The old phrase "He's got more money than sense" seems to apply to your friend!!
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How strange! Someone who buys gear for other reasons than the music ! For how the gear *looks* ! This is part of the motivation for high-end products whatever they are. People do not spend $10,000 on a Rolex watch to know the time, hell, they don't even EXPECT it to keep time (an $80 Timex Marathon quartz watch is actually more precise). But, for some, having a Rolex just to look at or to feel around one's wrist is beyond understanding for most people. Buying McIntosh gear just to look at the meters is no different - and is more sincere than the many here who pretend not being of the same behavior to some degree with their gear. And I bet he actually feels more satisfied compared to the lot of ''audiophiles'' who ''analyze'' the sound of their 5 to 10 favorite cd's searching for flaws with their present gear...which will pave the way to upgrade madness, of course. For some it's McIntosh meters. For others, it is abut the 1 inch-thick faceplate, or the prestige brand - yet we hide those reasons behind a smoke screen in thinking people will believe that it is about the music. For some, sure - but I haven't met many around the audio altar.
The first response by Tpreaves
''The old phrase "He's got more money than sense" seems to apply to your friend!!'' is wrong and somewhat condescending if I may add - If McIntosh meters do it and it stops there, it may actually be a cheap alternative to the endless buy-sell-buy routine for many here on Audiogon.
The Name McIntosh does not have the letter "A" in it. And the amps have a market and the blue meters are a signature ingredient for the demographic that buys McIntosh. I have had several Mcintosh amps and the meters are part of the package, but not the reason I buy. I spend about 50% of the time with the meters off. Everyone spends money on what pleases themselves. I think sometime we let "audiophilia" cloud our judgement, instead of just buying what makes us happy. If looks aren't important then tell the manufactures that pend tons of money on case and face plate design. Imagine what Ayre spends having cases machined out of billet aluminum. Could they make more money and sell more product in a 6 sided box, if looks weren't part of the sales pitch? Part of our attraction to audio gear is the look, and we would be fooling ourselves it we didn't want to admit it.
nonsense. they have a fantastic value proposition:
great sonics (but admittedly not close to the best)
aesthetic value (the meters)
tremendous power to control any load
zero heat output (from SS amps)
when i find an amp that has no heat output, can drive the piss out of any speaker, and sound better, i'll sell my 501s.
I bought a Squeezebox Touch and often have the "meter" setting on because I like it. It's cool and reminds me of my wasted youth spent in recording studios (now I waste my oldness in my digital, led metered studio). I also think the Appearance Factor as previously mentioned is a big part of this hobby...a very big part...and the wristwatch analogy is apt...I have a pile of mechanical watches and they have a vibe to 'em that only a watch geek can appreciate (I set my Valjoux or ETA loaded paperweights often when I'm at my computer so they're almost accurate). I refuse to buy a little "Class D" amp because they're too small (I want to put one in a large case with big meters!)...I like a nice brushed faceplate of several square inches for some reason, and the retro McIntosh stuff is hilarious to me, and most of it sounds great supposedly...certainly the Checker Car company of modern audio.
There's nothing worse than being out of town and having your watch battery go dead, while your waiting for your flight. With a Rolex or other Swiss watch with a mechanical/automatic movement, there is no worry. Yes, it may be a second or two off, but they keep running. TV stations don't even start on the second like they used to. Before we could by atomic clocks cheap, I set my watch to a short wave radio. Not for 30-40 years. Maybe Mac people like that part. Their amps seem to keep on going too.
I think McIntosh earnestly considers the addition of the meters on it's product. For those buying any upscale product many factors come into play. For audio gear, the sound, the touch and built quality are some of the those.
Love the meters on my Mac, and love the meters on my Carver. Of course I also like too see turntables a spinning and Reel to Reel a rotating. It is is all part of the fun and magic of a stereo system. It adds to the pride and enjoyment of the ownership experience. Happy listening and looking.
The answer to the OP's question is "yes".
People also buy ARC electronics because they recall lab equipment, Sonus Faber for the striking Italian styling, Oracle turntables for the futuristic appearance, and Cary tube amps for the retro-cool tube display.
PS I own all of the above - for the reasons stated and because they can be combined into great sounding systems.
I first heard of McIntosh when I was in grade school. It was considered the best, and if a kids dad owned one, he was rich, and cool; like owning an Eldorado convertible. The Audiophile perspective is not the worlds perspective on the subject of Audio. McIntosh is legendary and is an easy choice for somebody who isnt an Audiophile, but wants a system that both he and others will admire. Lets face it guys, for every person who admires our niche high-end systems, five think were nuts.
The comments from the owner, that he bought McIntosh for the "glass front and blue meters and "never listens to it, sound a little facetious to me.
The simple answer is "Yes" but let's be fair. McIntosh is one of the few high end companies that have survived the
volatility in the electronics business. Their products are well-made, timeless and prized by collectors even many years after the model production has been retired. So, it's
a lot more than just the blue meters. Oh, and did I mention that the products sound good and can still be repaired by factory techs.
Tmsorosk, I realize it was part of the design and a part of it's function. But my point is that aesthetics was apart of the consideration on the drawing board. I believe the majority of audio gear manufactures invest a lot in the appearance. And the only logical reason is pride. Pride in design for them and pride in ownership for us. I don't mean to say 100%, if anyone is the percentage of those that don't, I mean no offence, my opinion only.
Drive and Hifihvn,tour points are valid. I just wanted to comment because, that now we refer to both audio and computers as MAC. Although McIntosh used it first and deserves to continue in doing so. And since MacIntosh uses the letter "A" in it's name, they most certainly should. And believe me, I don't expect it ever change, but as a long time McIntosh owner, it is a pet pieve of mine. *see pride above. So when you see me us "Mc" to refer to McIntosh have some patience with me, I am stubborn and doubt is will change anytime soon! Just a round peg in a square hole world, but I love my music.
Gee my stuff looks boring!! The only 'cool' looking bit of gear I own is the Kuzma turntable. the little brass pipe TT is attractive. (and part of the reason I bought it.)
I would like to own the 'snail' shaped B&Ws. Or the wierd B&O speakers. Those pyramid shaped amps.. The cool MBL speakers, But all that just for the looks. I own what I own for the sound. Pretty plain stuff.
And for the guy who owns the MAC gear but never plays it.. who actually cares? so what. It's HIS stuff.
I bought my Oracle turntable because I thought it was beautiful. Fortunately, it sounded great. Years later bought a Michell Gyrodec turntable because I thought it was even more beautiful than the Oracle (younger woman), it sonded good too. I would love to own the Sonus Faber Stradivari....never heard them, but they are gorgeous. All things being equal, I'll take the better looking stuff every time.
Don't know about the blue meters but I was at a store yesterday spending some time with some speakers for fun and I really, for the first time, got to play, touch, feel and listen to the SACD/CD player and it was amazing, beautiful, built like a tank and perhaps for the fist time I see where some folks might be attracted. It sounded quite nice as well.
At one time, I think it could be argued that McIntosh catered to the Doctor and Lawyer communities, who could afford spending top money but may have been more concerned with looks then sound.
Those days are over. McIntosh makes some excellent equipment that looks great and is built to last a lifetime. While it maybe bested by other companies in terms of producing the last ounce of detail and transparency, in my opinion it still can hold its own amongst the majority of other hi-end companies.
And no, I don't own any equipment with blue meters.