Sonus Faber parent Fine Sounds acquires McIntosh Laboratory

American high-end company McIntosh Laboratory, famous for its line of amplifiers stretching back to the 1950s – and for powering the famous Grateful Dead 'Wall of Sound' PA system – has been bought by Fine Sounds, the Italian-based owner of Sonus Faber, Audio Research and Wadia Digital.

Fine Sounds, which is owned by Milan-based investment management company Quadrivio, bought McIntosh from D+M Group, the owner of Denon, Marantz and Boston Acoustics.

Founded in 1949, and still building its products in Binghamton, New York State, McInstosh built its reputation on amplification complete with black glass front panels and blue-lit power meters.

From the 1960s, the fame of McIntosh moved beyond the home: the ability of its amps to deliver clean power at very high levels were required by with rock and roll acts playing ever larger venues, and it was McIntosh amps powering the massive system built for the first Woodtsock Festival in 1969.

The amps thus became the obvious choice for the Grateful Dead 'Wall of Sound', built by legendary sound mixer Owsley Stanley - you can read more about that in this blog from last year.

Fine Sounds CEO Mauro Grange says that the company plans to expand the brand into new international markets: 'McIntosh is dedicated to the highest caliber of high-end audio and is a perfect fit with our own culture and vision.' he says, adding that 'We will treasure and protect the legacy of McIntosh as well as its people and reputation.

'This acquisition represents a strategic direction for our company to be a leader in the international luxury audio arena, and to have products that are the best in the world in their category. With the distribution synergies we will have with our other outstanding brands, McIntosh will be positioned for substantially accelerated global growth.'

Charles Randall, currently President and CEO of McIntosh, will continue to manage the brand under its new ownership, saying of Fine Sounds that 'It's their appreciation of our legacy, as well as their strong leadership, distribution advantage and marketing expertise that gives us confidence in a bright future.'

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.