McIntosh C1100 boxes: the C1100 controller and the C1100 vacuum tube pre-amp

29th January 2016

McIntosh has launched a two-chassis preamplifier, allowing the control and power sections to remain completely separate from the audio section. The C1100 comprises the C1100 controller and the C1100 vacuum tube preamplifier. Inside each chassis, the left and right channels are electrically and mechanically isolated from each other, to allow true dual-mono operation.

The two boxes are connected together via a pair of specially designed shielded umbilical cables. All power control, data ports and external control connections are dual-microprocessor – managed and located in the C1100’s controller chassis. The unit can be operated either directly on the C1100 controller’s front panel or using the remote control.

The C1100 vacuum tube preamplifier houses the audio connections and circuitry and features twelve analogue inputs: six balanced and four unbalanced connections plus adjustable-loading Moving Magnet and Moving Coil phono inputs.

Twelve vacuum tubes in total (six 12AX7a and 12AT7) power the valve preamplifier. Compared to its predecessor, the C1000, which had eight valves, the additional four valves lower its dependency on any solid-state support.

For personal listening, the headphone jack features a higher output than any of McIntosh’s other preamplifiers. Further features include a Home Theatre Pass Through function, which allows for integration into existing multichannel home theatre systems.

The C1100 preamplifier employs fully balanced circuitry to match any of McIntosh’s Quad Balanced amplifiers. The amp incorporates classic McIntosh design cues and with classic black-glass front panels, blue meters, a stainless steel chassis, illuminated logos and custom-machined brushed aluminium end caps. The C1100 sells for £12,995.

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