C2500 Preamplifiers

The C2500 tube preamplifier combines the legendary McIntosh vacuum tube preamplifier circuitry with a full suite of contemporary features and technology.

A total of 15 inputs – including two dedicated phono (1 Moving Magnet and 1 Moving Coil) and five digital – offers you ample connections to kee​p all your legacy and modern sources connected, while six dual triode tubes will produce that romantic tube sound. The digital inputs will decode digital music at up to 32 bits and 192kHz for high resolution audio playback.

"The most versatile high-end preamp we’ve ever tested... a forward-looking, comprehensively equipped product that can easily form the heart of any top-end stereo set-up." - What Hi Fi

"The McIntosh C2500 and MC452 excel at spectacular dynamic expression, beautiful and accurate tonality, satisfying detail retrieval, and the recreation of a generous sound field." - Audio Esoterica

Tone controls may be assigned to individual sources as needed. Up to three stereo power amplifiers may be connected at one time; two of them can be switched on and off to simplify your whole house audio distribution. The Home Theater Pass Through feature allows for seamless integration into existing multi-channel theater systems. Our new internal High Drive headphone amplifier offers increased gain and output power, optimizing it for virtually all headphone types to ensure the most enjoyable personal listening experience.

"The C2500 sounds... as it looks – noble, elegant and without nervousness. It knows the reason for its existence, and it does its job well, producing a big, saturated and musical to the bone sound." - SoundRebels.com​

Not only does the polished stainless steel chassis look beautiful, but it shields the noise sensitive analog audio section from the power supply and control circuitry to provide the cleanest signal possible to your amplifier.

Electronic Specifications

Total Harmonic Distortion


Frequency Response

+0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20,000Hz
+0, -3dB from 10Hz to 100,000Hz

Maximum Volts Out (Balanced / Unbalanced)

16/8 V RMS

Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced)

44K ohm, 22K ohm

Phono Voltage Gain


High Level Voltage Gain


Signal To Noise Ratio


Dual Mono Power Supply


Dual Mono, Fully Balanced



Headphone Output

Yes 1/4", High Drive

Inputs Unbalanced

6 Stereo + 2 Phono

Inputs Balanced

2 Stereo

Variable Outputs Unbalanced

3 Stereo

Variable Outputs Balanced

3 Stereo

Digital USB Input

1 (2.0, 32/192 Asynchronous)

Digital Coaxial Input


Digital Optical Input


Digital DIN (SACD) Input


Phono Moving Magnet

Yes, adjustable

Phono Moving Coil

Yes, adjustable

Record Processor Loop


Input Level Match

Yes, +/- 6dB

Home Theater Pass Through



Tone Controls

Bass and Treble

Tone Bypass and Input Assign


RS232 Control Input

Yes, 9 pin

Power Control Output

1 Main, 2 Switched, 2 trigger

Rear Panel Data Ports

Yes, 8

Rear Panel IR Sensor Input


General Specifications

Multi-Chassis or Single

Single, two layer

Output Meters


Tube or Solid State

Tube, 6 ea. 12AX7a

On, Power Consumption

50 watts

Weights & Dimensions

Dimensions (W x H x D)

17.5" (44.45cm) x 7.625" (19.37cm) x 18" (45.72cm)


30.5 lbs (13.8kg)

Shipping Weight

46 lbs (20.9kg)

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