Luxury audio equipment manufacturer McIntosh gave New York CE press an exclusive taste of its latest product releases, including a 50th anniversary edition of the MC275 amplifier, Thursday at Savant’s NYC Experience Center showroom.
The gold-plated 50th anniversary version of the MC275 tube power amp preserves the aesthetic quality of its original with modern LED tubes.
The new offerings also include the MX121 processor, MC8207 power amp, MVP891, the company’s first Blu-ray/DVD player, as well as several loudspeakers, most of which will be available at significantly more competitive price points than their McIntosh predecessors.
“The audiophile knows us very well,” said Charlie Randall, president, McIntosh. But part of the ambitious marketing revamp McIntosh has been going through the past year is exposing the brand to other music-loving consumers. This includes better explaining the components and sound systems to consumers through an overhauled McIntosh website and grouping products in systems for bundled solutions. Randall said the 2012 new products are meant to “round out” these ideas.
As part of the product preview, McIntosh presented its products in three separate installations, each paired specifically with specialty cocktails and Moet & Chandon champagnes to heighten both the luxury appeal the brand is known for and the emphasis on experiences that is part of this new marketing initiative and “just opens up a whole other conversation,” Randall said.
The original MC275 from 1961 was demoed both to celebrate the “longest running SKU in McIntosh history” and to illustrate the longevity of the company’s products. The gold-plated 50th anniversary version of the tube power amp preserves the aesthetic quality of its original with modern LED tubes that glow orange while powering on and then green to indicate they are up and running. If one were to need a replacement, the LED would indicate so.
The MX121 AV processor is estimated to come down in price by about 50 percent. This is achieved in part by replacing the current model’s Lyngdorf Room Perfect technology with Audyssey’s room correction technology, Randall said. Doing away with the web interface also contributed. In addition, the new model features some new technology that its predecessor does not, including Apple’s Airplay—which was heavily requested by dealers, Randall said—DLNA compliance, and mobile device control apps. It is also the first McIntosh product capable of internet radio, and it offers Blu-ray audio decoders as well.
The MC8207 seven-channel power amp delivers 200 watts of power for each channel into both 4- and 8-ohm loudspeakers. The most noticeable difference evident on first look is the active analog-driven LED meter—a modern update to McIntosh products’ iconic image.
The MVP891 universal player features 3D video playback, file share networking, and plays DVDs, Blu-ray discs, CDs, SACDs, CD-R, and CD-RW discs. Audio processing is achieved through eight 32-bit converters. Networking features include BD-Live, DivX HD, YouTube, and file sharing with other home-networked devices.
All of the above products will be available in January and on full display for CES 2012 at the Venetian.
The three new loudspeakers are expected to be available in February. They include the XR100 tower speaker; the LCR80 LCR speaker, which can be positioned horizontally or vertically; and the XR50 three-way bookshelf speaker.
A final introduction that is expected to be part of McIntosh’s CES launch is an Airplay-enabled tabletop speaker system, the company has hinted at since earlier this year.