A New Tune for High-End Audio

McIntosh, beloved by fans but bereft of strategy, got a remix from its latest owner

Colby Katz for TIME

Ivan Messer, on the TV screen, has 45 McIntosh components in his million-dollar home theater

"Nothing but the best or why bother?" is Ivan Messer's motto. His son describes him as a "first class or stay home" kind of guy. So it came as no surprise to his family when the 51-year-old money manager from Coral Springs, Fla., spent five years and a million dollars building a home theater. His setup includes 14 speakers, 16 amplifiers and 400 amps of current--more power than entire homes consume. "The system makes the speakers and walls disappear," says Messer. "You could get seasick watching Master and Commander in my theater."

Even more important to Messer than his 10-ft. (3...

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