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AVSA review, May 2013

the way Plant, Page and Jones command centre stage with a quiet confidence, and an almost bemused realisation that they still have what it takes, makes their performances all the more memorable. Despite their unassuming presence, the MK speakers had no trouble recreating both the space and the verve of these performances. The staging was magnanimous, easily creating the illusion of being in the large, filled-to-the-brim theatre, while also providing an array of believable ambient clues to heighten the overall sense of realism. Of particular note was the balance of the system — tonally, the low frequencies were not only omnipresent and muscular, but they were also delivered with the right level of fortitude and impetus to create a taut and composed foundation. The tonal progression into the midband and treble ranges was smooth and seamless, with no noticeable crossover point between the sub and the satellites. The mids were clean and sinewy, with no flab or unnatural roll-off, while the trebles were bright and breezy, but without any edge or bite to the delivery. I enjoyed the way the full impact and scale of the performance was emphatically brought to the fore, despite the unassuming presence of the MK speakers. The system always sounded larger and more energetic than the enclosures would suggest, while also providing a detailed and believable insight into the music. By comparison, Jeff Beck’s riveting performance in a crowded Ronnie Scott’s sounds musically dense and rich, with his wailing guitar soaring above the articulate bass of Tal Wilkenfeld, Jason Rebello’s inventive keyboards, and the compelling percussion of Vinnie Colaiuta. This is a superb set, and the MK system captured the essence and the atmosphere with spellbinding realism. Turning to movies, I enjoy the story- telling, the cinematography and the engrossing soundtrack of Batman Begins. It’s a stern challenge for a home cinema Associated Equipment NAD T777 AV receiver Oppo BDP-103EU universal player Sony Bravia 40-inch LCD television Atlantic Technology surround sound speakers Kimber, StraightWire and XLO cabling system, because of the substantial dynamic swings, and the taxing special effects. Again, I was taken aback by the MK system’s talent for scale and space — the soundscapes were massive and lifelike, with an almost tactile believability, while the tonal spread was linear and open, underscored by a powerful and muscular bass. Trebles were smooth and accessible with a natural timbre, crowned by lucid, distinct tops. Inter-channel integration was particularly satisfying, allowing effects to be steered from all angles with a precision that added to the intensity and believability of the sound. Vital also here was the transparency of the speakers — they managed to remain invisible as point sources, adding further realism. As is always the case with multichannel loudspeaker systems, spending sufficient time fine-tuning speaker location and subwoofer level is vital to achieving a smoothly rendered soundstage and seamless integration. The MK 750 THX 5.1 speaker package may look understated and unassuming, but in practice it always sounds bigger and more authoritative than expected. The forcefulness and the pace of the bass, the detailed and open midrange, 2 8 m a y av 2 0 1 3 and the fine and revealing trebles are fused into an all-enveloping sound that makes movies, and the music, come alive. That this system is also able to project a wide and inviting soundstage with powerful dimensionality and a pervading sense of accuracy adds to its overall appeal, while its off-axis linearity makes for a wider and more inviting sweet spot that will have the entire family nailed to their seats. Bravo, MK Sound! Bravo! Deon Schoeman COVER FEATURE Software Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day (Atlantic Blu-ray) Jeff Beck – Performing This Week … Live At Ronnie Scott’s (Eagle Rock Blu-Ray) Batman Begins (Warner Blu-ray) Hugo (Warner Blu-Ray) Inception (Warner Blue-ray)


AVSA review, May 2013
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