McIntosh’s Unveils House of Sound: A NYC Luxury Audiophile Experience

House of Sound Sonus Faber Nova ii room

September 26, 2023

In 2021 it was incredibly disheartening to hear that the World of McIntosh Experience Center was closing.  As long as I’ve been obsessed with high-end audio and home theater, this was on my shortlist for visits, but sadly I never made the sojourn. The 5-story, 12,000 square foot town home located at 214 Lafayette Street in New York City is absolutely beautiful and remains a rental for ridiculously loaded celebrities and ambitious television/movie studios albeit without incomparable audio setups. If you’re interested in its previous McIntosh-laden glory, there are a few excellent YouTube walkthroughs.  Yet, today is not a day of morning audiophile losses because as of September 21st, 2023, McIntosh announced the grand opening of the House of Sound in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC.  McIntosh group anointed this incredible 11,000 square foot townhome located at 357 West 17th Street as a, “new approach to bringing audio excellence to life through meticulously curated listening rooms.”

About the House of Sound’s Meticulously Curated Listening Rooms

The 5 floors of this incredible townhome boast 6 separate listening experiences.  McIntosh Group displays their owned brands along with partners in audio, music, and design such as Sonus Faber, Pro-ject, Rotel, Sumiko, Baxter, Alpange, USM, Snowsound, Sony, Roon, Audioquest, and Abyss.  A few publications like Digital Trends and ecoustics were provided with personal tours which divulge more in depth information and romantic experiences, but for this overview, I threw on my audiophile sleuthing spectacles and terrible pixilated browser window zoom methodology to glean the following from these profound listening spaces.

“Disco” Room: I’m not sure why this is dubbed the disco room.  One can only hope that they play nothing but Boogie Wonderland on repeat.  This beautiful room features an intimate setting complete with the Sonus Faber Electa Amator and an array of McIntosh sources.  Without being actually in the room, I’m going to make a few educated guesses at the McIntosh components: MA12000 Integrated, MC462 Power, C53 Preamplifier, and potentially the MCD350 or MC600 CD Player, and the MT2 Turntable.

House of Sound Listening Room with Sonus Faber Electa Amator

“Jazz” Room: Much like the disco room, it appears as if McIntosh is using separate components for the digital side and the analog side.  My hope on this one is that there’s nothing but Diana Krall on repeat.  Best educated component guesses:

  • Sonus Faber Olymica Nova III
  • Rotel Michi P5 Preamp Series 2
  • Rotel Michi S5 Stereo Amp Series 2
  • Rotel S14 Integrated (which looks like they are usually it as a streamer only)
  • Rotel RA-6000 Diamond
  • Project Turntable (Yes, I’m going to hear it about my lack of knowledge on turntables and phono preamps)

House of Sound Sonus Faber Nova ii room

Home Theater: If you’re going to install a home theater commensurate with a luxury NYC mansion, go big or go home.  House of Sound certainly went big with a 9.16.4 home theater.  Who doesn’t dream or desire of 16 subwoofers in one room?  This must be the most even bass response in history.  The system is also driven by Sonus Faber Arena Custom Installation Speakers and 19 McIntosh amplifiers.  Ecoustics mentioned that the theater is located on the ground floor and accessed via a “secret passage.”  I’m not sure which is more enticing, a 29-speaker, 19-amplifier theater or the absolute joy of discovering it via speakeasy-style secret entrance.

House of Sound Home Theater Room

Image Courtesy of Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

 

Reference Room Lite Edition: Comparatively, think of this as the great flavor but just less calories drink of a room.  I endorse and fully approve of the use of monoblocks, specifically the MC3500 for the radiant silver aesthetic.  Usually black on black on black is the style but the pop of silver makes these Macs truly glow.

  • Sonus Faber Amati G5
  • McIntosh MC3500 1-Channel Vacuum Tube Amplifier MK II
  • McIntosh MT5 Turntable
  • McIntosh C2700 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier
  • McIntosh MCD 600 SACD/CD Player
  • McIntosh MEN220 Room Correction System

House of Sound Sonus Faber Amati Reference Room

Knock Your Socks off Reference Room: It’s not completely possible to make a 7-foot-tall speaker disappear into an attractive environment but the House of Sound designers certainly utilized the space well to not overwhelm the room with such a massive HiFi system. Of particular note are the combined total 8000 watts of amplifier power which seem to perfectly fit into the glove of deep built-in shelving units.

  • McIntosh XRT2.1 Floorstanding Speakers
  • MC2KW 1-Channel Solid State Amplifier
  • 4, MC611s or MC1.25KW monoblocks (hard to tell)
  • No idea about the source or preamps

House of Sound Reference Room McIntosh 2.1K Line Array Speakers

Rooftop Delight: The sound explosion continues where you can bask in the loveliness of the New York City skyline while listening to music via the Sonus Faber Aster outdoor speakers.

Sonus Faber Aster Outdoor Speakers on NYC Rooftop Deck

Ridiculous Townhome Details and McIntosh Group’s Investment

While this blog is about high-end audio and home theater, the opportunity to visit the House of Sound provides much more than an audio experience, it’s an opportunity to tour a multi-million dollar mansion in New York.  While this may not suit everyone’s fancy, my partner, who is usually indifferent to audio glamor, will gladly join me in the mission to gaze upon the splendor of the upper upper upper crust.

To glean an idea of the value of this townhome built in 1920, I discovered the following video from Ryan Serhant with an in-depth walkthrough (prior to the addition of the McIntosh Group brands of greatness).

According to records I discovered via streeteasy.com, The home sold for 15 million in 2020 (almost 17% less than asking) and then went on the market briefly in August 2023 for 22.5 million.  I’m not sure of the full legitimacy of these numbers as I did not go as far as a public records request but we can only assume that McIntosh in collaboration with other supporting brands is footing the rental bill for the property.  To understand the level of investment for the McIntosh Group, Streeteasy estimates the last rental cost was $115,000 in March of 2023.  Granted, this may be an event or a movie production vs. what McIntosh is shelling out but it’s amazing for the high-end audio industry to witness a leader who is investing in this high-fidelity, luxury home tour experience.  Kudos to McIntosh for this endeavor and I hope they continue to increase their number of marketing partnerships and sales to secure this bountiful audio wonderland as a long-term audiophile must-visit.

Learn more about this impressive space and sign up for your decadent audio tour appointment.

Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Speaker Review Roundup

Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Speaker Review Roundup

The Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Speaker ($1499 per pair) is a stellar component of the groundbreaking 5000 series. As part of a lineage founded in 2006, Q Acoustics has rapidly become synonymous with crafting high-end and affordable audio solutions. The 5000 series...

Capital Audio Fest 2023: A First Time Attendee’s Musings Pt. 1

Capital Audio Fest 2023: A First Time Attendee’s Musings Pt. 1

This was not meant to be my virgin pilgrimage to the Mid-Atlantic's premier high-end audio festival (in the words of Capital Audio Fest or CAF's website), but last year the entire family contracted COVID. This year, the entire clan made the journey to Rockville,...

MartinLogan XT B100 Bookshelf Speaker Review Roundup

MartinLogan XT B100 Bookshelf Speaker Review Roundup

If you're in the market for a high-quality bookshelf speaker under $2000, MartinLogan's Motion XT B100 is certainly a name that should pique your interest. Its design and stand-out features as part of the 4th generation of the XT series necessitates your attention....

DIY Audiophile Power Cable: Step-by-Step Instructions

DIY Audiophile Power Cable: Step-by-Step Instructions

Audiophile and HiFi cables are a somewhat controversial topic in the high-end audio/video industry.  Regardless of how you personally feel about them, one of the great aspects of the hobby is the ability to tinker.  The "tinkering" process often involves changing or...

Perlisten R7t Floorstanding Speaker Review Roundup

Perlisten R7t Floorstanding Speaker Review Roundup

The Perlisten R7t floorstanding speaker is making waves in the world of high-fidelity audio and for good reason. Designed as a standalone 2-channel high-fidelity speaker, it boasts the versatility to be seamlessly integrated into multi-channel systems. Drawing...

The Vinyl Revivers AHH Experience Event Featuring Sonner Audio

The Vinyl Revivers AHH Experience Event Featuring Sonner Audio

The Vinyl Rivivers & The Audio Hunters hosted their first of two fall events.  The AHH Experience (The Audio Hunters High-End Experience) featured not only two breathtaking types of loudspeakers from Sonner Audio but also the visionary behind the company, Gunawan...

HiFi Rose RS250A Network Streamer Review Roundup

HiFi Rose RS250A Network Streamer Review Roundup

Updated: 11/06/23 The HiFi Rose RS250a is a complete, high-performance network media playing solution that seamlessly combines high-resolution audio and video collections with music streaming services. Housed in a high-quality aluminum chassis, this sleek and modern...

Chord Hugo TT2 DAC, Preamplifier & Headphone Amplifier Review Roundup

Chord Hugo TT2 DAC, Preamplifier & Headphone Amplifier Review Roundup

The Chord Hugo TT 2 DAC, designed by Chief Designer John Franks, is a testament to the pursuit and journey of high-end audio. It not only showcases exquisite craftsmanship but also boasts five times the processing power of its predecessor, the original Hugo TT, and...

Klipsch The Nines McLaren Edition

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…