McIntosh C1100 Vacuum Preamplifier and Controller

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The C1100 preamplifier brings a new level of performance and luxury to McIntosh’s heralded preamplifier offerings – evidenced by its high-level inputs having the lowest noise of any McIntosh preamplifier ever produced. It utilizes a two-chassis design where the control and power sections are completely separate from the audio section. Absolute isolation of a preamplifier’s two main functions – control and sound – is achieved by this unusual but effective design and will provide you with the purest sound reproduction possible for generations of listening enjoyment.

The C1100 is comprised of the C1100 controller and the C1100 vacuum tube preamplifier. Inside each, the left and right channels are electrically and mechanically isolated from each other to allow true dual mono operation – resulting in the ultimate stereo separation and sonic purity. The two units are connected together via a pair of specially designed, high-performance umbilical cables that are shielded to prevent outside noise from leaking into the audio signal. While they are two separate units when connected they act as one and are easy to control and operate from the included remote control or the C1100 controller front panel. Both units’ chassis is comprised of polished stainless steel and hairline brushed black Titanium stainless steel, offering a new degree of richness and refinement.

All power control, data ports and external control connections are located in the C1100 controller; the introduction of a dual microprocessor allows for an improved robustness of the control system. The C1100 vacuum tube preamplifier houses the audio connections and circuitry, featuring a total of 12 analogue inputs: 6 balanced, 4 unbalanced, plus an adjustable loading Moving Magnet and a Moving Coil phono input. For outputs, 2 sets of balanced and 2 sets of unbalanced connections provide flexibility in connecting to your amplifier. Twelve vacuum tubes (6 each of 12AX7a and 12AT7) power the tube preamplifier. Compared to the C1000 preamplifier which had 8 tubes, the additional 4 tubes in the C1100 lowers its dependency on any solid-state support. The amplifier circuit has much higher common mode rejection, so any noise introduced by interconnect cables is significantly reduced. For personal listening, the headphone jack features a higher output than any of our other preamplifiers, while Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) brings a new depth and spatiality to your music. The Home Theater Pass Through feature allows for seamless integration into your existing multi-channel home theatre system.

The C1100 preamplifier employs fully balanced circuitry to match the level of performance achieved in any of our Quad Balanced amplifiers. With classic McIntosh black glass front panels, blue meters, knobs, stainless steel chassis, illuminated logos and custom machined brushed aluminium end caps, the C1100 makes a visual statement in addition to its audio prowess. It can be paired with a variety of McIntosh amplifiers, speakersroom correction devicesCD playersturntables, tuners and other source components to make a complete home audio system.

Both the Controler and Pre-amp can be purchased separately, please call for details.


Total Harmonic Distortion High Level: 0.005%
Phono: 0.05%
Frequency Response +0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz
+0, -3dB from 10Hz to 100,000Hz
Maximum Volts Out (Balanced / Unbalanced) 20/10 V RMS
Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced) 50K ohms, 25K ohms
Phono Voltage Gain Moving Magnet: 40dB
Moving Coil: 60dB
High Level Voltage Gain To Main Output and Outputs 1 & 2: 15dB 
To REC/FIXED Output: 0dB
Signal To Noise Ratio 107dB
Dual Mono Power Supply Yes
Dual Mono, Fully Balanced Yes
Balanced Input 6 Stereo
Unbalanced Input 4 Stereo + 2 Phono
Phono Input Moving Coil 1 (adjustable)
Phono Input Moving Magnet 1 (adjustable)
Digital Coaxial Input 0
Digital Optical Input 0
Digital MCT (DIN) Input 0
Digital USB Input 1 (for system update only)
Digital AES/EBU Input 0
Balanced Fixed Output 0
Balanced Variable Output 2 Stereo
Unbalanced Fixed Output 1 Stereo
Unbalanced Variable Output 1 Stereo
Headphone Output 1/4" High Drive with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®)
Selectable headphone impedances of: 16 ohms - 40 ohms, 40 - 150 ohms, 150 - 600 ohms
Record Processor Loop No
Input Level Match Yes, +/- 6dB
Home Theater PassThru Yes
Unbalanced Analog Connector Type Premium gold-plated solid brass
Tone Controls No
Tone Bypass and Input Assign No
RS232 Control Input Yes
Power Control Output 1 Main, 2 Output, 4 Trigger
Rear Panel Data Port 8
Rear Panel IR Sensor Input Yes
Multi-Chassis or Single Multi Chassis (C1100C plus C1100T)
Output Meters C1100C: No
C1100T: Yes
Vacuum Tube or Solid State Tube, (6) 12AX7a and (6) 12AT7
Power Consumption (On) 75 watts
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Each chassis: 17.5" (44.45cm) x 6" (15.24cm) x 18" (45.7cm)
Weight C1100C: 27 lbs (12.3 kg)
C1100T: 25 lbs (11.3 kg)
Shipping Weight C1100C: 43.5 lbs (19.7 kg)
C1100T: 39.5 lbs (17.9 kg)
Book a Demo - McIntosh C1100 Vacuum Preamplifier and Controller

Nintronics offers generous trade in prices to help make your next upgrade as seamless as possible, while greatly reducing the overall price of your purchase. Depending upon the items involved, Nintronics will be happy to send out one of our nationwide installation engineers to collect your traded in items and unbox, setup and calibrate your new equipment.

Trade In - McIntosh C1100 Vacuum Preamplifier and Controller
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