The Grateful Dead, an American rock band from the Bay Area, California formed in 1965 have been steadily touring for over fifty years in one form or another. As The Grateful Dead until the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, followed by a series of off-spin lineups such as The Other Ones, The Dead and since 2015, as Dead & Company headlined by founding Grateful Dead member Bob Weir with John Mayer.
2023 marks the final tour of Dead & Co. To commemorate the final shows, McIntosh Labs is celebrating the relationship the audio brand has had with the Grateful Dead spanning the past five decades.
In 1974, McIntosh amplifiers shaped music history by powering the Dead’s legendary Wall of Sound. Forty-eight McIntosh MC2300 amplifiers delivered 28,000 Watts of pure McIntosh power to create a truly ground-breaking sound system that immortalized the Grateful Dead as a live act in the annals of rock history. The Wall of Sound comprised of 604 speakers, (586 JBL speakers and 54 Electro Voice tweeters) powered by 89 300-watt solid state and three 350-watt vacuum tube McIntosh amplifiers generating a total of 26,400 watts of power.
In a continuation of that relationship forged decades ago, McIntosh will power Dead & Co’s The Final Tour 2023 concert intermissions, with a custom audio system. Audiences will enjoy an unmatched high-fidelity sound experience listening to vinyl played through a McIntosh MT10 Precision Turntable and a C12000 Preamplifier. These intermissions will be broadcasted in-stadium via jumbotrons during each concert, as well as to fans and audiences around the world through a livestream of each performance.
On October 14 2021 during a Sotheby’s auction called “From the Vault: Property from the Grateful Dead and Friends”, several portions of the Wall of Sound sold including a portion of the center vocal cluster and a handmade Alembic speaker cabinet sold for 17,640 USD. Also sold were multiple McIntosh MC 2300 amplifiers, one sold for 94,500 USD.
For a look back at the audio gear that made Woodstock happen click here.