Which M&K Surround Speakers?

GavinH

Standard Member
Hi,

I'm about to purchase some new M&K speakers:

- Left, Centre and Right: LCR-850s
- Sub: VX-850
- Rears: SS-150s

I'm going for this set up because I've listened to it quite a few times and really like it.

However, I was looking through and M&K brochure and stumbled across the Surround-55 tripoles. It looked in the brochure like the surround-55s were in the same "range" as the LCR-850s.

I've not had a chance to listen to the surround-55s. Has anyone heard them? Anyone got any comparison with the SS-150s?

Looking at the other M&K speakers I'm choosing, would the surround-55s be more suitable?

I appreciate that the SS-150s are almost certainly better given that they cost £1200 and the surround-55s cost £800.
I also appreciate that the answer to my questions comes down to personal taste - so I guess I'm just asking for people's opinions :)

Should I go for the £400 saving?

Cheers, Gavin
 

zero7

Active Member
Gavin,

I am also looking into M&K speakers as I want to move away from my B&W's. I read somwhere that the tripoles give you a broaded spectrum of surround sound, more like having speakers at the sides and behind.

How do you find the M&K's you've listened to for music? what have you compared them with.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Have you considered the Xenon 25 Surrounds (or the newer 26 Surrounds)?

I believe they cost (£850 / pair) and arguably look a helluva lot nicer. I guess it depends on the location and preference to some extent :)

I have the 25 surrounds and think they are great but my previous speakers were Mission 77DS so the difference was going to be huge anyway :)

Price and pictures here: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=302325
 

GavinH

Standard Member
Zero,

I haven't compared the M&K tripoles directly with other rear speakers. The tripoles that I have listened to the most are the K4s. In my opinion they do create a really good surround feeling - enveloping.

At the time when I listened to them in detail I was actually auditioning surround amplifiers. I was using two DVDs if I remember correctly: LOTR Fellowship - the fight scene with the cave troll, and Saving Private Ryan - the church scene and then one of the later battle sequences.

I thought the tripoles were (a) really good at steering surround effects and (b) good at providing atmosphere.

Unfortunately I haven't compared them directly with other rears - so there may be others that are equally good at this job. I don't feel that I have the space around and behind my seats to position more directional rears (especially if they are to go on stands). This makes a wall mountable tripole a good option for me.

When I listened to the SS-150s they simply sounded better. Again though I haven't done a direct comparison.

If it helps - when I listened to the K4s they were positioned level with the seating position, roughly 5 feet up. That sounded great.
 
R

recruit

Guest
Hi Gavin - Have you not considered the M&K Column surrounds ? I have been useing the CS-29's for a few years now and i still have not heard a better surround speaker...:)
 

GavinH

Standard Member
Hi Recruit,

I haven't considered them - but not for any particular reason. Do you know how much they cost? Wall mountable options are almost certainly a better option for me given the space I've got to work with - but you do recommend them highly :)
 

GavinH

Standard Member
AngelEyes,

I haven't heard the xenon's...
I've done a quick search and it looks like the 25-surrounds are £685 and the 55-surrounds are £795. Like I mentioned the tripoles that I've listened to the most are the K4s, and then quite a bit of the ss-150s.

I'm starting to think that it might be worth listening to some of the M&K options alongside each other. My local hi fi store has the xenon's, the K4s and the ss-150s. However, I don't see how they could get in some 55s for me to listen to, as there is a good chance I'll go for another speaker.

Anyone listened to the surround-55s in detail?
 
R

recruit

Guest
Gavin they are approx £1200 new and come in different sizes ie 22" / 29" / 35" tall but they can also be mounted to the wall rather than freestanding which you would have to buy the brackets but it is possible, i have heard nearly all the range of M&K surrounds and they are certainly the most impressive for home use , there is a pair in the classifides which are the 22" and they are almost 1/2 price certainly worth a look at :thumbsup:
 

Helicon

Banned
GavinH

The S55's are the surrounds that are designed to work the best with the 850's. They use the same direct firing drivers and are of the same width and depth sizewise. The SS150's are more detailed, obviously suiting the LCR150's more, but compare them and see what you think.

The Xenon 25's/26's are an excellent little speaker, the 'worlds smallest tripole', but then given that only M&K make tripoles, it's probably not suprising. They will work fine with the 850's, but just don't have the same 'tone' as them. I would only recommend them if matching is secondary to having the smallest speakers you can get away with.

The CS column speakers, again are excellent, and are designed for a particular situation, that of not having wall mounted speakers. They're mainly designed to place between a sofa and a wall, being almost invisible as they're out of sight. They will sound a little fuller given the larger cabinet and larger bass driver, but won't sound quite as good as precise and detailed as the S55's and SS150's as they have no direct firing drivers. Their drivers face up into the room and along the wall they're placed against. Not having direct firing drivers does have the effect of 'losing' the sound more and being more atmospheric, but you will lose some of the precise placement you'll get with the rest of the M&K range.

The main thing to do is to have a listen yourself and see which ones you prefer. With the SS150's you'll not need to upgrade later if you do ever fancy some LCR150's :)
 

zero7

Active Member
Helicon said:
GavinH


The Xenon 25's/26's are an excellent little speaker, the 'worlds smallest tripole', but then given that only M&K make tripoles, it's probably not suprising. They will work fine with the 850's, but just don't have the same 'tone' as them. I would only recommend them if matching is secondary to having the smallest speakers you can get away with.

Are you sure M&K are the only ones who make tripoles?
 

Helicon

Banned
Yes. Other manufacturers will make dipole and bipole speakers, but 'tripoles' are trademarked by M&K.
 

GavinH

Standard Member
Thought I'd try out the "thanks" option :)

Helicon, cheers for that input, it's just what I was after. In fact, thanks to all for helping me out. I'm gonna try and listen to some 55s before splashing out on the 150s... however, if I end up going for the 150s I'm sure it won't be a bad thing :thumbsup: and you're right, I won't need to upgrade later!

Cheers, Gav
 

Helicon

Banned
No problem, anytime :)

Hopefully with all these M&K threads more people will realise how M&K are different to other speakers for home cinema. And more importantly that they're not as bad as most say for music. Granted, they're no hifi speaker, but they have a very 'monitor' presentation, and you can hear everything that's happening in the mix. With a decent amp, they can provide a more than acceptable standard of reproduction for music. I don't find my 150's harsh at all. Sometimes they're a little sharp, but that's just the speakers relaying what's on the disc. CD is inherently a harsh sounding format.

When room permits, i'll get a dedicated audio system. Until then, i'll happily listen to my music through my AV system.

My advice is not to listen to those who probably haven't even heard an M&K system, and are probably only relaying what they've been told by someone else who hasn't heard them properly (if at all)...you know how the story goes....have a listen for yourself, but be prepared to spend some money. I'll never forget the first time i heard an 850/MX-350 system at reference level....it changed almost everything i thought i knew about home cinema.
 

Ian J

Banned
Helicon said:
My advice is not to listen to those who probably haven't even heard an M&K system, and are probably only relaying what they've been told by someone else who hasn't heard them properly (if at all).... I'll never forget the first time i heard an 850/MX-350 system at reference level....it changed almost everything i thought i knew about home cinema.

But also bear in mind the maxim "Different strokes for different folks" as M&K produce a sound that is different from hifi speakers and it isn't to everyone's taste. Many people who have come round to my house for a demo of my SVS subwoofer have loved the sub but have found the M&K speakers to be too clinical for their liking.

I have heard an 850 system and must admit that I thought it was a backward step from the S85's and I'm not the only one that thinks that way.
 
R

recruit

Guest
I think that people should also remember that all M&K speakers really do shine when they get good amplification and use of high powered amps is a must to get the best sound from them....
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
I was tempted by a set of S85s on that auction site last week. They went for about £585 I think... I am starting to wish I had bought them :rolleyes:
 

Sniper

Novice Member
Ian J said:
I have heard an 850 system and must admit that I thought it was a backward step from the S85's and I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

Really!? Can you describe what was different? Was amplification ok?
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
philb said:
Angel have you seen the xenon on that auction site:
Item number: 5872622679 ?

I did see that one, the same guy bought 3 the day before for £500 and something... looks like he will make a profit too!

I missed it because I was away that weekend :(
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
They are expensive... and uuugly :thumbsup:

Just my humble opinion :)
 

GavinH

Standard Member
Hi, it's the clinical aspect of M&K speakers that I really like. Unfortunately it seems - I haven't heard as many of their speakers as some people to make an informed judgment... I've only really listened to the K15s with K4s and the 850s with ss-150s.

I was always impressed with the K15 system, and when I heard the 850s afterwards I thought the step up was worth the extra cost...

The MP-150s appear to be a really good speaker but I haven't had an opportunity to listen to them.

About amplification - I've got the Arcam AVR300 - I'm kinda hoping this will do a decent job with the 850s... Any thoughts?

Thanks again,
Gav
 

Andywilliams

Active Member
Hi Gavin
I used to run my 850s with a nad t752 receiver without any problems so you should be ok with the arcam, The avr300 does have a setting for 4 ohm speakers .
 
R

recruit

Guest
Gavin - Did you listen to the 850's with the Arcam avr300 ? I would think it would be a good idea to do that 1st before commiting you're self to buying them...:)

Just as an example i have been thru quite a few different amps over the past couple of years and one point i was running a Meridian G55 amp which is rated at 100w per channel but it has a high current ouput which is i think approx 75 amperes peak per channel which is quite high but my M&K CS-29's needed more power and were distorting quite badly i then changed to a Parasound A51 which is 250watts x 5 and 60 amperes peak per channel and they came alive and would run to very high levels without any problems, i now run with Lexicon amps and again the difference is clear with the better amps in the LX7 and i now power 7 channels @ 200watts per channel with lots of current and my M&K's really do sound good and both of those amps are THX Ultra rated which means they can drive difficult loads to high level output.

My point really would be to listen to the 850's and SS-150's with the Arcam at near to or Reference levels and see how the speakers sound to you...

Sorry to rattle on :rolleyes:

Regards

John
 

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