NEWS - NOVEMBER 2021
McIntosh Reimagines Iconic Amplifier used at Woodstock
The MC3500 Mk II is inspired by the amplifier that inspired a generation of musicians and music fans alike.
MCINTOSH, A GLOBAL LEADER in ultimate-quality audio for over 70 years, is proud to announce the MC3500 Mk II Vacuum Tube Amplifier. Originally used to power the sound system for Woodstock in 1969 among other formative music events, the iconic monoblock amp was recreated by McIntosh’s expert team of engineers and designers to include modern upgrades that celebrate the brand’s rich history of powering pivotal moments in music, while showcasing its commitment to technological innovations and acoustic advancements. The reimagined version can be used with a variety of preamplifiers, turntables, CD players, media streamers and speakers to form a complete home audio system.
The MC3500 Mk II boasts 350 Watts of power and is upgraded with modern components that deliver an audio performance worthy of its predecessor. As in the original, the MC3500 Mk II uses McIntosh’s Unity Coupled Circuit™ output transformer, allowing the full 350 Watts to be safely delivered to virtually any speaker. The MC3500 Mk II has a fully balanced driver section that utilizes three 12AX7A and one 12AT7 vacuum tube, while the output is powered by eight EL509S high-power output vacuum tubes specifically chosen due to the similarity to the 6LQ6 “sweep tubes” found in the original MC3500. All the vacuum tubes are located behind the power and output transformers and are covered by a 12-gauge stainless steel wire cage.
“At the 50th anniversary of Woodstock in 2019, there was a lot of buzz resurfacing about the McIntosh sound system,” said McIntosh President, Charlie Randall. “This enthusiasm was infectious and inspired me to get our engineering team together to redesign the amp that has obviously resonated with music fans as being a historically significant piece of audio gear. After over two years, we are really proud of the result. The MC3500 Mk II takes its inspiration from the original 1968-71 MC3500 and incorporates all the knowledge we have gained surrounding vacuum tube amplifier design since the 1960s.”
The MC3500 Mk II is both modern and retro in its design. As an homage to the original, the Mk II includes U-shaped side-rails, a unique feature that provided strength and durability when the original amps were used on the road. The Mk II also has replicated the black rubber bumpers found in the original amps that allowed them to be temporarily set upright for shows and were big enough to prevent the model from being damaged during setup at concerts. The front panel is machined aluminum with a bead blast finish and gold anodizing that emulates the original MC3500. Just as in the original MC3500, the Mk II version includes an output meter, though this version is larger and centered on the front panel rather than offset to the left side as in the previous version. The meter uses a variation of McIntosh’s DualView™ Power Output Meter design, with the top scale showing the power output in both Watts and decibels, while the bottom scale shows the amplifier warm-up time.
Orders for the MC3500 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh Dealers with shipping expected to begin in December 2021 to the United States and Canada, and to the rest of the world shortly thereafter.
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