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McIntosh raids flagship tech for more accessible room-dominating speakers

McIntosh raids flagship tech f...
Each XRT1.1K loudspeaker has 70 drivers, is shorter and lighter than the flagship model and has a power rating of 1,200 W
Each XRT1.1K loudspeaker has 70 drivers, is shorter and lighter than the flagship model and has a power rating of 1,200 W
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Each XRT1.1K loudspeaker has 70 drivers, is shorter and lighter than the flagship model and has a power rating of 1,200 W
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Each XRT1.1K loudspeaker has 70 drivers, is shorter and lighter than the flagship model and has a power rating of 1,200 W
The XRT1.1K's line array comprises 24 2 inch upper frequency mid-range drivers and 40 0.75 inch tweeters, which sit in front of four 6.5 inch woofers and two 6.5 inch low freq mid-range drivers
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The XRT1.1K's line array comprises 24 2 inch upper frequency mid-range drivers and 40 0.75 inch tweeters, which sit in front of four 6.5 inch woofers and two 6.5 inch low freq mid-range drivers
The XRT1.1K speakers stand 14 inches (35 cm) shorter than the flagship XRT2.1K and weigh 173 lb (78 kg) less
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The XRT1.1K speakers stand 14 inches (35 cm) shorter than the flagship XRT2.1K and weigh 173 lb (78 kg) less
Shorter and lighter than the XRT2.1K flagships, the XRT1.1K four-way speakers will still dominate all but the very largest of living rooms
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Shorter and lighter than the XRT2.1K flagships, the XRT1.1K four-way speakers will still dominate all but the very largest of living rooms
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Late last year, high-end audio brand McIntosh revealed a new flagship loudspeaker, the XRT2.1.K. At 7 ft tall and with a total of 81 drivers, you'd expect only well-heeled music lovers would be able to afford such audio luxury... and you'd be right. A pair comes in at US$130,000. Now the company has announced a slightly less powerful version that's also less than half the price.

Standing 14 inches (35 cm) shorter than the flagship XRT2.1K and shaving 173 lb (78 kg) off the scales, each XRT1.1K four-way speaker will still dominate all but the very largest of living rooms. Only 11 drivers have been sacrificed for the new design, so that means four 6.5 inch woofers and two 6.5 inch low frequency mid-range drivers fronted by a line array of 24 2 inch upper frequency mid-range drivers and 40 0.75 inch tweeters. All 70 drivers are of the same design as the flagship model.

Shorter and lighter than the XRT2.1K flagships, the XRT1.1K four-way speakers will still dominate all but the very largest of living rooms
Shorter and lighter than the XRT2.1K flagships, the XRT1.1K four-way speakers will still dominate all but the very largest of living rooms

McIntosh says the new loudspeakers should treat listeners to an "even and wide sound field, producing exceptional stereo imaging in nearly all listening positions." Power rating lowers to 1,200 W (from 2,000 W) and crossover has been designed to offer an even, distortion-free frequency response across the whole of the audible range. That frequency response is 16 Hz to 45 kHz, nominal impedance is 8 ohms and sound pressure level is given as 89 dB at 1 m.

Also filtering down from the XRT2.1K is the high gloss bass cabinet, brushed/black aluminum touches and eye-catching steel spiders (which McIntosh says were inspired by skyscraper construction). The black knit cloth grille can mask the line array or be removed to show off all those drivers, and the machined aluminum and glass base plate is raised off the floor by four adjustable feet.

You'll likely still need to sit down for the price though, which is $60,000 a pair.

Product page: McIntosh XRT1.1K

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1 comment
EZ
I've been a hifi nut for a long time. McIntosh has always been one of status players in the game. However, I don't see the value in spreading the sound energy out of a lot of little drivers, compared to large drivers that take up less room in your room. It appears that they are more interested in image fluffing than true improvements in sound. For example, I have a pair of old Altec 604 k drivers and a 25 watt/channel stereo tube amp that puts out sound as good as I've ever heard. I don't think any new solid state developments can top good tube amp sound quality combined with components from the "golden age" of hifi. A 50 watt tube amp with the right speakers can more than fill a room in a house and the cost would be a pittance compared to these $60K speakers. They probably have a $60K amp to go along with them--or maybe it's one of those built-in types in the speaker boxes. I'd rather spend $60 K on a house but that's only my humble opinion.