Hello from New York City and the World of McIntosh townhouse in SoHo.
I love New York and never turn down a chance to visit, especially when it involves an event like this. Over the last two days the McIntosh Group demonstrated two new flagship loudspeakers from McIntosh and Sonus faber. The industrial designer and acoustic engineer of the speakers along with several other people from the company were on hand to discuss the speakers and give listening demonstrations until we were ready to leave. The atmosphere was just the opposite of what would have been, had these demonstrations taken place at CES or another trade show. I had a great time and encourage the entire CA Community to schedule a visit to the townhouse next time they are in NYC. It's quite the place.
Note: If you watch the show Mr. Robot, look for the townhouse in the first episode of season two. Several scenes were shot there.
Thursday McIntosh briefly talked about the new MC1.25KW power amplifiers. The internal changes compared to the previous MC1.2 version are massive. This is due to upgrades at the McIntosh facility in Binghamton, NY that enables much more advanced manufacturing and assembly.
The main event on Thursday was the unveiling of the new McIntosh XRT2.1K loudspeaker system. In typical McIntosh fashion, these speakers feature a line array of 81 drivers. Atypical of McIntosh, was the fact that the company worked closely with the Sonus faber team in Italy to design and engineer the new 2.1K system. It's still a McIntosh loudspeaker 100%. The additional resources from Sonus faber put on their McIntosh hats and frames of mind when working on the collaboration.
Listening to the 7 feet tall speakers in a room with a ~23 feet tall ceiling and enough amplification power to knock me over, was a blast. A little bit of the standard audiophile fare was played, but the majority of music was right up my alley. Pink Floyd, Fink, and The White Stripes all put a smile on my face. Here is a short video I took and posted to Twitter during one of the demonstrations.
— Computer Audiophile (@audiophilestyle) February 1, 2018
The XRT2.1K will set you back a cool $130,000, but hey there's nothing else like it.
Friday was all about Sonus faber. It was great to see North American Brand Manager Will Kline and hear him talk a bit about the company and the new updated flagship Aida loudspeaker. The Aida is also a one of a kind speaker, as one would expect for a cool $130,000. The speaker looks fabulous in person. It's as if the Aida was designed and hand built by an Italian luthier from the 1700s. The appearance however is nearly identical to the previous version of the Aida. 99% of the improvements to this version are internal. The new 2018 Aida is like a completely different loudspeaker compared to its predecessor.
This speaker was demonstrated in a much smaller room at the townhouse than where the XRT2.1K was heard. Being a point source speaker, as opposed to line source, it would have been difficult to fill up the cavernous room used the previous day. That said, Will Kline put on some great tunes for us through Audio research electronics powering the Aidas.
Of note was the track Walking on the Moon from the Yuri Honing trio (Tidal link). It sounded fabulous, even though when disturbed by some diesel truck deliveries out on Lafayette Street. The Aida is definitely a statement loudspeaker, showing what Sound faber can do both aesthetically and acoustically. A great sounding work of art it is, and one that I'd love to live with for a while.
Here are some photos from the two day event.