Why so negative about McIntosh speakers?


It seems that McIntosh speakers receive lots of criticism here on A'Gon. Looking for serious answers why. I still have vintage Mac XR-7s and even they sound rather outstanding coupled with the 107 Environmental Equalizer on my system. Maybe I don't get out much.
sit
LOL. There are a lot of fine speakers that get tons on criticism in these pages. But since you don't own them and probably haven't heard them, you just assume that it is all warranted.

I've read folks talking negatively about speakers they have 1)never heard, just read reviews and looked at pictures and graphs, 2)heard at trade shows 3)heard in stores with dubious set up discipline, and 4)have never heard properly set up and driven. Their lack of a properly informed opinion doesn't slow them down a tad.

Bottom line. If you like your Mac's and it bothers you to read negative comments about them just don't read about them. They're for listening to music anyway. :-)
agree with newbee....enjoy the macs
There are certain brands that seem to elicit very polarized (my side vs. your side) opinions, and McIntosh is one of them. I have been a long time Mac amp user, based on the fact that I like the way they sound, but I have met people, and read comments by people who are only vaguely familiar if at all with Mac gear who repeat the same old boring criticisms and myths about Mac. No big deal. It reminds me of an incident I had in the late eighties at a high end dealer's place in Princeton NJ. We were listening to, and talking about speakers. I told him that I was using TDL Monitor M speakers, and he immediatly commented that they (transmission lines) are all about boomy bass. I had been using them in a rather small room with suspended wood flooring for a couple of years with no booming problems whatsoever. He had never heard thease speakers himself, but was simply repeating a myth that he had heard somewhere else.
For many years McIntosh dealers sold Bozak speakers as the complement to their electronics line. Then McIntosh tried to market its own brand of speakers. This happened about the same time that Marantz, and other competition began to reduce the market share of McIntosh. Dealers blamed McIntosh speakers for reducing their profits at this critical time, and the speakers were discontinued after disappointing sales. The electronics line lost many dealers and only in recent years regained its reputation. I wonder if the speakers ever got a fair evaluation on their own.
I don't know about the later ones but the earlier ones were BAD. A friend of mine paid $1000 , then big money, for a pair to use with his Marantz 7C and model 9s. He kept them a few months and sold them for $500. He later admitted he never liked them but hated to admit he had been taken.
All the above comments are quite pertinent on Mac speakers. If you have access to the McIntosh book "For The Love Of Music", their speakers and developement by Roger Russell is quite interesting. I personally have never heard their speakers, but sure would like to. I've owned their electronics since 1978, and I'm very happy with them. Like it was mentioned, if you like what you have, stay with them, and forget any negative babble you read about. Mac has taken quite a few hits over the years, mostly by folks who've never heard their gear.
I'm not a fan of their speakers either.There's a ton of others that I feel the same way about it.Its hard for a company to specialize in everything.Mac tries to.They are best known for their amps,and vintage tuners.Now they claim to make everything in house.No outsourcing.I guess they now make tubes,transistors,capacitors,screws and all!Amazing!Charlie Randall Mac's new top guy grew up with car stereos.He said his first hi-end system was a Mac given to him by Sidney Corderman.He also said he grew up with cassettes,then Cd's.When questioned about vinyl,he said something like I'm not old enough to appreciate that part of it.I have a friend in his 20's that loves vinyl and Cd's.Those questions were asked by TAS,September 2009,issue 195.Here he is on You Tube that looks the same as the Mac site.You Tube Link>>>[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOtaOrXIPrI]
No hate here. I heard their XRT28s a few years back, and still remember just how impressed I was. I guess as others have said, it is all about individual taste...

11-16-09: Newbee
LOL. There are a lot of fine speakers that get tons on criticism in these pages. But since you don't own them and probably haven't heard them, you just assume that it is all warranted.

Newbee, your post seems to be attacking Sit for no reason. Nowhere in his post does he assume that the criticism of other speakers on Audiogon is necessarily warranted. What's up with that?
Foster, thanks for ur defense but I understand Newbee to mean that w/o hearing a unit's performance one may just take another's word on it... .

HOWEVER, the only input I have ever received about the criticism of Mac speakers is like what Stanwal and Hifitime wrote above.

Can anyone describe in audio terminology what they believe the Mac speakers (in general) are lacking? I have read some of what Roger Russel wrote about the development of the "early-on" Macs. I found it impressive. My ears tell me he was onto something.
Would imagine the "bad rap" came from their dismal offerings in the 70's. Had a room mate with a pair of "low boy" style 250 pounders that looked like "end tables" in cheap fruit wood. Really disgusting looking & not very exemplary sounding. 4 or 5 way speaker in a box seemingly designed for as much diffraction as possible, with a 15" woofer inches from the floor. Looked like it was designed by the marketing department...nice electronics though
Foster 9, One of the problems with posting here is that we are told to seperate paragraphs into shorter groups of sentences or single sentences so that folks can more easily understand. You must consider that the first two paragraphs in my post must be taken together. They are one.

As Sit noted, the roots of these observations live in the posts by Stanwal and Hifitime. But, then if you stripped uninformed comments from these threads it would be a threadbare forum and uninteresting reading to many. :-)

I'm sure that lots of folks (including me) have blind brand predjudices but are considerate enuf to keep them to themselves, at least to keep from looking like a generic fool if nothing else.
Newbee:LOL. There are a lot of fine speakers that get tons on criticism in these pages. But since you don't own them and probably haven't heard them, you just assume that it is all warranted.

Foster_9: Newbee, your post seems to be attacking Sit for no reason. Nowhere in his post does he assume that the criticism of other speakers on Audiogon is necessarily warranted. What's up with that?

After reading it a couple of times, I had interpreted the word "you" in Newbee's post to be used in the sense of "one," which would make it clearly not an attack on anyone. Reworded based on that assumption, the comment would be "But since one doesn't own them and probably hasn't heard them, there is a natural tendency to just assume that it is all warranted."

Best regards,
-- Al
Al, As usual you are right. I've got a head cold and my brain is all stuffed up. No it is not a perpetual 'cold', but it can seem that way! :-)
My bad Newbee.
I have fond memories of the ML1c (MQ101 eq) with the C28 preamp and MC2505 amp with a Thorens 126MkII in the 70's

To this day and all the money I have spent, that system always holds a place for me as the system I spent the most time with.

I have also herd Stacked ML2C with a MC2300 playing Pink Floyd DSOTM and it was awsome.

They are just not everyones cup of tea
I have not heard anyone deny that the early Mac speakers were dogs. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I think most of us just lost interest as it appeared that their speakers were simply there for those who wanted a full Mac system and not as a serious attempt to make good speakers. The person I mentioned from the late 60s was THE LAST person I knew who had Mac speakers and I was a dealer for years [still am] and saw a lot of systems. They just were not on the map. It well may be that their current speakers are fine but the market is so crowded with products and so shrunken in volume that there is little chance to reestablish a presence. I was talking to a high end manufacture yesterday and he said the market is now mostly in Asia.
I should have added that one of my friends has Mac amp and Pre Amp,Top SS Pre Amp, he just sold a 275 tube and bought a top end Mac SS amp. I don't think he has ever considered Mac speakers, had Quad 2905s and now has Martin Logan Spires. He certainly does not hate Mac but the Mac speakers are just not on the map for most.