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AVSA review, May 2013

COVER FEATURE MK Sound has been in the audio game for long enough to understand what makes for great sound. The US company was instrumental in popularising the benefits of the THX standard, and the sonic and technical excellence of its products are widely acknowledged in the professional audio arena. The 750 THX Series provides a convincing demonstration of the reasons behind MK Sound’s hallowed reputation. m a y av 2 0 1 3 2 5 f you’re an AV Magazine regular, you’ll already be aware of MK Sound’s THX-certified loudspeaker products. After all, the brand (which used to be known as Miller & Kreisel, or M&K) has been around for decades, even if the ‘new’, Danishowned MK Sound has taken over from the US original. Today, MK Sound employs the same design principles that made M&K products the darling of the music and movie soundtrack recording industry. The drive units, previously sourced from Vifa, are now produced to MK Sound’s specifications by Peerless, while the speakers themselves are assembled in China, simply because the combination of cost and quality is impossible to match anywhere else. So much for the history stuff. Much more important in the here and now is the MK Sound 750 THX surround sound speaker system. It offers a 5.1 configuration comprising identical front left, front right and centre speakers, together with a pair of tripole surrounds, and a generously proportioned subwoofer. Without getting embroiled in technicalities, MK Sound believes in leaving those visceral, window-rattling bass frequencies to its active subwoofers, while it relies on compact, frequency-focussed satellites to look after the midrange and trebles. Think about it: the subwoofer can be configured to deliver deep, forceful and authoritative bass and sub-bass sonics without being compromised by the need to reach beyond its natural territory. And if it sticks to its low-frequency role, it can also be located where it sounds best in a room. With the sub taking proper care of the low frequencies, the satellites employed for front and centre channel duties can be compact, which makes them easier to position, and less prone to room-related acoustic anomalies. Their narrower frequency band responsibilities also make them easier to drive. In addition, the smaller form factor of these satellites reduces effective baffle size, which translates into more accurate and phase-coherent projection, a wider soundstage, and ensures that the speakers are less prone to colouration. The MK design philosophy stipulates that the LCR monitors are not ported, but employ a sealed cabinet instead. Again, this ensures a more accurate tonal rendition and a greater resilience to acoustic interaction with the room, therefore allowing positioning close to side and rear walls if necessary. Anyone familiar with the THX home theatre standards will already have noted the compatibility between the MK Sound design approach, and the THX standard. In fact, M&K was closely involved with the development and evolving THX standards, and its products continue to be THX-certified. It’s also true that a long list of recording studios and movie production facilities employ MK’s professional gear for monitoring and mix-down purposes, and the brand’s movie credits include benchmarks such as Star Wars and The Lord Of The Rings. It stands to reason that a surround sound speaker system designed to meet THX requirements will be in a far better position to recreate a THX-compliant surround sound mix — especially if the same brand’s loudspeakers were also used for mastering the soundtracks. The MK Sound 750 THX surround sound speaker system is THX Select-certified, a THX standard identical in technical specification to THX Ultra, but designed for the smaller spaces more typical of home-based theatre applications. THX is adamant that its Select parameters are in no way sonically inferior to the even more stringent THX Ultra I


AVSA review, May 2013
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