Design

McIntosh Announces MT2 Precision Turntable At $4000

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Noho Sound is thrilled to announce that McIntosh Labs has finally released their long awaited MT2 Precision Turntable. Scheduled to ship in April, the MT2 will retail for $4000.

From the official press release:

McIntosh is pleased to announce our new MT2 Precision Turntable. 

The McIntosh MT2 Precision Turntable combines the latest in turntable technology and design to deliver both superb performance and accurate playback. The MT2 is a great way to upgrade your home audio system to play vinyl albums. 

A full complement of features allows for all recordings to be reproduced with flawless realism. Its advanced electronic and mechanical design will give you many years of smooth, trouble-free operation. A subtle green glow emanates from under the platter and the outside edges of the plinth for a touch of refined ambiance and connection to the McIntosh design aesthetic. 

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The MT2 plays both 33-1/3 and 45 rpm records. It’s virtually ready to use out of the box as tracking force, anti-skate force, cartridge overhang and arm height are all preset from the factory for maximum performance. The remaining setup steps are simple and you’ll be enjoying your vinyl in no time. 

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The MT2 comes with a moving coil cartridge that has a high enough output to make it compatible with not only moving coil phono inputs but also moving magnet inputs. The cartridge’s high impedance and high output voltage ensures noise free musical reproduction. This unique cartridge design features an alloy cantilever and an elliptical diamond stylus with exceptional tracking capability. 

The tonearm is constructed from dural-aluminum with special damping materials and is light weight yet highly rigid. The noise free vertical bearings feature two precision ceramic surfaces with damping fluid; the horizontal bearing is a gimballed sapphire design. 

The belt driven, solid black outer platter is made from a special dynamically balanced polyoxymethylene (POM) and is over 1” thick. This heftiness helps to both resist and absorb external vibrations that can cause noise during playback; its large mass also provides the perfect flywheel action for stable playback speed. The inner platter is made of CNC-precision milled aluminum. The platters rotate on a polished and tempered steel shaft in a sintered bronze bushing. 

The DC motor is driven by an external voltage-stabilized power supply and is completely decoupled from the chassis, isolating your records from any mechanical interference. Its sturdy plinth has a resonance optimized and highly compressed wood base with black lacquer finish, while the top and middle acrylic plates help absorb unwanted vibrations. 

A clear, contoured dust cover is included. The MT2 turntable is compatible with a variety of McIntosh phono preamplifiers, stereo preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers and home theater processors with phono inputs; virtually any of our amplifiers and speakers can be used to complete your audio system. 

Want to hear the McIntosh MT2 in downtown NYC? Call or email Noho Sound for an appointment.

Why The McIntosh MA252 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier Is Worth $3499

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McIntosh is the Leica of audio, and their all-new MA252 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier is their breakthrough product. The MA252 retails for $3499, but looks and sounds like $10,000. Why? Because it’s got tubes, and tubes sound better. Also, like all Mac, it weighs a ton, so you can use it for home defense. If the average brick is 2 pounds, the MA252 is equivalent to 14 bricks of ammunition. You could take down a flock of birds with it if you had a big enough catapult. Burglars may want that sound quality, but they’re going to pay in blood.

It will outlive you and your kids. If you get divorced, your spouse will want it. You'll want to look at it even when it's not playing. You want to look at it even when it's off. It's not wimpy like those plastic little amplifiers for babies. It will literally stop bullets. Your kids will want you to put it in your will. Your neighbors will be jealous. It will outlive you and your kids.

Specs? The tubes glow green, and there are four of them. Which is awesome even though the light has no effect on the sound. Also, it puts out 100 watts/channel and comes with a remote control and a phono stage, so you can connect a turntable directly to it.

In a world where nothing is built to last and almost everything at any price is mass-market junk, McIntosh is one of the last honest companies making things that are real. Built to last. Designed in America. Made in America.

Sold in downtown New York City exclusively at Noho Sound & Stereo.

Come by to hear it. Bring friends. We'll take care of the drinks.

CALL OR EMAIL
FOR AN APPOINTMENT

The Absolute Sound Reviews The TAD ME1 Reference Bookshelf Speakers

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Japan, once the source for ultra-high audio equipment, fell into a funk for several decades, but no longer. TAD, a name heretofore unknown in the USA, has now arrived with what can only be described as surgical grade reference hardware. Noho Sound just received a pair of their new $12,500 ME1 bookshelf speakers for evaluation. Resolution has never seen such resolution. They need big power to sound as good as they can, but OMFG, these can deliver a level of detail and imaging that is ghostly.

We thought we were crazy, but The Absolute Sound has just dropped their review confirming our impressions, and the fact that Noho Sounds needs to be a TAD dealer, as of now:

"The ME1 has very few obvious drawbacks, and its shortcomings are mostly attributable to the limits of its modest dimensions. However, its top-end still retains some residual dryness, and can’t quite summon up the same velvety harmonics of the CR1 or the barn-storming macro-dynamics of the CE1. In spite of the stellar imaging I’ve written about, soundstage width and depth were only adequate in my smallish listening space. But I’d imagine better results could be had in larger rooms. Finally I can understand how some listeners might not cotton to the sharp specificity of a concentric driver. The precision with which it draws boundaries around images seems natural to me, but it may seem mechanical to others. (Experimenting with speaker positioning is very helpful in finding an ideal balance between too much focus and too little.)

A lot is expected from TAD loudspeakers. And having now reviewed three of its compacts I can put them in perspective with one another. The CR1 leads this pack, as its $42k price would imply. Its uncompromising quality and performance remain a high-water mark for a stand-mounted loudspeaker. It has earned its flagship title. The CE1, in spite of its high-octane performance, is still the odd duck of this trio: It’s a little awkward visually, cooler in character, and frankly a little pricey in its segment. The ME1, however, gets it just right, emulating much of what is so musically satisfying about the CR1, and doing so at a cost that is more than justified in a highly competitive category.

So satisfying is the ME1 that, in the right room at the right levels, you’ll easily hear what all the hubbub over the CR1 was about. It can utterly destroy preconceptions about what a small speaker can do. Pound for pound, the ME1 is truly one of the greatest little loudspeakers to hit the audiophile market in years."

Read the rest of the review for yourself.

Want to hear them in NYC? Call or email us for an appointment. Bring friends. Come late. We'll supply the drinks.

Is The Focal Kanta No. 2 The World's Best $10,000 Loudspeaker?

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The Focal Kanta No.2's have been among our favorite speakers at Noho Sound since we received the very first pair in the world shipped to a dealer nearly two months ago. Some call it the world's best $10,000 speaker.

Now the first review has dropped over at Tone Magazine, and it's incredible:

"One of the most impressive things about Focal, is that their speakers all have a similar voice and tonality, but as you go up the range, progressively more music is revealed in terms of dynamics and fine detail resolution. But not everyone can afford $60k for a pair of Maestros or $20k for Sopras. $10k for a set of Kantas isn’t inexpensive, but by the time you add an amp, source and cables, marvelous sound can still be achieved for way less than a decent sportbike. Think of all the money you’ll save on speeding tickets!

If you’ve read this far, you know I’m a big Focal fan, and the new Kanta exceeds all expectation. They combine sound and build quality with fantastic dealer service and support, world wide. If you’ve enjoyed the sound of the bigger Focal speakers, but desire these sonic attributes in a slightly smaller package, the Kanta is for you."

Read the rest of the review over at Tone.

Want to hear them in NYC? Call or email us for an appointment. Bring friends and decide for yourself. We'll even stay open late, and provide the drinks.

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Is Reel-to-Reel the New Vinyl?

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Is reel-to-reel the new vinyl? We don't carry new reel-to-reel hardware, but we've fielded a few calls asking if we did. So we did some digging around what appears to be a growing trend, and came across this recent article in The Robb Report, "The Most Expensive Music of Today Is Recorded on Mediums from the Past," suggesting that reel-to-reel is making a comeback:

"It turns out the audiophiles were right. Despite decades of pundits predicting its demise, analog audio has made a big comeback in recent years, with vinyl records, reel-to-reel tapes, and even cassette tapes gaining interest in the mass market. At the high end, this has led to more interest in limited physical album releases—often produced with painstaking care using esoteric methods—and high price tags. Enthusiasts are spending hundreds on single albums in pursuit of sonic perfection and the chance to own something truly special.

One of the primary drivers behind this is sound quality. Despite vinyl’s imperfections, many discerning listeners prefer the warmth, presence, and emotion communicated through a record—qualities that are simply missing from digital reproduction. In some cases, however, it can be challenging to collect recordings of vintage performances in good condition, so some modern vinyl reissues are mastered from inferior digital sources rather than the analog master tape."

Read the rest of the story and tell us what you think...

Is The Sony Minidisc "Alien" Commercial The Craziest Audio Ad Of All Time?

Is The Sony Minidisc "Alien" Commercial The Craziest Audio Ad Of All Time? Is there any point even discussing it? What is wrong with these people? Who greenlit this? Why did Minidisc fail? How could it have ever succeeded? Who was running Sony at the time? Did anyone get fired? Who was the agency? Who hired that agency? Who directed this? Where are they now? Who was in charge of the effects? Was he/she fired? How many units were sold the day before this aired for the first time? How many were sold the day after? Or the week? Or the month? Why does this encourage piracy? Why is the alien made of felt? Why does the alien even need a Minidisc player. Why are they together? How do they know each other? WTF is going on here? So many questions...

...not one of which we'll ever know the answer to. Unless someone knows the answers and throws them into the comments.

I've got to write more series pieces. (Some people have been grumbling.)

Why White Speakers Are The Coolest

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Obviously white speakers are the coolest. Just ask Tone Audio. Everyone buys black? You should buy white. Just LOOK at those badass white Focal Sopra 3's. Good thing they sound as awesome as they look, or the brand would be f****d. Do they look good in black? Of course, but if you want to be different, if you want to impress your friends with your good taste, you buy them in white. It proves you have time to spare to clean them, or pay someone to do it for you.

White makes even weird designs look like an artistic statement. Just check out the Swedish Larsen speakers in white:

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Still not convinced? Pamela Dorgay, wife of Tone Audio Editor-in-Chief Jeff, just wrote a wonderful column about the merits of white speakers:

Everyone has a favorite color; mine is red, and my husband (it’s no secret about Jeff Dorgay) loves lime green. When it comes to accessorizing these are the colors that attract us.

However,  our favorite colors sometimes may tend to be a bit too harsh indoors, or too big (in the case of lime green, no offense my love).  What man or woman hasn’t incorporated black into their wardrobe, or home? It’s understated and elegant and goes with everything.   There isn’t anything quite as beautiful as a pair of black lacquer speakers or black cars. In reality, black is only beautiful without smudges or dust, which is almost impossible to achieve.  The opposite of black is white, a non-color that reflects light rather than absorbing it.  Even the smallest black speaker will look more massive than a white one; all an illusion.

Bowers & Wilkins matte white speakers blend in with the room and don’t fight with the colors you are already using, still looking bright and best of all, they always look smart. Europeans have favored white for years as they have less available light than other places – especially the Scandinavian countries. Whether you live in the Northern part of the U.S. and have more rain, or in the lower Southern states with heat, white speakers reflect light. The new B&W705’s that I’ve placed in the bedroom blend with modern as well as traditional settings, so eclectic does well too. White looks crisp, clean and pure; just like the sound.

Read the rest of her wonderful article at Tone Audio.