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McIntosh’s 80,000-watt Despacio club system touring in 2015!



McIntosh laboratory’s Despacio, the unique club-orientated sound system conceived by James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and Belgian artists TooManyDJs, is set to tour in 2015.

Personally designed by James Murphy and renowned recording engineer John Klett, with help from McIntosh Laboratory and Jordan Acoustics, this ground-breaking sound system is the only one of its kind in the world.

Destined for the Citadel (London, 19th July), Lovebox (London 17th-18th July) and Electric Picnic (Ireland, 4th – 6th September

festivals, Despacio (‘slowly’ in Spanish) is a live vinyl-only event played using eight 11-foot McIntosh speaker/amplification towers.

Despacio is a unique sound system and music-listening experience. It comprises eight McIntosh-powered ‘stacks’, each housing five amplifiers and a drive unit array in a custom cabinet. Designed by John Klett in collaboration with LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, Despacio is a statement project intended to preserve, promote and celebrate the tradition of pure live music performances.

With each stack providing an incredible 5,700 watts, the entire system totals 77,600 watts from its 48-amplifier complement, significantly eclipsing the famous McIntosh/Grateful  Dead ‘Wall of Sound’ system of 1973. The amps are built into custom-made cabinets with a carefully chosen driver array. The unique system allows any crowd to become completely  immersed in high-quality music.


McIntosh’s Despacio system is enhanced by the superior music selection of James Murphy and 2manydjs – recognised audio aficionados with encyclopaedic music history knowledge from the last 60 years. Watch the Despacio video here.


Despacio tour

The system will be appearing in a number of special live events this summer, following previous Despacio events around the world: Citadel (London, 19th July); Lovebox (London 17th-18th July); Electric Picnic (Ireland, 4th-6th September) with more to follow


Amplifier complement

 32x MC1.2KW 1,200-watt monoblock amplifiers (four per stack)
 8x MC452 two-channel 450-watt amplifiers (one per stack)
 4x MC-303 three-channel 300-watt amplifiers (one per DJ monitor speaker)



 The ‘normal’ set-up is seven stacks and one DJ station; the eighth stack and second  DJ station are ostensibly spares
 There is no dynamic range manipulation (i.e. peak limiting/compression/expansion) anywhere between the contact point of stylus-to-vinyl and the speakers
 The system is typically run at 10% for 10dB minimum headroom, so with seven stacks and discounting the DJ monitors, it’s running around 7,000 watts (the rest is simply there for undistorted peak uncompressed headroom)


Driver complement

 Subwoofer: approximately 30Hz to 100Hz (two subs per stack) 21-inch cone 2,000 watts of Class D power, each capable of 135dBspl at 1 metre
 Bass drivers: approximately 100Hz to 400Hz — two double 15″ cabs; custom-vented reflex cabs built to specification, each cab powered by a MC 1.2KW 1200-watt amplifier, sensitivity >100dBspl at 1 metre
 Midrange drivers: approximately 400Hz to 2kHz — two double 12″ cabs; custom-vented reflex cabs built to specification, each cab powered by one MC-1.2KW 1200-watt amplifier, sensitivity >101dBspl at 1 metre
 High-frequency drivers: approximately 2kHz to 10kHz — single 1.5″ throat 4″ compression driver on 90° x 50° horn in a custom ‘birdhouse’ with horn in pull-out  drawer to mechanically time-align, powered by a one-channel MC-452 450-watt amplifier. Driver/horn sensitivity (on axis) >111dB at 1 metre
 Ultra-high-frequency drivers approximately 10kHz to >20kHz — four ‘bullet’ drivers, 40° conical on angle facets in custom ‘birdhouse’ to cover roughly 70° x 50°, powered by a one-channel MC-452 450 watt amplifier, driver sensitivity 107dB on axis at 1 metre


Additional specifications

 Crossover points move based on venue
 The system is unchained and dynamic range is preserved
 No dynamic range processing: only electronic crossovers and minimal equalization


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