Mordaunt-Short MS909 vs MJ Acoustic Reference I MkIII

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gallium

Guest
I currently have the MS909W and all I can say is that its the best sub I could find in that price range. Extremely clean, musical and it has the adjustable notch filter which reduced boom around 50-odd Hz in my room. Not to mention that it has a class D amp so it remains cool even when worked hard. I really cannot stand subs that have a huge heatsink at the back with no ability to tune out room resonances.

It probably doesn't go as low as to vibrate your innards with sub-sonic audio, but everything you can hear is clean with no port noise and very well controlled. I found that if you have carpets, it helps to position the sub on a piece of slate as the two large ports are downward facing.

Given I have raised floorboards, having a front firing driver was mandatory to reduce the effects of boom throughout the house as compared to a downward facing driver. Ultimately, let your ears be the judge!
 

KHCC

Active Member
These guys know about Hi-Fi and AV do they, looks like they are a PA dealer which is like Champagne vs boxed wine!!!

Do they even know the MJ? I notice that they are a MS dealer so there might be some bias there!!! We had the Ref I mkII here and it is a very distinquished performer and a class above the MS909, the mkIII is an improvement over the mkII!!!

Don't get me wrong, the 909 is very good for the money but won't go as low, and loud as the MJ and the MJ sounds much nicer. As for the 'blowing air' I'm not sure what he means by this but believe me the only thing that will be blowing is your trouser legs!!!

Hope this helps.
 
4

4Real

Guest
Even though this thread is about the MS909 vs MJ MKIII, many seems to think a forward firing sub is better than a downfiring one. Having said that the only down firing sub I see that could combat the issues that down firing subs face is the PB12-Ultra/2; but that's another thread all together.
 

KHCC

Active Member
4Real said:
I notice you are a retailer... Is there any animosities between retailers...competition etc.? :confused:


Not really, just giving unbiased opinion as we sell both manufacturers and just thought you might want an opinion from someone who has heard both and has no loyalties to either where as the aforementioned company only sell one and was belittling the other.
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
4Real said:
I like the MJ but the MS909 look and sounds solid. So which is better?

1. Which has a deeper bass
2. Which can go to a lower frequency.
3. Which has a better overall sound and performance
4. Which sub can deliver the goods for both music and home cinema impressively

The nice folks at this store Alf Electronics gave me a demo of the MS909. Speaking to the guys in there, they also rate the MS909 over the MJ Reference I MkIII. I was told that too deep a bass/frequency will only end up blowing air.
A better question may be - I can get an MS909 FOR £X, is there anything else I should consider for the same price. FWIW I think the MJ would be better than the MS in most respects.

Russell
 

KHCC

Active Member
4Real said:
From my understanding they were saying that if any subwoofer produce too deep a base or frequency i.e. really low frequencies then it will end just blow out air rather than blowing out heavy bass lines. Maybe you could clarify this for us since you are an AV consultant and would deal with subs of various range, quality and price. Your input is valid


Few subwoofers can produce frequencies below say 18Hz (18 cycles per second) but there are some that can go much lower, like the PB12 Plus/2 as mentioned by yourself, down to 12Hz with an inroom responce of 8Hz being acheiveable!!! Frequencies below 20Hz is actually hard for the ear to hear, these frequencies are more felt rather than heard which is true in real life terms. This is caused by the driver moving so slowerly and so much (more or lewss at maximum excursion) the the vibration goes through all solid materials..... including yourself and what you feel are sound waves or think of them as shock waves. You can't stop BASS (well you can, but that's another topic and expense). Even in our walk in vault where I ran our subs in, you could still feel it on the upper floors.

I hope this helps.
 

KHCC

Active Member
4Real said:
Aaaigh.. Nice info Hayes... So when they say it will end up blowing air he was "technically" correct. As the human ear won't pick up the "sound waves" but will still feel the vibrations.

Actually he also mentioned that downfiring subs which are "too close" to the ground is not "efficient". If I understand the guys at Alf Electronics correctly, a sub with higher stands/pins that create more distance between the floor and the speaker and/or sub unit will result in better/efficient sound performance. He reckon some downfiring subs though great in spec defeat the obejective with too low "a legs" to stand on...

The way it was worded seemed to be a negative thing, in which I would take as port noise (turbulance at the port exit) which is not likely with subs of this stature, either way what he said could be taken in many lights.

Manufacturers of subwoofers (especially of good quality) will always specify the foot length exactly to acheive the best results and I know of none that are too low, this is why you may notice on the Ref 1 the feet have spikes which attach to thick round feet to stop the spikes sinking too far closing the gap between floor and driver. This is where speakers and subwoofers are different, speaker feet are just spikes so can sink all the way into thick carpet whereas any downfiring sub will have fat feet or spikes attached to fat feet. There is a theory that you can put a plate over the driver of any sub, a certain distance off it that will act as a baffle board with one exit for the air, causing the air between the board and driver, to act as suspension making the driver, and amp, to work a little harder but getting a quicker responce from the sub. This has been used mostly with big drivers in mind like 12's ,15's and 18" drivers.

Although this is a 10" the idea still works very well as heard at the Bristol Sound & Vision Show.

LINK

Regards
 

KHCC

Active Member
4Real said:
So the MJ down firing is a better performer than the MS909 forward firing?

I wouldn't say that the MJ is better than the MS because the it is down firing, more because of the components used and the enclosure design, there are subwoofer manufacturers out there who make a subwoofer that is a forward firing design but they also do a downward firing version for people who i) don't want to see the driver and just want a clean panel to look at ii) have kids who insist on sticking crayons and toy cars in the port hole iii) have cats that like sharpening the claws on the driver suspension or the grill. These down firing versions are specified by the manufacturer as identical response!!!

Regards
 

Ian J

Banned
I've heard the MS909 just the once at a hifi exhibition a couple of years ago. It was playing in a large room with high ceilings and the room was full of people so everything was against it but it performed very creditably.

I haven't heard the MJ sub though and the issues regarding down or front firing are generally red herrings. Both SVS and BK Electronics make different variations of the same subwoofer and claim there to be no sonic differences between the two.
 
G

gallium

Guest
For some 'independent' reviews:

MS 909W:
http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/outputpdf.php?file=EHC/034/076_EHC_034.pdf
http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/outputpdf.php?file=HCC/200405/104_HCC_0504.pdf

MJ Acoustics Reference 1 (probably not MKIII)
http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/outputpdf.php?file=HCC/200401/086_HCC_0104.pdf

I have not heard the MJ-A Ref1 so cannot comment on its sound. However, given the price difference, it should be better.

However, I still think there's not much better than the MS-909 _for the price_. It really comes down to your budget, room dimensions and personal preferences. Good luck with your choice. :thumbsup:
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
A downfiring subwoofer should offer no more or less than a forward firing subwoofer ->except splendid protection for the driver. (as mentioned by Hayes)

Raising a subwoofer off the floor might well alter it's frequency response. This has the same effect as moving a subwoofer away from a corner or wall. Both of which will reduce the output at certain (but not all) frequencies by reducing boundary reinforcement.

Just standing a subwoofer on a low platform or concrete slab is not the same as lifting one bodily on legs, a table or a stand. Rigidity of the stand/legs is as important as it is in a proper speaker stand. Or the sub will just move back and forth reducing dynamic impact as cone accelerations will be affected.

The ability to play very low (and loud) may indicate lower distortion at higher (more audible) frequencies. Distortion produces false harmonics which are audible. This affects how things sound and whether they sound real or take on another (false) character.

A decent output very low down (under 20Hz) is usually a good indicator of excellent overall subwoofer performance. The quality of the driver necessary to achieve very low frequencies at high SPLs helps it to achieve a dynamic and powerful performance at all frequencies within its useful bandwidth.
 

welshy

Active Member
Does the MS909W only come with spikes? I have laminate wood flooring and even purchasing round feet for the spikes to stand on would still leave the sub to move around won't it? What would be the best way to keep this sub firm on my floor?

Jon.
 
G

gallium

Guest
welshy said:
Does the MS909W only come with spikes? I have laminate wood flooring and even purchasing round feet for the spikes to stand on would still leave the sub to move around won't it? What would be the best way to keep this sub firm on my floor?

Jon.

The MS909W comes with round spike lugs out of the box. Given the weight of the sub (around 26kg) it should be OK on these on a wooden floor. If you're still concerned, you could get bigger lugs and stick some thin felt under them.
 

KHCC

Active Member
gallium said:
MJ Acoustics Reference 1 (probably not MKIII)

You're right, it is indeed the Ref1 mkII, the new version has a very different driver and more than twice the power.
 

KHCC

Active Member
4Real said:
LINK Scroll down untill you see the TS8 and the TD Sub. I thought maybe the leg design was to do with stopping vibration etc going into the ground like on traditional speakers and some speaker stands.


The TS8 through TS12 are down firing, if you look at the enlarged picture, you can see the feet tapering but still stop to a flat foot with a spike carrying on. The TD sub is forward firing but as you say, they have made the feet into a spike to isolate the sub from the floor, you want a little surface area touching the floor.
 

Helicon

Banned
Nimby said:
A downfiring subwoofer should offer no more or less than a forward firing subwoofer ->except splendid protection for the driver. (as mentioned by Hayes)

Raising a subwoofer off the floor might well alter it's frequency response. This has the same effect as moving a subwoofer away from a corner or wall. Both of which will reduce the output at certain (but not all) frequencies by reducing boundary reinforcement.
If you placed a forward firing sub in the middle of a room (with no help from the boundary), it would sound different facing you compared to facing away from you. And a downward firer in the same position will sound different again. Why would a manufacturer produce forward AND downward firing versions of the same sub?!! Pointless!!

A decent output very low down (under 20Hz) is usually a good indicator of excellent overall subwoofer performance. The quality of the driver necessary to achieve very low frequencies at high SPLs helps it to achieve a dynamic and powerful performance at all frequencies within its useful bandwidth.
Sorry, but firstly, because sub A goes down to 10Hz and sub B goes down to 20Hz has no bearing whatsoever on which ones better. A sub can be 'tuned' with ports to reproduce frequencies it wouldn't normally be able to, which is not a good way of doing things, which is why the best sounding subs in the world are infinite baffle. Secondly, most subs that can reproduce frequencies below 20Hz, are doing so at up to -6db (even stupidly expensive subs can only reproduce this region at -3db, so something less than £1k has no chance), which while under the stress of reproducing many other frequencies at a much higher level, and hearing a lot of mid and treble from the rest of the speakers in the room, is going to be lost. If it's too quiet, you won't feel it. It'll just compromise the drivers ability to produce the frquencies you can hear. So at the volume that 15Hz would be playing at in the average AV system, the sub would probably more than likely be 'blowing air'.

I missed the thread earlier, but would be interesting to know why 4real left the site.....anyone care to enlighten me? PM me if you prefer.
 

Ian J

Banned
Helicon said:
Why would a manufacturer produce forward AND downward firing versions of the same sub?!! Pointless!!

It's as pointless as a car manufacturer producing cars in more than one colour.

Helicon said:
which is why the best sounding subs in the world are infinite baffle.

So at the volume that 15Hz would be playing at in the average AV system, the sub would probably more than likely be 'blowing air'.

I think that you should read "Way Down Deep" which was a review incorporating extensive testing of a dozen of the world's best subwoofers and which was won by a country mile by the port loaded Genelec HTS6
 

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