McIntosh Mini Flagship Line Array Speaker at 1/2 Price

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
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#1
McIntosh describes the XRT1.1K as “more accessibly sized” than the XRT2.1K. The 1.1K stands 14 inches shorter than the 2.1K, and weighs in 173 pounds lighter. It’s still no featherweight, but McIntosh devotees with less-than-cavernous listening rooms will have an easier time achieving good results with the smaller speaker. At $60,000 per pair, the 1.1K is also less than half the price of the 2.1K, so well-heeled audiophiles who opt for the 1.1K can still send at least one of the kids to college.

McIntosh says that the line array allows the 1.1K to sound amazing whether the listener is situated close to or farther back from the speakers, since not all of the drivers are aligned on the same axis. Nearfield listeners will only be on axis to some of the drivers, and therefore won’t be overwhelmed. Farther back, listeners will be on axis to more drivers, so the perceived sound level and quality should remain constant.

McIntosh.jpg


Read: Mcintosh Mini-Flagship XRT1.1k Loudspeaker Overview
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
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4,421 33 17
#2
In my experience, line arrays are the speaker type for those looking for a 'wall-of-sound' effect, that larger than life sound that you would expect from an Imax. The cost is imaging; these speakers don't tend to have very precise imaging. An exception would be the CBT24 from Dayton Audio, but that 'emulates' a point source of acoustic emission whereas traditional line arrays do not. It isn't quite like other line arrays.

I think a lot of people are actually looking for this 'larger than life' soundstage for that cinematic sound, so I am a bit surprised that there aren't any affordable line arrays outside of the CBT24. Granted a line array will never be cheap as a consequence of its design, since it has to use so many drivers, but I can't even think of any for less than five-figures. I believe that a decent line array could be manufactured for maybe around $4k with the caveat that it doesn't attempt deep bass and leaves the sub 80 Hz stuff to subwoofers. I think a lot of people would be drawn to line arrays- if they could afford them.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

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#3
In my experience, line arrays are the speaker type for those looking for a 'wall-of-sound' effect, that larger than life sound that you would expect from an Imax. The cost is imaging; these speakers don't tend to have very precise imaging. An exception would be the CBT24 from Dayton Audio, but that 'emulates' a point source of acoustic emission whereas traditional line arrays do not. It isn't quite like other line arrays.

I think a lot of people are actually looking for this 'larger than life' soundstage for that cinematic sound, so I am a bit surprised that there aren't any affordable line arrays outside of the CBT24. Granted a line array will never be cheap as a consequence of its design, since it has to use so many drivers, but I can't even think of any for less than five-figures. I believe that a decent line array could be manufactured for maybe around $4k with the caveat that it doesn't attempt deep bass and leaves the sub 80 Hz stuff to subwoofers. I think a lot of people would be drawn to line arrays- if they could afford them.
Although there's very little chance I would ever afford such a thing, I am always pleased to know that things like this exist. Its also nice to know that there is a market and somebody is making something to fit it. If I ever hit the big time money jackpot, and for the things already on my list of wishes it needs to be a very large jackpot indeed, I suppose I might give these a sniff. I still don't own an McIntosh products. I can't even afford the coasters for the table. But its nice to dream and know there's stuff available "just in case"
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
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#4
Although there's very little chance I would ever afford such a thing, I am always pleased to know that things like this exist. Its also nice to know that there is a market and somebody is making something to fit it. If I ever hit the big time money jackpot, and for the things already on my list of wishes it needs to be a very large jackpot indeed, I suppose I might give these a sniff. I still don't own an McIntosh products. I can't even afford the coasters for the table. But its nice to dream and know there's stuff available "just in case"
I have a McIntosh product. It is a shot glass that a McIntosh rep gave me some years ago.

The problem is that I believe there could be demand for four-figure line arrays but no one is addressing it. One of the less expensive line arrays I know of is the Funk Active Line Array and that is still $22k. I think a decent one could be made for maybe $5k a pair, and home theater nuts would eat it up. A lot of these home theater guys are using, or I should say misusing, commercial theater speakers such as JBL and QSC cinema speakers. That can be problematic (but then again, a lot of dudes are just after 'loud' with little concern for other aspects of sound). A line array can have similarly tremendous dynamic range but without the compromises that pro-cinema gear has in a small room (small compared to the auditoriums they are intended to be used in).
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

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#5
I have a McIntosh product. It is a shot glass that a McIntosh rep gave me some years ago.

The problem is that I believe there could be demand for four-figure line arrays but no one is addressing it. One of the less expensive line arrays I know of is the Funk Active Line Array and that is still $22k. I think a decent one could be made for maybe $5k a pair, and home theater nuts would eat it up. A lot of these home theater guys are using, or I should say misusing, commercial theater speakers such as JBL and QSC cinema speakers. That can be problematic (but then again, a lot of dudes are just after 'loud' with little concern for other aspects of sound). A line array can have similarly tremendous dynamic range but without the compromises that pro-cinema gear has in a small room (small compared to the auditoriums they are intended to be used in).
I learn something every day. Never heard of Funk Audio before. I took a look at your link and I can see why I may never have heard of them. Price. That's a pretty spendy set of products. They could be fantastic for all I know, but the price would stop me cold.

Since you mentioned JBL, I just ordered my very first JBL speakers. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a set of JBLs. Never could afford them back when they were making themselves famous. And now that they are famous, I still can't afford the stars in the product line like the L100's or the 4XXX series. I have a modest bedroom application so I ordered a set of JBL 230s + SVS PB1000 sub. I will finally be a JBL owner, albeit the small ones. I am looking forward to it.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

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#7
Although there's very little chance I would ever afford such a thing, I am always pleased to know that things like this exist. Its also nice to know that there is a market and somebody is making something to fit it. If I ever hit the big time money jackpot, and for the things already on my list of wishes it needs to be a very large jackpot indeed, I suppose I might give these a sniff. I still don't own an McIntosh products. I can't even afford the coasters for the table. But its nice to dream and know there's stuff available "just in case"
Yeah! Everything is relative! Those line arrays are not cheap, but when you think of it, they're still a lot cheaper than having the real thing, having to pay for a performance with good musicians and singer(s) every week in your house for the rest of your days. :D
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
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#8
I learn something every day. Never heard of Funk Audio before. I took a look at your link and I can see why I may never have heard of them. Price. That's a pretty spendy set of products. They could be fantastic for all I know, but the price would stop me cold.

Since you mentioned JBL, I just ordered my very first JBL speakers. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a set of JBLs. Never could afford them back when they were making themselves famous. And now that they are famous, I still can't afford the stars in the product line like the L100's or the 4XXX series. I have a modest bedroom application so I ordered a set of JBL 230s + SVS PB1000 sub. I will finally be a JBL owner, albeit the small ones. I am looking forward to it.
Funk's stuff is very cool, it looks really nice but has some very serious performance to back up those good looks. A bunch of his subs have been tested at data-bass.com. They are the Lamboghinis of the subwoofer world.

Speaking of JBL and line arrays, JBL Pro does offer some semi-affordable line arrays that use CBT technology that can be seen here. This guy, for example, uses six powerful 6"s and twenty-four 1" dome tweeters. Very high SPL speaker, as it needs to be for large venue reinforcement. It doesn't cost much more than $2k each. That thing would probably annihilate any home theater, it would be killer.

Why can't there be a home audio version of that? I think that a lot of people would love something like that if they heard it.
 
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Paul Lane

Audioholic Intern
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#9
Looks like a Loudspeaker for Dentists and Lawyers..
Never buy a Speaker from an Amplifier Company..
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

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#10
Looks like a Loudspeaker for Dentists and Lawyers..
Never buy a Speaker from an Amplifier Company..
In the late 60's, McIntosh released bookshelf speakers which were selling for over $1000 a pair.

They were using cheap drivers. They sounded good however because they had well designed crossovers.

As a matter of fact, at the time, Clairtone Hi-Fi consoles had speaker drivers just as good!
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

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#12
Heard some pretty sweet Krell speakers over the years. All high end drivers aluminum enclosures etc.
Do you know how they compare to the YG speakers? Several years ago in a Montreal audio show, I heard some YG Al speaker enclosures which I found really amazing.
 
everettT

everettT

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#13
Do you know how they compare to the YG speakers? Several years ago in a Montreal audio show, I heard some YG Al speaker enclosures which I found really amazing.
I'm sorry I dont. Would like too though as I've heard the same about them.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

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#14
Makes me think of this.
They are the Lamboghinis of the subwoofer world.
Their other work doesn't seem far off, but if thats the case than this is a custom built monster truck... all that's missing is the flamethrower! :p
I think a decent one could be made for maybe $5k a pair, and home theater nuts would eat it up.
What does it take to be considered line array? (Other than the drivers being, well, arrayed in a line...) How many of what type drivers? What are XOs like for a line array speaker? Curious since I've been reading the speaker design books lately.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,267 9 16
#15
Makes me think of this.

Their other work doesn't seem far off, but if thats the case than this is a custom built monster truck... all that's missing is the flamethrower! :p

What does it take to be considered line array? (Other than the drivers being, well, arrayed in a line...) How many of what type drivers? What are XOs like for a line array speaker? Curious since I've been reading the speaker design books lately.
James did a review on the smaller version, here is the larger
https://www.parts-express.com/epiqu...bAs_FZ-9ND1tY-W7zcZiWxQJktf8Wp90aAgcPEALw_wcB
That goes into some detail about Keele and the concept
https://www.parts-express.com/cbt36k-line-array-speaker-pair-kit--301-980
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
4,421 33 17
#16
What does it take to be considered line array? (Other than the drivers being, well, arrayed in a line...) How many of what type drivers? What are XOs like for a line array speaker? Curious since I've been reading the speaker design books lately.
Line arrays are different than normal speakers in that normal speakers have a imaginary point source of acoustic emission. What that means is that the sound acts as if it is coming from a single point in space. In a line array, the sound acts like it is coming from a line in space, a two-dimensional source. The advantages of this is that, for frequencies within the size of the 'line,' they have very tight vertical directivity. So a line array projects sound in narrow beam equal to the size of the array (at least for frequencies of a wavelength below the array size- so most line arrays do not control bass like mids and treble).

One advantage of the tight vertical directivity of line arrays is that there is no floor bounce or ceiling bounce, so there is more control over the sound. Another is that the sound does not lose as much amplitude over distance as a point source. A point source speaker loses output at a rate of 6 dB per doubling of distance, but a line array loses output at a rate of 3 dB per doubling of distance, so only half the rate as point source speakers (this only holds over a certain distance though, past which a line array's output does decrease more rapidly with increasing distance). Another advantage is that they tend to have huge dynamic range potential- think about how much louder a speaker can get that has 20 midrange drivers as opposed to 1 or 2, or 30 tweeters as opposed to 1.

I don't think the XO slopes are all that different than normal speakers, but one important attribute is the center-to-center spacing between the drivers. It must be less than one wavelength for a far-field application, and less than one half wavelength for a near-field application. So for treble frequencies, you need those tweeters squeezed together pretty tightly. One way around that, however, is to use ribbon tweeters, which have a line shape anyway.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
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#17
Keele's CBT arrays are like only 'half' line array. They essentially mimic a point source speaker, but they do have some line array attributes. They definitely are not a standard issue line arrays.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

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#20
What a waste of money if you can't have precise imaging!
Verdinut
I don't know if that's a real loss or a tradeoff. I would only say that because if you're laying down $20K for a set of speakers, you are definitely looking real hard at the sound field you will create. Most likely, one is trying to achieve the "wall of sound" like shadyj mentioned earlier rather than a precise image.

I have only had to occasion to listen to a set of these type of speakers on one occasion. I was absolutely blown away by "the size" of the sound field. I was not prepared for the difference between what I usually hear and what these big giants produced. I was very, very impressed.

Its safe to for me to be knocked out by something like this because there's no danger of me ever considering a spend that like. Your point is well considered though. I believe the tradeoff between "precise" and "huge" is probably real.
 

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