AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Park Ridge, IL /Sheridan Beach, IN
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Considering the sound quality and the pedigree, I can't see how one can say the M&K's are overpriced. The build quality is rock solid, so they may not be made from rare South American furniture grade wood, but I don't think the majority of M&K buyers are looking for that. Most are looking for professional, studio monitor quality speakers that deliver accurate, uncolored sound suitable for high-end home theater. If one is primarly looking for a 2-channel setup, they're probably not the ideal choice and that individual certainly wouldn't want or need THX certified speakers anyway. If one were to buy a THX certified speaker and then complain about the vertical dispersion pattern, that individual obviously didn't make an informed decision.
Exotic woods and finishes do absolutely nothing for the sound quality, only drive up the price. If one thinks they're ugly, that's their opinion and there are certainly plenty of manufacturers out there that put a higher emphasis on selling pretty looking speakers. Personally, I like their looks and obviously alot of other people do as well. I like the no-frills monitor look of 3 mid-bass drivers and 2 tweeters facing at me from every location.
I don't really see myself ever owning another brand of speaker and I'm convinced it would take alot more money to find a speaker that would impress me more than the M&K's.
With regards to demand and wait time, I don't see how the demand aspect can be minimized. I doubt too many people walk into a retailer without knowing anything about M&K and walk out of the store with a truck full of M&K speakers. I doubt there's too much "darn, the M&K's are out of stock, I guess I'll buy the Bose instead." I would bet that most M&K buyers/owners are well aware of their professional monitor pedigree and of the fact that they are used by practicall every major film studio and sound processing company (Dolby, DTS, THX).
If there wasn't a demand for them, the buyers on that wait list would simply chose another option. Obviously, there are plenty of consumers as well as professionals who feel that waiting on M&K's is worth it. When I bought mine I was told that I would probably have to wait 3 months for my M&K S150AC but I knew it was worth the wait, even though I could have chosen from many other brands/options. Luckily, the wait was only 2 weeks and it was definitely worth it. Another indicator of demand can be found on the used market. I look for M&K's all the time on eBay and they can regularly be found for more than 75% of their retail price. Most other speakers are lucky to go for 50% of their retail price.
I'll add one other thing, I think the amplification used makes a huge difference in getting the most out of the M&K's. I initially was driving my 7.2 M&K S150/SS150 HT system with a Pioneer Elite 56TXi but I later added Bryston amplifiers and the difference in sound quality was immediately appearant. The 56TXi is a good A/V receiver and in tests has lived up to or slightly exceeded it's amplification ratings, but the Bryston's really woke them up and added even more detail along with an increase in mid-range depth. I also think they sound great with good DVD-A and SACD recordings which brings up another point, if the recording was bad the M&K's are simply going to reproduce that, they're not going to color it up like alot of other speakers will. Unfortunately, some people don't like that fact and blame the speaker.