Industry News

A Box of NOTHING from McIntosh: The LB200

The first hifi system I experienced was comprised of McIntosh components, so I’ve been a fan for about 50 years. I’ve owned my fair share of Mc gear over the years, and love my MC275.

I kept my mouth shut when the McIntosh people published press photos with turntables on the same shelves as speakers. “We’re just doing it to look photogenic,” they said. I kept my mouth shut earlier this year when they released $7,500 worth of wood slabs, passing them off as vibration control devices. “They are made by a very prestigious, environmentally conscious furniture manufacturer,” they said. I even kept my mouth shut when they released that rubbish $500 wifi thing – which I actually bought so we could get one in for review sooner than later. BTW, you can’t even read the logo on it – guess you have to pay four figures now at Mc to get a legible logo.

Today I got the press release for the new LB200 Light Box that retails for $1,500. And guess what’s inside? NOTHING. No really. NOTHING. This is fucked up. Really fucked up.  “Have you spent a lot of time creating a beautiful McIntosh system ONLY TO HAVE IT TARNISHED BY A NON PREMIUM COMPONENT?” Are you kidding me? Now if this were $199, or better yet a GIVE AWAY with Mc systems, hell yeah. I know how Mc lovers love big racks full of stuff with the logo and the meters. The more the merrier at that point.

But $1,500 for this thing, really? I could see if they brought back the neon McIntosh clock that used to hang in dealers for say, $300 – $500. That would have been cool. This thing doesn’t even tell the time. It just has the McIntosh logo on it. That’s it. “Handcrafted in the USA with US AND IMPORTED PARTS.” So basically, they are buying the front face plate with the LED assembly for three dollars in China, and taking the casework they already are building for standard sized Mc components.

I have never said anything overly negative about the industry I love, a brand I grew up with (and respected until today) and love but this is just too much. I can never own a piece of McIntosh gear again. I don’t care if it’s a mint pair of MC30s at a reasonable price. This is so wrong on so many levels. And it’s a major slap in the face to other companies that actually make decent (yet NON-PREMIUM) components that actually have something in the fucking box for $1,500.

I don’t EVER want to hear another comment about this product or that product “not being worth the money,” as long as the McIntosh LB200 exists. The good news is that the value of everything made in high end audio that actually has COMPONENTS inside is now worth double. Cables aren’t worth the money? Shut up.

This is the best that the new owners of McIntosh can come up with? Really?

As William Shatner and Henry Rollins once said: “I can’t get behind that.”

PS:  Really not pulling your legs here. NOTHING inside: