MC Audiotech, Linear Tube Audio, PS Audio, Wolf, Audience, ANTICABLES | FLAX 2020

“Some of the best business connections I’ve made were while I was smoking a cigar,” Mark Conti of MC AudioTech told me. We met out in the little smoking area of the outside patio at FLAX 2020, along with designer Paul Paddock, and we started what would become a memorable herf.

We had never met before, but we knew many of the same people in the industry, and of course we both smoked cigars. The subject eventually came around to his unusual new speaker design, the Forty-10 ($35,000 with electronic crossover). That’s 35K delivered, and Mark will even come out to set them up for you. That’s something I’ve been noticing from more and more ultra high-end audio manufacturers–they’ll come out and ensure everything is perfect before you’re left to your own devices, which is all included in the price.

Sponsored by Core Power Technologies A/V
Florida Audio Expo 2020 coverage sponsored by Core Power Technologies A/V
Sponsored by Living Sounds Audio
Florida Audio Expo 2020 coverage sponsored by Living Sounds Audio

The MC Audiotech Forty-10 loudspeaker is very distinctive in appearance–it looks like two old-fashioned TV screens were placed sideways upon a vented wooden end table. The innovative technology inside the loudspeakers–the array of 10 WLBS transducers, the Folded Cube woofer and dispersion characteristics that change with the frequency–is so involved that Mark refers all questions to his white paper, which is available on the MC Audiotech website. He does describe the Forty-10 in broader terms, such as the fact that above 100 Hz it’s still basically a two-way loudspeaker. It certainly doesn’t look like one, but the cohesive balance of the speaker reveals the simplicity and purity of the design.

You do need two amps to run both sections of the MC Audiotech Forty-10, which is where Linear Tube Audio comes in. Mark used the LTA MicroZOTL preamplifier ($4450) that I’m currently reviewing at home, the ZOTL Ultralinear amplifier ($6800) for the array and the Reference 40 amplifier ($6800) for the sub. (I also have the latter in for review.) Mark and Paul also used the PS Audio DSD DAC ($5999), the Wolf Audio Systems Alpha 3 music server ($6895), hooked up with ANTICABLES interconnects and Audience AU24 SX speaker cables. The equipment rack was supplied by Symposium.

That’s right, there was only 20 wpc on the array and 40wpc on the subs, and yet the sound was huge. I heard plenty of detail at both low and high volumes, and while there was plenty of deep bass thanks to the dual 18″ subwoofers in each enclosure, it was the delicacy of the high frequencies that caught my attention, especially with cymbals. The MC Audiotech Forty-10 is the result of forty years of loudspeaker design, hence the name, and I hope Mark and Paul receive more attention for this unusual yet satisfying design.