Posted on 24th May, 2019


No brand is better placed to deliver high-end components that represent the best of analogue and digital. That’s what the new McIntosh C49 Preamplifier is poised to deliver without pausing for breath or missing a beat.

The C49, McIntosh wants you to know is loaded with high-end, analogue audio parts and in a nod to digital, it also carries the brand’s unique DA1 digital audio module.

Assuredly future-proofed, the DA1 module is removable to accommodate newer modules as the ever-changing digital formats improve. Its lucky owners can venture into digital and especially streaming without fear of owning a preamp that could become obsolete in the blink of an eye.

The DA1 module is powered by an 8-channel, 32-bit DAC that runs in Quad Balanced mode. It supports up to DSD256 and DXD 384kHz for playing back hi-res audio.

Elsewhere the C49 has a moveable feast of connections. It has 13 inputs, and each can be given a name. Analogue is catered for by 2 balanced, 2 unbalanced, 1 moving coil and 1 moving magnet.

For digital, the C49 presents you with 6 inputs housed in the DA1 module. These comprise 2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB, and 1 proprietary MCT for use with Mc’s MCT series of SACD/CD transports.

For outputs, the C49 has 2 balanced variable outputs, 2 unbalanced variable outputs, 1 unbalanced fixed output. Each of these outputs is engineered for bi-amping speakers because neither highs or lows can be inadvertently switched off. 

Treble and tone controls aid fine-tuning of the C49 which can also be integrated with surround systems via a Home Theatre Pass-Through mode.

Power control ports ensure seamless power on/off when connected to other McIntosh components. There’s also thoroughly modern data ports used to send remote control commands to other connected McIntosh gear.

Stylistically the C49 shouts “McIntosh!” thanks to its black glass front panel, illuminated logo and aluminium end caps.

The C49 will sell for AUD $8,995 / NZD $9,999 RRP, and it will be available sometime in June 2019. 

For more information visit McIntosh.


Peter Familari's avatar

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: StereoLUX! Hi-Fi
Tags: mcintosh  synergy audio visual  soundgroup