McIntosh Laboratory



McIntosh Laboratory is a manufacturer of high-end audio equipment based in Binghamton, New York. Founded in 1949 by Frank McIntosh, the company is noted for its extremely high build quality and excellent technical specifications. The ‘classic’ vacuum tube components of the 1960s include the MC275 power amplifier, the C22 preamplifier, and the MR67 tuner. Later McIntosh solid state power amps are known for their distinctive blue colored meters. In 1946, McIntosh, a design consultant for broadcast and TV stations, hired Gordon Gow to help him design a high power, low distortion amplifier needed for his clients. This amplifier would become the 50W-1. It included McIntosh’s first patented circuit, the Unity Coupled Circuit, still used by current products.

McIntosh amplifiers were used at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, and the Grateful Dead’s ‘Wall of Sound’ reputedly utilized forty-eight 300-watt per channel McIntosh model MC 2300 solid state amplifiers for a total of 28,800 watts of continuous power. The company was purchased by Japanese car audio maker Clarion in 1990. In a speech shortly after the purchase, Clarion president Yutaka Oyamada told McIntosh employees, ‘…we like McIntosh as it is, and we have no intention of changing what has made it so successful.’ In 2003, McIntosh was sold by Clarion to D&M Holdings, also of Japan.


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