1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

BK Monolith: the review :)

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Kazman, May 5, 2005.

  1. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    Hello all

    Had the pleasure of the company of a couple of BK Electronics representatives this evening, it wasn't just a social visit though, but more a home demonstration of their newest product.........the Monolith.

    BK are already well known on the forum, in fact many people (including myself) own a BK XLS200 subwoofer, and a mighty fine sub it is too, but, we always wondered why don't BK go up a level and build a 12" model.

    Our prayers have been answered, but not in the way we thought they would be. The Monolith is very different in design when compared to the XLS200, where the XLS200 is a sealed box design with either a front firing or down firing driver in a tiny cabinet, the Monolith is a large front firing front ported design.

    The flared port is massive, but during the tests there was no evidence of port chuffing. The sub itself is huge! Almost as large as the big SVS box subs :eek: It will take two people to lift the 43KG beast if one needs to position it. BK actually fitted this review model with some special feet attachments which will be optional on the product, the spiked feet fit into a flat shoe, which attaches itself to the spike and does not fall off when the sub is lifted, pics of these to follow, as well as pics of the sub itself and its components.

    BK also brought along a seperate amp unit and seperate driver unit to demonstrate their build quality, impressive does not really do them justice, especially the MOSFET amp module with its toroidol transformer and large capacitors.

    The driver unit is based on a "Lab 12" driver, but the design has been modified and customised to fit BK's needs, it is well constructed with a lot of room for excursion, the drive unit sure can move and this was demonstrated during the tests. The drive unit is also reassuringly heavy.

    The build quality of the sub is superb, easily outpointing the SVS PB10 in this respect. The other £400 sub of the moment, the Sony SAWX900, does have a better material quality though, and the finish is a little nicer.

    The Monolith has possibly every connection type one would need, including balanced inputs as well as high/low level connections, the back plate is also superbly built and oozes quality, even better than the back plate on the PC Ultra. The cabinet is well screwed together, and the wood finish is of a high quality, it didn't surprise me to learn that BK actually build cabinets for some high end companies, PMC being one of them :eek:

    Ok, enough of how it looks, what about how it sounds :devil:

    In a word.............superb!!!! What strikes you first is the refinement, it is unheard of to find such refinement in a £400 subwoofer. The control is also awesome, the gattling gun scene in the first Matrix movie was handled extremely well, much better than the Sony, and an improvement over the PB10 in terms of depth and slam. It never broke a sweat either, and we drove the Monolith hard. Darla was played at near reference, no problems whatsoever!! :eek: For a £400 sub to play at near reference levels with no distortion and not bottom out on the Darla scene is a great achievement.

    Another jaw dropping experience was the intro to Attack of the Clones, the bass was so clean and the massive explosion so controlled you would swear you were listening to a much more expensive unit.

    This sub doesn't half shift some air too, more trouser flapping than the PB10, but also more refined, where the PB10 is agressive, the Monolith is more grown up and gives a much more adult sound, very much like the 20-39 PC+, although it isn't quite as good as that.

    The Fellowship Of The Ring intro was also handled very well, no evidence of boom or distortion, the ring drop and explosion handled with finesse, this subwoofer gives an amazingly clean output at its price point.

    The BK XLS200 is chewed up and swallowed next to the Monolith, in fact (as the pics will show) you may be able to fit TWO XLS200's inside the Monolith :eek: This is the best sub £400 subwoofer I have heard, eclipsing both the Sony SAWX900 and the highly regarded SVS PB10, not only in sound quality, but also connectivity and build (even though the finishing materials of the Sony are of a higher grade), the lack of distortion, and the quality of the sound are truly outstanding for £400. Another massive plus point is the way it hides away and integrates with the rest of the system, it doesn't overpower the soundstage at all and you only notice it when you are supposed to, another trait of a good quality subwoofer, it does this better than the Sony and PB10 too :thumbsup:

    Another question I wanted answering was how this sub would square up to one of the SVS heavy weights, my PC Ultra............could this be a fairytale ending for the BK Monolith? Well...............no, the PC Ultra proved its quality once again, in the same room, the PCU outclassed the Monolith......but then again, so it should, it costs more than twice the amount of the big BK and has that superb Ultra driver. The BK guys were very impressed with the SVS PC Ultra and agreed that it was the better sub, again, I'll emphasise the fact that this is to be expected considering the price differential.

    What BK have done though, is produce a sub to rule its price point, the PB10 and Sony SAWX900 are both class acts, and to say the Monolith is better is some statement, but, to my ears (remember these were also heard in different rooms), the Monolith comes out on top..........even better news is that it is a BRITISH sub, and supporting a British company is even more satisfying when what you get in my opinion is a class leading piece of kit.

    Well done BK, you have done it again, the Monolith is a cracker people, enjoy :). :clap:

    Few things to note, turn around time for orders to be fulfilled is about two weeks at the moment, BK are finalising the packaging details so that the subs are well protected during transit. Unfortunately we didn't get time to listen to any music, but I feel this will be handled very well with the BK Monolith, especially considering its refined nature.

    Pics to follow very shortly, I'm transferring them now :) will post them within the next 30 mins :).
     
  2. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Near London.
    Ratings:
    +208
    Good review mate, thanks for the effort. It seems to have gone pretty much as I'd have expected. :)
     
  3. Mroizouk

    Mroizouk
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    333
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +1
    Yeah, well written Kaz. I read with interest. As well as sounding better did the monolith dig deeper than the sony to your ears or were they equal? Interesting to know it produced a superior sound whilst being ported, too.
     
  4. sonic65

    sonic65
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    147
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Bourne
    Ratings:
    +1
    Excellent review most appreciated, answered many points.

    sonic65
     
  5. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Near London.
    Ratings:
    +208
  6. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    Here are the pics people :) Some of them really show the quality of the grain too.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. SBanga

    SBanga
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,011
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Leeds, Yorksha
    Ratings:
    +267
  8. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    They appeared to be fairly close frequency wise, but the Monolith was definitely cleaner, that is not to say the Sony isn't clean, just that the Monolith is more so.
     
  9. sonic65

    sonic65
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    147
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Bourne
    Ratings:
    +1
    That makes two of us
    sonic 65
     
  10. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    Another point that BK made to me was that in its modified state, the driver in the Monolith is better than the Peerless 12 :eek:
     
  11. Roam

    Roam
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Nice review! :thumbsup:

    I'm so tempted to part with my XLS200 for one of these. Did you get any pics with the grill on?
     
  12. phillfyspoon

    phillfyspoon
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,128
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +76
    great review and the sub looks better then I thought it would, I bet it would look nice in a wood finish.
     
  13. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    Unfortunately not, but the grill fits snugly on the front and is very secure.

    Anyway, time for bed for me, gotta be up by 7.30am for work :(.

    Night people, will answer any more questions in the morning :)
     
  14. SBanga

    SBanga
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,011
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Leeds, Yorksha
    Ratings:
    +267
    I vote for Kazman as star man of the month! First the Sony, now the BK. We should get him to see if our bath water is at the right temperature lol!! Seriously though, cheers mate, I'm set on the BK now.
    Awaiting funding................ :-s
     
  15. recruit

    recruit
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Excellent review Kazman :smashin:
     
  16. GFS AV

    GFS AV
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    407
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    yes great review Kaz, if only I had the room for the Monolith! I had a feeling it would be an improvement on the PB10.

    As I said before, if the value for money of the XLS200 remained consitent, the Monolith was bound to be a winner :thumbsup:
     
  17. kbfern

    kbfern
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Messages:
    17,151
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    Ratings:
    +5,233
    Well done Kazman for staying up late and giving us your review without keeping us waiting !

    Did you do any measurements with a meter,I would be interested to see how low and loud the sub can go(with minimal distortion).BK say in room, the sub should perform down to around 17Hz.

    I wish I had been there to hear the sub, at the momment I am still in a quandry whether to go for a Monolith or say a second hand SVS PC+ for the same sort of money?

    I have a few weeks before I need to make my decision so I hope some more reviews come along to help in my decision.
     
  18. Pollywoggle

    Pollywoggle
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,442
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    South Shropshire
    Ratings:
    +81
    This looks excellent and a British product to boot, well done Kazman and well done BK, they deserve all the success that they will get with this product!
     
  19. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    Thanks for all the positive notes guys, much appreciated :).

    It is a lovely sub, unfortunately we didn't get time to do a frequency sweep with the SPL meter (I couldn't find my frequency disc, have to burn another), but it certainly plumbed the depths without distorting, and I for one can easily believe the 17hz claim, if anything, it may even be a little conservative, once someone buys one of these can they do a frequency sweep and let us know.

    Another thing I learnt about BK is that they set up the sound system in the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square :eek: easily the best sound system I have heard in any cinema :), kudos to them :D
     
  20. BK Electronics

    BK Electronics
    Active Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    376
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +25
    Hi Kazman

    Nice to meet you last night and thanks for all the positive comments. The sub certainly worked well and we got to hear how good your SVS really is. I thought I would clarify that either Mike the old engineer at UCI or Andre would have set the Empire's sound sytem up, but the amplifiers are manufactured by us.

    Thanks once again for your valuable time and for sorry for keeping you away from your dinner.

    Tom
     
  21. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    What is also impressive is that the Monolith that was brought round still had to be run in properly! :eek: We pushed it very hard and it took it and wanted more, :) awesome job mate.
     
  22. sonic65

    sonic65
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    147
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Bourne
    Ratings:
    +1
    Would like to know details of the modifications. From your pics and jpegs on www.prosoundweb.com/lsp it seems that the cone surround has been changed from foam to butyl, different rear vent and conventional front dust cap. It does appear to be an awesome unit, twice the magnet weight of the Peerless 12" and a 10 rib basket.
    Over the years I have found BK to be spot on with their specifications, if anything rather conservative. Have just checked out my XLS200 power output and frequency response, it was spot on with the ASP very effective.
    Again, well done with the review.

    sonic65
     
  23. Dfour

    Dfour
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,998
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Bracknell
    Ratings:
    +85
    I would still put my money on the SVS pc+ over the monolith.

    The only problem with trying to upgrade a pb10 to a monolith is the fact that the pb10 is so heavy and would really need picking up by the buyer coz postage would be a b**ch :eek:

    Nice review Kazzy :thumbsup:
     
  24. shugg99

    shugg99
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    78
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Ratings:
    +1
    Nice one Kazman

    Been looking for a sub after selling my rel Q50, this fits the bill nicely :thumbsup:

    time to give the plastic a bashing :devil:

    Shugg
     
  25. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,078
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    notts.
    Ratings:
    +63
    Hi Kazman
    Great job again,Think you ought to change your name to Subman :rotfl: .
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  26. Stano

    Stano
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Great review, so good I ordered one last night, she'll kill me, still I have two weeks to think of an excuse, wonder if she'll notice??

    Stan
     
  27. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    Heh heh, it is a big beast :):):) :D :devil:

    Which finish did you go for?
     
  28. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Messages:
    2,190
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Weardale
    Ratings:
    +57
    tell her you bought a new coffee table... :D
     
  29. Grif

    Grif
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    261
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4
    Anyone got dimensions? Nothing on BK's site that I could see.
     
  30. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    560d*420w*540h
     

Share This Page

Loading...