New McIntosh C2600 USB Tube Preamplifier is here.

Posted September 9th, 2016 in McIntosh Area

The new McIntosh C2600 USB Tube Preamplifier has arrived at Pearl Audio Video.

Here’s the closeup:McIntosh C2600


And here’s the Full-Meter!

McIntosh C2600 Front Angle

Our new McIntosh C2600 has actually been here for a week but we wanted to play it for a week to get those lovely new tubes warmed up and burned in! Those look warmed up, yes?

McIntosh C2600 Tubes


The new C2600 has an new digital section featuring improved USB connectivity, seven digital inputs, including a special connector for the McIntosh MCT450 transport! You can actually put a CD or SACD into the MCT450 transport and it will play through the C2600’s built in DAC’s. In addition the C2600 supports PCM files up to a mind boggling 384Khz and DSD files. Connect up a music server to the C2600’s USB input for a top flight streaming music playback system!  See on the back panel, the new digital inputs.  The small round MCT connector is the one you use to connect the MCT450 Transport.

McIntosh C2600 Digital Inputs

Also of note, is a new and improved tube phono stage.  Like it’s father before it, the C2600 has two individual tube amplified phono stages.  Only this time they are upgraded and sound even better! To me one of the very best things about the C2600 (and it’s predecessor the C2500) is that it combines an excellent tube phono stage with high quality digital inputs.   Attach an MB50 digital streamer to one of the coaxial inputs and an Aurender N100 to the USB and you have a FORMIDABLE digital library at your every beck, call, and minute request!

On top of the digital, quite literally, we find the inputs to the two tube phono stages.  You can simultaneously connect one turntable with an MM cartridge to one (I recommend the one that says MM), and a second turntable to the MC.  Sound far fetched?  Fetch no further than my own system at home:  I have a C2500, (which is actually for sale if you’re interested) at home set up like this.  I have my beloved battle scarred Rega P7 with its high output Exact MM cartridge plugged into one input,and my high zoot Linn LP12 with it’s Benz Ruby cartridge connected to the other.  Why?  Well because the Benz cartridge cost almost ten times that of the Rega, so I use it for ‘special occasions’ or when I’m really listening closely, or more likely trying to impress someone.  ≈ For general day to day, the P7 get’s to play!  We also use the P7 whenever we have company / parties since people DO love to pick and play records.    Cartridges only have a lifespan of around 1200-1500 hours, which is a good reason to have two turntables.

C2600 Tube phono stage

C2600 Tube phono stage

Here is a larger, sweep view of the new McIntosh C2600 rear panel.  Note that they have, like on the C2500, divided the chassis into two separate sections.  The chrome box below is for the noisy digital electrics and the upper box for the quieter analog preamplifier.  They are two separate enclosures.   Of particular brilliance in the top box is that the actual TUBES are right on top of the unit, as far as possible from both this noisy digital box, and the vibrations brought in from the floor.  Tubes on top is not just pretty, it’s Performance!


McIntosh C2600 Rear View

We have both the C2500 and the C2600 here in the store.  Come in and hear one!






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