The C52 is the most advanced, single chassis solid state preamplifier we’ve ever made. This feature packed stereo preamp lets you connect virtually any of your analog components and digital music sources – including those that play the latest high resolution formats such as DSD files – to one easy-to-use device to enjoy them all.
For connecting analog devices, it includes 3 balanced and 4 unbalanced fully assignable inputs plus 1 each of Moving Coil and Moving Magnet phono inputs for connecting a turntable and enjoying your vinyl collection. On the digital side, it has 3 optical, 2 coaxial and 1 USB input. The optical and coax inputs will decode digital music at up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback. The C52 is also capable of decoding and playing back DSD files for the latest in high fidelity performance; the USB input accepts PCM signals up to 32-bit/384kHz and supports DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 plus DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. An MCT input offers a secure, custom DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs when paired with the MCT500 SACD/CD Transport to deliver the purest possible sound quality from your CD library. The C52 features a 24-bit/192kHz, DSD digital-to-analog-converter (DAC).
New to the C52 is that all inputs are available all of the time – even if you assign certain inputs to certain devices, giving you more freedom to configure your system the way you want. The outputs have also been updated to be easier to operate when bi-amping or tri-amping so that your highs and/or lows are not inadvertently turned off. An 8 band analog equalizer allows you to fine tune your various music sources just the way you like. For headphone listening, an added dimension can be brought to your music with the addition of Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®). The Home Theater Pass Through feature allows for seamless integration into your multi-channel home theater system.
The C52’s classic black glass front panel, blue meters, knobs, illuminated logo and brushed aluminum end caps are all housed in an attractive polished stainless steel chassis that delivers a timeless look. It can be paired with a variety of amplifiers, speakers, room correction devices, CD players, turntables, tuners and other source components to make a complete home audio system.
“I am really pleased with the level of authenticity McIntosh products bring to the musical experience. With the M301 amp and C52 preamp, the sound is never less than engaging and immersive. Isolating the preamp proves just how deep the musical heritage goes in the engineering and performance of McIntosh products. Add the eight- band equalizer, stunning MC/MM phono stage, DAC, and headphone amplifier to the mix gets you a preamplifier you may never have to upgrade.”
Greg Petan / Tone Audio