What is the idea input voltage - 2v or 6v into a McIntosh C1100 tube pre-amp?

So just as the title says… I’m trying to see what the idea setup will be once I get my C1100 next week. Right now while I’m waiting I’m running 6v directly into the MC462 Amp balance connections… using the digital volume on the Rossini, I’m not able to get much louder than -15db before it gets too loud… so I assume with the pre-amp, I’ll want the volume set to 0.0db so as not to lose any resolution, in which case will 6v be crazy loud on the C1100 preamp? too much voltage?

I read somewhere that the normal line in voltage is 2v for most pre-amps, and that some struggle with higher voltages, but I’m curious if anyone here is using a McIntosh tube pre-amp and can tell me what they’re doing?

Sam I told you how to set the best line voltage in answer to your first posting here: Nothing has changed since:

Remember I said that your recordings, your amps, your speakers , your listening preferences all have a bearing on your choice. Other McIntosh users may not have similar recordings, equipment, rooms or even preferences.

You are going to have to find the courage to rely upon your own decision.

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Well, thanks for the answer, but I’d rather hear what owners of MC tube pre-amps are doing is all… it’s a significant difference and at $14K for a pre-amp, I don’t want to do anything that might harm it.

You are unlikely to do any harm . In fact you won’t do any harm as here are the maximum input figures for the line level inputs on a C1100 from the User Manual:

Maximum Input Signal High Level, 20V Balanced, 10V Unbalanced

So both exceed the maximum output of your Rossini @ 0.0dBfs.

Therefore it is back to what produces the best listening experience and the most usable volume control settings for you in your particular circumstances.


I know my reply is off centre here but the relevance of which voltage output suits which products is my thrust here. I have owned a Classic dCS trio for many years now and still enjoy it so much… I have always used the 6V output of my dCS Elgar+ into my Naim 82 preamp. Why you might ask as the input sensitivity is 75 mv for full output? This gave me so little use of the volume control it is untrue! But in a review of the Elgar+ the reviewer said 6V was better and when I tried it initially it did sound better - then. Perhaps as I bought the DAC used the 2V output had never been used so needed some time to ‘burn in’? Anyway today - and as I type this - I listening to the 2V output and it is a massive magical distance. So the motto here is ‘try anything once’ EXCEPT as my old Dad used to say ’ incest and Morris dancing’…

I hope that you also learned something about reviewers :wink:

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