McIntosh Labs and The Grateful Dead Celebrate 50-Year Relationship With Collaborative Speakers

Celebrating its 50-year relationship with The Grateful Dead, McIntosh Labs has collaborated with the iconic rock band on a series of speakers. The collaboration builds on the history between McIntosh and The Grateful Dead that began when the manufacturer of handcrafted high-end audio equipment powered the band’s famous “Wall of Sound” live audio system. The “Wall of Sound” unveiled at The Grateful Dead’s San Francisco show at the Cow Palace, March 23, 1974, features 48 McIntosh MC2300 amplifiers delivering 28,800 Watts of power, serving as a defining part of rock history.

Unveiled at their concert at San Francisco’s Cow Palace on March 23, 1974, the Wall of Sound consisted of 48 McIntosh MC2300 amplifiers delivering 28,800 Watts of power – a truly groundbreaking sound system that immortalized the Grateful Dead as a live act in the annals of rock history.

The Grateful Dead x McIntosh Labs collaboration features limited-edition takes on the popular RS150 and RS250 audio models, produced with the support of Rhino Entertainment. The RS150 and RS250 speakers are marked with the iconic Grateful Dead “Dancing Bears” motif and “Stealie” logo, alongside McIntosh’s signature blue meters. The Grateful Dead x McIntosh Labs RS150 and RS250 Wireless Speakers will be available on McIntosh’s website for United States consumers only May 15.

“It has been an honor to work with the Grateful Dead for almost half a century of friendship – and we’re proud to celebrate our relationship with such a unique and high-quality product collaboration,” said Charlie Randall, President of McIntosh. “We’ve had the privilege to work with the Grateful Dead on numerous occasions over the past fifty years, using the latest in audio technology to amplify their music into a historic experience.”

This year McIntosh Labs will also be powering the intermissions of Dead & Company’s performances on their The Final Tour 2023. A vinyl collection curated by Dead & Company will be played through a custom-designed McIntosh MT10 Precision Turntable and a C12000 Preamplifier. The intermissions will be broadcasted at tour locations and livestreamed via The McIntosh x Dead & Company Final Tour collaboration will begin with the official launch of The Final Tour, at the Kia Forum Arena in Los Angeles, California May 19.

“The Grateful Dead’s live oeuvre had always had two primary components that helped deliver the magic to Dead Heads: performance quality and sound quality,” said David Lemieux, Archivist and Legacy Manager for the Grateful Dead. “The former was fulfilled through practice, respectful listening, and otherworldly creativity and talent with which the band members were blessed. The latter, the sound quality, was fulfilled through McIntosh. From the band’s earliest days through their 30 year performing career 1965-1995, the Grateful Dead and their crew relied upon the unparalleled power and clarity that only McIntosh could deliver. Perhaps most notably, the Dead’s most famous and awe-inspiring sound system, 1974’s Wall Of Sound, was powered almost entirely through McIntosh. We’re thrilled to continue this partnership well into the 21st Century.”

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