up and shutdown. To save on unnecessary wear and electric bills, a user-selectable Auto Off shuts C8 off after 30 minutes if no user input or audio signal is detected. Surprisingly, C8 can also seamlessly integrate into a home-theater system courtesy of its Home Theater Pass Through, while data ports can send remote control commands to connected source components. 

Designed to match the appearance of the McIntosh MC830 monoblock amplifier and MCD85 SACD/CD player, C8 makes a visual statement by way of its mirror-polished stainless-steel chassis, die-cast aluminum badging, black glass front panel, illuminated logo, and rotary control knobs. A remote control and three-year manufacturer warranty, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you own an American legend, help round out a tube component that will enhance your entertainment experiences for years to come. 

Need digital functionality with C8? No problem. C8 can also be ordered with a factory-installed DA2 Digital Audio Module that has seven digital inputs, an HDMI connection, and a 32-bit DAC. Please contact us at 312-433-0200 for details.


5 analog inputs (1 balanced, 2 unbalanced, 2 phono)
(4) 12AX7a vacuum tubes
High Drive headphone amplifier
Optional dealer installed upgrade to DA2 Digital Audio Module available

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  • 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): 95dB
  • Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Coil): 75dB
  • Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Magnet): 80dB
  • Voltage Gain (High Level): 15dB
  • Voltage Gain (Moving Coil): 75dB
  • Voltage Gain (Moving Magnet): 55dB
  • Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced): 44K ohm, 22K ohm
  • Balanced Input: 1
  • Unbalanced Input: 2
  • Phono Input Moving Coil: 1 (adjustable)
  • Phono Input Moving Magnet: 1 (adjustable)
  • Upgradeable Digital Audio Module: Yes, DA2 can be installed
  • Digital Coaxial Input: 0
  • Digital Optical Input: 0
  • Digital MCT Input: 0
  • Digital USB Input: 0
  • HDMI (ARC) Input: 0
  • Digital AES/EBU Input: 0
  • Balanced Fixed Output: 0
  • Balanced Variable Output: 1
  • Unbalanced Fixed Output: 0
  • Unbalanced Variable Output: 2
  • Headphone Output: 1/4" High Drive
  • Input Level Match: Yes, +/- 6dB
  • Home Theater PassThru: Yes
  • Unbalanced Analog Connector Type: Standard
  • Service Port: 1
  • Tone Controls: Bass and Treble
  • Tone Bypass and Input Assign: Yes
  • RS232 Control Input: Yes
  • Power Control Output: 1 Main, 2 Trigger
  • Rear Panel Data Port: 2
  • Rear Panel IR Sensor Input: Yes
  • Multi-Chassis or Single: Single
  • Output Meters: No
  • Vacuum Tube or Solid State: Vacuum Tube
  • Power Consumption (On): 50 Watts
  • Unit Dimensions (W x H x D): 12-9/32" (31.2cm) x 7-5/8" (19.4cm) x 16-1/4" (41.3cm)
  • Unit Weight: 18 lbs (8.2 kg)
  • Shipping Weight: 25 lbs (11.3 kg)

”User User Manual (PDF, 5.5 MB)