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Bowers & Wilkins 800D3 Speakers and DB1 Subwoofers, McIntosh C1100 Preamp, Aurender A30 Server, Solid Tech Racks, Synergistic Research AC Conditioner
When I entered my penultimate Scott Walker Audio room, Kevin Wolff of Bowers & Wilkins was playing outtakes from a 1989 recording by Branford Marsalis. The sound of Marsalis’s sax was so distinctive and, to my ears, beautiful that I began to smile. (Trumpet was another instrument whose sound this system conveyed with perfection.) As Kevin segued into a 16/44.1 file of Thomas Dolby’s “I Scare Myself,” I scribbled in my notebook, “This is a system that reminds you of what the high end is all about.”
Despite some booming, the McIntosh midrange came through in spades.… Read the full article
Synergistic Research PowerCell AC Conditioner, McIntosh MC462 Amp, Elac Adante Speakers, Bluesound Streamer
Scott Walker Audio staked out its own mini-empire at the Hilton Long Beach, occupying six of the hotel’s largest suites on the second floor. The first one I encountered revealed the inimitable Ted Denney of Synergistic Research staging a pretty ballsy demo. Ted set up two identical systems in adjacent rooms, both with a McIntosh C2600 tube preamp ($7500) and MC462 Amplifier ($9000), Elac Adante AF61 floorstanding speakers ($4995/pair), Bluesound Node 2i streamer ($500), and Solid Tech Rack ($2600). The difference was that one system took advantage of a Synergistic Research PowerCell 8 UEF SE power conditioner ($2995), new Synergistic Research entry-level Foundation interconnect and speaker cables plus UEF Blue power cords ($4000), and a host of various Synergistic Research room acoustic products ($6500), which in my experience are quite effective if nonetheless baffling to many.… Read the full article
It can be proposed that any of the McIntosh general fare has a lot going on. It is usually true. But their newest preamplifier called the C49 really has the specs on paper to back it up, starting with a massive amount of ins and outs to tickle the fancy of just about any audio lover.
Before we get to the laundry list of I/O ports, it also pertinent to identify that this new pre also possesses several digital capabilities – all thanks to a new modular approach.… Read the full article
C49. Not a 49-minute cassette tape from TDK but McIntosh’s all-new “super pre-amplifier” that caters to digital streamers, vinyl fiends and headphonistas via a whopping 13 inputs: 2 x balanced, 3 x unbalanced, MM phono, MC phono, 2 x coaxial, 2 x TOSLINK, USB and MCT (“for use with McIntosh’s MCT-enabled SACD/CD transports”).
Does the C49 do MQA? Not yet. But it could in the future. Tackling possible future obsolescence head-on, McIntosh has made the C49’s internal DAC board fully field-upgradeable.… Read the full article
The following is a press release issued by McIntosh. Binghamton, NY | May 21, 2019 – McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for 70 years, is proud to announce the C49 Preamplifier. Be prepared for future digital music technologies with the C49 Preamplifier. The C49 features our DA1 Digital Audio Module, which can be replaced by newer McIntosh digital audio modules that accommodate new digital technologies. This will allow the C49 to be kept up to date with digital music formats and viable well into the future.… Read the full article
It was probably the darkest and most crowded room at High End 2019, two things that tend to trigger my claustrophobia. But you can’t blame show attendees for wanting to file into the McIntosh room and see all those beautiful new products, and you can’t blame McIntosh Labs for wanting to create a dark visual presentation that accentuated the classic look of their products–black faceplates, blue meters, green lights. It took me a couple of tries to get deep into the room and snap some photos without getting all paranoid and agitated, but I did.… Read the full article