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The Powerful McIntosh ML1 Mk II Speaker Is a Retro ’70s Redesign

McIntosh ML1 Mk II Loudspeaker 0 Hero
Photos: McIntosh

New York-based company McIntosh Laboratory has been making artisanal audio equipment since the 1940s. The label’s tube amps have been especially popular, thanks to their warm sound, and were considered to be one of the best amps for personal home audio. This warmth and soul felt in McIntosh’s products can be accredited to the company’s dedication to meticulously handcrafting many of the parts in its products. McIntosh Labs’ transformers, for example, have been hand-wound in-house since the start. In the 1970s, McIntosh released its first speaker, the ML1 Loudspeaker, famous for its excellent sound quality – especially regarding bass frequencies. Although the speaker was discontinued in the late 70s, it had already made its mark and quickly became a favorite among audiophiles and general music listeners. Now McIntosh has announced an updated version of the speaker after 50 years with the McIntosh ML1 Loudspeaker Mk II, combining the vintage mid-century flair of the original with modern technology.

McIntosh ML1 Mk II Loudspeaker 1
Photo: McIntosh

Although this throwback speaker may look old, it certainly won’t sound like it. The 4-way speaker boasts five symmetrically positioned speaker drivers inside: A 12” subwoofer, two 4” lower midrange drivers, one 2” soft dome upper midrange driver, and a ¾” tweeter. The aforementioned subwoofer keeps up with the original speaker’s status as a bass behemoth, producing frequencies down to 27Hz, nearly the lowest a human can hear. Additionally, the speaker can handle up to 600 watts, making it a great tool for loud listening sessions (just make sure the audio is clean).

McIntosh ML1 Mk II Loudspeaker 2
Photo: McIntosh

On the outside, we have a sleek cabinet made of oiled American Walnut wood and veneers with a statin finish. The removable wood grill on the back now features cloth instead of wood, so the audio isn’t compromised.

McIntosh ML1 Mk II Loudspeaker 3
Photo: McIntosh

The McIntosh ML1 Loudspeaker Mk II is coming this July, priced at $12,000 for a pair.