McIntosh MC3500 Mk II in Woodstock-design

McIntosh MC3500 Mk II retro valve amplifier

The original played at Woodstock.

Published 2021-11-04 - 3:00 pm

The new McIntosh MC3500 Mk II is a wonderful look back at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, where Grateful Dead used a stack of McIntosh amplifiers that ran the PA system. Also known as The Wall of Sound.

A pair of amplifiers that Grateful Dead’s David Crosby used for many years, recently went for a record sum at auction.

But back to the McIntosh MC3500 Mk II. It looks, as you can see, much like the original, and the McIntosh team with Livio Cucuzza in the lead, has really succeeded in making the amplifier look both retro and modern.

The Champagne-coloured front plate with the solid handles, and the power meter with the turquoise signature colour, hints at both the past and the present, and behind the front plate, the amplifier has McIntosh Unity Coupled Circuit transformers, and the output part is equipped with vacuum valves.

Three 12AX7A valves and one 12AT7 drive eight EL5095 valves that provide an output power of 350 W. The 5095 valves were chosen because they most closely resemble the original 6LQ6 valves.

“During Woodstock’s 50th anniversary in 2019, there was a lot of talk about the old McIntosh system,” said McIntosh president Charlie Randall. “The enthusisam was high and it inspired me to gather a team of engineers to create a redesigned amplifier that was recognisable for fans as a historically important product. After two years of work, we are proud of the result.MC3500 Mk II draws inspiration from the original from 1968-71, and MC3500 and contains everything we have learned about vave amplifiers since the 60’s.

The mono power amplifier therefore has McInt0sh Power Guard which prevents the valves from breaking, Sentry Monitor which makes sure that the output current is within safe limits, and it is equipped with balanced inputs 0g McIntosh solid, lockable cable terminals.

The McIntosh MC3500 Mk II will be for sale in December in North America, the rest of the world a little later, and the price is stated at 15,000 USD.


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Jerry Garcia not David Crosby


Love your site. Very informative.

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