An inside look at the world of Mac, the most exclusive salon in Manhattan

It’s a beautiful day on Lafayette street in Manhattan’s Bohemian district, SOHO. To the South, beyond the area of Petrosino, old police headquarters, where Cindy Crawford and Calvin Klein have called home. On the corner of spring Street hotel Dominique (until recently, trump SOHO), where a one-room “sauna Suite” will cost you $769 per night. Sipping their $4 doppios from cafes to choose from, new Yorkers sunbathing on the sidewalk, the benches, watching the dog trot design.

More or less in the centre of the urban environment is the place is gorgeous even by the standards of SOHO. This retail showroom is known to attract customers who land in private jets at the airport. It is available a massive pair of wooden doors hinged in the Beaux-arts arches of granite. But good luck finding the place—no sign on the door that locked from the inside anyway. The invitation is what is required to get here.

Most people pass by 214 Lafayette, not knowing what’s inside.

The place is called the world of Mac. And before you assume this is the latest minimalist attraction brought to you by Apple, the critical point must be made: this is another Mac—in fact, it is the first Macintosh computer. The name refers to super high-end brand of home stereo equipment, and a company that has been in business since 1949. In 1980, a long-haired hippie named Steve jobs negotiated the rights to use Macintosh name for your home computer, it will enter in 1984—but more on that later.

By any measure, the world Macintosh is an impressive space—12,000 ft bachelor Pad gloves with leather sofas, a library and roof garden, all placed at the end of the 19th century the former power station, whose high ceilings, exposed brick walls and the creation of industrial chic the expanse unlike any other in new York.

But if there is one thing more ambitious than the structure itself, it’s the strategy behind it.

Clients can relax on the Eames chairs as they listen to equipment.

Although its fairly easy to find retailers that carry expensive audio equipment, McIntosh only in creating an exciting market for their goods and audio punch they pack—in a setting that is reminiscent of luxurious townhouses and country estates that many of his customers already live. With the world of Macintosh, or, the brand has taken the concept of experiential marketing and showed it to the fullest imaginable degree.

“We invite the reception guests to visit the women’s mansion and experience the culture we have developed here, with artistic decoration and, most importantly, with our sound system,” says David Mascioni, senior marketing Manager of the group Mac -. “The idea is to immerse guests in what the final home will be with the products Mac group. We strive to inspire”.

The Original Macintosh

At a time when the Internet discount rules and millions of Americans prefer to listen to music on a pair of $8 Panasonic ear, this is no small feat that a brand like McIntosh survived—indeed, flourished for more than seventy years.

Vintage components to remind visitors of the heritage of the Mackintosh’s.

Electrical engineer Frank H. McIntosh was a veteran of the bell telephone, who has worked on radio and radar during the Second world war. After the war, McIntosh realized that returning GIS quickly create a large middle class with great interest in consumer electronics, in particular high-fidelity stereo. The problem was that the amplifiers then on the market do not come close to the ideal Mac for high power, low distortion amplifiers that would meet the growing market of American music fans. The only solution Mac could see to create and build these amplifiers.

In 1951, creating a small factory in Binghamton, new York, Mac began to produce a remarkable series of amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and tuners, which were best seen on the market. Among the early breakthroughs of the company MC-275 tube amp. Introduced in 1961 blockbuster the unit includes two 75-watt amplifiers on the same chassis. He won this recognition with Hi-Fi Enthusiasts that the company is still doing it to this day.

Thanks to its innovative technology, the Mac has quickly established itself as the last word in High-End audio. It was the Macintosh, which built amplification system for his inaugural address, President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. And when “the grateful dead” debuted its famous “wall of sound” PA system in 1974, it was a Mac, which supplies 50 amps that it feeds.

Desired a stereo system

Today, despite the many high quality audio brands in the market, Mac still takes place on the top shelf, his reputation and two-channel stereo and home theater surround sound system. Equipment regularly wins ribbons (as a Range D’or 2017 stereo) awards—the“Lamborghini of the home audio world,” more is written—and prices to match.

Classic MC275 amplifier retains all the arrogance in the 1961 original.

As a starter piece of equipment, the classic MC275 will set you back $4,500, for example. 450 watt MC452 amplifier is sold for $8,500. And if you pine for the MC2KW 2000 watt monoblock Quad balanced power amplifier, You need to be ready to shell out over $40,000.

This implies that home-audio-buyers could not find a Mac on the network discounters like best buy. They are not sold on Amazon or, for that matter, anywhere else on the Internet. The company sells only through authorized dealers and there are only about 200 individuals across the country.

And this creates problems. “To be honest,” CEO Charlie Randall says: “the most difficult thing is to get people exposed to the product.”

In MC2KW 2000 watt monoblock Quad balanced with the power modules.

Audio stores don’t always stock the full range of products Mac has to offer. Those cramped, soundproof rooms, listening to a very rough types of home equipment will go to a Decision, at least for a client that is planning to drop serious coin on a sound system for the whole house or multiple homes, is a woman a private area where potential customers can experience the full depth and breadth than a serious stereo system can do.

Behind the doors of No. 214

The first thing a visitor 214 Lafayette lays eyes on the window of thick plate glass that looks into the deepest part of the pool. (If the pool looks familiar, it may be because Beyonce bathed in it in 2008, the video for her song “halo.”) Pool is one of the many delights of the townhouse, but he actually has a marketing purpose. Potential customers are invited to give wives a cocktail and invited her for a walk along the pool and admire the hanging fabric Mackintosh was commissioned from local artists—artists who, say, listened to music on Mac systems until they worked.

On the upper floors, visitors wind their way through the maze of chic, dimly lit room, library, living room and a huge living room, which a century ago housed the cumbersome rotary converters, which were supplied with electricity in the area. Furniture—leather sofas, wooden table, crystal lamp comes from designer Timothy Oulton, who also designs for equipment recovery. Antiques and original works of art such as Keith Haring, which decorates the bare brick, as rare and original.

On the first floor a room with Timothy Oulton furniture and a window overlooking the pool.

Amid all this decoration, it can be difficult to understand why these indulgences serve the purpose of selling stereos, but the head of experience Josh Dellinger happy to explain.

“We try to create pretty vignettes around the house,” he says, because they help the customers to imagine that the McIntosh equipment will look in their own homes. “It helps to show that [the equipment] is as fully integrated in a beautiful environment.”

Mascioni adds that potential clients often come with their spouses or important others that may not share the intense enthusiasm of his friend for the expensive stereo equipment. In this case, the design can help to make a sale. “Maybe there’s love for audio, but his or her partner loves art or design,” Mascioni said. “We want them both to feel inspired by their experience”.

Amplifiers as art

In this regard, the Macintosh is well suited for the background art and Antiques, because heritage is a major part of their brand. Equipment Mac (still harvested by hand in the factory in binghamton) is compatible with the units of the company, built several decades ago, thousands of which are still in faithful service in dens across America. The company makes every effort to ensure that the new equipment is aesthetically compatible with the old stuff too. Even the latest components have the signature black glass console, chrome trim, exterior vacuum tubes and atomic green glow, emanating from Mac and the name rendered in old English font.

“The customer can buy the player, put it on the rack, with a modern twist—but it is guaranteed to fit [older] product,” CEO Randall explains. “Part of our hallmark is the appearance. People can either love it or hate it, but it’s true to form.”

Getting on the guest list

To ensure the invitation 214 St. Lafayette is not as difficult as it may seem. Most customers who come at the invitation of the local dealer who wants to show specific pieces of equipment.

“Let’s say your normal Mac client visits new York,” explains Randall. “These people are committed to the brand and they want to go see it. This is one way [to the invitation]”.

Even so, space, this lush obviously does not justify its existence catering exclusively for your casual rich audiophiles. Occupying a Central place in the great room is a just-released XRT2 Mac it.1K, four-way loudspeaker with 81 drivers and list price 130 000 USD for the pair. Obviously, the rich and famous is a big part of the business Mac, and in this crowd, in my personal life the order of the day.

New XRT2.1K standing loudspeaker has 81 drivers and six-figure price tag.

“There are many customers who do not want to go to stereo—Joe-rich people famous people,” says Randall. “These people have several houses, [or] maybe they are going to make a house in new York. They trust the dealer. They must not show at the showroom”.

For clients such as these, the Mac sometimes will hire a chef who will prepare lunch, dinner and create a night guests can enjoy cocktails in the rooftop garden and, of course, to listen to music. “Our aim is Guest who feels inspired,” Mascioni said, “And who used the one of a kind experience.”

Conduct a marketing class

To be sure, the experience of women is rather unusual, but does it make sense from a marketing point of view? Andrea Meštrović, partner and Vice President of brand strategy at a very good Agency, says Yes—but only just.

“It is reasonable that they provide a different environment for customers to experience the product [s] a client requires more than the standard retail in the Mall,” she says. Even so, Mestrovic believes that the environment is a townhouse limits of client profile that the brand attracts.

“The place is incredible, but it is targeted at a very specific, special guy,” Meštrović says. “If they surprise and delight of the component beyond a leather sofa, you have more to talk about.”

Fully equipped kitchen can accommodate guest chefs for various events.

In turn, branding and marketing consultant Hayes Roth, founder and principal of ha Roth Consulting, sure, money gives a lot to talk about.

“It’s all about the brand experience, and [high-class] experience is very difficult to put right, except when you can fully control the situation,” he says. “So Mac can do—and they should do it, because they are some of the best brands is to go beyond history. They’ve created a mansion where you can live in an environment from room to room. It’s very inspired. It happened after your client with full dedication”.

Economy townhouse

But at what price, with this obligation? Even as a luxury brand to justify the cost of the work, which is a five-story club in the heart of Manhattan?

CEO Charlie Randall started as an apprentice in 1985.

The answer is that money, while not cheap, it costs less than you think. First, high-end interior finishes and many accessories have been installed for free on many partner brands Mac, which will benefit from the face time with clients Mac. Designer Timothy Oulton, home theater brand Barco, landscape lighting, coastal Source—all brands have their goods in wives, free.

Secondly, Mac is not buying a house is the rent. (The property is supposedly owned by a German by birth, horror Director Marcus nispel will, that brought us the 2003 remake of “Texas chainsaw massacre”, among other films.) And while a rental property is a lot—“we look at it as marketing costs,” Randall says is largely kompensiruet the sublease.

Mac is losing money on other brands, Google and Microsoft, for example—to hold events for their clients. These companies don’t just rent a cool place, they will also benefit from the Association with storey, high-end brand like Mac. And, of course, had a good cry.

“Co-branding we can do, we can compensate 60 percent of the cost [of the lease],” says Randall.

One company that seems unlikely to rent the space from Apple, which Mac-cordial if sad relationship. Thirty-eight years ago, Apple was absolutely barely left the garage of Steve jobs in Los Altos, California, when he was approached Mac the rights to use the name on a personal computer. The control Mac was a tiny charity into an Apple computer.

The library brings the feeling of home schooling.

“They bought [name] for a year for some money, and then bought it back for the next five years—about five times more money,” says Randall. “But that’s nothing. The agreement still exists mostly as it was.”

If he dreams of royalty that will never be, at least, Randall was the house where he can mix a drink, settle into a leather couch and contemplate Lower Manhattan through huge casement Windows.

And the music comes out 130,000 $speaker sounds pretty good, too.

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