McIntosh ML-1C speakers

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by Bob N., May 18, 2005.

  1. Bob N.

    Bob N. New Member

    I am a complete newbie to this sort of thing, but my late father (a McIntosh nut) had a pair of ML-1C speakers (which I believe are non-functioning. though I don't know why/how) and I'm curious if they're worth fixing/selling?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated

    thanks :scratch2:


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  2. CarlV

    CarlV AK Subscriber Subscriber

    SF east bay
    Hi Bob,
    That is a tough call without knowing what is actually wrong them. They are quite heavy so to sell them would be a local thing. There is a growing appreciation for these though and you may not want to sell them after you hear them and they were your dad's. :)

  3. amason3

    amason3 Well-Known Member

    Keep 'em, they don't make speakers like that anymore and there is always going to be a market for vintage McIntosh. Here's a good place for info on anything McIntosh
    About the only thing that would be wrong with them is the foam surrounds are probably deteriorated and the crossovers may have issues. If the crossovers were fried so too might the tweeters be, it is unlikely, however, that any of the other voice coils in the drivers were damaged, they're very tough speakers. Even if you end up wanting to sell them they're worth fixing first because they'll bring a better price
  4. snapshotjc

    snapshotjc Active Member

    Space Coast of Florida
    Bob, I second amason's view; keep them! I just won a pair of XR 6's for my brother, who just getting back into vintange gear again like myself, and even though they need to be refoamed on both pair, I feel that for a couple of hundred dollars spent, I just couldn't find a pair of speakers like these nowadays!
    The ones I got for him are in wonderful condition, and they're built like the tank that is Mc's norm., and they have a wonderful history to them.( read RR's history on Mc speakers)
    I think you'd be best suited to fix them up and enjoy them! I just don't think they make speakers like these anymore. The wood work on these XR 6's I just got is just wonderful, and boy they are heavy too!
    Fix 'em and enjoy! I still use an Akai R to R tape deck that my dad had, and it brings back good feelings each time I put some of his tapes and play it.
  5. Puunda

    Puunda Active Member

    I've got a pair of ML-1C's. I got it for about $15USD at an auction! 2 tweeters had blown, 1 upper mid was missing, the other upper mid was not the correct and original one. Lower mids and woffer were in perfect condition (both cone and surround were new). I emailed Roger Russell who had plans on upgrading the tweeter and upper mid with new Morel drivers (and new crossovers). But that will end up costing something like $500USD (from memory). I managed to get some tweeters and upper mids from eBay, but they weren't cheap. Espeically with postage to New Zealand. I had to also buy a MQ104 equilizer from Audio Classics, and the postage cost more than the unit itself! Now everything works, but am just not happy with them as a speaker. The bass and mid is ok, but highs are dull. Sounds distorted as well. I may have something wrong, but I've not bothered to look or fix it. Sure the woofers and lower mid can be repaired, but the tweeter and the upper mids can't, and can't be replaced. The only real option is to use Morel drivers, but that's not cheap. There does seem to be a good market for ML speaker parts on eBay though. This what my experience with them, and now that they're going, I wouldnt've spent the time and money i did on them. I think I could've bought a 2nd hand pair of speakers which would've done a much better job. That plus according to Roger Russell's site, the lower mid and woofer has a 10% IMD, compared to the new McIntosh speakers which have a 0.5% IMD.
  6. Little Nellie

    Little Nellie Well-Known Member

    SF Bay area
    I have four pairs of ML-1C, two pairs of ML-2C, one pair of ML-10C and one pair of XR-5. They all basically have the same drivers, mid and highs in them. I really like the look of the ML series. In my main system, I have a ML-1C lay sideway sitting on top of the ML-2C. Two sets of amps driving them indivually. They sounds great for me. Most of them had bad surrounds after years of use but after fixing a few, they become easy. I did have problem getting a couple of the drivers to center, after an e-mail or two to Roger Russell, he show me how to deal with the stubborn one.

    They are great speakers for my ear.




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  7. mcolome1

    mcolome1 New Member

    Mcintosh ML-1C

    If they were going to build speaker like that today, the price would have been more than 2,500 dollars each, because a lot of research and testing was invested in order to put them in production.
  8. mrz80

    mrz80 I guess it's in my blood

    Gainesville, FL
    [redacted - I was in error]
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  9. MAC ED

    MAC ED Active Member

    i owned a pair of ml-1c speakers back in the 70's. i actually traded in a pair of bose 901's for them.
    i remember the ml's as having good bass with smooth mid-range, but the highs were cut off. the included equalizer helped.
    to describe the sound in one word, imo, the word would be warm.
    btw, if you do not decide to repair the speakers, i believe there is a market for the cabinets themselves.
  10. remastered

    remastered "listen hear"

    Mid Michigan
    I just finished doing the Roger Russell upgrade because one of the high mids was fried. So I bought two new Morel High mids and two Morel tweeters ($335). Purchased the new crossovers for these from Roger ($210). The speaker shop where I brought them also re-foamed the low mids and woofers ($35+ $221 labor) while it was in getting the drivers installed. If the cabinets are in good shape, I would seriously invest in upgrading them if you plan on keeping them like I have for 30+ years. Mine still look like new and sound fantastic.

    If you have any questions, let me know and I'll help best I can. I also just received new interconnects from SignalCable and can't wait to break them in!The new cables should make a difference from the 25 year old gold end no name cables I was using.

    Good luck!
  11. parcs

    parcs Active Member

    North Dakota
    I've had my ML-1Cs since 1971 and love the way they sound with my C-28 and MC2100.


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  12. audiomagnate

    audiomagnate Addicted Member

    Picking up a pair of ML-1C's tomorrow. No self respecting speaker hoarder could pass up a local (about 50 miles away) pair of 1Cs, correct? Now I need an EQ box and some foams.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  13. bg3009

    bg3009 Active Member

    I might have mentioned this story here and some time in the past so bear with me guys. I scored a pair of Audio Note speakers with specialized wires, upgraded x-over and all that jazz. The local agent told me that these speakers were the reason he was won over enough to represent them. He was certain that the speakers were going to unseat the ML1Cs, which were 20 years older then the Audio Note speakers. So sure was he that he rocked up to my place and we did a shootout with an Audio Note tube amp driving both speakers. Not more then 30 minutes later, he left, taking the Audio Notes back with him. Newer speakers have certainly improved in many areas, but when put together as a package, the ML1Cs just sound right. With newer electronics, the speaker sounds even better telling me that it's got a lot left it in.

    With the drivers and the crossovers done, and even with a cabinet restoration, you will be spending a lot less then on a pair that could beat the ML1C as a package. If one pair doesn't give you the volume you need, add more pairs!
  14. RainDog911

    RainDog911 New Member

    Admittedly, this thread is pretty old. But does anyone know which Morel drivers are recommended as replacements for McIntosh mid and high drivers? I think the MDM 55s are recommended for the mids. What about the tweeters?

    How did the Morels alter the sound? I have a set of new to me XR7s. Great speakers but very laid back in the upper mid and high frequencies. I'd like just a little bit more detail and clarity. Also, any idea if the XOs need modification and if so, what are the mods?

    Thanks in advance,

  15. Mike Gibson

    Mike Gibson Modulator Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    Dufur Oregon
    Send Roger Russell an email and he will help you.
  16. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    West Michigan is interesting we have 2 Mac speaker threads going at the same time.

    I have done the ML update for a local was OK but not until we took out all the padding RR thought was correct for the mids ans highs.

    Gordon Gow and I had many a discussion about RRs stubborn perspective about his "babies".

    Lesterbest has on many occasions voiced his disgust with Mac speakers, I know there are many others. I measured over 200 pairs of most all of the Mac speakers, as well as dozens and dozens of other brands, in client's actual listening rooms. From these measurements and most importantly listening with them, I learned from the owners what they liked and disliked about speakers in general.

    Are you wondering about your XR-7s? If so start a new thread, there are things to check and updates that need to be done to all these older than say 1990 Mac speakers.


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  17. RainDog911

    RainDog911 New Member

    Thank you for your replies. I've latched on to the XR-5 thread. I've contacted RR and while he has responded each time, he hasn't said much beyond "leave well enough alone". I really like the XR-7s but the upper mids and high seem pulled back. I'll jump over to the XR-5 thread now. Thank you.
  18. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    west Texas
    Though AR 1 ,3 and 3a were supposed to be the first speakers to produce 20 HZ, they don't compare to the ML-1 by a mile. I have used them in many applications as a pair or multiples of pairs. 16 of them over a Disco dance floor can really move some air. No need for sub woofers. As for sounding dull, if they are working properly they are flatter than a pancake in the High frequencies. When repaired you need a great 100 to 130 watt amp that won't clip. That clipping is what destroyed so many ML1 dome tweeters and cone super tweeters. Ive just finished rebuilding a pair of ML-1's for a friend and fortunately the tweets and super tweeters were OK. Fixing the grills was the hard part and reforming the woofer and midrange nothing new. If I have done 1 I've done 100. Next are his ML-2s that just need reforming and repairing of grills. MC 2300's were real ML series killers.
  19. Bijan

    Bijan Member

    I really enjoy my ML-1Cs. I redid the crossovers and had the 4 large drivers reconed. They don't seem to be lacking in the high end TOO much, and I have hearing loss:)
  20. c_dk

    c_dk Addicted Member

    West Michigan
    I measured dozens of pairs of the ML series speakers in client's listening rooms.

    The baseline curve for this series was + 3dB at 100 Hz, 0 at 1000, and -6 at 10,000Hz. 1st generation XRs, +3, 0,-3, last generation +2,0,-2.

    Row 20, 16, and 12 of a well designed concert hall.

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