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McIntosh Goes Over The Top End

9/19/2005 02:00:00 AM Eastern

McIntosh unveiled the highest priced speakers it has ever made and one of the highest priced consumer speakers in home audio history, at CEDIA, here.

They're meant to be driven by the company's highest priced power amplifier.

The XRT2K line-array speaker ships in September at $40,000 each, not $40,000 per pair. Each three-way triwire-capable speaker contains a column of six 12-inch aluminum-cone woofers in a shared enclosure. A companion midrange/tweeter column, also in its own enclosure, features four 2-inch inverted-dome midrange drivers and 40 0.75-inch titanium-dome tweeters.

The tall line-array speakers "are designed to be very delicate and accurate as well as having the dynamic range that is required to recreate the sound pressure level of reality," said product manager Ron Cornelius. Their dynamic range of more than 130dB requires massive power handling capacity and two of the company's $30,000 2,000-watt mono MC2K amplifiers, Cornelius said. "These amplifiers have the highest output of any McIntosh amps, with the lowest distortion and best signal to noise ratio," he said. They're due in September.

Each MC2K mono amp uses three separate chassis. The two chassis that contain the power supplies and output transistors are identical. Each section handles one half of the audio sine wave. The two halves are combined in the third section, which contains an Output Autoformer, control circuitry and output watt meter. This is a fully balanced possible with the use of the Autoformer, Cornelius said.

Each of the two power sections have their own AC power cord, as does the combining unit.

Consumers with money left over after spending $60,000 for stereo amplification can invest in a new $26,000 three-chassis preamp, the C1000. It offers a choice of solid-state or vacuum-tube operation or both. Any of 18 connected sources can be amplified by either the tube or solid-state sections.