In a world dominated by digital advancements in audio technology, McIntosh has taken a bold step by introducing the MQ112 Environmental Equalizer, a high-end 8-band stereo equalizer designed to optimize home audio listening spaces. The MQ112 marks a departure from the prevailing trend of digital room correction, offering audiophiles a classic analog approach to fine-tuning their audio experience.
The MQ112 boasts McIntosh's iconic visual characteristics, featuring an illuminated logo, black glass front faceplate, rotary control knobs, and custom-machined aluminum end caps. This classic design is a nod to McIntosh's commitment to timeless aesthetics in the world of audio equipment.
Unlike the prevailing market trend, which relies on digital room correction platforms like Dirac Live, the MQ112 relies on analog equalization features. This allows users to make precise adjustments to audio signal levels at eight key bands between 25Hz and 10kHz, with a range of ±12dB. This analog approach provides users with the flexibility to fine-tune the mix and balance of frequencies, creating the ideal sonic profile for any listening space.
Rather than resorting to extensive room treatments, speaker repositioning, or room rearrangement, the MQ112 enables users to compensate for imperfections in vintage recordings and achieve the clearest reproduction of their sound.
The MQ112 supports both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA line) inputs and outputs, ensuring versatility for integration into any sound system. Placed between the preamplifier and power amplifier, it can be seamlessly integrated into various audio configurations. The inclusion of a secondary pair of outputs allows for connection to two separate stereo systems, bi-amping between a single pair of speakers, or incorporating up to two subwoofers.
Key features of the MQ112 include a TILT knob that allows for a tonal balance shift of ±6dB, enabling users to boost bass or treble across the entire frequency range. The EQ Control IN and OUT settings provide an easy way to bypass the equalizer circuit for a direct comparison between the EQ output and the original unaltered signal.
McIntosh President Charlie Randall said in a press release: “The new MQ112 puts McIntosh’s powerful EQ capabilities in a standalone unit, giving listeners more options to customize and fine-tune their system’s equalization than ever before…We are excited by the possibilities that the MQ112 offers audio enthusiasts to take control of their sound.“
The MQ112 will be available through authorized McIntosh local and online dealers starting October 2023, with a retail price of $3,000.