MK MP300 THX Ultra 2 Speaker Package Review

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Phil Hinton, Aug 25, 2016.


    1. Phil Hinton

      Phil Hinton
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    2. stevos

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      6 months with a 17k system, now that is going to be hard to go back from.
       
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    3. Seriously Ltd

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      Thank you for a fantastic and accurate review Phil.
      Having personally owned and installed several MP300/X12 systems, I couldn't agree with you more.

      Too many folk dismiss MK, citing other alternatives, yet have never heard a full 300 system used in anger.

      It is an experience to behold.

      The X12 subs are potent and accurate. Very few subs manage to deliver bass in the same way.

      The detail the 300 systems produce never ceases to amaze me.

      If any one wants a demonstration please do contact me.

      Rich
       
    4. Smurfin

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      Great, balanced review :)
       
    5. RickyDeg

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      WOW! JUST WOW!

      If only I had the room (and budget) for a full-fledged MP300 Atmos system!
       
    6. Rob Sinden

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      Hi Phil

      Thanks so much for taking so much time and effort to provide such an in depth review of the system. Living with a system of this quality really is the only way to know everything about it… warts and all.

      As a home cinema enthusiast I know of very few AV journalists who have any real credibility and the Forum’s reviews continue to be the most in depth and balanced available. Please keep it up and don’t get drawn to the dark side…..

      I’ve now installed a dozen MK 300 Series systems in a very diverse range of room of very different sizes and with different acoustic challenges. The real challenge with home cinema is not finding great product - but getting great performance in your own room. The consistency of MK system from room to room is why I use them and this is precisely why I think you’ll struggle to find any speaker system that gives better results in a real world room..... like you have.

      I’m really pleased that you had the chance to try this reference quality speaker system with “just” an £1800 Denon Receiver. This perfectly illustrates that with the right speakers you can get exceptional results without spending a fortune on electronics.

      It’s also worth pointing out that the new in wall 300 speaker sound just the same as the on wall MP300s you tested. Using either of these speakers at the front of the room with a fixed acoustically transparent screen covering all three is the quickest, simplest, most cost effective way to achieve the best sound and vision possible I know of.

      Thanks a million Phil. Please keep doing what you are doing.

      Rob
       
    7. geogan

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      Great review. If I won lottery or sold a silicon valley startup I would definitely have a look at these :D

      The only thing I am not too keen on is the 'slope' front of the L/C/R - I would have prefered them to be just flat as, if I had the money to buy these, they would be mounted at ear height directly behind a fixed AT screen - I would never want these below or above ear height and angled up/down like the way they appear to have to be mounted - don't really like that.

      Also have the reviewers only ever used these with Odyssey based room correction? I would love to know what Dirac could do with these in a room setup! Would love to join these with something like the Arcam AVR850 and see what Class G/Dirac and these together would sound like...

      ...and in a large room with perfectly designed acoustic dimensions and then treated with best acoustic correction money can buy in a detached property so volume is no problem ;)

      Also This price, £17,000 is just for a 5.2 setup - so you would need another two of the £3,500 surrounds for a 7.2 setup so it's £20,500 is it?

      Also then what speakers would match these quality wise for four ceiling Atmos speakers? Does MK not do matching Atmos speakers at all for these?
       
    8. geogan

      geogan
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      You just answered one of my questions/concerns there :)
       
    9. Seriously Ltd

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      If mounting the MP300 behind a fixed AT screen then you adjust the height to aim at the MLP. This is the reason for the angled baffle as the speakers can be rotated through 180 degrees and mounted at the perfect height for each installation.

      The In Wall option is also available if you require a flat approach.
      The following MK In Wall speakers are suitable for Atmos duties:
      IW5
      IW85
      IW95
      IW950
      IW150
      IW300.

      We are installing an MP300 5.2.4 Atmos cinema next month, utilising IW95's.

      The 300 series are not inexpensive, but if within budget, well worth the expense with nothing else to touch them at this price point.
       
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    10. Rob Sinden

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      Hi Geogan

      Thanks for your feedback and raising a few real world issues.

      Ideally you should stick with the same quality and therefore the same series of speakers all the way around and above you. If you were testing a system you should be looking for sounds to move seamlessly all around and above while the quality of the sound remains identical as it pans.

      I can guarantee if you do this on 99% of surround system you will hear obvious gaps in the soundstage or hot spots where the location of the closest speaker to you becomes obvious and destroys the sense of “being there”.

      In the real world, most people can’t afford to put the same quality of speaker all the way around. If this is the case, I’d suggest you take into account how far each speaker is away from you. So for example if you are 4m from your front speakers and 2m from any of the surround speakers then obviously the surround speakers will only have to play half as loud and so a more modest MK in ceiling or on wall speaker will give great results. (We have IW150 as the front on one system here with IW95’s for Atmos and it sounds superb).

      One general point that is worth mentioning about surround sound is that the Godfather of surround sound, Tomlinson Holman stated in his book, Surround Sound Up & Running, that the biggest gap to a realistic 360-degree sound is more speakers. Experts have calculated that it would take from 10,000 to a 1,000,000 loudspeakers to give a perfectly convincing reproduction of one space in another with loudspeakers.

      Assuming you can’t have that many speakers in your room, then I think the next best think is using Tripolar speakers for side and rear surrounds and if you have a dedicated room, ideally on ceiling for Atmos. Installing one Tripolar speakers creates a similar sound field as using three direct radiating speakers without the extra amps, speakers and processing.

      The MK 300 Series system I have here uses a 7.4.4 configuration in a truly purpose built listening room and several people from the film industry have said it’s the most convincing demonstration of 3D sound they have ever heard. I’m using 6 x Lyngdorf SDA2400 digital amplifiers to drive the system so what we have here is almost exactly what you are interested in hearing so let me know if you want to come for a blast….

      Rob
       
    11. Toon Army

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      Good read and another product for my " bucket list ". Always nice to see a picture of Phil's apartment, albeit no view of the Tyne Bridge.
       
    12. geogan

      geogan
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      Oh I'd love to check out that 7.4.4 system, I'm sure it is amazing, but it would be utterly pointless because at the moment in my life I am totally skint, just barely living from month to month even though I make a decent enough wage - just too much commitments/expenses. Honestly people who can afford these kinds of systems are on another planet to me right now :(

      But I understood already all you said. I have a Jamo system myself at the moment with THX One Tripole surrounds and two THX One big subwoofers and a THX One centre - they are old models but great in their day and big and heavy (similar to these MKs) and all I could afford secondhand.

      Some day I will make my money and then I will be back to buy the best of the best - I am known to spend way too much money on the best AV gear for last 20 years... problem is things go obsolete so quick and devalue to nothing which makes me cautious these days.

      So how much is that 7.4.4 setup (speakers alone) at RRP then? :D
       
    13. KelvinS1965

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      Thanks Phil for this great and extremely well timed (for me anyway) review. I've just bought an LCR set of MP300 off the classifieds and haven't even picked them up yet so I'm pleased to read how you feel they compare to my existing MP150 set.

      Although I will be cheapening out ( if you can say such a thing) by using my existing S150T for surrounds and then 4 MP150 for Atmos channels. I'm also only using home made 15" sealed subs. Hopefully much of what Phil says will still apply.

      Oh and for whoever mentioned it earlier I'll be using Dirac too but via a mini DSP unit and an Arcam P7. I'll certainly be posting back my own findings when I get it all set up (late October most likely :( ).
       
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    14. Rob Sinden

      Rob Sinden
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      If you are interested in music studio references, you may find this of interest....
       

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    15. Nigel Archer

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      Thank you Phil for what is nothing short of a brilliant and absolutely bang on review of the MK Sound 300 series speaker system. I could not agree more and have been singing the praises of this system since I first had the pleasure of hearing it two years ago. I can't recommend this system enough. :smashin:

      The system is indeed pricey but I have to say I was very surprised at just how much better it performs as compared with the 150 Series speaker system, especially given the performance of that is already very good indeed. Wherein, typically there are diminishing returns, where something that is double the price does not usually mean you get double the performance, but IMO the MK 300 series somewhat breaks the rule in that regard... and so whilst it is indeed expensive, in my opinion, you get one hell of a lot of bang for your buck and I am of the view that it outperforms many other systems that are of a similar and even quite a bit more expensive pricing. In fact I would go so far as to say that I have auditioned numerous systems that cost up to and in excess of £100,000 that don't sound half as good as these do. But that's just my opinion. ;)

      Absolutely fantastic review, a very well done sir, as per usual! :thumbsup:
      .
       
      Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
    16. Nigel Archer

      Nigel Archer
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      You're in for a treat Kelvin as they are absolutely amazing! You won't believe how much better they are than the 150s and that's coming from an MK fanboy who thinks the 150s are the best that money can buy at the price :smashin:

      That's going to be one fantastic sounding system you will have there :)
      .
       
    17. KelvinS1965

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      I've heard them before Nigel at the same time as you but couldn't justify the extra cost at new prices. I'm glad I took the chance this time though.
       
    18. Nigel Archer

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      I've now been fortunate enough to have two years' hands on experience with these and there's nothing that even remotely comes close to the performance for the price or in most cases even south of £100K in my opinion. They are sheer awesomeness :smashin:
      .
       
    19. Smurfin

      Smurfin
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      Yeah you'll be slumming it with that setup :laugh:

      I make that over 50 drivers in your setup :eek: :eek:
       
    20. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Yes I know Smurfin. First world problems and all that. :)
       
    21. upgradeitis

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      Hi Phil,

      Thank you for the very thorough and balanced review. Just a couple of quick questions if I may:

      Apologies if I might have missed detail elsewhere, but what size is the AV room these where reviewed in, is it a treated room? I noted you mention typical listening levels where about -8 from reference level. Did you put them through their paces at full on reference? Any notable loss in composure?

      Also did you try them with and without the foam pieces between the tweeter array? I get the impression the foam pieces are not as important as they are for the 150 range?

      Cheers and thanks again.

      Sean
       
      Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
    22. Seriously Ltd

      Seriously Ltd
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      The foam pieces are only required if the 300's are used for near field monitoring at approx 8' or less.

      You can run the 300's beyond reference, without any change in tonal balance what so ever.
       
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    23. upgradeitis

      upgradeitis
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      Thank you Rich, much appreciated info.

      A fabulous review on these speakers. In my room, they create a massive wide, deep sound field with pinpoint clarity of imaging which gets even better as the volume heads north to and past reference in my room. EQ via Dirac, crossed over at 100 Hz to subs.

      Cheers

      Sean
       
    24. Phil Hinton

      Phil Hinton
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      Yes I tested many times at reference and they do indeed sound fantastic at those levels, but I also value my hearing as I get older, so most long listening sessions are at -8dB, which is still loud enough to create a stunning enveloping soundfield for longer periods of listening. My room is 19ft by 15ft and ceiling height is 8.5ft. I have used the room for 15+ years and know it back to front. I tend to run with no EQ as the room is so well positioned and treated. Hope that helps.
       
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    25. Dans1210

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      thanks for the review phil, for reference can you give me another system or a few you have tested that are comparable to the performance here?
      You mention experience with genelec and mackie, assuming something like the 8050 and hr824?
       
    26. Smurfin

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      IIRC Phil had the Mackie HR624s...long time ago though I think :)
       
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    27. Phil Hinton

      Phil Hinton
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      I have owned a few big systems that have come somewhere close, but not close enough, to the MK MP300s and I have experience of plenty of majorly big systems and installs using all the big Genelecs. I own a set of Near field 6020a Gens and a Velodyne sub for my video editing and podcast editing system. I've had those for about 6/7 years and they are used daily. I have also reviewed a couple of Genelec systems, but I forget which ones now, it was a while ago but one of them won a Reference Badge. Also in this room I have heard and lived with for some time a number of KEF based systems, A Jamo THX Ultra 2 system, another US made THX system I can't for the life remember what it was, might have been Boston? MK 750 THX select system, Mackie HR624s and a Teufel System 9 THX set up. I'm probably forgetting a few others I have had here testing or owned over a long period. Plus the two S150 and MP150 systems that lived here for about 8 months during the other reviews last year and start of this year. Oh and the XTZ Cinema series which were close to the S150s in terms of performance. So when I mention my experience of the Genelec and Mackie sound, I am making a point about the studio, professional sound traits that the MK really bring to the front of their presentation. I would like to get some of the new Genelec designs in for testing in the future.

      I have experience of big US brands like Klipsch THX systems used by Dolby and Procella with THX themselves but they don't seem to have a UK review supply. I've also spent time with an Ariel Acoustics soundwall over a few days and spent a few weeks testing their sub. I have heard the MK systems including the professional active line a number of times and have also been lucky enough last year to experience the Stag Theater and rooms at Skywalker Sound (at Skywalker ranch) which use a good mix of different professional brands in their rooms. I have to say that really was a dream come true to experience that and the sound was sublime. I also on the same trip visited the original ILM building where the theater there was designed my Tom Holman himself and was used to mix Return of the Jedi (it was then used as the blue print for the much larger Stag Theater at the ranch).

      In terms of the professional sound and experiences I have also been to Abbey Road Studios on a number of occasions in their mix rooms (TAD mainly) and control rooms (B&W and other Pro names like PMC) and the same is true of Air Studios on a few occasions, and two years ago we visited Galaxy studios where Auro-3D was invented and they use all the big Genelec systems (there's a video on the site if you want to see them). On top of all that over the last 15 years I have been invited to big ticket installations with companies like Genesis Tech and a few others where I have heard almost all the major big system THX, active and hidden systems, like Wisdom audio etc. So over the last 20 years I think I have built-up a good mix of long term ownership, testing and good session listens with most of the big guys, which I hope gives you confidence in the assessments we make here. But also, at the end of the day it comes down to your own ears, so only use reviews for guidance and making a short list and go and demo. I hope that answers your questions?
       
      Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
    28. Smurfin

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      High praise indeed if they are better than the Genelecs :)
       
    29. Phil Hinton

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      Not quite sure I actually said that, LOL ;)
       
    30. Smurfin

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      Ahh okay, I just took that inference :)
       

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