I'm no audiophile, but I do love McIntosh hi-fi gear. I have a vintage McIntosh tube amp, and while I think it sounds warmer than today's digital systems, it's really the design that brings me the most joy. I was browsing the McIntosh Labs site where they feature a couple of McIntosh true fans, including Ivan Messer of Miami, Florida. Messer's gorgeous $1.1 million media center now features almost 100 McIntosh products, according to a profile in Electronic House magazine. Messer's McIntosh treasures aren't all vintage, but they still have the beautiful blue glow that defines the brand. From Electronic Home:
(Messer's) obsession with Richard Gray and McIntosh products weren’t the result of a bunch of impulse buys. It started much smaller, many years ago. “I had what I thought was a good, cutting-edge-type of stereo system,” he says of his 1970s system. It was around that time, 25 years ago, that he bought his first McIntosh piece. Then he waited until he could afford another one. Overall, Ivan says it took about a year to wire everything up and turn it on. “As things advanced technologically and financially, I was able to expand.”
Expand he did. With his first Richard Gray product, Ivan saw an obvious improvement. “Obviously than, two must be better than one,” he says. “I just kept pushing the envelope with more and more power, more and more McIntosh.” Today, he buys them up as fast as they make them. In fact, Ivan didn’t even blink when it came to the $100,000 price tag of McIntosh’s XRT2K speakers; he was too busy placing an order.
The current breakdown on his room has about $800,000 worth of McIntosh gear, which is predominantly source components, amplifiers and speakers. Then, there’s about $125,000 on the video side. The rest is cosmetic–decorating, seating and woodwork. Then, he has maybe another $80,000 in just software, which includes 6,000 Blu-ray movies, CDs and DVDs.
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