Play with a preamp McIntosh C50

Eric, I’m a new Rooner. I can see my preamp McIntosh C50 at roon, but C50 seems doesn’t receive the signal from a high quality USB cable connect with Mac-Mini. Could you help me ? I run roon with a Mac-Mini. If it need download a USB Audio Driver? What’s the best driver? Thanks!

Hi @Chunxiao_Zhang ---- Thank you for your message, we typically handle any support related issues out on the community forum so other users have access to the information being shared should they find themselves in a similar situation. With that being said, would you mind if I made this a public topic?

In the meantime, could you could please provide me a with a screenshot of the signal path coming out of Roon when you are playing back to the McIntosh C50. Furthermore, can you also please provide screenshots of the settings you are using for this device in Roon? This information can be found by going into the audio tab (found in “settings”) clicking the gear next to the device and choosing “device setup”.


Thank you! Eric. Yes, I like you creat a public topic. I’ll email back you the screenshots

Eric, have you received the email with the screenshots? I sent you twice, but google said failed due to your email address. Could you send me a work email address I resend you if you didn’t the them

Hi @Chunxiao_Zhang ---- Thank you for touching base with me, the follow up is appreciated.

In regard to the screenshots, you should be able to just post them in your response here on community by dragging and dropping them into your reply.


Hi @Chunxiao_Zhang ----- Thank you for providing the requested screenshots, the follow up is appreciated!

Ok, so based on the information in the picture of your Signal Path the McIntosh is receiving an “Enhanced Signal” as indicated by the “blue light”. This means that either the DSP feature or Volume leveling are currently active (as seen in the Signal path’s display window).

Moving forward, have you given our knowledge base article about Roon’s signal path a read yet? The reason I ask is because it provides good documentation on how to interrupt the signal path coming out of the application and what the different colors (yellow, green, or bright purple) indicate.


Hi! Eric. Thanks for advice! I see the page of the link, every example shows the end equepment named the manufacturer at the end of the path. But, in my Roon, the end step is “Coreaudio Exclusive Mode”, no “Mcintosh C50” showed. Why?

Hi @Chunxiao_Zhang ---- Thank you for the follow up!

The reason you are seeing “Coreaudio Exclusive Mode” at the end of your signal path is because of how the DAC is communicating with the core machine. Being that the device is mounted to your MacMini via USB, Roon is talking to the devices’s (MacMini) audio driver first. If you were using the device as a Network audio zone, you would see the device listed at the end of the signal path.


But my “Mcintosh C50” doesn’t show at the end of path. No music

Ah, thank you for clarifying that information for me @Chunxiao_Zhang, apologies for the confusion on my part. So you are unable to get the McIntosh C50 to produce sound, have you tried the following:

  1. While this may seem a touch elementary :innocent: the device is set for the proper input source, correct?

  2. Have you tried swapping out the the current USB cable?

  3. Have you tried testing with out using the DSP engine?

  4. Have you tried adjusting the device settings in Roon?


I change to connect my old HP laptop (2010 bought, and storaged for many years) to Mcintosh C50 with the same USB cable, and installed ROON and Mcintosh USB Audio driver. Right now, its work! It plays low quality MP3 (storages in HP before) smoothly.
I’m trying download highest quality now

Awesome, gad to hear @Chunxiao_Zhang! The McIntosh C50 is all up to date in regard to firmware, correct?


I bought C50 last year. Maybe updated

Hi @Chunxiao_Zhang ---- Thank you for following up with me!

Out of curiosity when you had the C50 still mounted to the MacMini, outside of Roon were able to to achieve playback? In other words, if you were to use say iTunes, did you run into the same issue?


I’m sorry that I returned the Mac-Mini