McIntosh C53

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The C53 Preamplifier is ready to serve in your home audio system for many years – even decades – all while delivering unmatched audio quality. Following the digital audio precedent set in our current solid state integrated amplifiers, the C53 stereo preamplifier features an upgradeable digital audio module. But unlike our integrated amplifiers that use our DA1 Digital Audio Module, the C53 is the first to use our new, more advanced DA2 Digital Audio Module.


  • The C53 Preamplifier is ready to serve your home audio needs for years or even decades to come.
  • It’s the first product to feature McIntosh’s advanced DA2 Digital Audio Module.
  • As new digital audio technologies are developed, the DA2 can be replaced by future modules, keeping your C53 current for many years.
  • Powered by a next generation, audiophile-grade Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC), the DA2 supports high resolution digital music up to DSD512 and DXD 384kHz.
  • Includes a new audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC)1 input that allows it to be connected to TVs with a HDMI (ARC) output to bring your TV sound to the next level.
  • Includes a nearly inexhaustible 9 analog and 7 digital inputs for connecting all your music sources.
  • Complete with McIntosh technologies including 8-Band Tone Controls, Home Theater PassThru, High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) and Power Control.



Number of Channels: 2

Total Harmonic Distortion:  0.005%

Frequency Response: +0, -0.5dB from 20Hz to 20kHz +0, -3dB from 15Hz to 100kHz

Maximum Volts Out: 16V RMS / 8V RMS

(Balanced / Unbalanced)

Sensitivity High Level: 900mV / 450mV

 (Balanced / Unbalanced)

Sensitivity Phono (Moving Coil):  0.45mV

Sensitivity Phono (Moving Magnet): 4.5mV

Signal To Noise Ratio (High Level): 100dB

Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Coil): 80dB

Signal To Noise Ratio (Moving Magnet):  82dB

Voltage Gain (High Level): 15dB

Voltage Gain (Moving Coil): 60dB

Voltage Gain (Moving Magnet):  40dB

Input Impedance (Balanced / Unbalanced): 44K ohm, 22K ohm



Balanced Input:  3

Unbalanced Input: 4

Phono Input Moving Coil:  1 (adjustable)

Phono Input Moving Magnet: 1 (adjustable)

Upgradeable Digital Audio Module: Yes: DA2

Digital Coaxial Input:  2

Digital Optical Input:  2

Digital MCT (DIN) Input: 1

Digital USB Input: 1

HDMI (ARC) Input: 1

Digital AES/EBU Input: 0

Balanced Fixed Output: 0

Balanced Variable Output: 3

Unbalanced Fixed Output:  1

Unbalanced Variable Output:  3

Headphone Output: 1/4″ High Drive with Headphone Crossfeed Director  (HXD®)

Input Level Match:  Yes, +/- 6dB

Home Theater PassThru:  Yes

Unbalanced Analog Connector Type: Premium gold-plated solid brass

Service Port:   1



Tone Controls:  8 band (each band adjustable ± 12dB )

Tone Bypass and Input Assign:  Yes

RS232 Control Input:  Yes

Power Control Output:  1 Main, 4 Trigger

Rear Panel Data Port:  6

Rear Panel IR Sensor Input:  Yes



Multi-Chassis or Single: Single, two layer

Output Meters:   Yes

Vacuum Tube or Solid State: Solid State

Power Consumption (On):  30 Watts


Dimensions (W x H x D):  17.5″ (44.45cm) x 7.6″ (19.37cm) x 18″ (45.72cm)

Weight:  12.5 kg