Martin Dew

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Martin Dew
It was telling that Miller & Kreisel opted to place the Lucasfilm THX brand logo above its own on the front grille badge of the S150 series speakers when introduced back in 1995. Owner and chief engineer Ken Kreisel had wholeheartedly embraced the THX philosophy of how to reproduce film sound accurately in the home, to the point that he was happy to share top billing with the audio arm of the Star Wars factory. It was also something of a boon to the design team at Skywalker Ranch that this medium-sized California speaker company – whose groundbreaking work alone had cemented the satellite/subwoofer relationship as virtually indispensable for home theater – felt that the sonic qualities of THX should, in turn, become central to M&K’s core strategy.

And so it is after a quarter of a century of the existence of these iconic cuboid speakers that M&K is releasing an...
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Carlo Medina

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Man I remember back in the 90s when I was first getting into home theater but had 1/5 of the disposable income I have now...I lusted after M&Ks back then. And this model specifically.
 
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KEN KREISEL

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Ken Kreisel
Martin, congratulations on your excellent article which I enjoyed reading. I think it is a testament to the original S150THX design that the THX PM3 USA made Miller & Kreisel Professional MPS-2510THX and the USA made M&K THX PM3 powered MPS-2510P/PK pro versions (with all production ending in 2007) of the S-150THX are still being used by top studios and engineers around the world to make their most important mixing and sound design decisions.

I have one small technical comment to help eliminate any confusion regarding bi-wiring versus bi-amping as mentioned in your article. Bi-wiring and Bi-amping are completely different. Bi-wiring is when you provide (on a passive speaker with passive crossovers) two pairs of speaker input terminals (with jumpers between them when using a single amp), one pair feeds the passive bass/midrange crossover (low-pass filter) and the other pair feeds the passive high-pass or tweeter crossover, usually done with two full-range amplifiers for best results. The advantages of bi-wiring versus "single" wiring are complex regarding the sonic advantages of relieving a single pair of speaker wires from carrying both the low frequency and high frequency signals from your amplifier to the speakers (the sonic benefits depend in large part on what type and length of speaker wire is being used from the amp to the speaker). There is also a sonic advantage for the amplifiers as typically in a bi-wiring situation the speaker impedance continually rises higher per octave outside the usable bandwidth of the passive low-pass and the passive high-pass crossover networks.

Bi-amping has all the advantages mentioned above but eliminates the passive crossovers altogether with a carefully designed complementary electronic crossover filter feeding the bass/midrange amp connected directly to the bass/midrange drivers and with a carefully designed complementary electronic crossover filter feeding the tweeter amp connected directly to the tweeters with no passive components in-between. The use of an electronic crossover and connecting the amps directly to the drivers can provide significant sonic improvements which the studios learned years ago.

The bottom line (no pun intended) is you really cannot use bi-wiring inputs (which still have the passive crossovers inline with the drivers) to accomplish the sonic benefits of true bi-amping. You need a switch or a multiple set of speaker input terminals (beyond four for bi-wiring) and multiple jumpers to bypass the passive speaker crossovers.

KEN
 
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Martin Dew

HTF News Editor
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Nov 1, 2017
Messages
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Martin Dew
Martin, congratulations on your excellent article which I enjoyed reading. I think it is a testament to the original S150THX design that the THX PM3 USA made Miller & Kreisel Professional MPS-2510THX and the USA made M&K THX PM3 powered MPS-2510P/PK pro versions (with all production ending in 2007) of the S-150THX are still being used by top studios and engineers around the world to make their most important mixing and sound design decisions.

I have one small technical comment to help eliminate any confusion regarding bi-wiring versus bi-amping as mentioned in your article. Bi-wiring and Bi-amping are completely different. Bi-wiring is when you provide (on a passive speaker with passive crossovers) two pairs of speaker input terminals (with jumpers between them when using a single amp), one pair feeds the passive bass/midrange crossover (low-pass filter) and the other pair feeds the passive high-pass or tweeter crossover, usually done with two full-range amplifiers for best results. The advantages of bi-wiring versus "single" wiring are complex regarding the sonic advantages of relieving a single pair of speaker wires from carrying both the low frequency and high frequency signals from your amplifier to the speakers (the sonic benefits depend in large part on what type and length of speaker wire is being used from the amp to the speaker). There is also a sonic advantage for the amplifiers as typically in a bi-wiring situation the speaker impedance continually rises higher per octave outside the usable bandwidth of the passive low-pass and the passive high-pass crossover networks.

Bi-amping has all the advantages mentioned above but eliminates the passive crossovers altogether with a carefully designed complementary electronic crossover filter feeding the bass/midrange amp connected directly to the bass/midrange drivers and with a carefully designed complementary electronic crossover filter feeding the tweeter amp connected directly to the tweeters with no passive components in-between. The use of an electronic crossover and connecting the amps directly to the drivers can provide significant sonic improvements which the studios learned years ago.

The bottom line (no pun intended) is you really cannot use bi-wiring inputs (which still have the passive crossovers inline with the drivers) to accomplish the sonic benefits of true bi-amping. You need a switch or a multiple set of speaker input terminals (beyond four for bi-wiring) and multiple jumpers to bypass the passive speaker crossovers.

KEN
Thanks for your invaluable input particularly concerning bi-amping, Ken, and great to hear from you. It's also been sometime since PM3 was discussed in the mainstream, but I think it's great to remind people of some of this indispensable history, and the extraordinary contribution M&K has made - and still makes - to the entire movie post-production and presentation ecosystem.
 

smithbrad

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Brad
This was a great read. Thanks.

I built my dedicated HT back in 2004 and I'm still running three S150's up-front with four (of the lesser discussed) SS200's along the side and back walls and an MX350 sub to complete a 7.1 system. I don't see a lot of mention of M&K anymore, so it was a pleasant surprise seeing this article.
 
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