McIntosh's ML1 MKII are modern-retro reinventions of its original 1970s speakers

McIntosh ML1 MKII
(Image credit: McIntosh)

While McIntosh has been making loudspeakers since 1970, it isn’t every day that the electronics specialist adds a new pair to its range. That’s one reason why the launch of the ML1 MKII at High End Munich 2023 is rather exciting. Another is that they are actually modern reinventions of the company’s first model back, the ML-1C. And if you’re looking for a third, then, well, have you seen them? 

The new ML1 MKII are some of the most striking retro-modern speakers that have appeared in recent years – and if you’ve been following the classic speaker resurrection trend of late, you’ll know there have been a lot. Those familiar with the originals will note the preservation of the two-part baffle of the oiled American Walnut solid wood cabinets and satin finish veneers, though the cloth grille is not accompanied by the ML-1C’s slats this time round.

McIntosh ML1 MKII

McIntosh ML1 MKII (left) next to the 1970s ML-1C (Image credit: McIntosh)

The ML1 MKII also introduce a matching stand with a vintage die-cast aluminium name badge on the base. The biggest changes, however, have been made internally, with McIntosh claiming a full modern revamp has been undertaken to reflect the sonic standards it holds today. The four-way speaker uses five separate drivers – a 12-inch polypropylene cone woofer in a sealed enclosure, two 4-inch lower midrange polypropylene cone drivers in a sealed sub-enclosure, one 2-inch soft dome upper midrange driver, and the same 0.75-inch Titanium dome tweeter found in the company’s XR50 bookshelf and XR100 floorstanding models.

McIntosh says the ML1 MKII can be connected with amplifiers up to 600 watts, and while it promises “similar base response” as the M1-LC, thankfully the new speakers don’t need an equalizer this time – the originals required either the MQ101 or MQ102.

As for when you’ll be able to get your hands on these puppies, shipping of the ML1 MKII will commence in July. And the damage that it will take on your wallet? $12,000 / AU$25,990 per pair.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.