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McIntosh D150

Stereo digital preamplifier

Item # 958D150

The D150 focuses on digital audio, but it owes much of its superior sound to McIntosh's analog circuitry expertise.

The D150 focuses on digital audio, but it owes much of its superior sound to McIntosh's analog circuitry expertise.

Discontinued item
4 questions - 5 answers

Item # 958D150

Need an expert?

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Since 1974

Years of experience making people happy.

About the McIntosh D150

A stereo preamp with a digital mind and an analog soul

Even audio components that focus on digital audio, like the McIntosh D150 preamplifier, owe a big part of their sound quality to analog circuitry. And nobody has more experience with high-performance analog design than McIntosh. The D150 brings world-renowned McIntosh sound quality to the latest high-res digital audio formats.

A stereo preamp with a digital mind and an analog soul

Even audio components that focus on digital audio, like the McIntosh D150 preamplifier, owe a big part of their sound quality to analog circuitry. And nobody has more experience with high-performance analog design than McIntosh. The D150 brings world-renowned McIntosh sound quality to the latest high-res digital audio formats.

Along with its sonic attributes, the D150 boasts the classic McIntosh look — black glass front panel, big metal knobs, and illuminated logo. And this gorgeous preamp is designed and built right here in the USA.

Hear what you've been missing from high-res digital files

McIntosh D150 back panel

With 6 audio inputs, the D150 is a versatile digital preamp. Or, you can use it as a high-performance DAC.

An array of inputs give you access to the D150's advanced digital-to-analog converter (DAC). This is an 8-channel DAC chip configured to operate with four channels per stereo channel. All that processing power will provide a revelatory improvement to the sound from your computer, disc player, music streamer, or TV.

The D150's optical and coaxial digital inputs support high-res music files up to 24-bit/192kHz. And its USB input handles even higher-resolution files: up to 32-bit/384kHz for PCM, as well as DSD and DXD formats.

And speaking of DSD, the D150 is one of only a handful of components with a digital DSD input. It means that you can play SACD discs on the McIntosh MCT500 SACD/CD Transport and send the DSD bitstream to the D150's superb DAC for decoding.

A preamp/DAC you can use as a preamp... or a DAC

McIntosh D150 front panel profile view

If your music system is built around digital sources, the D150 is probably all the preamp you need. Just connect the D150's variable-level outputs to your amplifier and you're good to go. You'll use the D150's remote to control volume and other functions, just as you'd expect. But if you also listen to analog sources, and already have a preamp or A/V pre/pro you like, you can still take advantage of the D150's superb DAC section. Connect all your digital music sources to the D150, then use its fixed-level outputs to connect to your preamp. In that situation, volume level is controlled via your preamp.

A world-famous audio heritage, made in America

Since its founding in 1949, McIntosh has defined the meaning of high-quality sound reproduction, while setting industry standards for superior performance and reliability. The company is based in Binghamton, New York, where its high-end components and speakers are still individually handcrafted by a team of skilled experts. This uncompromising dedication to quality has made McIntosh one of the most recognized and respected audio manufacturers in the world.


Product highlights:

    • stereo preamp with built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and digital inputs
    • digital inputs let you connect sources like a computer, disc player, media streamer, or TV and enjoy superior sound
    • 8-channel 32-bit/500kHz DAC used in Quad Balanced mode (4 stacked channels per stereo channel)
    • accepts and plays high-resolution digital audio sources, including PCM, DSD and DXD files
    • asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound when connecting to a computer
    • fully regulated power supplies and R-Core Power Transformer ensure stable, noise-free operation
    • full-size headphone output
    • remote control
    • fluorescent front-panel display with adjustable brightness
    • fiber optic illuminated glass front panel
    • handcrafted at McIntosh's Binghamton, New York factory
    • variable-level balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs for connecting directly to a power amplifier
    • fixed-level balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs for using the D150 as a DAC and connecting to a preamplifier
    • 2 Toslink optical digital audio inputs — supports files up to 24-bit/192kHz
    • 2 coaxial optical digital audio inputs — supports files up to 24-bit/192kHz
    • USB (Type B) input for connecting a Mac® or Windows® computer (USB driver required for audio playback on Windows computers)
      • supports PCM music files up to 32-bit/384kHz, plus DSD64, DSD128 & DSD256, as well as DXD 352.8kHz & DXD 384kHz
      • USB audio driver required for playback on a Windows PC (free USB driver download available from McIntosh's website)
    • proprietary digital DSD connection for playback of SACD audio when paired with the McIntosh MCT500 SACD/CD Transport
    • 12-volt output for activating an external accessory
    • RS-232 port for automated control systems
    • IR input for connecting an IR receiver
    • data port allows basic remote control of a connected McIntosh source component
    • detachable power cable
    • If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu — the preamp's DAC cannot decode multichannel Dolby® Digital signals
    • total harmonic distortion: less than 0.0015%
    • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 110 dB
    • 17-1/2"W x 3-7/8"H x 16"D
    • weight: 13.5 lbs.
    • warranty: 3 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    • MFR # D150

    What's in the box:

    • Digital stereo preamplifier
    • 6' AC power cord
    • Remote control
    • Owner's Manual

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    More details on the McIntosh D150

    Stacey B.

    Features & specs

    RCA Inputs 0
    XLR Inputs 0
    3.5mm Inputs 0
    Phono Inputs 0
    Phono Input Type N/A
    Optical Digital Inputs 2
    Coaxial Digital Inputs 2
    Digital XLR Inputs 0
    USB Type A ---
    USB Type B ---
    Ethernet Port ---
    RCA Outputs 2
    XLR Outputs 2
    Optical Digital Outputs 0
    Coaxial Digital Outputs 0
    Digital XLR Outputs 0
    Subwoofer Outputs 0
    Discrete Sub Outs
    Headphone Output Yes
    Audio Features & Specs
    Frequency Response 10-20k
    S/N Ratio (Phono) 0
    S/N Ratio (Line) 110
    THD 0.0015
    DAC Bit Depth 32-bit
    DAC Sample Rate 500 kHz
    Home Theater Bypass No
    Wireless Features
    Bluetooth N
    Bluetooth Formats Supported N/A
    Wi-Fi N/A
    Frequency Bands N/A
    Apple AirPlay No
    DTS Play-Fi No
    Chromecast built-in No
    Roon No
    HEOS No
    MusicCast No
    BluOS No
    Music Services
    Amazon Music No
    Apple Music No
    Pandora No
    Qobuz No
    SiriusXM No
    Spotify No
    Tidal No
    TuneIn No
    YouTube Music No
    Apple Control App No
    Android Control App No
    Amazon Alexa No
    Google Assistant No
    12 Volt Trigger In/Out
    IR Control In
    RS-232 Yes
    Other Specs
    Width (Inches) 17.5
    Height (Inches) 3.875
    Depth (Inches) 16
    Parts Warranty 3 Years
    Labor Warranty 3 Years

    Product Research


    Digital Preamplifier: The McIntosh D150 is a solid-state digital preamplifier with 6 total digital inputs for connection of your digital audio source components. Electronic input switching on all inputs provides reliable, noiseless, distortion free switching. There are two different ways the D150 may be used in an audio system - 

    • as the main audio preamplifier connected directly to a Power Amplifier
    • as a digital-to-analog converter with input switching connecting to an analog preamp

    Classic McIntosh Design: The D150 digital preamplifier incorporates classic McIntosh design cues, including a black glass front-panel, rotary knobs, illuminated logo, and brushed aluminum end-caps.

    Specially-Designed Power Supply: Fully regulated Power Supplies and a special R-Core Power Transformer ensure stable noise free operation even though the power line varies.

    32-bit/500kHz DAC: The McIntosh D150 utilizes an 8-channel, 32-bit/500kHz DAC with advanced Quad Balanced, digital-to-analog circuitry for precision, dynamic sound with little distortion. The D150 is capable of handling the finest commercial recordings, assuring the best sound from your digital music collection.

    Asynchronous USB-B Input: The McIntosh D150 features a asynchronous USB-B input for playing back music files from your computer. Asynchronous technology allows the digital clock inside the D150's DAC to control the flow of data coming from your computer. This method of communication leads to less jitter (timing errors) for the D150 to deal with which results in clearer more defined sound. The D150 can decode and play back high res PCM & high fidelity DSD files from your Windows PC or Mac computer via its USB-B input. The digital preamp's USB-B input will accept 2ch stereo PCM signals up to 32-bit/384kHz and supports DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 along with DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. Your Windows PC or Mac computer must meet the following system requirements -

    • Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10; a Windows PC will require the installation of McIntosh's USB Audio Window Driver (available on the McIntosh website)
    • Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later; a Mac computer does not require the installation of an additional USB audio driver

    Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The McIntosh D150 Digital Preamplifier is fitted with two optical (toslink) digital inputs and two coaxial (RCA) digital inputs. The optical and coax digital inputs will decode 2ch stereo PCM music files at up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback.

    MCT Port: To enjoy the high definition audio found on SACDs (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), you can connect the D150 to McIntosh's MCT450 SACD/CD Transport (958MCT450, sold separately) via the MCT input on back of the digital preamplifier to create a secure and custom DSD connection.

    Fixed/Variable Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: Balanced and unbalanced connections are available for both variable and fixed volume audio outputs, providing flexibility in setting up and connecting your system. The McIntosh D150 is equipped with a fixed balanced stereo XLR output and fixed unbalanced stereo RCA output, as well as a variable balanced stereo XLR output and variable unbalanced stereo RCA output. The Balanced outputs allow the connection of long cable lengths without a loss in sound quality. You can use Balanced and Unbalanced Outputs simultaneously, connected to different power amplifiers.

    Headphone Amp: The D150 offers a front-panel 1/4" headphone jack for connecting a set of low-impedance (20-600Ω), dynamic headphones, so you can enjoy your music in private. You will need to press the "Mute" button to mute the loudspeakers when listening to headphones.

    Gold-Plated Connectors: The Input and Output connectors contacts are gold-plated for superior corrosion resistance and high electrical conductivity.

    Front-Panel & Remote Control: On the front-panel of the preamplifier are Input & Volume rotary knobs, Setup button, Mute button, and Standby/On button. The McIntosh D150 also includes an IR remote control for wireless operation of the preamplifier. In addition, the remote operates other McIntosh audio components. The IR remote offers the following button functions - Power On/Off, Input Selection, Volume Up/Down, Setup/Menu, Numeric Keypad, and Playback Control.

    Precision Volume Control: Volume levels are controlled by a precision balanced digitally controlled attenuator system with an optical encoder rotary control. This assures a 0.1dB tracking accuracy between channels. There are 225 individual 0.5dB volume level steps with no noise as the volume level is changed.

    Fluorescent Display: The D150's front-panel, fluorescent display indicates the Source Selection, Volume Level, Sampling Frequency, and Setup Mode Selections. The display brightness is adjustable.

    Custom Integration: The McIntosh D150 offers advanced connectivity and control features often required for custom home integration.

    • IR Input: The 3.5mm IR input allows the connection of an external IR receiver. With an external sensor connected to the D150, remote control operation of the system is possible from another room and/or when the D150 is located in a cabinet with the doors closed. The signal from a connected external IR receiver will have priority over the signal from the preamp's front-panel IR sensor.
    • Power Control: The D150 has the ability to automatically switch power on or off to and from source components via the Power Control In/Out connections (3.5mm).
    • Data Port: The D150's Data Out Port (3.5mm) sends remote control signals to a McIntosh source component. This Data Port connection allows for the remote operation of basic functions using the D150's remote control.

    AC Power Cord + Auto Power Off: The McIntosh D150 digital preamplifier features a detachable AC power cord with 3-pole IEC connector. The D150 incorporates an Auto Off feature, which automatically places the preamplifier into the Power Saving Standby/Off Mode after approximately 30 minutes of inactivity or no audio signal.

    Mounting Options: The McIntosh D150 can be placed upright on a table or shelf, standing on its four feet. It also can be custom installed in a piece of furniture or cabinet of your choice. The four feet may be removed from the bottom of the D150 when it is custom installed. Always provide adequate ventilation for your D150. Allow at least 2" above the top, 2" below the bottom, and 1" on each side of the digital preamp, so that airflow is not obstructed.

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    Customer Q&A

    4 questions already asked

    I understand, I can connect the subwoofer in extra set pre out, but what is the difference between a dedicate subwoofer output?why does it work correctly?
    [ Hector  Aug 20, 2019 ]
    1 answer
    Hi Hector, thank you for your question. When using a dedicated subwoofer output, or LFE connection, the information being sent through that channel is bass-only information. Using this type of connection eases the burden that could be placed on other channels or speakers in your system, and ensures you're only receiving low frequencies to your subwoofer, just as the recording studio intended.
    [ Jess  Aug 29, 2019 ]  Staff
    Does this preamp have a subwoofer out?
    [ Francis  Mar 14, 2019 ]
    1 answer
    No but it has an extra set of pre-outs that you could use to hook up a sub
    [ John  Mar 14, 2019 ]
    What type of DAC circuitry does McIntosh use and is it the same in all McIntosh preamps that accept digital inputs?
    [ Gary  Mar 25, 2017 ]
    2 answers
    Sabre ESS 9018.
    [ ValentineLuke  Apr 28, 2019 ]
    The McIntosh D150 utilizes an 8-channel, 32-bit/500kHz DAC with advanced Quad Balanced, digital-to-analog circuitry. They do not use the same DAC on all of their preamps. I hope that helps. My Bio:
    [ Ryan  Apr 05, 2017 ]  Staff
    (What is the difference ) ,McIntosh D150 and the Marantz NA11 s1 ?
    [ irving  Dec 23, 2016 ]
    1 answer
    Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget.
    [ Kenny  Dec 23, 2016 ]  Staff

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