It's the same manufacturer.
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While I knop from personal definition that the label "consultant" can mean a variety of things, I understood that Steve McCormack DESIGNS the products built by CJ that bear the McCormack of Virginia name. The title "consultant" is generally perceived as a lesser role than "designer", at least in product development.
Also, Steve McCormack does excellent mods, as legions on this board have attested. However, keep in mind that this service is ONLY available on products produced BEFORE the CJ buyout (i.e. DNA-2 and prior).
Hello Friends -
It is certainly no secret that McCormack Audio was purchased by the Conrad-Johnson Design Group back in 1998. It was then moved back to Virginia, where it shares its headquarters with conrad-johnson. While both companies share resources, they each maintain their separate, distinct identities.
I am still the primary designer for McCormack Audio, and have done the equipment design since the move. I also do the shows and dealer seminars. My true role, however, is as part of a design team, so I may not be responsible for every aspect of some future designs.
A good deal of my time is also taken-up by my own small business, SMc Audio. This is something I enjoy very much, as it brings me into direct contact with you folks and lets me indulge my audio imagination by rebuilding my earlier designs. I think this works-out pretty well for all concerned ;-)