C55 2-Channel Solid State Preamplifier Review


The C55 Preamplifier is also a master piece aimed at the real audiophiles, music lovers and/or those who are followers of McIntosh Audio products. Taking the torch from its hugely successful predeccessor, the multi award-winning C53, it ushers your home audio into a whole new stratosphere of audio delights. With fine cutting and attention detail, the C55 confidently stands in the front row of industry’s best.


C55 2-Channel Solid State Preamplifier is not an audio device; it is an event that makes people have certain feelings. Equipped with a variety of new features and outstanding materials, it guarantee to bring your listening experiences to the new level. We will further discuss as to why this C55 has been in demand and which are the features that would make any music lover or an audiophile to grab this.

 Inputs in Abundance

With regards to the input/output connections, the C55 is equipped with an amazing number of inputs. This preamplifier provides 7. analog inputs, 2. phono (MM and MC), 7. digital inputs, so it could easily work with any source you have.

 Analog Inputs

The inputs are 3 balanced and 4 unbalanced inputs and 2 phono inputs. The input phono is adjustable for either the Moving Coil or Moving Magnet cartridge to suit turntable lovers. Both the phono inputs have adjustable Gain control in 6dB increments from 40dB to 64dB and the RIAA equalization for the best sound from the vinyl records.

 Digital Inputs

The digital section is located in the DA2 Digital Audio Module, Quad Balanced, 8-Channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter. This module presents you with a set of connections such as an HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) input, two coaxial, two optical, one USB, and one MCT input. For the USB input, it has DSD512 and DXD 384kHz inputs while other input such as coax and optic supports digital music of up to 24-bit/192kHz.

Innovative Outputs for Personalized Listening

To connect, the C55 to your power amplifier(s), you are provided with 3 stereo sets of variable balanced and unbalanced output. All 3 sets can be active at once and thus the audio signal from the source component can be output to 3 different audio systems. This feature gives you matchless mobility as far as your audio recording and playback is concerned.

 Bi-Amping and Subwoofer Configuration

The Main output and Output 1, you can switch filtering of bi-amping, you can connect vacuum tube amplifier for the high frequencies, output power for the low frequencies, separate solid-state amplifier. Output 2 can be used in order to connect a subwoofer either in mono or in stereo.

 Return of the Processor Loop

The C55 reintroduces the Processor Loop that is not present in many of the current McIntosh preamplifier models. This provides a loop in which you can add an exterior signal processor like the MQ112 Environmental Equalizer or the MEN220 Room Correction System, however you don’t have to place it in series with the preamplifier and the power amplifier. This is more arranged and it can help in improving the performance as well.

Network Connected for Control and Updates

Other than the included remote control and the front panel controls, this pioneer C55 can be connected to the network. It opens up control alternatives through the McIntosh Connect application supported on Android and Apple gadgets. Essentials that can be easily controlled by the application are the volume, input and output selection, and some features of the connected source appliances.

 Additional Performance Features

The C55 boasts several additional features that enhance its performance and user experience:The C55 boasts several additional features that enhance its performance and user experience:

 8-Band Analog Equalizer

This equalizer enables one to balance his/her music with ease and enjoy the music to the fullest. If needed with a touch of a button, one can bypass the equalizer of the music.

 Headphone Amplifier

The High Drive Headphone Amplifier with HXD® is the evolution of high-end headphone listening experience.

Home Theater PassThru

With this feature, the C55 can easily be connected into home theater systems, thus is a very fitting addition to almost any system.

Power Control and Data Ports

Another production of the Power Control is that it allows you to switch on and off other connected McIntosh components. Data Ports are designed in a way that it can issue commands to the source components that are connected with ease hence making your work easier.

 Electromagnetic Input Switching

This implements reliable, noiseless and distortionless transitions from one input to another, thus providing the best audio quality.


C55 2-Channel Solid State Preamplifier is a state-of-the-art device that will definitely revolutionize the way you listen to music. The EMU’s compatibility with a vast array of inputs and outputs, its sophisticated digital attributes and its ease of use make it a tactful and immensely capable addition to any audio enthusiast’s rig.

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C55 2-Channel Solid State Preamplifier
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