Sound Legend: McIntosh


Frank H. McIntosh was born in 1906 in Omaha, Nebraska. The life story of this man, who died at the age of 83, was always attached to music. His desire to receive academic education on music changed after his application to some institutions were declined; so he started working on music devices and the technology for these gadgets.


McIntosh was knowledgeable in mathematics and radio engineering; he had studied in these fields. He published many articles in newspapers regarding radio technologies and was working as an editor in a magazine named ‘Popular Mechanics’. It was the mid 1940s when the name McIntosh became a brand. At that time, Frank H. McIntosh was working in a consulting company in Washington. His main job was to test high quality technical equipment for Radio stations and TV channels. Even though the companies that produced these devices aimed for producing high performance equipment which would not break easily, many amps that were brought to McIntosh failed at these standards. This is how McIntosh got the idea to produce his own amps.

Above expectation, the devices that McIntosh created became effective amplifiers. In order to use and improve the potential of the company, he hired Gordon Gow McIntosh as an assistant and together they produced the legendary product named ‘McIntosh Power Amplifier 50W-1’. This amp used the company’s first patented circuit system and this system is still being used today. With the name known today, McIntosh Laboratory Inc. was established in 1949. The stable economy of the 50s enabled the commercial use of TV and music devices to grow. In this period, right after the World War II, many companies that produced quality sound systems had emerged. In such an environment, McIntosh was able to stand out and make its name permanent. Amplifiers like AE1, AE2, A116 and C108 were made in this era.

In the 60s when the industry was improving, McIntosh created the famous front panel used in all McIntosh sound systems in order to add its own designer mark to the company. This design, which is still used today, attracted a lot of attention from the industry at the time. The company’s first stereo amp MC240, later MX110, MR67 and MR71 were products made during this period.


McIntosh Martin Logan-thumb-600x400

In the 1970s, Frank McIntosh created the sub brand Stereotech to launch cheaper products to the industry. In the 80s, the company produced its first CD player, MCD7000. At the end of this era, the company was bought for 29 million dollars by the Japanese company Clarion Co. Ltd. In 2012, the company’s new owner was the Italian firm Fine Sounds SpA.

What makes McIntosh valuable today are its continuous high quality standards and its improving structure which always looks for new innovations. McIntosh never followed trends or adapt changing design forms. With its classic logo, black glass panel and dashboard with blue lighting in all of its designs, McIntosh was able to succeed in becoming the first choice for those who care about quality, productivity and tradition in music.

Along with its strong stand in the industry by refusing today’s commercial habits; McIntosh seems to be content with its loyal followers who are vastly music enthusiasts. A McIntosh product usually stays for long years in the house it enters It is also one of the most valuable and important features that adds personality to the place it is in. The devices produced by the company are of course pretty expensive and hard to get; however the followers of the brand cannot give it up, they do not even consider leaving McIntosh products. Owning a McIntosh device is a priceless experience. For those who want to combine their passion for music with unique design-technology product, McIntosh is one of the most characteristic brands in the industry and it looks like it will never stop producing this quality.



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