M&K Surrounds CS35 | S55 | S26

MIB

Active Member
Just changed my Xenon 36 front 3 to 750THX and happy with the results. Currently have Xenon surround 26's at the rears but thinking of changing to S55 or maybe even the column surrounds CS35's.

Would the change be worthwhile and has anyone compared the CS range against the S55's.


Amp = Onkyo 805
Just for movie use
could be placed either behind sofa or either side of sofa
 

mattkhan

Distinguished Member
I haven't compared them but can offer a slightly different option... I have the 55 tripoles and I use them in a column style by sitting each on a 18" high wooden plinth firing straight up. It works v well in my room. The approach was suggested in this post.

Cheers
Matt
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
I bought my Xenon Surround 26s of AngelEyes who replaced them with column surrounds.

Whilst I can say I've still yet to hear a wall mounted surround that comes anything like close to the Xenons for the money, the CS range are absolutely awesome. He runs them flat against the rear wall with the sofa only just in front, which with the sofa that far back is a situation that only the CS could be applied to.

In this position, they don't steer the soundstage of the front speakers in the way that the tripoles (on a wall with room fore and aft) can, but the way the sounds appear in a diffuse manner way out far right and left is staggering considering that your ears are only really a couple of feet from them.

I'd love to hear them in a more traditional position, but I suspect that part of their quality is in the flexibility of positioning they allow - almost a safe bet in any room.

I would say as someone with the room for wall mounted tripoles, I'd find the S55s hard to resist though.

I find the link in Matts post interesting, because where I've seen people unhappy about using monopoles for surrounds, I've recommended that people give the monopoles a try low down, but firing straight up at the ceiling to give a more diffused surround field. It worked way back when I had the MkI KEF Eggs on my walls and tried them pointing straight up at the ceiling and found it worked really well.

Russell
 

MIB

Active Member
Thanks for the responses.

Nice idea Matt, might give that a try:)

My sofa is 30cm off the back wall and I was concerned having the CS columns right behind the sofa and in close proximity of my ear might be off putting but that puts my mind at rest, thanks Russell. Are you thinking of changing to S55s or are you satisfied with the 26's? For me, the jump from SVS monopole rears to Xenon tripoles was huge and I'm wondering when the law of diminishing returns kicks in with M&K tripoles.

The CS columns will also have high WAF as Mrs MIB keeps hitting her head on the side mounted 26s:suicide:
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
No, the Xenons will be staying put for quite some time I feel, as they're well capable given the other kit I have.

This year, it's speaker/amp/processor upgrades on the cards with a view to a better stereo/CD performance.

Russell
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Even with your ears a few inches from the CS22s the sound can still come from all over the room. As wuss says, they are great speakers, ideal for mounting behind a sofa :hiya:

I have a pair ox Xenon 36s on a shelf behind the sofa, quite high up and to be honest they don't add very much even with 7.1 soundtracks. With a sofa up against the back wall I don't think you will be dissapointed with the CS35s, go for it :smashin:

BTW they cost around £1200 new IIRC, so Cyrus is asking a pretty good price I reckon. I have to admit to being tempted for a second, I have no idea what I would have done with them though :rotfl:

Adam
 

IanCurtis

Novice Member
"For me, the jump from SVS monopole rears to Xenon tripoles was huge and I'm wondering when the diminishing law of returns kicks in with M&K tripoles."

I'd say it kicks in after the 26's.I went from the 26's as surrounds to some SS150's and they're certainly better but definitely not 2-2.5 times as good.

Out of intrest roughly how much better would you say the 750's are over the 36's?

Regards,
Ian.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
I'd say it kicks in after the 26's.I went from the 26's as surrounds to some SS150's and they're certainly better but definitely not 2-2.5 times as good.
I am suprised, I have heard some people say the SS150 is better than the CS and others claim the opposite. I would have to say though I did think my CS are a lot better than the 26s... still for thier size the 26s are amazing, no doubt about that :smashin:
 

MIB

Active Member
As wuss says
:rotfl:

I have a pair ox Xenon 36s on a shelf behind the sofa, quite high up and to be honest they don't add very much even with 7.1 soundtracks. With a sofa up against the back wall I don't think you will be dissapointed with the CS35s, go for it :smashin:
I've just sold my pair of Canton CD10's as I didn't seem to get anything extra from going 7.1 in my small room. The S26's are fantastic for spreading the sound round the back of my seating position which appears to negate the need for back rears. I had the CD10's on the floor behind the sofa firing up - which was a Russ, sorry wuss idea.:D

I have to admit to being tempted for a second, I have no idea what I would have done with them though :rotfl:
You've got a pair - don't be greedy:nono:
 

MIB

Active Member
Are you running the SS150's with Xenon 36's? Did you get the 150 surrounds with a view to upgrading the front 3 to S150s?


Where I found the Xenon's showed their diminutive size was the centre channel - I felt in particular they seemed to struggle with dialogue, sounding a little too thin/lightweight for my liking. For their size as you know they are incredible - I changed my PMC DB1+ front 3 to Xenon's for Movies and didn't look back.

The 750s have similar detail charactistics to the Xenons but with added weight to the sound especially with the centre channel. They are 5 or 6 times bigger so I'd have been disappointed with no improvement.

If you can accomodate the bigger size I'd strongly recommend upgrading to 750s.




Just out of interest (because I'm sure I'll be tempted one day:devil:) - how much better are the daddies (S150s) over the 750s. Do they need significantly more power than the 750s and would they be wasted in a small room?
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
"For me, the jump from SVS monopole rears to Xenon tripoles was huge and I'm wondering when the diminishing law of returns kicks in with M&K tripoles."

I'd say it kicks in after the 26's.I went from the 26's as surrounds to some SS150's and they're certainly better but definitely not 2-2.5 times as good.
In one way you could say it kicks in from the K4's, as once you go to tripoles, you're there! From the K4's upwards, they do get better, and you find that the ones that are designed to work with a specific range tend to blend in much better. Detail and scale are improved as you move up the range, and the bigger they get, the fuller and more convincing they become.

Out of intrest roughly how much better would you say the 750's are over the 36's?
Again, big difference. The 36's come accross as more detailed and open than the K series below them, but moving up to the 750's is a much bigger difference again. With far larger mid drivers and cabinet volumes, the 750's have a much fuller midrange and dynamics on tap, and give you a better idea of what hi-end home cinema is all about. Again, being a 4 ohm load, you need to be looking at the likes of the Onkyo 905 and Yamaha RXV3800 as an ideal starting point for matching amplification.

If you can accomodate the bigger size I'd strongly recommend upgrading to 750s.
:smashin:

Just out of interest (because I'm sure I'll be tempted one day:devil:) - how much better are the daddies (S150s) over the 750s. Do they need significantly more power than the 750s and would they be wasted in a small room?
The 150's, having 3 HF units, tend to do things with more finesse, making them sound more natural and completely unforced. But, you do need better amplification to get the best from them - ideally the top notch one box amps from Denon and Yamaha, or pre/power systems like the Audiolab or Marantz. As for the size of the room, 750's still show a worthwhile benefit even in an average sized room at average levels, but the 150's do like to be driven, needing a slightly larger than average room, and amplification to match.

As soon as our 150's turn up, they'll be running in on the end of a Z11......yum yum :)
 

psycho74

Active Member
afternoon peeps, i am considering m&k xenons for my first foray into the home cinema arena ( 36 for front 3 and 26 surrounds) with the denon 3808 receiver. However being new to this i was wondering if the wise men around these parts thought it might be overkill in a front room measuring 19ft x 9ft? (with the surrounds being wall mounted approx 8ft behind the sofa) Not sure about subwoofer yet, can add that later!
 

MIB

Active Member
afternoon peeps, i am considering m&k xenons for my first foray into the home cinema arena ( 36 for front 3 and 26 surrounds) with the denon 3808 receiver. However being new to this i was wondering if the wise men around these parts thought it might be overkill in a front room measuring 19ft x 9ft? (with the surrounds being wall mounted approx 8ft behind the sofa) Not sure about subwoofer yet, can add that later!
You really need a sub with Xenons - they aren't full range speakers.

In fact I think a sub is really important for movies full stop - when I originally had big full range floor standers I thought I didn't need a sub. After reading various posts from the sub forum guys I order a sub and realised what I'd been missing out on.

I would think the Xenons would be fine in that room. The S26 surrounds are ideally mounted high up on the side wall either side of the seating position (at least 1m from the back wall).

If your budget doesn't stretch to Xenons & sub you might want to consider the SVS deal at AVSales - those speakers are incredible VFM. They are very good for movies (not quite in the league of M&K) but I found them better for music than the Xenons.
 

MIB

Active Member
The 150's, having 3 HF units, tend to do things with more finesse, making them sound more natural and completely unforced. But, you do need better amplification to get the best from them - ideally the top notch one box amps from Denon and Yamaha, or pre/power systems like the Audiolab or Marantz. As for the size of the room, 750's still show a worthwhile benefit even in an average sized room at average levels, but the 150's do like to be driven, needing a slightly larger than average room, and amplification to match.

As soon as our 150's turn up, they'll be running in on the end of a Z11......yum yum :)
Sounds like the 150s would be a little too much for a 10' x 9' HC room:)
 

psycho74

Active Member
You really need a sub with Xenons - they aren't full range speakers.

In fact I think a sub is really important for movies full stop - when I originally had big full range floor standers I thought I didn't need a sub. After reading various posts from the sub forum guys I order a sub and realised what I'd been missing out on.

I would think the Xenons would be fine in that room. The S26 surrounds are ideally mounted high up on the side wall either side of the seating position (at least 1m from the back wall).

If your budget doesn't stretch to Xenons & sub you might want to consider the SVS deal at AVSales - those speakers are incredible VFM. They are very good for movies (not quite in the league of M&K) but I found them better for music than the Xenons.
Hi MIB, thanks for the advice. I was planning on wall mounting the surrounds on the back wall (ie high up in the corners facing slightly down and inwards) would such positioning affect the speakers performance? If that is the case, are there any M&K's that can be mounted on back walls without affecting performance? :confused:
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Hi MIB, thanks for the advice. I was planning on wall mounting the surrounds on the back wall (ie high up in the corners facing slightly down and inwards) would such positioning affect the speakers performance? If that is the case, are there any M&K's that can be mounted on back walls without affecting performance? :confused:
I have always had my M&K Tripoles (several models now) on the back wall and they sound great, very flexible in placement :smashin:
 

IanCurtis

Novice Member
"Are you running the SS150's with Xenon 36's? Did you get the 150 surrounds with a view to upgrading the front 3 to S150s?"

Yes 36's up front,ss150 surrounds and the 26's as rears.I'll definitely be upgrading to the S150's at some point,but I can't justify the expense at the moment,a new baby and house always seems to take priority.

AngelEyes,

I'd agree with what Dav1dF said about the SS150's;they produce a more realistic sound and have more impact but I still don't think they're light years apart.Again as he said I think the major upgrade was going from mono/dipoles to tripoles,after that it's more a case of refinement than a completely different sound.Also they'd probably benefit from a bit more juice,but I was quite surprised when you sold your P7 so maybe not.

Finally I think quite a few people have to justify their new purchases by talking things up,I've certainly been surprised by what I've read and what I've experienced.

Regards,
Ian.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
"Are you running the SS150's with Xenon 36's? Did you get the 150 surrounds with a view to upgrading the front 3 to S150s?"

Yes 36's up front,ss150 surrounds and the 26's as rears.I'll definitely be upgrading to the S150's at some point,but I can't justify the expense at the moment,a new baby and house always seems to take priority.

AngelEyes,

I'd agree with what Dav1dF said about the SS150's;they produce a more realistic sound and have more impact but I still don't think they're light years apart.Again as he said I think the major upgrade was going from mono/dipoles to tripoles,after that it's more a case of refinement than a completely different sound.Also they'd probably benefit from a bit more juice,but I was quite surprised when you sold your P7 so maybe not.

Finally I think quite a few people have to justify their new purchases by talking things up,I've certainly been surprised by what I've read and what I've experienced.

Regards,
Ian.
I know what you mean, I have always read that M&K are notoriously hard to drive, after my own experiences I wonder if this is one of many myths that get passed around. There are certainly many completely groundless and inacurate quotes that turn up regularly on the subwoofer forum, which some people are convinced are 'fact'.

I prefer to tell it like it is and don't see the point in justifying my purchase. If I made a mistake maybe I can pass that wisdom on rather than bury my head in the sand and claim every purchase was the perfect upgrade ;)

Funny how you get jumped on for doing so though :rolleyes: TBH the forums get less friendly as the days go by, probably why I don't spend much time here anymore.

Cest' la vie :D

Adam
 

psycho74

Active Member
Does anyone know where i can get a demo of some M&K xenons in the essex area? The M&K website is under construction at the mo so i cant search via their site. Had a demo of the B&W 685 THEATRE package today with a YAMAHA RXV1800 amp, lovely with music but not really blown away with the movie side of things. This was my first experience of a surround sound setup so at least i now have something to compare with! I'm sure the xenons will perform better i'm just struggling to find anywhere to demo them. (hopefully with a denon amp) :)
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
I know what you mean, I have always read that M&K are notoriously hard to drive, after my own experiences I wonder if this is one of many myths that get passed around.
This 'myth', is (unfortunately) true. Driving something like 150's with a £1k amp, they will sound softer and far less dynamic and edgy than they should do, masking detail, more comparable to using hi-fi loudspeakers, which defeats the point of owning M&K.

Had a demo of the B&W 685 THEATRE package today with a YAMAHA RXV1800 amp, lovely with music but not really blown away with the movie side of things.
See above! B&W's need more control in the bass than most AV amps can muster, giving a soft, warm presentation, which lacks kick and detail. They need something like an Arcam ideally.

Being your first experience of home cinema, you're in for a treat......get a demo of the M&K's. Many people's first experience of a properly set up M&K system tend to stay with them. For some, it's a life changing experience....... :)
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
This 'myth', is (unfortunately) true. Driving something like 150's with a £1k amp, they will sound softer and far less dynamic and edgy than they should do, masking detail, more comparable to using hi-fi loudspeakers, which defeats the point of owning M&K
I would expect the 150s to be a lot more greedy considering at the very least the number of drivers, my comments were based on my own experience with the 850s. I couldn't tell the difference when upgrading my Rotel RMB 1075 to the Arcam P7 (using RSP 1068 as Processor) and again when I dropped the P7 for the Onkyo 875 integrated amps. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable using what I have now with the 150s, although Recruit uses the Onky 905 with his and has used Lexicon and others in the past and still seems very happy...

Adam
 

MIB

Active Member
I didn't notice any loss of dynamics or detail from the Xenons when I sold my Parasound and just used the 805. Unfortunately I'd sold the Parasound before changing to the 750s so I can't comment there but I will say the 750s with an Onkyo 805 easily outperform the Xenons with a Parasound power amp, in my setup.
 

psycho74

Active Member
"Being your first experience of home cinema, you're in for a treat......get a demo of the M&K's. Many people's first experience of a properly set up M&K system tend to stay with them. For some, it's a life changing experience....... " (quote)

Cheers for that, i certainly hope so. I still cant find anywhere t demo them though, am tempted to just buy blind, don't think i can go wrong really. No one seems to have a bad word to say about M&K whatever the range!
 

iainsilvester

Novice Member
M&K's really do benefit from a good kicking from a good amp. I would be tempted to source a good used amp, something like the Denon AVC A1 (since you like Denon?). Built like a tank too. Lacks sexy algorithms of "modern" amps (which you likely wouldn't use anyway) but will really give the M&K's a good kick. The dynamics can be scary...
 

jolly

Novice Member
I have recently changed my speakers from Kef tdm's to M&K S150's/SS150's
Best upgrade I have made
I'm thinking of upgrading to a 7.1 system, what speakers would you recommend for surround rears

I was thinking of the M&k column speakers or would they be overkill
 

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