AVS Road Trip – McIntosh Labs
On August 12th a group of clients accompanied Joe on our most recent AVS Road Trip, this time to McIntosh Labs in Binghamton, NY. As anyone who is truly “into” audio knows, McIntosh has been on top of the food chain for many years. Their attention to detail, incredible power with nearly zero distortion, consistant reliability, and quality control is lengendary. What the tour solidifed was the talent of their people making the products, the attention to quality control, the testing and engineering, and the positive and proud culture.
The video highlights aspects of the factory (understandably, we were asked not to photograph the engineering department’s anachoic room, Faraday cage, and design areas) and shows the vertical nature of their manufacturing, including making their own circuit boards, shaping their own metal for chasis, powder coating and painting, the use of a Water Jet for cutting their glass panels, and much more.
Some aspects of production have a level of automation; some aspects require hand work. Many of the people we met have worked their for many years, a few are second generation employees.
“Owning a Mac is more than just possessing an established name and pride of ownership. It’s buying a piece of amazing audio equipment that you can reliably count on having support for 30 yrs down the road. It’s knowing that it will continue to sound good year in and year out regardless of the competitions “latest” innovation. You can buy Mac with the confidence that it will remain timeless.”
The tour ended with a demonstration of the power and purity of McIntosh amplification. They have a theater room set up with a variety of different McIntosh models and speakers, for different purposes.
Imagine a pair of 1200-watt mono-block amplifiers, powering the XRT2.1K speakers, for amazing 2.0 audio. This puts out over 130 decibels of sound, able to drown out the sound of a passsing commercial jet. The alignment of the speakers elements, combined with the acoustic design of the room, made for a magical soundstage.
Or high-definition projection TV, with a McIntosh audio/video preamp and amplifiers via Dolby Atmos through eleven channels above, below, behind, in front and even in the floor (subwoofers). You didn’t just see and hear the movie, but you felt it! It was the most magical of home theater experiences.
We cannot thank the fine people at McIntosh Labs enough for their hospitality and sharing of their history and especially their iconic products.
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