The Art Of McIntosh

Hi-Fi’s First Audiophile Brand Means Thrilling Music For A Lifetime

McIntosh, hi-fi’s oldest audiophile manufacturer, has produced a steady stream of superlative products for more than 65 years and continues the tradition with models such as those featured below. Read about their unique features, click on the images to expand them, then come hear thecomponents in our showrooms. You can also click these links to learn about Important McIntosh Benefits and The Rich McIntosh Heritage.

McIntosh MHA100

MHA100 Headphone Amplifier: A significant step forward in personal listening, the MHA100 combines a cornucopia of McIntosh advancements. One is a new iteration of the firm’s tried-and-true Autoformer technology; it provides three headphone impedance ranges, 8-40, 40-150 and 150-600 ohms, to accommodate ‘phones ranging from ear buds to professional studio models. The unit also features a Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD), which allows headphones to deliver multi-dimensional imaging and a sense of space that music lovers could previously attain only with speakers. With four digital inputs, this outstanding amplifier can decode digital music files at up to 32 bits/192kHz, and it also gives you two analog inputs. Downsized for placement flexibility, the MHA100 is the most easily-positioned amp in the McIntosh line, yet it will feed 50 watts of power to a pair of speakers when you choose to listen through them instead of with headphones. (That power rating is, as is always the case with McIntosh amps, conservative.) The company’s famed Power Guard system prevents clipping, and a 5-Step Bass Boost control allows individualized low-frequency tailoring. Naturally, the MHA100’s polished stainless steel chassis is classically McIntosh, from the instantly-recognizable blue meters and glass front panel to the handsome, signature knobs and brushed aluminum end caps.

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British Crown Jewels

You’ll Find The Diamonds From Bowers & Wilkins Absolutely Dazzling

Bowers & Wilkins 803 DiamondThree decades ago, Bowers & Wilkins introduced its original 801 loudspeaker, a giant step forward for the firm and its customers but a mere first step in the creation of what has since become an almost mythic model range.

The venerable British firm unveiled the newest generation of 800 models, the 800 Series Diamonds, at the January 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show. The speakers are manufactured entirely in the UK and mirror a long tradition of distinguished English luxury goods — Rolls Royce and Bentley automobiles, outerwear by Burberry and Barbour. For the first time, the company’s diamond dome tweeters are built into every 800 Series model. Now, even the stand mounted 805 provides the clear, uncolored, distortion-free sound that they’re known for.

Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamonds incorporate a cornucopia of advancements over predecessor models, including new motor assemblies for bass drivers and tweeters. These reduce distortion to new lows and result in even smoother sound. Improved driver design has allowed B&W to employ a superior crossover network, one that has been upgraded for cleaner signal passthrough. Signal quality is also enhanced by new, company-designed input terminals, which are fabricated of oxygen-free copper, a better conductor than brass.

These improvements will endow your favorite recordings with added layers of sonic excellence across the frequency spectrum while subtle aesthetic changes will make 800 Series Diamonds look better than ever in your home.

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Magneplanars Are Magic

The Long Awaited .7 Is Now Available For Audition At Lyric

Magneplanar .7The long awaited Magneplanar .7 has arrived at last.

Many of you who have coveted its larger sibling model, the Magneplanar 1.7, but have found it too big for your listening room will find this superb new Magneplanar an affordable ticket to years of great musical performances.

The .7 is actually a downsized 1.7. It employs the same 2-way quasi ribbon technology while offering diminished width, depth and height. In fact, the .7 is nearly a foot shorter than the 1.7.

The .7 employs the upgrades that Magnepan made to both the 1.7 and 3.7 after their introductions — at that point, the letter i was added to their designations — and the firm is even offering an optional .7 base, which is oval-shaped and especially compatible with contemporary room decor.

We urge you to visit and audition this exceptional, value-packed, audiophile loudspeaker, which is now up and running at both our stores.

Magneplanars Combine Uncommon Value With Utterly Enthralling Sound

Every audio enthusiast who has heard Magneplanars will tell you that they represent outstanding value, and many seasoned listeners insist they provide better sonics for less money than any other loudspeaker bar none. Speakers sounding anywhere near as good invariably sell for at least two or three times the price.

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Hear Nola Now

Nola’s Extraordinary Speakers Outshine Many That Are Far More Costly

To loosely paraphrase Samuel Johnson’s enduring quip about 18th century London, When a music lover is tired of Nolas he’s tired of life!

Nola Micro GrandWe’re huge fans of Nola speakers, especially the flagship Grand Reference, which we included in Lyric’s Super-Fi System, the ultimate two-channel home audio component combination. The Nola Baby Grand Reference is also a favorite of everyone at Lyric.

So we were delighted when we received a prototype of Nola’s far less expensive Micro Grand Reference. It’s small enough to rest on a stand, but similarities between its sound and that of the Grand Reference and Baby Grand are striking enough to make ears perk up and eyes widen.

We’re not just talking about our ears and eyes. Soon after the Micro Grand Reference arrived at Lyric, two very serious home music listeners conducting comparison tests heard it and found that it has more magic than a certain other speaker that audiophile magazine reviewers have been effusively touting (and which happens to cost more than twice the price of this giant killer).

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Vinyl Is Victorious

Even Steve Jobs Preferred Recordings Played On A Traditional Turntable

Beatles Album With The BeatlesHow many LPs have been languishing neglected on your shelves? 50? 100? More? Well, we think you should be enjoying them.

Even if you began listening to music in the digital age and have no LPs, there’s never been a better time to start a vinyl collection.

Talk about bargains! These days, LPs are available for next to nothing at thrift shops, flea markets, church fairs and library sales. The albums stacked in such places frequently include many of the best ever recorded in just about every musical genre you can name.

And in many places, used record stores have become hallowed institutions.

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VPI’s Newest Classic

The 30th Anniversary Classic Is A Turntable Worthy Of Celebration 

By “Analogue Bob” Herman

A 30th anniversary is something only a select few high end audio companies have survived long enough to celebrate. Fewer still have commemorated their longevity by unveiling products as exceptional as the VPI Classic.

VPI turntableAfter introducing in quick succession three popular high performance turntables — Scout, Scoutmaster and Super Scoutmaster — all off which offer excellent value in their respective price categories, VPI Industries has now bowed a unit that represents radical rethink. The Classic, company principal and turntable guru Harry Weisfeld is quick to note, is all new and his simplest model ever.

Veteran listeners who have heard it, including another industry luminary named Harry, The Absolute Sound’s founding editor Harry Pearson, agree that the Classic takes turntables at its modest price point to a level of performance that threatens much more expensive units, some from VPI itself. HP put the Classic on his personal 2009 Editor’s Choice list, which appears in the September issue of TAS and comprises “reference equipment I use that I consider good enough to be a reference in anyone’s system.” (The only other turntable on HP’s list, by the way, costs $150,000. Yes, that’s one-five-oh thousand!)

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Simply Evolutionary

Rega Has Been Improving This Great Turntable For Three Decades

By “Analogue Bob” Herman

Rega P3-24It’s fair to call Rega Research a legend in the turntable category.

The English specialty company introduced its first unit in 1975, and followed it with the seminal P3 two years later. By 1980, it was known as the maker of Britain’s best-bang-for-the-buck (pound actually) turntables. The firm was by then exporting to a dozen countries, and a waiting list for Regas had formed.

These days, Rega builds a range of specialty audio products, including some sensational CD players. The fact that it continues to focus exclusively on the two-channel world tells music lovers something very important about the company’s attitude.

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Sound + Value = Rotel

Rotel Gear Will Satisfy Audiophile Taste Buds Without Busting Budgets

Yes, a limited budget can buy home A/V electronics with true high end sound and rock-solid construction — provided they carry the Rotel name.

Rotel RSX1560Rotel has a well-earned, worldwide reputation for components with the sonic authority and structural integrity of those costing far more.

The only Japanese electronics firm anywhere near its age still owned by its founding family and run by a family member, Rotel has operated continuously since the late 1950s, when it was Sylvania’s TV distributor in Japan.

By the 1960s, founder Tomiko Tachikawa was focusing on audio and building products for blue-chip U.S. hi-fi companies, including Harman-Kardon, H.H. Scott and Marantz, all of which had found Japan a cost-efficient source for reliable products.

The first Rotel-branded units appeared in 1969, but for various business considerations the firm continued manufacturing for other companies. As a result, when Consumer Reports magazine awarded an early Rotel-badged receiver a Best Buy rating back in 1973, it also gave high marks to two American-branded units that few people knew had been built in the same factory.

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Connect With The Best

See Our Irresistable Nordost Cable Offers And Enhance Your System   

Cables are essential elements in the sound reproduction chain. Nevertheless, they remain the missing links in many high performance audio and A/V systems. If yours is one of them, take advantage of these no-risk offers from Lyric.

Nordost interconnect cablesOffer #1: We’ll Loan You Selected Nordost Courtesy Cables

Now you can audition the world’s finest cables, Nordost, with your components in your home and no obligation to buy. Provided you’ve purchased at least one component from Lyric that we feel will perform significantly better when used with them, you’re eligible to borrow courtesy cables by Nordost from our carefully chosen loaner inventory (of selected cables in specific lengths only). While we’re sure you’ll appreciate what Nordost can do for your system, taking advantage of this free offer doesn’t obligate you in any way.

Offer #2: If You Do Buy Nordost, Get Free Burn-In

Experts agree that cable sounds a lot better after being broken in, a procedure that alters both its conductor and insulating materials. Conventional burn-in is done by running your system on a continuous basis, and it can take months, but those who purchase their Nordost cables at Lyric can skip it entirely. We’ll burn in your cables on VIDAR, the company’s lab-quality signal generator, at no charge. The process takes 100 hours, and it will allow your cables to deliver optimum sound the minute you hook them up.

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