Preamplifiers

McCormack LD-2 Preamplifier and DNA-250 Stereo Power Amplifier

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The LD-2 preamplifier offers a high level of sophistication and refinement in the reproduction of music. It replaces the RLD-1 while retaining that unit's basic features. Unlike the RLD-1, the LD-2 uses a new Burr-Brown digital volume control instead of the Crystal Semiconductor controller. This volume control is more often found on more expensive preamps. The Burr Brown offers smooth and precise channel tracking.

One of the striking features of the LD-2 is the lack of knobs. The power supplies and connectors have all been upgraded, too. A Home Theater Bypass feature has also been added for those that wish to integrate the LD-2 into movie watching enjoyment. This bypass feature only works on the video input, which makes practical design sense. Volume is displayed in dB gain or attenuation and defaults to -50 when first powered up. There are 5 line level inputs: CD, VIDEO, TUNER, TAPE, & PH/AUX. It offers no digital inputs. This unit is analog only. A phono option is available to go with the LD-2 at an additional charge and there is no built in tuner. The unit does not power off completely unless you unplug it, but remains in standby mode. In fact, the remote does not have a power on/off button, which was something I missed.

McCormack LD-2 and DNA-250

When you hit a source input button on the remote, the unit will power up and resume with whichever volume level and input you used last. There are no tone controls on this unit, which is in keeping with the "purists" tradition. Two pairs of outputs are on the back so you can connect a powered subwoofer to the system. The outputs are wired in parallel and are electrically identical. I really liked the feel of the RCA connectors on the back panel.