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Initial impressions of Evolution Acoustics MM3 Loudspeaker

post #1 of 177
Thread Starter 
Initial impressions of Evolution Acoustics MM3 Loudspeaker

I've been fortunate enough to receive my pair of Evolutions Acoustics MM3s this week and wanted to share my initial excitement and impressions.

It can be quite intimidating when 1887 lbs of freight arrive at your door, but in the case of the MM3s is was a welcomed sight. The crating system and speaker setup was actually a pleasure and straight forward- just have some strong friends around. (Thanks Arthur!)

Given the speakers were brand new with no break-in, I was expecting less than stellar sound- actually even a little disappointment. I can't help to write the superlatives below because that's what I'm hearing. If it appears too over top, so be it, but for me it is an accurate description of the speaker's performance so far.

I placed the MM3s where my trusted Vandersteen 5As sat for quite some time and the sound quality (out of the box,, unspiked, with the factory control settings) is nothing short of revelatory! They are totally disappearing in my room leaving a glorious wide and deep soundstage. There is no hint that the sound is even coming from the speakers- magical given their size. To my amazement, they are disappearing better than my 5As did.

Clarity and detail are the best I have heard period. The bass is amazingly tight and deep. Dynamics are to die for and are downright scary. The DarTZeel's 100 watts can drive these to ear splitting levels in my 17 x 21 room. The speaker is also wonderfully coherent with a superb blending of the 15 powered woofers, Accuton mids, and ribbon tweeter. Highs are much better than my 5As with no hint of edge or fatigue. I know things will continue to change, but as it is right now, there is not one area where this speaker is not world class and the best I've heard. To my ears, they are sounding considerably better than they did at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Once you start listening it's hard to break away as they are just so engaging and musical.

The build quality and finish are superb. Each speaker is 6 feet tall and close to 600lbs yet has so many graceful curves and lines it is truly a thing of beauty. They taper to only 9 inches around back. The cabinet is the most inert I know of.

I truly had some reservations about selling my 5As, but there is no question these speakers are in an entirely different league. I'm looking forward to even more improvements as things break-in, final placement and controls are tweaked, and the spikes are installed.

This is going to be fun! Back to the music!

Associated gear
DarTZeel NHB 108 Model One power amplifier, DarTZeel NHB 18NS preamp, EMM Labs DAC6 and CDSD, Evolution Acoustics speaker cable, Jena Labs Dreamdancer interconnect, darT to Zeel 50 Ohm BNC interconnect, Silent Source power cords, and Grand Prix Audio stands.
post #2 of 177
Ah... if we could hear what you could hear with your ears...

Congratulations on your big upgrade

I'm curious (as a Vandersteen owner)... what happened to your 5As?

- Steve O.
post #3 of 177
Gladiator;

congrats on the MM3's.....i can't wait for mine to arrive in a couple of weeks. i am very glad to hear that my two concerns from what i heard from RMAF are sounding right to your ears........bass coherency and whether the dart is completely up to the job.

the room at RMAF was problematic but i expect to hear a whole new level of speaker performance once the MM3's get in a proper room......exactly as you are saying. a speaker with the naturalness, dynamics, extention, coherence and information that the Evolution MM3 has will test any room and system.....and expose any flaws. OTOH it will reward a good room and setup with what i expect to be a new level of speaker performance.

i look forward to further insights into the MM3's as they reveal themselves to you.
post #4 of 177
That's quite a frequency response they claim (7 hz at +/-6 db, 10 hz +/- 3 db.

Is the designer of these speakers a designer from a previous company? They look exciting to own. Congrats.
post #5 of 177
Hi

SLlightly OT Mike I thought you were getting the VS VR-11? Not back to the thread... I also find the bass performance claims rather unusual... single digit at -6 dB!!! Anyhow congrats, I will try to audition them .. MSRP?
post #6 of 177
Thread Starter 
Steve- I sold the 5As to a good friend of mine who heard them at my place several times and loved the sound. It was nice to "keep them in the family". I hope to hear them again at his place one day.

Mike- I did more listeing last might and the bass is absolutely very coherent with the rest of the speaker. I believe the subs were crossed over a little too high at the RMAF. Listening to Christian McBride's "Night Train" is unbelieveable. Depth, texture, focus, and the tightness of the bass are wonderful. I can only begin to imagine how these will sound in your room . You might not get as excited as I am since you are coming from VR9s which ain't too shabby .

Given the unique design and construction of the cabinet and the dual 1000 watt powered 15" drivers, plus some room boundry reinforcement, I totally believe the low end response is probably accurate. I've been told by one of the designers that they have in fact measured response to 10 Hz.

The MSRP is $38,000, and I hate to say this, but it is an absolute bargain in comparison to some other company's offerings for a "statement" speaker. Given their design, build quality, finish, features (adjustability) and performance, I would buy these speakers over anything else on the market regardless of price. Just my humble opinion. As always, it always comes to personal preference.
post #7 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

Hi

SLlightly OT Mike I thought you were getting the VS VR-11? Not back to the thread... I also find the bass performance claims rather unusual... single digit at -6 dB!!! Anyhow congrats, I will try to audition them .. MSRP?

Frantz,

the 11's are still on order (since July 10th).......from what i understand they have not yet started them for whatever reason. at this point i own two sets of over 600 pound and over 6 feet tall speakers. i still have the VR7SE's that VS loaned me until the VR11's are delivered.

i had been exposed to the development of the Evolution Acoustics MM3 for more than a couple of years and have heard the various interations thru it's development. i love that Accuton ceramic mid-range from my Kharma days and using two of them takes the MM3 to new heights of clarity and linearity in the mids. i heard the final version of the MM3 in August when it was going thru it's voicing and was fully smitten. then at RMAF they continued to amaze but the setup and room were not close to ideal.

i can't wait to get them in my room and eliminate any room excuses. Gladiator's comments confirm my expectations to some degree.
post #8 of 177
I'm a bit surprised about using 15" subs, but I guess they really wanted to hit the low frequencies. They're equalizing to get it, of course, hence the powered subs. Is it a 1st order design?
post #9 of 177
I know you are probably quite busy listening, but is it possible for you to take some pictures of your setup? Are they visually imposing in the room? The website pictures dont seem to give much justice to them visually speaking.
post #10 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladiator View Post

The MSRP is $38,000, and I hate to say this, but it is an absolute bargain in comparison to some other company's offerings for a "statement" speaker. Given their design, build quality, finish, features (adjustability) and performance, I would buy these speakers over anything else on the market regardless of price. Just my humble opinion. As always, it always comes to personal preference.

I am a free market advocate and in general believe that companies have every right to charge what they want and more power to them if the market will support it. But from a strictly personal perspective I think the price points on many of the reference speakers out there are ridiculously inflated. In other words, it's nice to see a speaker likes this being sold for 38K instead of 100K, because I strongly suspect that's what a lot of other manufacturers marketing a set of speaker with the same cost of materials would be selling them for.

I'd also like to see some pictures. I've always loved big reference speaker systems.
post #11 of 177
QQQ

I , also. find the prices of high end audio gear obscene, 30,000 speaker cables, >100,000 speakers, etc... Yet the cost of material is not a good reference else several software would be less than $1 dollar in most instances....
post #12 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ View Post

I am a free market advocate and in general believe that companies have every right to charge what they want and more power to them if the market will support it. But from a strictly personal perspective I think the price points on many of the reference speakers out there are ridiculously inflated. In other words, it's nice to see a speaker likes this being sold for 38K instead of 100K, because I strongly suspect that's what a lot of other manufacturers marketing a set of speaker with the same cost of materials would be selling them for.

True, but give these guys some reviews and some success and they'll come out with a $100K product. It's the way it works. Besides, you always have to have the flagship that costs 2.5 times as much (work it out, that's the "flagship multiplier") so that the people with way too much money can feel better than the people that only have lots of it.
post #13 of 177
Thread Starter 
Sure guys, here's a few shots of my system. I hope they are to your liking.




post #14 of 177
Very nice. That's a Dartzeel preamp and amp. What are the other components?
post #15 of 177
Thread Starter 
Thank you QQQ. The other components are the Emm Labs CDSD transport and DAC6. They will be replaced shortly by the new Emm Labs CDSA SE one box SACD/CD player which has all of the recent Emm Signature upgrades in a one box design. The stands are from Grand Prix Audio. Cabling is from Evolution Acoustics (speaker cable-same wire internally on the speaker), Jena Labs (interconnect), and Silent Source (power cords). The DarTZeel amp and preamp use the darT to Zeel 50 Ohm BNC interface. Electricity to the system is supplied by a MGE/Topaz 5 Kva isolation transformer.

The new Emm CDSA SE will sit just below the preamp in the Grand Prix stand where the DAC6 now is. The CDSD is on the floor - not the best spot for a transport.
post #16 of 177
What is the long thin black box I see up on the ceiling? Normally I'd assume it was an electric screen but I am not sure since this looks like a 2-channel system and I see no sign of video components.
post #17 of 177
If it's not a drop-down projector screen, it could be something like an 8th Nerve Corner seam...

Who made your quadratic diffusors?

The setup looks first rate - is your CDSD/DAC6E going the same place your 5As went? If so... LUCKY GUY

- Steve O.
post #18 of 177
Beautiful setup.

David
post #19 of 177
Thread Starter 
The black object on the ceiling is a 100 inch Stewart Electric screen- if you look carefully you can spot the remote eye for it . My home theater is on a brief hiatus and I will eventually add home theater components at some point (that's why I kept the screen), although more modest gear than what I had.

The diffusors are made by Auralex Acoustics.

Thank you David, you have quite a system yourself!
post #20 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

If it's not a drop-down projector screen, it could be something like an 8th Nerve Corner seam...

Who made your quadratic diffusors?

The setup looks first rate - is your CDSD/DAC6E going the same place your 5As went? If so... LUCKY GUY

- Steve O.


Not unless I sell a kidney!!!

Gladiator's room looks awesome and I can't wait till I get a chance to hear it.

George
post #21 of 177
Holy smokes!! It does look 100000x better in your home than on the website. I thought these were made out of aluminum and were sliver/black

Congrats!

P.S. Is the speaker one piece or is it 3 separate chambers? I would think its very difficult to move the whole monolith!
post #22 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by zybar View Post

Not unless I sell a kidney!!!

Gladiator's room looks awesome and I can't wait till I get a chance to hear it.

George

George,

You lucky bastard! I've been around avsforum a LOT longer that audiocircle, but I remember your setup. I thought you were a Salk Sound diehard...

- Steve O.
post #23 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega View Post

Holy smokes!! It does look 100000x better in your home than on the website. I thought these were made out of aluminum and were sliver/black

Congrats!

P.S. Is the speaker one piece or is it 3 separate chambers? I would think its very difficult to move the whole monolith!


Yes, it is three separate cabinets that attach together with an innovative "latching" system activated by inserting a 12 inch long allen key into a small opening on the rear of the speaker. The speaker system is totally modular. One could start with an MM One, and later upgrade to an MM Three simply by purchasing the two woofer cabinets.
post #24 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

George,

You lucky bastard! I've been around avsforum a LOT longer that audiocircle, but I remember your setup. I thought you were a Salk Sound diehard...

- Steve O.

I still haven't sold my Salk HT3's...

It says a lot that it will take a $20k speaker to potentially unseat the Salks.

George
post #25 of 177
Does anyone know what the list price is for the MM One speaker with stand?
post #26 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevenacnj View Post

Does anyone know what the list price is for the MM One speaker with stand?

I believe they are $15,000. Response is down to 40 Hz. Mid/Tweeter module is exactly the same as the MM 2&3.
post #27 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by zybar View Post

I still haven't sold my Salk HT3's...

It says a lot that it will take a $20k speaker to potentially unseat the Salks.

George

The Salks are a very good value.
post #28 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladiator View Post

Yes, it is three separate cabinets that attach together with an innovative "latching" system activated by inserting a 12 inch long allen key into a small opening on the rear of the speaker. The speaker system is totally modular. One could start with an MM One, and later upgrade to an MM Three simply by purchasing the two woofer cabinets.

I didn't know that, one can move up the ladder from the MM one that's great!

BTW, Gladiator pics looks nice but still don't do justice to them when your standing right in front of them.
post #29 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladiator View Post

Yes, it is three separate cabinets that attach together with an innovative "latching" system activated by inserting a 12 inch long allen key into a small opening on the rear of the speaker. The speaker system is totally modular. One could start with an MM One, and later upgrade to an MM Three simply by purchasing the two woofer cabinets.

THis is probably a dumb question, but how do you get the top subwoofer onto the monolith? I would assume it to be at least 180lbs. Did you use a crane ? Even with 2 burly men, its pretty tough to lift the subwoofer up 5' in the air and align it correctly right?
post #30 of 177
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega View Post

THis is probably a dumb question, but how do you get the top subwoofer onto the monolith? I would assume it to be at least 180lbs. Did you use a crane ? Even with 2 burly men, its pretty tough to lift the subwoofer up 5' in the air and align it correctly right?

They are assembled horizontally on the ground and then the whole speaker is stood up as one unit. The manual is very detailed regarding setup and recommends five strong people for that last step Which is what my eyes were doing when I was lifting
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