Blue meters are a hallmark feature of the renowned McIntosh brand of high-end audio equipment. These meters are known for their distinctive blue colour and have become iconic in the world of audio. The history of McIntosh blue meters is a fascinating story that dates back to the early days of the company.
McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. was founded in 1949 by Frank H. McIntosh, a well-respected audio engineer who was known for his innovative designs and high-quality products. The company quickly gained a reputation for producing some of the finest audio equipment available, with a focus on sound quality, durability, and reliability.
One of the key features of McIntosh equipment was its unique VU meters. VU meters are devices used to measure and display the output levels of audio signals. They were first introduced in the 1930s and quickly became a standard feature in audio equipment. However, McIntosh took this technology to the next level by introducing its own proprietary meter design.
The original McIntosh VU meters were green and featured a circular design with a white needle that moved across the scale. However, in the mid-1960s, the company began experimenting with different colours for the meters. After testing various colours, they settled on blue, which they felt provided the best contrast and visibility.
The first McIntosh blue meters were introduced in the late 1960s and quickly became a hallmark feature of the brand. The blue colour was not only distinctive but also helped to make the meters easier to read in low light conditions. The meters were also designed to be very precise, with a needle that moved smoothly and accurately across the scale.
Over the years, the design of the McIntosh blue meters has evolved, with various changes made to the shape, size, and scale of the meters. However, the distinctive blue colour has remained a constant feature and has become synonymous with the McIntosh brand.
Today, McIntosh blue meters are still a key feature of the company's high-end audio equipment. They are used in a wide range of products, including preamplifiers, power amplifiers, DAC's and more. Despite the many changes that have taken place in the world of audio over the years, McIntosh blue meters have remained a timeless and iconic feature of the brand.