McIntosh C12000 AC: New Flagship Preamplifier – With the C12000 AC, the long-established manufacturer McIntosh has announced an uncompromisingly designed and built preamplifier in which neither expense nor effort has been spared. Among other things, the control and power sections are housed in separate housings and the channels are mechanically and electrically separated from each other, so it is a real double mono design.
McIntosh C12000 AC prepress: concept and technology
If you buy the McIntosh C12000 AC, you have to have two spaces ready in the rack: one for the control and one for the power section. But that’s not all: It can be heard both transistorized and “roehrig”, as the new flagship preamp has one Tube and a transistor output stage.
The McIntosh C12000 AC offers twelve inputsnamely ten high-level inputs (6 x balanced, 4 x unbalanced) and two unbalanced phono inputs, which can be configured as MC or MM inputs, whereby capacitance, impedance and gain factor can also be freely configured.
The tube output stage of the McIntosh C12000 AC houses six tubes, with two 12AT7 and one 12AX7A assigned to the left and right channels. The transistor output was implemented with a discretely constructed, symmetrical operational amplifier. Four 12AX7A tubes are used for the phono stage; here two per channel are used in a completely symmetrical configuration.
Four outputs are offered: 1 x tube and transistor each symmetrical and volume-controlled, in addition 1 x fixed asymmetrical and 1 x programmable (asymmetrical, optionally tube or Transistor). There is also another potent one Headphone amplifier on board.
The total package of both modules weighs just under 24 kilos and changes for 19,990 euros the owner. A little patience is still required, however, because this audiophile material battle will probably only be available in the second half of February 2022.