McIntosh

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Company Profile[edit]

Frank H. McIntosh was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1906 and lived to be 83 years old. McIntosh was an extremely musical person. He turned down a scholarship to study music; he was much more interested in the technology of music reproduction. McIntosh studied mathematics and radio engineering, wrote columns on radio engineering for various newspapers, and became an editor for Popular Mechanics magazine. The McIntosh company story began in the mid-1940s. Frank H. McIntosh had a consulting firm in Washington in 1945. The job was to test and procure high quality technical equipment for radio and TV stations. He demanded high power combined with low distortion from the suppliers of this equipment. Many amplifiers did not meet the requirements. This was the impetus for Frank McIntosh to develop his own hi-fi amplifiers. The quality of the amplifiers he later produced not only exceeded the demands placed on them, but also the industry standard valid at the time. In 1946 McIntosh hired Gordon Gow as an assistant to produce an amplifier with an extraordinary performance and to set the standard for the audio industry. The result was the McIntosh 50W-1 power amplifier (50 watts sine wave at a frequency response of 20 to 20,000 Hz with less than 0.3% distortion). It incorporated McIntosh's first patented circuit (patented 1949), the Unity Coupled Circuit circuit. This technology is still in use today. McIntosh Laboratory Inc. was founded in 1949 with Frank McIntosh as president and Gordon Gow as vice president. Other employees included Maurice Painchaud, in charge of quality control, and Sidney A. Corderman in research and development. The economy of the 1950s was positively influenced by the commercial use of TV and music playback, among other things. McIntosh quickly found its way into the burgeoning hi-fi market. In 1950 Gordon Gow became Executive Vice President and the McIntosh company produced the first preamplifier, the McIntosh AE-1. McIntosh launched the A116 power amplifier and the C108 preamplifier. 1952 McIntosh`s first loudspeaker system F100. 1953 the power amplifier MC30 and the preamplifier C4 followed. In 1956, due to the growth of the company, it was necessary to expand. The company moved to its present location: 2 Chambers Street, Binghamton, NY. Production progressed and in 1957 McIntosh's first tuner, the McIntosh MR55 FM/MW tuner, was released. The 60's were marked by innovation and all McIntosh equipment got the famous front panel lighting which made McIntosh hi-fi equipment unmistakable. This design was very popular with buyers and has been retained ever since. It is said that Gordon Gow suggested the look of the front panel and, after designing it, applied the McIntosh signature gold letters in ink. The FM Multipath display unit MI-2 was the first unit with an all-glass front panel. In 1962 McIntosh and Dave O'Brien began their collaboration. McIntosh loudspeaker production began in 1967. Highlights of the 60's decade were the introduction of the first stereo power amplifier McIntosh MC240, the first tuner preamplifier with the Panloc mounting system, McIntosh MX110, the tuners MR67 and MR71, the first pure transistor product: the preamplifier McIntosh C24, the first transistor power amplifiers, MC250, MC2100, MC2505 and MC2105, the first transistor tuner preamplifier, the MX112 as well as McIntosh's first receiver, the McIntosh MAC1500. At the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 several McIntosh amplifiers were used (Mark Levinson also equipped the festival with his amplifiers). It is more than likely that Mc Intosh and Levinson met on this occasion. 1970 the first models of the McIntosh loudspeaker range: ML1, ML2 and ML4. The tuner McIntosh MR78 was introduced in 1972 and is now famous as a timeless classic. McIntosh got another patent for the circuit design of the tuner in the same year. McIntosh received further patents for loudspeaker and equalizer systems as well as for the Power Guard® circuit. In 1973 Frank McIntosh decided to launch a separate line of receivers under the name Stereotech, a so-called low budget series which should not be sold under the McIntosh name. The first VHF / MW stereo receiver was the Stereotech 1200, power 2 x 50 watts at 8 ohms. In 1975 the models 1230 and 1270 followed, designed by McIntosh and built by FEC, Foster Electric Company, in Japan. However, there was no economic success and so the production was already discontinued in 1976.

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