McIntosh Laboratory

(Redirected from McIntosh Laboratories)

McIntosh Laboratory is an American manufacturer of handcrafted high-end audio equipment based in Binghamton, New York. The company was founded in 1949 by Frank McIntosh.[1] The company designs and produces audio amplifiers, stereo tuners and other consumer electronics products.

McIntosh Labs
Founded1949; 73 years ago (1949)
HeadquartersBinghamton, New York, United States
Key people
Frank McIntosh, Founder
ProductsAudio equipment
ParentMcIntosh Group

Company historyEdit

In 1946 Frank McIntosh, a design consultant for broadcast and TV stations, hired Gordon Gow to help him design a high power, low distortion amplifier 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.[1]

In 1956, the company moved to its current location of 2 Chambers Street, Binghamton, New York.[2]

Dave O'Brien joined McIntosh in 1962. He led the McIntosh Amplifier Clinics for the next 30 years.

McIntosh created a Loudspeaker division in 1967.[3]

MC275 (European version with 220/110 V switch (red)
MC240, early version of 1961 (long-exposure)
MC2505 solid-state stereo power amplifier
Year Selected products
1949 50W-1 power amplifier
1950 AE-1 preamplifier
1953 A116 power amplifier, C108 preamplifier
1954 MC30 power amplifier, C4 preamplifier
1957 MR55 AM-FM tuner
1960 MC240 stereo power amplifier
1961 MC275 stereo power amplifier
1962 MX110 Tuner-preamplifier
1963 MR67 tuner
1963 MR71 tuner
1964 C24 preamplifier
1965 MC250 solid state power amplifier, MAC1500 receiver
1967 MC2100, MC2105, MC2505 solid state power amplifiers
1968 MX112 solid-state tuner-preamplifier
1970 ML1, ML2, ML4 loudspeaker line
1971 MC2300 power amplifier
1972 MR78 tuner
1980 MC2500 power amplifier, XRT20 loudspeaker system
1985 MCD7000 CD player
1999-2000 MC2000 50th Anniversary New Millenium Edition (1949-1999)
2003 MC501 monoblock amplifier
2004 MC275 Mark V amplifier, XLS loudspeaker
2008 MT10 Precision Turntable
2017 MC1.25KW, 1200 WPC Quad balanced Amp
2020 MA12000, 350 WPC Hybrid Tube/SS Integrated Amp

McIntosh amplifiers were used at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.[4]

The Grateful Dead's "Wall of Sound" reputedly used forty-eight 300-watt per channel McIntosh model MC2300 solid state amplifiers for a total of 28,800 watts of continuous power.[5]

Frank McIntosh retired in 1977 and Gordon Gow became President of McIntosh.[6]

More notable productsEdit

Early 1970s: MC 2300 Power Amplifier, 300 WPC.

Early 1980s: MC 2500 Power Amplifier, 500 WPC Power Guard and similar chassis to MC 2300.

Around 1990: MC 2600 Power Amplifier, 600 WPC Power Guard final version on MC 2300 Chassis.

Around 1990: MC 7300, 300 WPC and much smaller than MC 2300.

Around 2010: MT10 Precision Turntable.[7]

Around 2017: MC1.25KW, 1200 WPC Quad balanced Amp.[8]

Around 2020: MA12000, 350 WPC Hybrid Tube/SS Integrated Amp [9]

Japanese yearsEdit

McIntosh MA6800 integrated amplifier.

The company was purchased by Japanese car audio maker Clarion in 1990. McIntosh components, particularly the early tube models, are highly regarded in Japan. In a speech shortly after the purchase, Clarion president Yutaka Oyamada told McIntosh employees that "we like McIntosh as it is, and we have no intention of changing what has made it so successful."[10] Since the Clarion purchase, McIntosh has expanded into car audio and home theater.

In May 2003, Clarion sold McIntosh Laboratory to D&M Holdings, also of Japan. The company continues to operate independent engineering, design, and divisions.

Italian yearsEdit

On October 8, 2012, Fine Sounds SpA of Milan, Italy, announced it had purchased McIntosh.[11]

Return to the United StatesEdit

In May 2014, the CEO of Fine Sounds Group along with the President of McIntosh Labs led a management buyout of the Fine Sounds Group from its Italian investment firm owner, Quadrivio Investment Group.[12] Since then Fine Sounds group has renamed itself McIntosh Group and relocated from Milan to New York.[13][14]


In the all-tube receiver-amplifier 1970s, competition in audio products for McIntosh came from Fisher, H H Scott, Marantz, and Harman Kardon. For the present day historical audio collector, McIntosh is the most valued when measured by marketplace prices.

Car audioEdit

While car audio is no longer included in their current catalog, models once available include a CD changer, CD changer/AM/FM controller, and an external DAC.

Unique features such as the Fast Responding Wattmeter and the patented Power Guard circuitry set their amplifiers apart from others' products; various models were available offering from 75 to 2,000 watts, divided amongst one to six channels. High quality power supplies, powerful circuit topologies, and balanced inputs completed each amplifier.

At the end of the chain used to lie their hand-built drivers, which came in standard 5+14-inch and 6+12-inch nominal sizes. All applicable car products were finished with McIntosh's signature glass plate displays.

A few vehicles were available from the factory with McIntosh sound systems, including Subaru Legacy and Outback models (starting from the BH & BE Legacy chassis) and the 2005–2006 Ford GT.

On September 3, 2020 McIntosh’s first ever automotive Reference system was recently announced by Jeep with its return to American luxury SUVs with the Grand Wagoneer concept.[15][16]


  1. ^ a b "McIntosh | Heritage". Archived from the original on 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  2. ^ "McIntosh | Heritage". Archived from the original on 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  3. ^ "McIntosh | Heritage". Archived from the original on 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  4. ^[dead link]
  5. ^ "Grateful Dead and the Wall of Sound". 1974-05-17. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  6. ^ "McIntosh | Heritage". Archived from the original on 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  7. ^ "Review: McIntosh MT10 turntable | WIRED".
  8. ^ "McIntosh drops 1,200 watt amp: MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier". 9 November 2017.
  9. ^ "McIntosh MA12000 Integrated Amplifier".
  10. ^ Russell, Roger (n.d.). "McIntosh Laboratory Part 2". § McIntosh Sold To Clarion. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  11. ^ "Fine Sounds Group Acquires McIntosh Laboratory". The Absolute Sound. 2012-10-08.
  12. ^ "Grange and Randall Lead Management Buyout of Fine Sounds Group in Partnership with LBO France and Yarpa". 2014-05-09.
  13. ^ "McIntosh Group company profile". Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  14. ^ "Fine Sounds Group changes name to McIntosh Group". 2016-08-10.
  15. ^ "McIntosh Automotive: The Vehicles".
  16. ^ "McIntosh Audio System for Grand Wagoneer Concept".

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 42°06′00″N 75°52′30″W / 42.100129°N 75.875136°W / 42.100129; -75.875136