Using a pioneer Amp to drive M&K Xenons?

kwagger

Active Member
Hi there -

I currently have a Pioneer AX5-ai amp driving a bit of a (mongrel) dogs dinner set of speakers cobbled together, with a BK XLS200

I have been holding off buying the SVS 5.0 for a couple of months, but have just been tempted by the M&K xenons due to their looks and the current pricing (I know - but getting an audition is not easy for me)

Having pretty much pulled the trigger on a front three of LCR36 and 26 Surrounds I'm just concerned that my Amp wont cut the mustard, and I'll end up worse off than when I started!

Does anyone run these speakers with this amp, or similar, and does it have sufficient power to make these babies sing?

(also - have the opportunity to buy a KX12 for a good price - would this be a worthwhile u/g from the BK - or will the BK suffice for now)

Id appreciate any thoughts -

Regards

K
 

John Simon

Well-known Member
Its a good amp but I feel just a bit lacking in power for these speakers - M&Ks need and thrive on power, be careful pairing M&K with a pioneer amp you may find the sound too bright.
 

russraff

Well-known Member
I have had 2 AX5i's and you will be fine driving the Xenons or K range. The AX5 is substantially more powerful than the AX4 derivatives - I ran a full MA Gold system fine and have heard this amp drive KEF ref speakers, so I wouldn't worry about power.

What I would be concerned about is the brightness of M&K speakers combined with the brighter character of the Pioneer. The sound may be too aggressive for extended listening.

Russell
 

John Simon

Well-known Member
If you are buying M&K's make sure your amp is happy running 4 ohm speakers, does the ax5 have an option for 6 ohm?
 

kwagger

Active Member
If you are buying M&K's make sure your amp is happy running 4 ohm speakers, does the ax5 have an option for 6 ohm?

OOh not sure about that actually - I checked the manual and it quotes power into 6 ohm for stereo, but 8 ohm for multi channel at 1% THD.

Is this going to be a show stopper I wonder?
 

kwagger

Active Member
I have had 2 AX5i's and you will be fine driving the Xenons or K range. The AX5 is substantially more powerful than the AX4 derivatives - I ran a full MA Gold system fine and have heard this amp drive KEF ref speakers, so I wouldn't worry about power.

What I would be concerned about is the brightness of M&K speakers combined with the brighter character of the Pioneer. The sound may be too aggressive for extended listening.

Russell

This concerns me more though. I am not too au fait with this - what does too aggressive mean - are these a poor match for the amp (would you recommend that I look elsewhere ?)

I'm not changing the amp anytime soon, and quite honestly stretching things to get these speakers - and I dont want to be disappointed! :lease:

thanks for the advice guys.
 

russraff

Well-known Member
Its all got to do with the sonic signatures equipment have. To me, this is largely due to the concessions a company makes in order to build a product to a price; if a company holds detail and timing (or rhythm) then they will likely fore-go more expensive components that accentuate bass and concentrate on mid-range and treble frequencies as these are more attuned to our hearing. If a company likes listenability or a full bodied sound then the opposite is true. M&K and Pioneer come from the same school of thought, but are near the far end of the scale. Both companies produce bright airy fast paced equipment that sound very "in yer face". Its almost like driving a Chateram, or snowboarding a blackrun; you will be thrilled and everything will be very impressive and exciting, but if all you want to do is watch something and relax, then you are out of luck. A Pioneer and M&K speakers will be like this - tirelessly exciting and exuberant. For some this is rather OTT, especially for music where M&K's brightness can grate (even more so with poor recordings). For others, this is the reason why they bought kit in the first place.

For me, I had some Cyrus equipment (even more bright than Pioneer) as this is what I thought I liked. At the time I had Monitor Audio Speakers, again noted for their brighter sound. In the end I had to sell them as it was just too much - I always wanted to turn the volume down! The art is striking a balance and, as I have always said, a demo is the only true way. Otherwise you don't know if you have bought something poor but think it's good as you haven't heard any better. Or you have bought something superb, but think it's poor as you haven't listened to the competition!!

If you like the Pioneer (what source are you using?) sound - up front and detailed, then I would recommend the MA Radius range. They aren't as forward as M&K and are cheaper, too. If you feel that some warmth is needed to temper the Pioneer's brightness then Quad L-ite speakers are the ticket. But do try to get a demo.

Russell
 
K

KenG

Guest
I prefer to call the Pioneers "airy" rather than bright, but it is all down to the speakers to get that right sound.

I have two setups, an AX4 driving B&W 600 S3 system with floorstanders and that is about the limit to go for bright speakers with that amp. I am waiting for a B&W Theatre 683 system with extra sub plus a pair of extra dipoles to arrive and they are a tad more mellow.

I have a 2016 as well, and that drives MS 906i at the front (a full 900i series actually) and again that's about as far as you can go with that amp. It isn't tiring at all and I love the MS centre for its really clean dialogue, even at low audio levels.

Another suggestion would be Mission as they really take off any 'edge'.

I am a Pioneer amp fan. I am in the position of being able to have a lot of equipment on extended eval and I prefer them to what I consider the woolly sound of the Yamaha or the over-rounded sound of Sony. But that's a personal view and everyone's taste differs.
 

BAN5HEE

Well-known Member
I have the the Pioneer AVX2014i and it drives my Xenons fine. I have them set to a 100Hz crossover. My SVS takes care of bass bussiness. Your AX5 should fine as it's slightly more powerfull then my 2014.
 

Jungle Stud

Standard Member
I have a Pio VSX-AX4ASi driving Xenon 36 LCRs and 26 Tripoles (with KX12 sub) with no probs. They sound great with films, but I cannot comment on their musical qualities as I have a separate stereo setup in the same room.

I have found the Xenons a massive step up over Kef KHT2005 eggs, and am very happy with them. I do not find the combination too "bright" for watching films.

Hope this helps,
Ian
 

iainsilvester

Active Member
Its all got to do with the sonic signatures equipment have. To me, this is largely due to the concessions a company makes in order to build a product to a price; if a company holds detail and timing (or rhythm) then they will likely fore-go more expensive components that accentuate bass and concentrate on mid-range and treble frequencies as these are more attuned to our hearing.
Russell

The cabinet plays the biggest part in the sound of a speaker. Sure drivers and crossovers vary in quality and power handling, but the cabinet they flap around in is absolutely critical.

This is without doubt what you pay for with a high end speaker that on the face of it has the same form factor, size and number of drivers as a lesser speaker. Bear in mind most "manufacturers" only make the cabinet. This is why the far east is increasingly used for manufacture. Weight is telling here. At the dizzy heights of top end arrays music/movie differences diminish, but at the level most folk play at there are real differences.

IMHO trying to crank up movie volumes and particualry bass in a lower end large speaker is a recipe for disaster. This is why many folk notice stand mounts often offer higher resolution, avoiding bass in a cabinet can offset the limitations of its cabinet. Then of course use a competant sub.
 

russraff

Well-known Member
As I said, the brightness thing is all very subjective; I can't stand Arcam kit as I feel they all sound muffled, almost!

I also think we need to compare apples with apples, here. The Xenon's were an expensive sat speaker sytem and the KEF 2xxx's, for example, are not. While the tonality of a speaker may not be to some ones taste, the overall quality of the speaker should still be obvious. So in comparing, say, the Xenon's with some Quad L-ites, the Xenons should sound like the "better" speaker overall, but may have a way of expressing that quality that you don't care for.

I am not even sure that makes sense, does it?

Russell
 

kwagger

Active Member
So in comparing, say, the Xenon's with some Quad L-ites, the Xenons should sound like the "better" speaker overall, but may have a way of expressing that quality that you don't care for.

I am not even sure that makes sense, does it?

Russell

I think I understand what you mean - subjectiveness of art and all that - I can tell that the haywain is a great painting, but I wouldnt want it on my wall.

I guess what you're saying is that the M&Ks are the better speaker on paper and in the right room in the right system, but that I may find they are too harsh in my room compared with an alternative set.

There is not a huge difference in cost to me between the xenons and the quads at RRP - does anywhere discount these by the way?
I'll lose the deal on the xenons if I procrastinate, but experience has shown that these sorts of things dont normally get more expensive as time goes on!

I feed the amp using a pio dv757 player on i-link for movies, and (ocasionally) a marantz cd63se for music, although find the pio ok for music through the i-link connection.

I rarely crank it up and normal volume is around -25/30 (lounge based cinema with 2 kids snoring above!) at night - perhaps creeping up if we are all watching a film during the day.

I am pleased with the Amp - find it much more revealing and the processing and seperation better that my previous Yammy. Just need to get some speakers sorted now.

I am going to have to try to get an audition of some speakers, or a trial at home I think. Oh why do I make things so complicated !! :suicide: I just want to watch my films !

Thanks for the advice, guys
 

russraff

Well-known Member
The choice of source could be the telling factor, here. I say this as the old (but good) KIsig version of the 63 CDPlayer was smooth as double-cream. The 757 is, much like the amp, rather more bright. So, if you prefer analoge sound from the CDP than the DVD Player then you may prefer a warmer sounding speaker, too.

Russell
 

iainsilvester

Active Member
As I said, the brightness thing is all very subjective; I can't stand Arcam kit as I feel they all sound muffled, almost!


Russell

That must explain why folk rate Arcam for music. Nice and mellow and warm and soporific. But for movies :)
 

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