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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.

Noho Sound & Stereo In Stereophile Magazine!

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Why did we open Noho Sound & Stereo? Stereophile was kind enough to publish this interviewwith Ron, Chris and myself, where we go deep into our vision for rebooting audio, events, and the experiential aspect of live and recorded music. Basically, if it isn't fun, what's the point? 

"In an industry constantly perplexed by the absence of youth, diversity, and appreciation for the hobby, three audiophiles set out to revolutionize the industry with the opening of a new hi-fi shop in New York City that is anything but ordinary. NoHo Sound & Stereo (NoHo Sound for short) is located in a loft in the lower Manhattan district NoHo—open seven days a week, by appointment only, with a second location in Chelsea. They offer: Analog Domain, Audio Research, Aurender, Box Furniture, Croft Acoustics, Devore Fidelity, Focal, Grand Prix Audio, Larsen, McIntosh Labs, Micromega, Musical Fidelity, Naim Uniti, Sonos, Sonus Faber, Vicoustic, and XLO Electric. In addition to selling hi-fi, they host weekly—yes, weekly—live music events of all genres, where startups like Groupmuse and Sofar Sounds use their space for performances, with 100% of proceeds going to the musicians. They also host events in collaboration with the nearby World of McIntosh Townhouse.

It's not very often—actually, it's almost never—that you hear about a new hifi shop opening, so I sat down with co-founder/CEO Alex Roy, president Ron Kain, and co-founder Chris Petranis to hear their take on where the industry's going, how they plan to attract millennials, and why they're starting a new venture in a market so deeply set on discussing its own decline.

Aside from all having extensively worked as hi-fi salesmen in New York, Alex is the editor-at-large for The Drive, co-host of the show Drive on NBC Sports, and has set eight Cannonball Run Driving records in the USA, Sweden, and Spain; Ron has origins in pro-audio and was consistently the top salesman at NYC hi-fi retail giant Stereo Exchange; and Chris is a restaurateur, real-estate developer, and film producer. With a crew like this, it's no surprise that NoHo Sound has already been mentioned in Billboard despite only having been officially open for a few months."

"Alex Roy: I worked at Stereo Exchange in college because I was obsessed with high-end audio but I couldn't afford anything. By working there, I could afford to pay for the gear and get the discount. I bought a pair of [B&W] DM602s . . . and eventually 802 Series 3s, which are sitting over there. [gestures] I always dreamt of opening an audio store, but in the 90s it didn't make a lot of sense. Then AudioGon arrived and the used business got crushed. But I always knew that sooner or later, something had to change in this sector, because high-end audio stores haven't changed at all, but the world's changed around them. AudioGon and eBay crushed the used high-end audio business for brick and mortar retailers who weren't operating online. If you look at how they operate today, the majority of stores on the ground still haven't changed. And that's why NoHo Sound..."

Read the rest over at Stereophile...

Why Aren’t There More Women Working in Audio?

Why AREN'T there more women working in audio? It's not just audio engineering, which is what this interesting article from 2015 is about:

"Beyoncé, Ariana Grande or Nicki Minaj might have written your favorite song, but chances are slim that a woman engineered the track.

A boys’ club culture in sound engineering is so entrenched that in his two decades of recording more than 500 albums in Austin, Tim Dittmar has worked with just one female engineer, and she was an assistant. Nationally, the odds are roughly 1 in 10 that a sound engineering technician is a woman, the most recent U.S. Department of Labor numbers show.

To help turn this around, Dittmar, the owner of Las Olas Recording, recruits women to the Music Business, Performing and Technology program at Austin Community College, where he has taught for 15 years. Raechelle Steward juggles four part-time audio tech jobs with classes at the University of Texas at Austin, where she plans to graduate in May from the Butler School of Music with a recording technology degree.

As moonlight pierced the glass exterior of UT’s Student Activity Center on a recent evening, Steward, 24, set up audiovisual equipment for a range of activities — from small events in meeting rooms to concerts in the auditorium. Seated cross-legged in a black chair in the center’s A/V office, she described a few of the barriers to breaking into the boys’ club. For one, she rarely encounters people who look like her, an African-American woman, in the Butler recording studio. And, she said, men often assume she needs help carrying her equipment."

Read the whole story over at Reporting Texas...

But wait, because The Atlantic just published THIS, which talks about how little has changed:

"On a hot summer day in Nevada City, California, a group of teenage girls are scattered before a stage in the town’s cultural center. They’re studying an analog soundboard, which is covered with so many knobs and levers that it looks like it belongs in the cockpit of an airplane. Onstage, a band is doing a sound check, which requires lots of drumming, strumming, and saying “check” into a microphone.

“Check is a really annoying word,” the guitar player says. “Yeah, it’s losing all meaning,” the bassist replies.

It’s the last day of the week-long Live Sound Camp for Girls. This afternoon, there will be a show, but the band won’t be the real focus. Rather, the performance will be a chance for 16 girls—and a few boys—to show off the live music-production skills they’ve learned by controlling all the technical aspects of the concert on their own.

The camp’s instructor, Tiffany Hendren, hovers by the soundboard as the teenagers take turns with the headphones. One participant, 17-year-old Mary Vogel, explains the intricacies of micing a drum set to me.  “You’re creating something live right in front of you,” she says of sound engineering. “You’re making it richer. You’re taking out the little buzzes and snaps and things you just don’t want to hear because it takes away from the performance.” Vogel, who has spent two summers at the camp, says she’s considering taking music-production classes in college next year.

Sound Camp, which has events in California as well as St. Louis, Philadelphia, and New York, is part of SoundGirls.org, an organization co-founded by Karrie Keyes, the live-sound engineer for Pearl Jam. Keyes tells me she started the camp to encourage girls and introduce them to potential careers in audio. “It lets them get their hands on the gear before anyone can discourage them or frighten them away,” she says."

The craziest part of all this is that however much progress is being made on the engineering side, there has been literally no movement on the retail side, especially the hi-performance retail side. Go into any hi-end audio store, or even a party at such a store, and you are unlikely to see a single woman present. Unless it's someone's wife. Or the caterer.

What's going on? A lot more than even these articles will tell you.

Hi-end audio retail needs a reboot, or it's going to die a self-inflicted death.

Photo Credit; Rocio Tueme/Reporting Texas