Back in 2016, I was fortunate to visit the newly opened World of McIntosh (W.O.M.) situated in a multi-level townhouse on Lafayette Street in SoHo, NYC. The entrance was non-assuming but once inside, you were treated to a quintessential Manhattan, industrial-chic space where the exposed brick and raw steel merged into one vertical experience. Before its life as a townhouse, it’s previous life was a power station before the conversion into a grand residence.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience

You were greeted on the ground floor with an indoor pool…

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience Indoor Pool

and ascended to living spaces and sleeping spaces, (converted to offices for W.O.M. use), and ultimately to a top floor with rooftop access.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience

Occupying the various rooms was gear from the McIntosh Group – the iconic McIntosh as well as from formidable Audio Research, Sumiko, and the luscious speaker brand, Sonus Faber from Italy.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience

The townhouse was both grand and intimate and I was happy to visit often until it closed sometime in 2021. The McIntosh Group went through various changes that included Audio Research being sold off and McIntosh transferring ownership and by 2022 it was acquired by Highlander Partners, a private investment firm. The Mcintosh Group has moved forward with Sonus Faber, Rotel, Pro-Ject, and Sumiko.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience

Now in September of 2023, the exciting news of a new Manhattan location, a new townhouse, and a new name, House of Sound! I couldn’t be more thrilled to visit the new location and the new energy of the Brand(s). Greeting you on the main level is a glassed-in garage space that houses a Jeep Grand Wagoneer that features the McIntosh MX1375 system. On the ground floor is also the main theater room, and to save that experience for last wouldn’t be doing it justice. It may be the most complete, and stunning home theater I’ve ever experienced!

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience Theater Room

Italian brand furniture maker Baxter offers amazing comfort while Kaleidescape and Screen Research compliment the McIntosh and Sonus Faber CI speakers. The 9.16.4 arrangement, (yes 16 subwoofers), includes the Sonus Faber Arena 30 for fronts, the Arena S15 subwoofers, the Arena 20s for surrounds, and the Arena 10 in-ceiling speakers for the Atmos channels. The power, and I mean power, came from nine McIntosh MC611 monoblock amplifiers and ten MI502 stereo amplifiers. Processing was from the McIntosh MX180. I was treated to a demonstration by Eric Clapton Slowhand at 70, Live at Royal Albert Hall that just filled the space with an exquisite rendition of Layla. His acoustic guitar rang with clarity and force while the backup instruments were articulate and clean. The voices exuded a power and warmth only a live performance can recreate.

I can’t leave the theater experience without talking about the 2021 release of Dune. The scene involves a desert rescue that shook me in my seat, all from the 16 subwoofers (each with 4- 6.5” drivers). The engagement you acoustically feel with the scene is extraordinary.

My tour actually began on the roof terrace where Sonus Faber’s six Aster speakers sounded clear and with plenty of base weight. Coming down to the 5th level, I was treated to a reference system that included the Sonus Faber Amati G5 with McIntosh gear, the C2700 preamplifier along with the MC3500 monoblocks, and an MT10 turntable, MCD600 SACD player and the MEN220 handling room correction. A beautiful space and amazing sound.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience Theater Room

What followed were more modest-sized rooms, one called the Disco Room for its light wall, which featured the Sonus Faber Electa Amator III speakers detailed with a marble plinth and base. I’d be so happy to live with this pair of speakers. The McIntosh gear included the C53 preamplifier and the MC462 amplifier. I do believe what I heard though was the MA12000 integrated amplifier.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience McIntosh MA12000

The second intimately sized room was called the jazz room where the Sonus Faber Olympica Nova III….

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience Sonus Faber Olympica Nova III

were matched up with Rotel Michi gear.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience Michi rack, pro-ject turntable

The minimalist Rotel gear included the P5 Series 2 preamplifier and S5 stereo power amplifier. Also on the shelf were the RA 6000 integrated amplifier, the DT 6000 DAC transport, and the Rotel S14 network streamer. The very nice Pro-Ject X8 Evolution turntable was a nice compliment to the system.

What I would call the mezzanine open space included Pro-Ject turntables and headphone amps. I didn’t have the time to enjoy them but a treat to admire. What really catches your eye however is the modern, French-designed and made piano that perfectly captures the style of the space and townhome.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience Pro Ject level

The largest space, outside the double-islanded kitchen, was the main reference room.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience Main Reference room

The towering McIntosh XRT2.1K speakers dominate the space flanking the linear gas fireplace. Either side of the fireplace houses bookshelves and more importantly, the main McIntosh gear. MC2KW monoblocks along with the C12000/ST analog preamplifier provide the control with the MCD 12000 SACD/Cd player and the MT10 turntable and MEN220 room correction providing source material. It’s a room where you want to invite friends, pour wine, or scotch, and admire the content of the space. That familiar blue glow on the gear is further emphasized by the monitor with the looping famous McIntosh meter.

McIntosh Group House of Sound Experience Main Reference room 2

As much as I was sad to see the old townhouse go, I’m excited by this newer version and the renewed energy from the McIntosh Group. I plan on inviting myself back over and over again.