What is the MK Sound LCR750?
The MK Sound LCR750 is a newly upgraded version of the company’s long-established 750 Series of speakers. The LCR750 represents an entry-level option within M&K’s line-up that takes innovations and high-performance technologies first introduced in the S150, and integrates them into a speaker with a conventional driver layout, traditional cabinet design and more affordable price.
The system under review here consists of a pair of LCR750 speakers (£1,000p/p) as the front left and right channels, the LCR750C (£500 each) dedicated centre speaker, the SURR55T (£1,095p/p) tripole surround speakers, and a pair of V12 subwoofers (£1,250 each). This system would cost £5,000, but as at the time of writing (March 2020), you can buy it with one sub for an all-in price of £3,695.
I use the S150 monitors and S150T surround speakers, along with a pair of V12s, in my own system, so I have a point of reference when testing this LCR750 5.2-channel package. Let’s see how these entry-level M&K speakers perform in comparison…
MK Sound LCR750 Front Speaker
The MK Sound LCR750 is a home cinema speaker designed to incorporate many of the innovations found in the S150 studio monitor. It uses the same high-precision 1-inch soft fabric dome tweeter and extra-stiff 5.25-inch fibreglass cone woofer. However, instead of the latter’s unusual three tweeter plus two woofer configuration, you get a more familiar tweeter at the top and two woofers underneath layout.
The tweeters and woofers are identical to the more expensive S150
There are vented voice coils for improved high-power handling combined with extended linearity, and a specially constructed resonance-damped magnet system for precise transient control. An integrated waveguide is matched with a short horn load for a wider dispersion and smoother frequency response, while aluminium rings around the woofers are designed to eliminate distortion at higher SPL levels.
A high frequency prism system angles the tweeters for optimised off-axis as well as on-axis response – to ensure correct placement, the left and right units are identified as such on the rear panel. As part of the design, MK employs tensioned curved metal grilles that fit into slots at the sides. This essentially makes them spring loaded, so watch out when removing them or you’re liable to catch your fingers (as I did).
The LCR750 uses a more traditional cabinet design and driver layout
The LCR750 uses a phase-focused crossover design to optimise low crossover points, and incorporates proprietary interconnect cables. It has a claimed frequency response of 80Hz to 20kHz and a claimed sensitivity of 90dB. The frequency roll-off of 80Hz might seem a little high, but these speakers are designed to be used with a subwoofer, and in my experience don’t fall off a cliff at the crossover, suggesting the numbers are more realistic than some manufacturers.
When the original 750 Series was launched more than 20 years ago, it was the first speaker to be certified THX Select. These upgraded versions continue that tradition, and the overall build quality remains excellent. The sealed cabinets feel solid and inert, and come in a black vinyl finish. At the rear are high quality gold-plated binding posts, along with holes in different configurations for various wall mounting options, and there are also optional rubber feet. The M&K LCR750 measures 178 x 408 x 223mm (WxHxD), and weighs in at 6.9kg.
MK Sound LCR750C Centre Speaker
The MK Sound LCR750C is identical to the LCR750, but is designed as a centre speaker. That means it uses exactly the same cabinet, drivers and layout, with the only difference being the orientation of the M&K badge on the grille and the location of the binding posts.
The centre speaker is simply the LCR750 on its side, with grille logo and binding posts to match
While this is intended to be used on its side rather than upright, allowing you to place it under a TV or projector screen, you can also install it upright so it matches the front left and right speakers precisely. The M&K LCR750C measures 408 x 178 x 223mm (WxHxD), and weighs in at 6.9kg.
MK Sound SURR55T Surround Speaker
The MK Sound SURR55T is a tripole surround speaker intended to complement the front three channels in a multi-channel system. It’s also certified THX Select and is designed to match the timbre of the other models while providing a more diffuse surround presence. It uses the same front-mounted tweeter and woofer, but adds two 3-inch mid-tweeters – one on either side in a dipole orientation – to combine pin-point accuracy with an enveloping sound field.
The SURR55T also uses the same integrated wave guide, aluminium rings and high frequency prism system, along with a curved metal grille. The side-firing drivers are behind fabric grilles built into the speaker cabinet. As with the LCR750 speakers, the left and right units are identified as such.
The SURR55T is a dedicated tripole surround speaker with additional side-firing drivers
The SURR55T has the same frequency response but is slightly less sensitive at 85dB. The sealed cabinets have the same black vinyl finish and high quality gold-plated binding posts, along with hooks that slot into the included wall brackets. The M&K SURR55T measures 178 x 259 x 221mm (WxHxD), and weighs in at 4.7kg.
MK Sound V12 Subwoofer
The MK Sound V12 is a compact sealed active subwoofer with a forward-firing 12-inch driver based around a stamped steel basket that incorporates a pulp cone, custom NBR (Nitril Butyl Rubber Suspension) surround, fibreglass dust cap and a newly designed motor system featuring an aluminium voice coil.
This sub is THX Select 2 certified, and uses Class D amplification capable of delivering 300W RMS, with peaks up to 500W, and the claimed frequency response of 20 to 200Hz. There also M&K’s propriety Headroom Maximiser which adds in protection against overload and ensures the dynamics remain within the capabilities of the unit.
This well-designed sub delivers deep and controlled bass that integrates with the rest of the system
The V12 uses an extremely rigid, non-resonant construction based around a 1-inch thick MDF enclosure and 0.75-inch thick internal bracing that reinforces the cabinet and supports the bass driver. The simple sealed cube is finished in a choice of black or white satin, and comes with a removable matching fabric grille at the front.
Around the back is a simple set of connections, with a stereo/LFE phono input and stereo phono output. The controls are just as basic, with knobs for adjusting the volume, crossover and phase settings, along with a switch for selecting off, auto or on. The M&K V12 measures 360 x 466 x 400mm (WxHxD), and weighs in at 22kg.
How was the system tested?
The MK Sound 750 Series 5.2-channel speaker system was tested in a dedicated home cinema. The LCR750 left and right speakers were positioned at the front of the room on either side of the projector screen, the LCR750C centre speaker was between them beneath the screen, and the SURR55T surround speakers were located at the sides and just behind the main listening position. A pair of V12 subwoofers were placed at the front, one in each corner.
This speaker package was tested as a 5.2-channel system with a pair of subwoofers
The testing was done using a mixture of material ranging from Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-rays, CDs, DVD-Audio discs, SACDs and music streaming services. The primary sources were the Panasonic DP-UB9000 4K Blu-ray player, the Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, and the Apple TV 4K media player. These were routed through a Lyngdorf MP-60 AV processor, while an Emotiva XPA-11 power amplifier easily handled the five channels of the system.
MK Sound LCR750 Performance
The MK Sound LCR750 speakers set out their stall with a performance that’s immediately reminiscent of the S150 speakers I normally use in my system. The tell-tale neutrality and clinical reproduction are present and correct, resulting in a delivery that’s free of colouration. This approach isn’t for everyone of course, with many liking a warmer sound from their speakers but, if you want something that behaves more like studio monitor, the LCR750 is sure to please.
Despite the significant price differential between the two models, the 750 Series has managed to retain much that makes the more professionally-oriented S150 speaker sound so good. There’s an undeniable transparency to the delivery, combined with some exceptional detail retrieval. The three main speakers also produce a highly cohesive front soundstage, although for the best results I’d suggest installing the centre speaker vertically so it precisely matches the left and right speakers.
The film Le Mans ’66 has a fantastic soundtrack that makes full use of all the available channels to create an immersive sonic experience. There’s extensive steering of effects from channel to channel as high-performance cars screech around the room. As a result this particular mix is ideal for testing the overall tonal balance and cohesion of this 5.2-channel system. The M&Ks do a wonderful job of ensuring there was no obvious shift in the aural signature as cars zoom from speaker to speaker.
If I had one criticism of the LCR750, it’s that it’s slightly lacking at the low-end, although to certain extent that’s the point. These are satellite speakers, designed to be used in a system that is augmented by a subwoofer. The V12 does just that, with a big bass presence that ably delivers the lower frequencies until it crosses over with the speakers at 80Hz. As a result, the overall system is seamless in its integration, producing an infrasonic floor that is evenly distributed.
The system produces a cohesive soundstage, combined with well-integrated bass
The V12 sub perfectly integrates with all five speakers, handing over at the crossover and producing a foundation of powerful bass that gives the turbo-charged engines a deep and throaty roar. The transparency of these speakers also draws out specific details within the soundtrack, allowing you to hear the unique sounds of different engines in amongst the mix. The speakers also reveal the subtle differences in various locations, creating some fantastically structured soundscapes.
I checked how well the speakers and subs were integrated by popping on Whiplash. This film might include plenty of abuse being hurled at Miles Teller by J. K. Simmons, which the system delivered with a frightening precision, but there's also some excellent jazz drumming. The cohesion is exceptional, with the perfectly matched speakers creating a system that’s tighter than a syncopated jazz quartet, effortlessly delivering every hi-hat, cymbal and snare drum.
The bass is also wonderfully deep and responsive, with the sealed V12s revealing a pleasing musicality in their delivery. They combine with the speakers to create a fantastic bass presence that gives the drums a percussive kick. There's a precision to the delivery that's so tight you can't get a credit card between the bass and drums in the musical performances.
In terms of dynamics the M&Ks are also very commanding, especially during the action scenes in Midway. However this dynamic delivery is never at the cost of listening comfort, and when fed a decent amount of power, the system will create a surround experience that's aggressive and powerful. It’s also clean and free of any distortion or sibilance.
The overall delivery is crisp, clean, detailed and very dynamic
In the various battles, planes roar effortlessly from speaker to speaker with a wonderful sense of energy and dynamism. The steering is seamless and the tripole SURR55T speakers create an expansive surround presence that extends along the side and rear walls. This helps move sounds without gaps appearing in the soundstage, and the timbre is also matched, which ensures the sounds remain balanced as they move around the room.
The system can handle big and bold soundtracks like Le Mans '66 and Midway, but as it proved with Whiplash there's also a degree of subtlety. Joker is a great example, with a expertly designed soundtrack that's as disturbing as the title character. It’s an unnerving sound mix that combines highly directional audio effects with Hildur Guðnadóttir's plaintive, cello-driven score. The scene where Joker imagines himself on The Murray Franklin Show is given an increased sense of three dimensional space by moving sounds like the house band in response to the POV of the camera.
As the scene moves around the studio the various sound effects move with it, seamlessly passing from speaker to speaker. These effects are delivered with crystal clarity, and centre speaker ensures the dialogue is crisp, clear and focused. There’s very little action in the film, but when a gun is discharged the soundtrack makes full use of the dynamic range to give each shot greater impact. The sub also adds a ballistic thump, and helping to make the violence all the more visceral.
- Excellent sound quality
- Impressive cohesion and tonal balance
- Clean and neutral sound with no discolouration
- Detailed and dynamic performance
- Powerful, well-integrated subs
- Metal grille might not suit everyone
- Value is relative
MK Sound LCR750 Speaker Package Review
Should I buy them?
The MK Sound LCR750 Series succeeds in its stated goal of delivering many of the key attributes of the S150 Series in a more affordable and user-friendly fashion. The speakers are well-constructed and nicely designed, making them a better lifestyle option. They’re also relatively small (although the LCR750 is actually taller than the S150), which is useful when space is at a premium. The system reviewed here will comfortably fit into a normal lounge and make a good match for a large screen TV.
The LCR750/C and SURR55T also benefit from M&K’s long pedigree of designing and manufacturing speakers, and the result is a performance that’s both refined and compelling. The system as whole demonstrates the advantage of using the same tweeters and drivers throughout, with a cohesive delivery based around a tonally-balanced soundstage. There’s also an unmistakable precision to the delivery, with exceptional detail retrieval and a neutral reproduction that’s free of any discolouration.
However, these speakers aren’t bass monsters, and are designed to be used in conjunction with at least one subwoofer. You don’t have to use an M&K sub, and the LCR750’s metal grilles would actually match the SVS SB-3000 rather well, but the V12 is also a very capable subwoofer that can deliver depth and power with precision and control. All the speakers in the system crossover with the subs seamlessly, resulting in a solid low frequency foundation that enhances the range of every channel, providing a perfectly timed infrasonic kick where needed.
The LCR750 Series is also surprisingly cost-effective when you compare it to the more expensive S150. It’s true that value is always relative, and no-one is suggesting that £3,600-5,000 is cheap, but when you consider what you’re getting for your hard-earned money, the appeal of the 750 Series starts to make sense. The S150 Series still has the edge in terms of overall performance, but at half the price there’s no denying the LCR750 Series delivers a level of performance that’s far in excess of its price tag, making it a great entry point into the M&K speaker range.
What are my alternatives?
There are a number of excellent speaker packages available at this price range, and the Arendal 1723 S THX 5.1 system is definitely worth considering. Much like the Danish M&K’s these Norwegian beauties offer exceptional performance from beautifully made, if somewhat large cabinets. The front and centre speakers go a bit deeper, as do the tripole surrounds, and there are three impressive subs to choose from.
Another great choice is the Monitor Audio Silver 5.1 system, with its well-made speakers that are capable of a big and balanced soundstage. A highly effective subwoofer rounds out an impressive and genuinely attractive package. Finally, there’s the Bowers & Wilkins 700 S2 Series, which offers a similarly neutral performance thanks to the Continuum driver. It’s a bit more expensive, but this elegantly designed and well-specified 5.1 system is worthy of consideration.
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