McIntosh MQ-101 Environmental Equalizer

Discussion in 'Equalizers' started by W5HRO, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Well, I've been trying to get a guy down on his price and was finally able to buy this NOS in the box MQ-101. The guy said he got it from a guy who had it in his closet for 40 years :icon_thumbup:

    The MQ-101 was designed for use with their receivers like my MAC-1700 receiver and ML-1C speakers to make the response flat from 20Hz to 20,000Hz :mrgreen:


    Response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz (+0.5 -0.5dB)
    Distortion: 0.1%
    Hum and noise: -80dB
    Input sensitivity: 2.5V
    Input impedance: 60k ohms
    Input attenuator switch: 0dB, -6dB and -12dB
    Output: 2.5V into 47k ohms
    Tape monitor: inputs and outputs with switch
    Equalization low frequency: 0 to +17dB at 20Hz in 5 steps (0, +6, +9, +13 and +17dB)
    Equalization mid frequency: -5 to +5dB at 4000Hz in 5 equal steps
    Equalization high frequency: -4 to +4dB at 20kHz in 5 equal steps
    Front panel: illuminated gold/teal with Panloc mounting
  2. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    What an asshole! The guy sent me the FedEx tracking number via eBay etc. and I responded back by asking him if he could make sure he slid that original McIntosh box into another one for better protection and he said no problem. Then it dawned on me, what about the wooded cabinet? From what I remember McIntosh never shipped their units in the cabinets because they could get damaged that way. Plus, they were an accessory for the bigger items. The cabinet always shipped in a separate box. The MQ-101 did automatically come with the cabinet though, but I don't remember if they came in the same box or not. I looked at the guys pictures again and the box looked too narrow to have the cabinet inside so I asked him about it. He said he didn't know because he never pulled it out of the box and it was already boxed up and he was about ready to drop it off at FedEx. His eBay listing said it shipped with the cabinet. That was the last I heard from him. The FedEx tracking said they were still waiting to receive it and he would no longer respond to my messages or emails.

    Anyway, I've filed the claim for the full refund on PayPal. The guy wasn’t going to get the money for almost 18 more days anyway, but what an AssHole! I checked the FedEx tracking number again and now it says number not found. My guess is he either knew the cabinet wasn't there or he reopened the box and found out that it wasn't. From the last name he was some Indian living in Texas. Typical...
  3. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Oh great, the guy called me a little while ago and it looks like his fiancé was the one who was supposed to ship it and it’s probably her eBay account. He said everything is ok and he's the one who boxed it up and is now trying to find out why she didn't drop it off at FedEx because she was supposed too ::) I could tell the guy was white too. It's probably her. He's in Dallas now and it was suppose to be shipped from Cedar Hill. My guess is they are currently moving.

    Maybe she saw my questions and didn't know what to do or she took it to the wrong place. Still waiting to hear back.
  4. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Ok, the guy texted me back last night showing me pictures of the box and he wanted to video chat so his fiancé could apologize since she had told him she shipped it while he was gone. What happened is the guy sent me that last eBay message on Wednesday and had to jump on a plane the next morning and didn't have time to ship it. At least that’s what he told me. Supposedly that's why he was in Dallas yesterday when he called me back while at DFW. Apparently, he had just arrived. 20-minute drive down to Cedar Hill from there.

    Anyway, he said he still had not checked to see if the cabinet was in there and agreed to make an adjustment if missing when I receive it. The instructions he found online say you have to drill holes to make it go in so it’s probably down lower in the box. The box is narrow but it’s much taller than the unit itself so maybe that's why. The whole thing is still factory sealed and has never been taken out of the box. You can see the red template markings on the plastic covering the front.

    Anyway, the ML-1C speakers I have required this MQ-101 equalizer so when I rebuild the crossovers with heavier components I will need to leave the values the same.

    "The McIntosh ML-1C loudspeaker system consists of the ML-1C speaker and the MQ101 equalizer. Together they form a complete system that can maintain flat response down to 20Hz within 1dB. No subwoofer is or was needed! The system works just as well today as it did in 1970."
  5. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Brand new factory sealed in the box since the early 1970's. It sure enhances my speaker system too. It brings out more highs, midrange and bass :icon_thumbup:

  6. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    One thing I need to do is spray all of the switch contacts inside and oil the wooden cabinet. The contacts have a little static and the wood is pretty dry after sitting in the box for 40+ years.


    Anyway, I found the below Watco product. There is a special formula some McIntosh owners like to use and it requires linseed oil and etc., but I've already heard this Watco oil works just as well if not better.

  7. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Came home today after work and finally took the MQ-101 apart and cleaned and lubricated all of the switch contacts inside with DeoxIT D100L-25C. I also cleaned all of the screws and the RCA connectors because they had that white powdery corrosion all over them. Then I oiled the wooded cabinet with the Watco oil and it now looks just like the receiver cabinet. Same color.

    Anyway, I reconnected and powered it back up and the cleaning appears to have greatly improved the frequency response, mainily the highs. It must have been losing some connectivity due to the dirty RCA connectors and the switches inside. You would be amazed at how well this thing actually works. It enhances the highs, the midrange and the bass of the ML-1C speakers so well that I can set the bass on the receiver to the straight up and down position and then set the MQ-101's bass selector to position 4 or 5 and it makes the speakers sound like the have internal subwoofers inside. Back in the 1970’s Roger Russell at McIntosh defiantly knew what the hell he was doing.

    I can just imagine how well this system is going to sound once I also restore the crossovers in the ML-1C speakers with new components. I’m sure I am losing even more response due to the 48-year-old capacitors, resistors and etc.