McIntosh C53
McIntosh C53
McIntosh C53

McIntosh C53: Fully equipped preamplifier

McIntosh continues to update its lineup. Another product is the luxurious C53 preamplifier, which supports connecting a wide variety of digital and analog signal sources, including via HDMI. McIntosh has already introduced a modular architecture in several of its devices, which in the future will allow users to remain at the peak of digital audio technology and promptly change only one board in the device, and not the entire device.

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At first, the company used the DA1 (Digital Audio Module 1) module, but has now released the McIntosh C53 preamplifier, into which it immediately installed the second version of this module. It has more connectors: in addition to two coaxial, two optical, one USB and one proprietary MCT, the module also received HDMI for audio transmission. Now a device with such a module can be connected to a TV with an HDMI ARC output and enjoy the signature McIntosh sound. The module can decode popular formats from Dolby and DTS and convert them to stereo. Also, via USB the module now accepts DSD512 rather than DSD256 – all thanks to the new eight-channel 32-bit DAC with Quad Balanced architecture. There is also support for DSD up to 384 kHz.

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In addition to the digital module, the McIntosh C53 also has an analogue one with nine inputs – three balanced, four unbalanced and one each for MM and MC phono stages. The available outputs are three adjustable balanced and unbalanced plus one fixed. To adjust the sound to your tastes, there is an eight-band equalizer with adjustment within ±12 dB. The McIntosh C53 preamp features an advanced proprietary headphone amplifier design that can drive any headphone and features proprietary Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) technology.

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Among standard McIntosh technologies, the C53 includes pass-through functionality for integration into a home theater system. Visually, the C53 does not change the canons of the brand: glass front panel, black metal and polished steel, blue backlit display, VU meters.

McIntosh C53 Specifications

Input impedance 44 kOhm (XLR), 22 kOhm (RCA), MM phono stage: 47 kOhm; capacitive load: from 50 to 800 pF; MC phono stage: 25, 50, 100, 200, 400 or 1000 ohms; 100 pF
Output impedance 200 ohms (XLR), 100 ohms (RCA)
Sensitivity 900 mV (XLR), 450 mV (RCA), 4.5 mV (MM), 0.45 mV (MC)
Maximum output voltage 16 V (XLR ), 8 V (RCA)
Gain 15 dB (regular inputs), 60 dB (MC phono), 40 dB (MM phono)
Harmonic distortion 0.003% Frequency response
20 Hz – 20 kHz (+ 0, – 0.5 dB), 10 Hz – 100 kHz (+ 0, – 3 dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio 100 dB
Headphone amplifier equipped with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) technology, permissible headphone impedance: 100-600 Ohm
Inputs 2 balanced XLR, 4 linear RCA , MM and MC phono inputs, coaxial (up to 24 bit/192 kHz), 2 optical (up to 24 bit/192 kHz), digital DIN connector for SACD/CD transport MCT (up to 24 bit/192 kHz), asynchronous USB port (PCM up to 32 bit/384 kHz, DXD 352.8 kHz, DXD 384 kHz, DSD64/128/256), HDMI (ARC) Input
6.3 mm headphone outputs, 3 x balanced XLR, 2 unbalanced RCA , fixed RCA
Other switching 2 trigger outputs, Main jack (3.5 mm), 3.5 mm Passthru jack, IR port, RS-232 interface (mini jack), 4 DATA ports for connecting McIntosh components for control purposes using one remote control, grounding terminal
Universal remote control HR085
Power consumption 30 W
Dimensions (WxHxD) 445x194x457 mm
Weight 12.5 kg

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