McIntosh just added two more amplifiers in the form of the MC830 Solid State Amplifier and C8 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier. Featuring styling reminiscent of the company’s 1950s and 1960s designs, the MC830 and C8 are full of modern-day technology to produce a home audio experience.
The MC830 is a one-channel solid-state amplifier that has a similar footprint to the MA252 Integrated Amplifier. The MC830 is a direct-coupled output design that is rated at 300 watts into 8 ohms or 480 watts into 4 ohms. A dual-scale watt-meter gives a readout of power output for both speaker impedances. McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks add visuals and will keep the MC830 running cool. Both a balanced and unbalanced input are included for connecting it to the rest of your music system.
The MC830 includes two of McIntosh’s cornerstone home audio technologies. Its patented Power Guard technology monitors the amplifier’s output signal to protect speakers against being over driven; if necessary, it makes real-time micro-adjustments to the input signal to prevent clipping that could damage your speakers. Another level of protection is Sentry Monitor; its fuseless short-circuit protection circuit will disengage the MC830’s output stage before the current exceeds safe operating levels and then resets automatically when operating conditions return to normal.
McIntosh’s patented Solid Cinch speaker binding posts can secure your speaker cables to prevent them from coming loose and possibly causing a short. The binding posts are gold-plated to avoid corrosion and to ensure a quality audio signal is sent to your speakers.
The C8 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier is also similarly sized to the MA252 Integrated Amplifier and is powered by four 12AX7a vacuum tubes housed inside stylish protective cages. The C8 comes with one balanced and two unbalanced analog inputs, plus one moving coil and one moving magnet phono inputs with adjustable loading to play cherished vinyl collections. All inputs can be given user-friendly names to simplify user control. Bass and treble tone controls help fine-tune your music to personal preferences. For outputs, it has one balanced and two unbalanced; one of the unbalanced outputs can be configured as a subwoofer output for use with a powered subwoofer to enhance low frequencies further.
While the C8 does not come equipped with any digital inputs from the factory, it is digital-audio-ready. McIntosh’s DA2 Digital Audio Module can be installed in it (adding the DA2 is an optional dealer-installed upgrade). The DA2 has seven digital inputs: two coax, two optical, one USB, one MCT (for use with McIntosh’s line of SACD/CD Transports) and one audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection. The DA2 is powered by a next-generation, Quad Balanced, eight-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). Its audiophile-grade DAC is highlighted by improved dynamic range and improved total harmonic distortion. For high-resolution audio playback, the USB input can support native playback of up to DSD512. The USB input supports DXD up to 384 kilohertz, and the coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz.
The C8 comes with McIntosh’s High Drive headphone amplifier. Home Theater Pass Through allows the C8 to be seamlessly integrated into your home theater system, and Data Ports can send remote control commands to connected source components.
Input selection, bass, treble, tone bypass, balance and input offset levels can be adjusted using the front panel knobs or the included remote control; all settings, volume level and input selection will be shown on the front panel display.
- Both the MC830 and C8 include power control ports that allow for system power up and shutdown by sending power on/off signals to other connected McIntosh components. Both also have a user-selectable auto-off feature that will turn them off after 30 minutes when there’s been no user input or no audio signal.
- A die-cast aluminum name badge is affixed to each side of the chassis on each unit, and the front, top and rear of the chassis is polished to a mirror finish. Each unit features a black glass front panel with silver trim, a blue wattmeter (on the MC830 only), an illuminated logo, and control knobs.
The MC830 is $4,000, and the C8 is $3,500.