In this case, “digital preamplifier” doesn’t mean that all the circuits are digital, rather that the D1100 only accepts digital input signals. That’s right, there isn’t a single analog input to found anywhere. There are however, lots of digital inputs: three optical, three coaxial, one MCT (a proprietary McIntosh format), one AES/EBU, and one USB. Able to decode just about any format, the McIntosh D1100 aims to be the control hub for all your digital sources.
McIntosh’s styling is iconic and the D1100 is cut from the same cloth. I felt a little bit of nostalgia when unboxing it; the classic lines and those famous output meters. Initial hookup was painless and it wasn’t long before I was enjoying all kinds of digital sources. I’ll save the sonic details for the full review, but the McIntosh D1100 should not disappoint fans of the brand.
Look for my full review in the coming weeks to see if the McIntosh D1100 digital preamplifier/DAC is all you need to control an entirely digital two-channel system.