22 Dec 2017

How many drivers per speaker do you really need?

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If you've got the budget... If you've got the budget... McIntosh

If you’re uber high-end US audio manufacturer McIntosh, you’ll find that 81 is roughly the right number.

Perhaps more to the point, if you’re a customer in the market for that sort of audio experience you’ll find that you’ll need $180,000 to listen to the pair of XRT2.1Ks that house them. That money buys you a seven-foot-tall unit that features 6x 8-inch bass drivers, a mere 2x 6.5-inch low frequency midrange units, a massive 28x 2-inch upper midrange units, and a frankly jaw-dropping 45x three-quarter-inch tweeters.

The XRT2.1K’s crossover network has been engineered to ensure an even frequency response and utilises capacitors and inductors with low loss and high current capacity. Meanwhile some wholly new Nanocarbon Fibre/Nomex Honeycomb drivers specifically created for the XRT2.1K control the bass frequencies and are housed in their own bass enclosure cabinet.

The result is a 2000 watt pair of leviathans that are also capable of remarkable gentleness, McIntosh saying that an even sound dispersion pattern means that listeners close to the speaker will not be overwhelmed by sheer volume, while those further away equally won’t notice any drop off in sound level.

Frankly, one would hope not. McIntosh says that these speakers have been 45 years in the making, which perhaps goes some way to explaining the price. But given that you can (almost) pick up a new Ferrari for the same amount of money, and that comes with its own audio system and allows you to drive places, they are possibly going to be a little hard to justify on expenses.

If you have some spare cash down the back of the sofa, visit the Mcintosh website for more information.

Andy Stout

Andy has spent over two decades writing about all aspects of the broadcast and film industries for a variety of high-profile industry publications on both sides of the Atlantic. During that time the industry has moved from 4:3 SD to 16:9 SD to HD and now on to 4K HDR. He's getting kind of curious to see where it goes next.

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