McIntosh MT5
Turnkey
BY BEN BOWERS   photo by ERIC YANG




Making or assembling electronics in America may be the next big trend in tech, but it's nothing new for McIntosh. The iconic audiophile brand has been producing some of the best audio equipment money can buy for decades from their Binghamton, NY factory, and if their recent record-setting spree of seven product announcements at this year's CES is any indication, they won't be stopping anytime soon. 


While anything bearing the company's signature blue meters is guaranteed to catch our eyes faster than Brooklyn Decker at the pool, the MT5 Turntable deserves special attention. That's partly because its 5-pound, 1.5-inch thick silicon acrylic platter glows greener than the envy of all who gaze upon it. But this beautiful piece of audio machinery has much, much more than just some literal flash.




CONTINUES BELOW 



As you'd expect from a high-quality turntable, the new 35-pound companion to the aging MT10 comes loaded with tricks to reduce common culprits of audio distortion, including an advanced anti-skate tonearm (balanced by magnetic bearings) and a matching  moving coil cartridge. The aforementioned platter takes the fight against gravity even further thanks to precision Swiss-made motors that suspend and spin the surface using opposing neodymium magnets rather than typical ball bearings. 


Though that's a complex system to carry out a relatively simple pleasure, McIntosh deserves plenty of credit for understanding a fundamental fact that its competitors don't: the sound matters, not the science behind it. That's why the MT5's tracking force, anti-skate force, cartridge overhang and arm height are all preset by the factory for maximum performance right out of the box. The result is a turntable that turns the table on the traditional listening experience -- making the process of enjoying vinyl as smooth as its rich analog sound. 


$6500, mcintoshlabs.com


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STATEMENT

Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope. 


The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.



METHODOLOGY


The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.


THE CATEGORIES


Motoring   Watches   Style   Technology   Sports   Outdoors   Home   Spirits

WRITERS


Jeremy Berger

Ben Bowers
Alex Bracetti
Nick Caruso
Ed Estlow
Jon Gaffney
Jonathan Gallegos
K.B. Gould
Bradley Hasemeyer
Jason Heaton
Mike Henson
Amos Kwon
Matt Neundorf
Scott Packard
Austin Parker
Henry Phillips
Peter Saltsman
Chris Wright
Eric Yang


CREDITS

Produced by Ben Bowers, Chris Wright, Eric Yang
Designed by Eric Yang
Edited by Chris Wright
Photography by Henry Phillips, Eric Yang
Special Thanks to Braun, Scroll Kit and Say Media

RESOURCES

Media Inquiries, Corrections support@gearpatrol.com
2014 Submissions  100@gearpatrol.com