A Tour of The World of McIntosh Townhouse in SoHo
The World of McIntosh
What do you get when you take an artsy, 12,000 square foot, former 19th-century power station in the heart of SoHo and outfit it head to toe with equipment from arguably one of the greatest luxury stereo brands in the world? The World of McIntosh, of course. The World of Mcintosh is located 214 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012. An invite-only, five-floor, fully functioning townhome that serves as a showplace for all brands under the World of McIntosh umbrella: McIntosh, along with Sumiko, Audio Research, and Sonus Faber. (And by the way, if you'd like an invite, just contact one of our showrooms and we can arrange a private tour).
The strategy? To demonstrate to guests, in a comfortable environment, what it would be like to be fully immersed in the ultimate McIntosh audio experience. This place is the definition of an experiential showroom — a truly impressive sensory experience like no other — all complemented and centrally controlled by World Wide Stereo's automation brands of choice, Savant and Lutron.
Aside from serving as an inconspicuous showroom, the expansive space — with its exposed brick, tall ceilings, and industrial design — is used to conduct training sessions for salespeople as well as consumers, and is also available for renting out for parties and events (and is booked up most of the time). It's been the locale of many a celebrity event and a few TV shows ("Mr. Robot," anyone?), films, and music videos. Get goosebumps listening to music while lounging on Eames chairs and drinking martinis, put on a record, stream something, take a dip in the swimming pool... you get the idea.
Ken Zelin, lead McMaster's trainer — and World Wide Stereo employee — took me on a private tour of the house, along with WWS sales and system designers, Dave Sailer (out of our Montgomeryville showroom) and Rob Marcoccia (out of our Ardmore showroom).
World Wide Stereo sales and system designers, Dave Sailer (left) and Rob Marcoccia (right)
Inside the McIntosh townhouse.
The ground floor entrance features a pyramid of McIntosh 600-Watt power amplifiers; an array of blue meters is the ultimate greeting for any audiophile. Behind the front desk is a glass window that separates the room from the second floor swimming pool on the other side.
Up to the second floor, where guests are greeted by a large swimming pool (one of less than a dozen in privately-owned homes in NYC). At one side is a massive screen for displaying logos, as the space is often used for company parties. And throughout, the walls are well-lit for the many art exhibitions held there.
Next door is the conference area, complete with a long table, microphones suspended from the ceiling, and a motorized TV mount for teleconferencing. The very popular McIntosh MA5300 integrated amplifier sits atop a chest to the side on one end, with the MA8900 integrated amplifier at the other end of the room. With 200-Watts per channel, inputs for two turntables, a built-in equalizer, and DAC, this piece is a music lover's Swiss Army knife of amplifiers.
The third floor is the main floor, with high ceilings and enough space for a large crowd (the kitchen has enough equipment to cater a group of over 50).
At the far end is a pair of McIntosh XRT2.1k speakers, powered by McIntosh’s top-of-the-line MC2k 2000-Watt power amplifiers. This room is so large that, on occasion, the amps are asked to deliver their full power for short bursts.
The MX160 home theater processor and McIntosh speakers on the sides, rear, and on the ceiling create a totally immersive Dolby Atmos theater experience. The room acoustics have been accounted for by the RoomPerfect room correction technology in the MX160 (its signature feature).
On the left side of the room are a few smaller displays, with McIntosh's iconic C22 preamp and several Pro-Ject turntables on display, next to another table with the new MA252 integrated amplifier, the best selling integrated amplifier in McIntosh’s lineup despite being so new. It looks beautiful in its shiny polished stainless steel chassis, with exposed preamp tubes.
At the other end of the great room is a library featuring McIntosh tube amplification with the C2600 preamp and McIntosh 75-Watt tube amplification. Sources include the new McIntosh MCD600 CD player and a McIntosh turntable with a magnetically levitated platter(!) that eliminates turntable rumble. The sound of tubes is different, and many prefer it. Although maybe a bit less dynamic (due to lower power than solid state amps), it possesses a smoothness and long-term "listenability" that many music lovers find easy to listen to hour after hour.
The next floor has a few desks for corporate activities, as well as a display of Audio Research tube gear (a McIntosh-owned company) in the office down the hall.
On the top floor, McIntosh has installed a dual-purpose system showing off their exclusive PASS-THRU feature, which permits a full featured home theater system (in this case, featuring the MX122 processor and MC207 7-channel amplifier) and a top-notch 2-channel system (using their new C1100 tube preamp in conjunction with a pair of 1200-Watt mono block amps) that “talk to each other” for seamless operation. Both systems share the same pair of main Left and Right channel speakers, with ease of use as a major bonus. The best of both worlds.
The rooftop deck has breathtaking views of the city, as well as great sound and lighting. This is the place to be on summer nights, as it sees lots of use during corporate events. McIntosh’s MC152 power amplifiers provide the muscle behind the music in this system.
Interested in learning more or joining us on our next World of McIntosh tour? Contact us at one of PA area showrooms, and we'll make it happen.