The McIntosh Story
Handcrafted in America since 1949, McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. is known for offering distinguished quality audio products, superior customer service and the ultimate experience in music and film. All McIntosh products are built at the Binghamton, NY factory by over 150 employees with a passion for music and the McIntosh heritage. McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home entertainment experience for discriminating consumers around the world, with the iconic “McIntosh Blue” Watt Meters globally recognized as a symbol of quality audio. Since its inception, McIntosh has been powering some of the most important moments in music history and pop culture. From President Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 inauguration speech to the original Woodstock to the infamous Grateful Dead “Wall of Sound,” McIntosh has not only witnessed history, it has shaped it. With McIntosh, customers have the ability to create their own premium audio experience – and truly live their music.
A McIntosh Moment in Time: The Grateful Dead “Wall of Sound”
As concerts sizes began to grow during the 1960s from small clubs to larger arenas, stadiums and outdoor festivals, it became clear that the simple club style PA systems were not capable of providing enough power to these larger crowds. The Beatles experienced this problem first hand when they played for 56,000 fans at New York’s Shea Stadium in 1965 – the crowd was so loud that the music could barely be heard. It was then that sound professionals realized something bigger, something better was needed. By the early 1970s, the Grateful Dead had become one of the premiere touring acts in the US. The level of concern they had for their fans receiving a quality performance has rarely been duplicated. As they moved into larger arenas, they too became aware of the limitations of conventional PA systems. These PA systems may have been able to get loud, but they didn’t always produce a clear, distortion free sound. The Dead worked on this problem for a long time and finally found a solution when they turned to McIntosh, the company that had powered Woodstock. The Grateful Dead unveiled the iconic “Wall of Sound” on March 23, 1974, at the San Francisco Cow Palace. Comprised of 48 McIntosh MC2300 amplifiers, it delivered 28,800 watts of distortion free power. While concert sound systems of this size are common today, the Wall of Sound was the first of its kind. And although its sheer physical size was the first thing that grabbed concert goers’ attention, it was the auditory impact that everyone remembered. As one fan said after hearing the Wall of Sound, “the sound of live music had changed forever.” McIntosh is proud to have been a prominent part of that change.