“…for the love of music…”
In this special series, Talkhouse explores the history of legendary American audio gear-maker McIntosh Laboratory through conversations with renowned musicians and audio professionals. McIntosh has been hand-building the very best audio equipment in Binghamton, NY for over 70 years. Not only did they help create the hi-fi industry, they have forever changed how we listen to music.
Even if you’ve never heard the name McIntosh, you’ve definitely seen their gear with its iconic blue watt meters and green glowing logo. It’s been featured in numerous blockbuster movies including The Departed, Ocean’s 8, John Wick 3, and Knives Out to name a few, along with hit TV shows like Elementary, Maron, and Law & Order. Anyone who watched season 2 of Mr. Robot would’ve seen the incredible World of McIntosh Townhouse in Manhattan, which in the show serves as the headquarters for Rami Malek and Carly Chaikan’s characters. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy has even created a custom DJ system called Despacio using over 35 McIntosh amplifiers. Their products can be found in the homes of many famous and influential musicians both past and present. McIntosh’s blue meters and glowing logo are present throughout music history, and this podcast series explores why.
Episode 1: Janet Furman
In the inaugural episode, Talkhouse’s Elia Einhorn caught up with former Grateful Dead electronics outfitter, and renowned music gear creator, Janet Furman. Janet grew up in New York City, graduating from Columbia University in the late 1960s with an engineering degree before moving to San Francisco and finding work with Alembic, the Grateful Dead’s preferred recording studio and sound crew. Janet recorded the Dead’s live sets on multiple tours, as well as engineering sessions for other rock stars like Steve Miller. She went on to found her own pro audio equipment manufacturing company, Furman, whose products are used in almost every studio and live venue around the world, and which we here at Talkhouse work with every day. Janet shared some amazing stories about working for Owsley Stanley, touring Europe with the Dead and recording some of their most famous work, and even commandeering a helicopter in order to save a massive rock festival… with McIntosh amplifiers.