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Origin of an Icon: The McIntosh MC275 Tube Amplifier

(Via Wall Street Journal)

Devotees of McIntosh—the audio giant recognized for amping up Woodstock and rousing the Grateful Dead’s “Wall of Sound”—might be surprised by its back story. Its founders’ first triumph: figuring out how to transmit the hold-music Chicago residents heard while waiting for an operator to connect their calls. Sensing their powerful amps could do more than just irritate people, Frank McIntosh and Gordon Gow put Muzak aside and homed in on what audio nuts craved. In 1961, McIntosh’s MC275 tube amplifier, engineered for newfangled “stereo,” became the standard for clean, forceful sound. Though transistors eliminated the need for tubes, the MC275 persists as a sought-after amp. $6,000,