Review of the McIntosh XR14 Loudspeaker
McIntosh XR14 - Pure Brilliance
The McIntosh XR-14 is an excellent-sounding loudspeaker from one of the most respected and long-storied American makers of HiFi equipment. McIntosh is perhaps best known for their amplifiers and pre-amps, both solid-state and tube. The Company was founded in 1948, and has been producing some of the very best audio equipment money can buy. And believe me, if you want Mac gear, you will need money.
The XR-14 loudspeaker was priced at around $1500 for a pair in the late 1970s and early 1980s but can be found on eBay or Craigslist for between $350 and $900 once shipping charges are included (they weigh around 50 lbs - 22 kilos - each). Shipping can run $100 or more, so buying a local pair is recommended. Also recommended, and in fact "required" according to McIntosh, is an MQ101 or MQ102 equalizer.
But if you have the money, you will be treated to one of the cleanest, richest, flattest full-range sonic experiences possible with two speakers. Here is a link to the Website of the XR 14's designer, Roger Russel.
My home theater with the Mac XR-14s on top of my CSW SW1 subwoofers
Setting up the XR-14: You need an MQ EQ or subs
The MQ101 or MQ102 EQ's by McIntosh allow you to get good bass from your XR-14s, no matter where you place them in any size or shape of room. The EQs can be had for between $200 - $500.
Once you get a pair set up in your house, you will be amazed. Properly positioned and EQ'd these Macs produce full-range detail like I have never heard. My friends and I recently tested our ears, and apparently I can still hear over 16,000 Hz, and down to below 40 Hz. So take it from a guy with some ears: the mid-range and high-end detail from the XR-14s is unmatched. And I have listened to a LOT of speakers.
In my case, I always use a pair of subwoofers with my main speakers, even large ones like the XR-14 or my Klipsch Hereseys. Using a pair of big, brawny, acoustic suspension (unported) subwoofers takes a lot of load off your mains, and if you are using an unported sub you'll have tight, musical bass extension. Using a pair of subs also obviates the need for the MQ equalizers, since the bass frequencies they address are taken care of ably by your subs. In my setup, I have a pair of CSW SW1 powered subs, which get their signal from a Rotel RSP-985 pre/processor.
Conclusion: Good Buy
If you find a pair of these McIntosh XR-14's for less than $500 without an MQ101 or 102, or $800 with either the MQ102 or MQ102, you have found a good deal, and you should buy them. Check my website, www.vintageaudiophile.com, to see if these or other recommended loudspeakers are in stock.
Good luck in your search for hi-end vintage HiFi!
Visit these other vintage Hi-Fi related Hubs, and my website & blog
- Wicked Hi-Fi Iconic Vintage Stereo and Home Theater Heirlooms &Listening Room
My Webiste - vintage audio and HT heirlooms CHEAP :)
- Wicked Hi-Fi
my stereo and HT blog
- Cambridge Soundworks SW1 and Slave Subwoofers Review
Some say the Cambridge Soundworks' (CSW) SW1 Sub and Slave were the only good products the company ever made. But some enthusiasts also grant such status to the original Ensemble system, which for a short...
- Klipsch Heresy II Review
I had always heard of the legendary Klipsch
- Paradigm Studio Monitor Review
Paradigm is well known as a
- Wattage for Stereo and Home Theaters Explained
Wattage, watts-per-channel (wpc), power, and power-handling are all terms that get thrown around a lot at stereo and home theater stores. With all the talk of watts and power, one would naturally think...
- Home theater & stereo systems explained
The essential ingredients of both home theater systems and hi-fi stereos are similar: Speakers (anywhere from two to ten or more) Amplification Processing Source media like CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray. For...
- What's the Difference Between Receivers and "Separat...
Learn about stereos and home theater, and why buying vintage gear is almost always better than buying new
- How to Place Home Theater Speakers
One of the crucial elements of setting up any home theater system is the placement of speakers. Without properly placed speakers, the sound quality of the system will be degraded. It is easy to set up...
More by this Author
The more you learn about stereo and home theater technology, the more you may hear about bi-amping or tri-amping your speakers. As somebody who has a tri-amped setup at home, I can tell you that it does make a big...
Paradigm is well known as a "budget audiophile's" speaker company. With speakers starting at less than $300 and going all they way up to nearly $10,000, Paradigm makes something for nearly every...
Wattage, watts-per-channel (wpc), power, and power-handling are all terms that get thrown around a lot at stereo and home theater stores. With all the talk of watts and power, one would naturally think they're...