The ML1 Loudspeaker was the first speaker McIntosh ever made. It was introduced in 1970 with a mid-century modern design style and produced amazing sound quality with high volume output capability and tremendous bass response, especially when paired with an external equalizer. Countless music enthusiasts chose the ML1 to listen to their cherished music.
The original ML1 was discontinued in 1977, though we have continued to offer high performance speakers ever since. Now with a gesture to our speaker origins, we are bringing back the ML1 as the ML1 Loudspeaker Mk II.
Externally, the new ML1 evokes memories of when the original ML1 was available – a time when there were less distractions, and it was easier to listen to music and become immersed in it. The classic looks of the ML1 rekindles the mood of that era so you can relax and appreciate your favorite songs.
The cabinet is built from oiled American Walnut solid woods and veneers with a satin finish. It has a matching magnetically attached, removable wood grille with acoustically transparent black knit cloth with a touch of metal trim, giving the speaker a refined look. Gone are the vertical wood slats found on the original ML1's grille that could interfere with music playback. The new ML1's grille only has acoustically transparent cloth that does not obstruct the music.
Internally, the new ML1 is full modern performance-first speaker technology. A 4-way speaker, the ML1 uses five separate speaker drivers to produce astonishing sound:
Unlike the original ML1, the drivers on the new generation ML1 are positioned symmetrically so there is not a dedicated left and right speaker, eliminating the possibility of installing the speakers in the wrong orientation, and providing a more uniform listening area.
A specially milled transition plate houses the midranges and tweeter and allows them to be placed close together. Their close proximity to each other reduces off axis lobing of the sound field and places all the acoustic output that typically impacts imaging together in a small space. The transition plate also provides a strong foundation for the upper frequency units to reduce vibrations that might affect the sound. Internal cabinet bracing provides an airtight and separated enclosure from the 12" woofer to further minimize vibrations.
The upper midrange in the ML1 has low resonance and high-power handling capabilities; this allows the crossover point between the lower and upper midranges to avoid the 1kHz frequency that is critical to producing clear vocals. The crossover frequency of the tweeter reduces vertical lobing of the sound field and allows the ML1 to reproduce the recorded music more faithfully.
The ML1 is engineered to handle up to 600 Watts from an amplifier, making it perfect for high-powered listening sessions that would strain other speakers. Its five individual speaker drivers work together to share the power load, keeping the ML1 unstressed when fed clean, high-power from powerful amplifiers such as the McIntosh MC611 and MC462. The resulting life-sized sound can fill up all but the largest rooms.
With its 12" woofer, the ML1 has an incredible bass response down to 27Hz, which is close to the lowest frequency the human ear can detect. A subwoofer will typically not be needed to achieve deep, punchy bass.
You might see some similarly sized speakers with more woofers, but don't be deceived by a higher woofer count as there is no substitute for woofer size. In fact, the single 12" woofer in the ML1 has the same surface area as four 6" woofers – and when it comes to the bass frequencies that a woofer produces, the larger the surface area the better to push all that air.
The 12" woofer has been designed to work in an acoustic suspension design enclosure, just like the original. However, much has been learned since the original ML1 speaker, and modern design and simulation tools were used to develop design parameters that provide a bass response similar to the original but without the need for an external equalizer.
The woofer also uses our patented Low Distortion High Performance (LD/HP®) Magnetic Circuit Design that significantly reduces distortion while increasing power handling and efficiency. The performance improvements from LD/HP are so vast that the 12" woofer in the ML1 could rival woofers twice its size.
Unlike many speakers that project their best sound over a narrow area in front of the speaker, the ML1 delivers exceptional sound over a wider area at all frequencies thanks to its 4-way design, carefully selected driver complement and sizes, and its expertly engineered crossover network. This means that everyone in the room can enjoy the full stereo sound stage projected by the ML1, instead of being confined to a limited "sweet spot" for listening.
The ML1 uses a custom-built crossover network designed by our engineers for performance and durability. Over-specified components ensure high power handling, while solid state, self-resetting protection devices prevent damage to any of the drivers. The crossover design separates the high and low frequency circuits, and each are available for both bi-wiring or bi-amping as desired.
All the power sent to the ML1 from your amplifiers is fed through our Solid Cinch™ speaker binding posts that easily but securely attach the speaker cables to prevent them from coming loose and possibly causing a short. The binding posts are gold-plated to prevent corrosion and ensure a quality signal is sent through your speaker cables.
The ML1 is made in the USA and comes with a matching stand that features a vintage die cast aluminum name badge on the base that matches the badges found on some of our amplifiers and integrated amplifiers. The stand has been designed to elevate and position the ML1 loudspeaker for optimum imaging and listening enjoyment. It comes with feet for use on hard floors, and spikes for use on carpet. The speaker can also be set directly on the floor if desired, or placed on a sturdy piece of furniture that's free of decorations or items that could vibrate. Contact your local dealer to learn more about the new ML1 and matching stand.