McIntosh Loudspeaker Technology

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Tonight I attended McIntosh Night at my local B&W and McIntosh dealer. Unfortunately I got there a little late because work held me up, but I found the presentation very well done and informative.

Well McIntosh has redone all of their speakers and all have included some very neat technologies and I just want to know what you all have to say about them and your opinions.

First off, their tweeter technology. With a single tweeter off axis responce is obviously something to keep in mind along with something everyone hates. As everyone knows with dual woofers in for example center channels when off axis you loose certain frequencies. Well McIntosh is now what I would say, is completely obsessed with huge amounts of power. They said that their customers have often blown their tweeters so they wanted to make tweeters that were still somewhat efficient, could handle lots of power, and had great off axis responce. Well they have created what they call the Bessel Array which is 5 tweeters mounted very closely together for better power handling and better off axis responce. Well to do this without having that phenomenon happen where very couple feet you loose certain frequencies the tweeters that are numbers 2 and 4 (they are mounted horizontally by they way) are out of phase and end up making up for the phenomenon that happens when off axis and the frequency responce is somehow flat 170degrees in front of the speaker. We listened a lot and I must say it does seem to work pretty well. When about 90degrees off axis the tweeters sound the same as on axis. Although I did not like the sound of the tweeters (I though a little bright) the technology did work.

Another thing is that now all of their cabinets except for the front baffle are aluminium, which I know other companies do, but I think McIntosh's are quite unatractive compared to their big competitor B&W whose speakers I find very beautiful.

I had a long conversation with the representative who is the Director of training for McIntosh Labs. He was quite knowlegable but did not know what Baffle Step compensation was, I was wondering because the front baffle is only about 1.5" wider than the subwoofers on thier higher end models.

Well now for my listening impressions.
I thought that the tweeters were a tab bright, although quite detailed. The mids were very nice, I think they were a little over taken by the highs. The lows were very good. I was suberized. The enclosures are very slim and most of them can be put in-wall and the lower model comes with wall mount brackets and would go well with LCD and Plazma tvs. I also think that they are wayyyyyyyyyyyyy over priced. Their cheapest model (wall mount) is $4k a pair. This is 80hz and up. $4k for only 80hz up I think is rediculous. I was talking to one of the employees are the shop the presentation was located at and we figured out which B&W that would equal to and I would much rather go with the B&W and I would much rather not spend that much money, and build something myself.

Anyway I thought the presentation was very interesting, there are some more technologies in their speakers but I thought the "Bessel Array" was very interesting. Also their line arrays are also quite interesting, the top of the lin has 30 4" woofers per side and 25 tweeters ber side.



The tweeters are like this this is to show the phase of the drivers. + is in phase - is out of phase.
+ - + - +
Well all the amps were McIntosh amps, except in one room the cheap ones were Pioneer Elite.

I'm not sure I understand Swan's take on the tweeters, but it seems to be quite different to me.

The Store has had the McIntosh speakers for atleast 1 week now, I'm not sure I did not ask, but a room was open that has not been open in the past with the second nicest McIntosh speakers and their nicest amps. This was the line array without the bessel array. I did not find the line array to be as bright (didn't really find them bright at all really) as the ones with the "bessel array".

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