i need a great subwoofer!

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by pc, Jul 9, 2001.

  1. pc

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    I'm putting together a high end home theatre system and am confused by the choice of subwoofers. I am prepared to spend £800-£2000 if the performance warrants it. I've shortlisted the M&K MX-350THX. Any experience with it? I understand that M&K are used by THX, Dolby and DTS, as well as loads of studios. Is this correct? Surely if its good enough for them ,its good enough for me. Has anyone got one or knows of a better one?
     
  2. Guest

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    Yes, I've got an MX350 THX. It is correct that M&Ks are used by THX (certainly for the Phantom Menace) and probably the others you mention (I can't remember off the top of my head). If you check their website, you can see a long list of companies that use them. Very impressive, but it would mean nothing if the product was useless.

    I listened to a lot of different designs, and nothing comes close to this model, not even REL or the recent REVEL sub.
    It seems to have become something of a reference point among many U.S. publications, and I can see why (it's also cheaper in the U.S.!) It's such a fast, precise and deep subwoofer that it's perfect for both music and movies. It made my old REL Strata sound like a plodding old beast with music! It's not even that big, although it does weigh a lot.

    I simply urge you to check it out for yourself. A word of warning though, go to a good dealer that takes time to set things up correctly. I visited two dealers to listen to the MX350, and the first was not set up correctly within its environment. It sounded OTT, because it had not been calibrated well with the rest of the system. Some dealers are a nightmare, they expect items to just walk out the shop because they sound loud , and the money to fly into the till. Sad. Luckily the second dealer (I believe) was part of Gecko who are the UK distributors for M&K. This one was set up beyond belief. Highly recommended. I'd like to get a second one when I can afford it!

    :D

    p.s. Also try their speakers with it, you may change your mind about other so called 'high end' speakers you may have auditioned.
     
  3. pc

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    thanks. Which dealers did you go to?
     
  4. Guest

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    I've got exactly the setup that Rayleigh have. Strange, as most dealers use the THX S150s rather than the 125s. What made you choose these for the demo room Dave? Their musicality? They are rather special with that sub.

    Actually pc, Rayleigh at Lakeside were quite good when I visited. Zebra on the Kings Road in Chelsea were great too. I won't name & shame the dealer who didn't have them set up correctly. I find it incredible, because it's not even that difficult. Simply use a SPL meter, and play around finding the best position for the sub. You should do this with any speakers and sub purchased in order to get the best results anyway.

    While we're talking about M&Ks, does anyone know if there are any 'serious' differences between the active S150P main speaker and the M&K Pro range equivalent MPS2510P? There is a nice price difference. I'm thinking of a new Bryston, Meridian or Krell power amplifier, but may consider these active speakers for a front three combo instead.
    :confused:

    Mark
     
  5. daveaphillips

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    Hi Mark,

    The S-125s are only there until we get our S150P's! I'd rather wait for them instead of going for the passive ones first! Don't get me wrong, the S-125s are shockingly good on both music and home cinema, but I'm afraid I won't rest until we have the S150P's running!
    With regards to your question, there is absolutely no difference between the S150P's and the Pro equivelent except the label on the box! The reason for the price difference is that a studio will sign a contract to use the speakers, and will no doubt have several systems as opposed to one. Therefore, to buy just one Pro package, a premium is charged as no contract has been agreed.
    Talking about your own system, if you can't deal with the size/looks of the S150P's then a monster power amp like the Krell is a great choice. However, looks aside, the S150P's really are the ultimate home cinema and Hi-Fi loudspeaker, and I would recommend them without reserve!

    Good luck choosing!

    [ 13-07-2001: Message edited by: Spectre ]
     
  6. ReTrO

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    When it's been properly setup the Revel B15 can compete with the MX350, we have one is our demo room, with MK VX100 and MX125 subs.
    It really needs it own PC software to get the best out of it though.

    I can strongly recommend the MX350 aswell, it's huge and makes a good coffee table if you've no where also to put it!

    Enjoy whatever hue monster you buy, it'll change you life!
     
  7. daveaphillips

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    pc,

    Just thought I'd put a good word in for the MX350, we have it set up as our reference system in our demonstration room. This sub, coupled with a full M&K loudspeaker setup is simply awesome! We have the 350 running with S-125 front speakers, and SS-150THX Tripole rear speakers. It does have to be set up correctly, but don't worry, we as a dealer offer a full installation service to make sure it sounds perfect at home!
    It's also worth metioning I myself use a V-1250, but I am setting my sights for the MX350!
    Hope this has helped you with your problem!

    Good luck,

    [ 13-07-2001: Message edited by: Spectre ]
     
  8. lifter

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    You shoud try Mirage BPS 400 or Mirage Substrata 1500 or 1000 subwoofers.
     
  9. minimivic

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    The Mirage BPS400 is Awsome, give it a try. HCC didi a review so did Widescreen review mags.
    In the UK the Substrata 1000 and 1500 are not available and won't be until they can get past EC regulations.
    I have the BPS 400 for my personal system :D
     
  10. ReTrO

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    I went to the house with the MX350 today, very impressed with it. It is running of an Arcam FMJ amp, DV88 and with MK 95 in ceiling speakers.
     
  11. pc

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    thanks for all the advice. I ended up going to see Dave at Rayleigh Rayleigh. S150P's with an MX350! Awesome! Now for some serious FUN film watching.
    I was amazed how dynamic and open and musical it all sounded. I'll be rediscovering all my CDs too!
    Had a listen to MK's baby system, the K series whilst there. Fantastic.
     
  12. daveaphillips

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    Go for it Mark!

    I did reply, but you can't of got it yet. That is a very good price, how did you manage that?
     
  13. Guest

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    So are you going for the whole lot pc? MX350 & S150Ps? Very very nice! :cool:

    Dave, did you get my email?

    Mark
     
  14. Guest

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    Dave, I never got your email. I've now updated my email address on my profile, maybe there was a problem?

    I didn't do any persuading at all to get the price I mentioned... it's just the normal price minus 'a bit' for a package of three LCR MPS2510Ps. List price are £1,195 each (+VAT). Why then the massive difference between these and the S150Ps? :eek:
    Looks to be a similar situation with the THX subwoofers too... Someone somewhere being greedy?
     
  15. dvdbrowser.com

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    Could someone please e-mail me with prices for the M&K range.

    Many thanks.

    Stevo.
     
  16. ReTrO

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    Went to another MK MX350 install yesterday, partnered with a Linn AV5103 and amps, with other Linn speakers.

    Only had the chance to listen with Gone In 60 Secs, but was impressive as always!
     
  17. tan1415

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    Hi PC,

    Have you thought of buying a cheaper Subwoofer but using two of them?

    All the manufacturers seem to recommend the setup of using to subwoofers.(logical they will sell only more)
    They say basically is that 1 + 1 is more than 2.
    So what i was wondering having two cheaper subs playing is it better than having only one very expensive one?
    Have you or anyone else tried this out?
    I am not in you high end stuff.

    But maybe 2 Rel q50 is better than 1 strata?
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Great point. I now would not go back to a single sub, two is just so much better.

    The jump from a Rel storm to Paradigm Servo 15 was significant. The jump to two Servo 15s was ever bigger.
     
  19. GaryG

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    The 'push/pull' configuration is known as 'Isobaric' and allows the box to be half the size required for a single speaker. eg. if a 15" speaker requires a box volume of 8 cubic feet, 2 speakers in an 'Isobaric' configuration can be mounted in a box with a volume of only 4 cubic feet. This is significant because the bigger the speaker the bigger the box needs to be to get deep bass, the 'Isobaric' configuration gives you the deep bass in a 'manageable' box at the expense of the cost of an extra driver.
     
  20. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the Linn Isobarik sub. 5150 is it's name I think although it's just changed to something like "Melodik".

    It's the best sub I've ever heard. I would however recommend going with whatever your supplier thinks is the best they've managed to partner with the rest of your system.

    Gordon
     
  21. ReTrO

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    Agree with gordon on this one. It's also a damn nice looking sub, I think it has ungone some tweaking with its name change (it's still the 5150 as a code though).
     
  22. Guest

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    The MX350 M&K sub consists of two drivers in a 'push/pull' configuration driven by a 350 watt amp. This sounds like more than two subs believe me. Although, I would now like another one of these please father Christmas...

    I would advise to get the best sub you can for your money, then add another when and if funds and room space allow.

    [ 24-07-2001: Message edited by: Beast ]
     
  23. daveaphillips

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    With two subs working together, each only has to work half as hard as when there is only one. This is very effective and provides excellent bass response on HC and music.
    However, two poor subs don't make a good one! I recommend to go for the best single sub for you budget, and then when finances allow it, add another one!
    Any push pull sub does this brilliantly, in particular the MX350. I have heard several systems with 2 x MX350 and 2 x MX5000! This was shockingly good, with absolutely no comparision to any other system i've heard!
     
  24. Nic Rhodes

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    General

    I posted on the Tag web site this morning. The USA review is a chap called Glenn. He is a bright cookie technically and doesn't suffer bull ****. Very practical and down to earth. One of the good guys. I've learned loads from his post there.
     
  25. Stuart Wright

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    Audition the RELs. A Studio or Stentor. Absolutely awesome.
     
  26. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Dave

    No one is saying buy poor quality subs. Quite the opposite. People are advocating using two subs as this often / always works better than one. I for one found two subs gave me a far better performance than one. As I have posted elsewhere only today, my budget ran out before I got better performance. Yes I did look at some big M and Ks.

    Where I posted elsewhere a VERY well regarded reviewer from the states, questioned, quite rightly in my view, the cost : performance ratio of the big M and K subs re the Canadian counterparts who have better equiped facilities. He mentioned PSB and Paradigm from memory. If he thought the $ price for M and K was steep , what would he make of the £ price?

    I find a good source of info on this the subject the Tom Nousaine reviews on Video Magazine. He doesn't pull any punches. He knows about subs.

    I would love to know what he thought of the Linn. Now that would be an interesting acedemic exercise. And what about two? :D
     
  27. General Skanky

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    Nic, you said....

    Where I posted elsewhere a VERY well regarded reviewer from the states, questioned, quite rightly in my view, the cost : performance ratio of the big M and K subs re the Canadian counterparts who have better equiped facilities. He mentioned PSB and Paradigm from memory. If he thought the $ price for M and K was steep , what would he make of the £ price?

    A 'very' interesting point indeed.
    I'd never thought of it like that.
    You've made life difficult now as I've never paid too much attention to the Canadians as it were. Now I have to look into it. :)
     
  28. Guest

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    This has all gone a bit awry, with things being slung around about various products. You can read up on a lot of products / reviews but you won't know definitively until you review for yourself. I don't think Dave P was saying anyone suggested using two poor subs, just that within room space and budget constraints go for your idea of the best you can afford. An upgrade path further down the line could then consist of another sub.

    I listened to the Linn sub at the weekend and would say that it does sound very good, probably on a par with the MX350. The Linn processor and power amp (tiny!) were also fantastic, the Tag was pretty good too. This is now causing me a headache with my planned Meridian upgrade! (~Is the Linn fully upgradeable and will it be kept up to date? God knows! I'll check the website...)
     
  29. Nic Rhodes

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    It is most certainly is in the same league. That I have no doubt about. See the top US magazine reviews. My own experience also tells me this. To pick an extreme example from a web review

    "Frankly, I don't understand how M&K subs get such high ratings. While the mid and upper bass quality was accurate, tight, and musical, the lower bass was very weak compared to other subwoofers. I lived with this sub, the Paradigm PW-2200, and the NHT SubOne for a week. Even near a room corner, the M&K was only flat down to about 24-25 Hz. In the exact same position, the Paradigm is flat down to 20 Hz (the NHT dropped out at 28 Hz). The Paradigm also has about 90-95% of the upper and mid bass musicality of the M&K. And even though NHT's SubOne didn't cut it, their $1200 SubTwo is much better and sounds very much like the M&K, for $700 less. Meanwhile, I kept the Paradigm, for which I paid $720. Personally, if I was set on getting an M&K, I would get an MX-105 or MX-125. The MX-350 THX is way overpriced for what it delivers."

    The 2200 is half the Servo 15 cost. It is good but NOT in the Servo / 350 class, IMHO. This is an extreme example and one I don’t necessarily buy into but it does indicates a wider point

    Other comments on Servo reviews

    "Velodyne is overpriced junk. HSU is a joke, M&K is overpriced as well."

    "HSU or M&K can't touch it, don't let anybody tell you otherwise."

    "This subwoofer is just unreal. After in in-home demo where the REL Strata and HSU were completely embarrased it came down between the Servo 15 and the M&K 350 THX. The Servo 15 got the nod becuase of the non-existant performace of the M&K on subsonic frequencies, and lack of impact. The M&K strained to do things that the Servo 15 did without breaking a sweat, plus was much more musical than the M&K."

    There are similar supportive posts on the 350 from people who prefer that and negative posts on the Servo and 350 but it is competing in the same class. It might not be your number one (you picked your 350) but it is certainly VERY competitive. Each to their own here. Others may prefer say a REL or Velodyne. (Always wanted to hear their 18 inch unit). I prefered the Servo 15 and I am not easily driven to buy a RS product, trust me. I have had my hands burned too many times with RS. In fact, I would have made this decision very much earlier if someone like StereoStereo or Rayleigh sold it. RS can't do it justice. They are after all, a cheap box shifter.Here lies the hub of the problem, because one product is that much more expensive than the other (in the UK) then there is an assumption that the more expensive one is loads better. Who would realistically demo a Richer Sounds sub up against an M & K from a top independent? This was certainly my assumption before I tried them.

    The Lexicon MC1 vs Tag (substitute Linn / Meridian or what ever your favourite is) also has a similar problem. When people actually sit down and try them they can make up their own mind. Often the more expensive device isn't better. They are often very similar in quality but widely different in price. They are all great products but that price difference...Exchange rates have lots to answer for.

    Re Tag vs Lex. In the US these two components compete against each other. (Like 350 and Servo 15). In the UK one is twice the price of the other and people make assumptions as to which is better. The Lex has history and Logic 7. Tag is the new boy.....These £:$ exchange rate issues really hide many big issues. All I want is for people to get the best for their money.

    Dave, I hope I haven't caused offence. None was intended. you said earlier

    "However, two poor subs don't make a good one! I recommend to go for the best single sub for you budget, and then when finances allow it, add another one!"

    I did just this 3 years ago and they then stopped making my old sub. I couldn't find one second hand one in my area so.... Although my new subs cost less than my old, the performance in my situation is much better. With two the jump is very substantial. The sort of jump every up-grader wants. Friends have been speech less when I put on DTS: The Haunting or U571 or Apollo 13. Music as well as AV but personally I don't see a difference here. The 350 is a great sub and I respect Rayleigh, I just want people to properly think about their expensive purchases beforehand. So when they post their experiences / leave your shop they KNOW they have made the right decision rather than the usual I think I have made the right choice but I’m not quite sure because....What if?.....etc etc.

    If they pick a 350 I am more than happy with that but I will have made them think more about their purchase.

    Does that make sense?

    I am not knocking the 350 or promoting the Servo 15. I supported the question is two better than one? and the pricing of big US subs. Both relevant points that need addressing. The 350 and the Servo 15 are both quality products. I want people to make a ’better informed’ decision. Everyone will have a different view. Every situation / room will be different. That is why dealers offer demos, for people to pick what is best for them. The hobby will be all the better for a better understanding. Customers will also be happier. Is that so bad?

    I simply urge you to check it out for yourself.

    And we have hardly discussed the considerable merits of dual subs here……
     
  30. Nic Rhodes

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    Beast

    I am not promoting any single product here. What I was trying to get people to think about was the economics of some of the big US subs. They aren’t good value. You have only to look at their $ price, then compare it with the £ price to realise that we pay more in £ than these things cost in $ (it is not even 1:1). The economics don’t stack up.

    The M & K 350 is a great sub. US price is quoted as $ 1795.00 on Audio Review web site, in the UK it is about £2100. My Servo 15 is quoted as $1500 00 on Audio Review web site, in the UK it is about £500 currently.

    Both are excellent subs. I have heard both. I have never heard them against each other however. In the UK I doubt any dealer can compare them because who represents their interest in the UK, therefore any meaningful comparison is VERY difficult. You have to go and listen for yourself.

    I can have four Paradigm subs for the price of one M & K 350 and still have change left over.

    How does that stack up economics wise?

    Two subs suddenly becomes an interesting and viable option and you still save over half of your potential budget. For the record, the 350 and Servo 15 are products in the same class. Some will prefer one, other people the other. I prefer the Servo 15. Each to their own.

    For the record a REL Storm 111 is $1795 on the same web site. £800 in the UK. All of the above subs are well reviewed. What about a pair of Rel Stentor as pushed by Spectre? Another great sub.

    I, in the end, ran out of budget (£2500) before I found anything better than the two subs I bought. I paid £1000.

    The Linn processor does sound excellent. Forget any upgrades however. I’ve been down this route already. Want pl11, es, ex, dts discrete, dts 23/96, 7.1 formats (whoops!). No way. It is a shame but this is one of the reasons I went for the Tag. I don’t have pots of cash to spare, especially with twins on route, therefore I demand high value for what money I have. I also am very demanding and look at everything in great depth. I then make my own opinion and hand over my cash. Suppliers have to be patient with me but they get an order in the end.

    I do have a soft spot for the Linn sub however…….

    You sum it nicely in an earlier post.

    I simply urge you to check it out for yourself.

    ;)
     

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