M&K THX 150 setup: is there something as good (or better) for less money?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jay Sylvester, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    I'm trimming the fat in my HT in order to cut costs and pay down some debt. This has caused me to re-evaluate my current equipment needs and possibly sell some stuff.

    The strategy I've adopted is to try and sell off the more expensive items and replace them with cheaper but equal (or superior) equipment. The first to go was my Sharp 12K DLP projector in exchange for an 8" CRT--which I've been told will probably provide superior performance in many respects. It's much larger than a digital and requires more work to get it set up properly, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and eventual payoff.

    The next thing to which I've turned my attention is my M&K THX 7.1 speaker setup, which includes the S-150 front/center, two pairs of the SS-150 tripoles, and the MX-150 MK II sub. I've enjoyed them a great deal over the last fews years, but they are pretty expensive and their resale value is pretty good.

    I'm considering parting with them and trying out one of the less expensive but still praised brands such as Rocket or Axiom. Can anyone here compare the M&K's to such brands in a home theater application? A complete package in the $2500 range would be good. I'd also consider moving from 7.1 to 5.1 if the surrounds are particularly good.

    The M&K's are amazing, so I know it's a long shot there's something out there that's as good for less money, but it's worth a try. If I can't find their equal, I'll probably keep them.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Personally, I wouldn't sell off your M&K's. Well, maybe the sub and get an SVS PC Ultra !!
     
  3. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    Changing your M&K 150's 7.0 speakers to other high quality speakers might result in a "different" sound- but not necassarily better..if you prefer a softer sounding (you find the M&K's unbearable after 10 minutes), all though it could be just a poweramp/pre-amp or room reflections causing discomfort.

    Or you might prefer L/R floorstanders for music reproduction, with subwoofer off. Perhaps buy a second set of main speakers for 2ch hi-fi music only (and a decent CD player, 2ch pre-amp/poweramp) - say Martin Logan's.

    I would also second upgrading to single or dual SVS's over the M&K, but keep your M&K 7.0 speakers- use them primarly for AV.

    IMO the changeover from DLP to a high quality CRT would be more filmic image- if you're willing to take the time & cost involved. Have you seen a decent CRT FP setup?
     
  4. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    Unfortunately, I've never been able to see a CRT in person. It's a blind purchase. I've had the image described to me as equivalent to a good PC monitor (once properly converged and tweaked of course). I like the 12K, but I've always preferred a smooth image that approximates film instead of the artifical sharpness provided by pixel-based devices. I've gone so far as to try different scaling algorithms on my HTPC in order to smooth things out on the 12K. I have a pretty good calibration package (Progressive Labs CA-6X and Avia Pro), and I won't mind spending the time getting things set up just right. Should be fun.

    Just as a goof I checked out some of the speakers on the floor at Best Buy today while my fiance was looking at CDs. I listened to some classical music on these big Klipsch towers--the model number escapes me at the moment. I was surprised at how warm they sounded compared to my M&K's. I've been told the M&K's have a ruler flat response, making them extremely accurate. Accuracy doesn't always provide the most pleasing results though.

    Perhaps I'll order some Axiom towers just to try out. I could always send them back if I don't like them.
     
  5. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    I would keep the M&K's and sell the M&K sub. They are really good speakers.
     
  6. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    After hearing a setup of M&K 150's like yours, I was very impressed with the 'theater like' sound reproduced by them. I always said that if I had a dedicate theater, I would have them as one of my top choices along with Triad. SO for movies more than 60% use, I would hard pressed to find something equal or better for that money unless you searched heavily on the used market. WHat John said is my recommendation as well as Richards..
     
  7. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    I suppose my brief demo of the Klipsch speakers has me longing for extra warmth and friendliness that the M&K's lack. They kick real hard when a soundtrack calls for it, but for music they're a bit sterile. They do sound a lot like a commercial theater, but that's not necessarily a good thing in all instances. I also find them very sensitive to vertical positioning; they sound very different if I slouch in my seat, but on axis they're great. The center channel also has a tendency to call attention to itself.

    My original HT setup had Polk RT800's in front, and I found the M&K's to be a huge leap in clarity and dynamic power. Perhaps that's what I give up if I go back to "warm" speakers.

    I'm tempted to try out a pair of Axioms, Swans, or Rockets just to see how they sound with both movies and music. Perhaps I'd enjoy a warmer sound.

    The rest of my setup:

    AVM 20 v. 2.0
    Rotel RMB-1075 (front 5)
    Rotel RB-1050 (rear 2)
    HTPC for DVD playback (digital audio sent straight to the AVM 20)
     

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