THERE’S a new player in the domestic loudspeaker market – M8audio, a privately-owned, factory-direct manufacturer based in Australia. The company, which was formed two years ago, recently launched three high-performance speakers.
“More than two years ago, I decided to create a company that would make some of the most amazing speakers available,” says M8audio founder Mark Thomsen.
“What if you could get true high-end sound, as well as beautiful unique design and craftsmanship, without the outrageous price tag associated with state of the art speakers? It may sound crazy, but I believe the company we created does just that,” he added.
Danish-born Thomsen, who has an electronics engineering degree and over 20 years of experience in product design, development and manufacturing, was driven by his unhappiness at “overly boxy, expensive and somewhat underperforming speakers available.” And so he set out on a quest to bring “uncompromised musical emotion to more people”.
The flagship of the range is Sweet Maxwell, a standmount, two-way reflex-design that takes its name from the physicist James Clerk Maxwell, best known for his work on the relationship of electricity, electromagnetism and light.
“Electromagnetism is at the foundation of the modern loudspeaker, and Maxwell’s work plays a large part in the accomplishments of the Maxwell speaker series. Although his work on electromagnetism was published more than 150 years ago, it has been proven time and time again to be absolutely flawless. The Maxwell series of speakers is all about getting every last detail absolutely right,” said Thomsen.
A honeycomb-braced enclosure fully damped with M8audio’s proprietary viscoelastic dampeners and decoupling feet, pure beryllium tweeter, Egyptian papyrus cone, neodymium motor, and no-compromise crossover with Alumen-Z capacitors are among the features to be found on the Sweet Maxwell. The tweeter has a 29mm voice coil, while the low-frequency driver is 187mm in size. Frequency range is given at 47Hz to 40kHz, with a sensitivity of 86dB and nominal impedance of six ohms.
The Sweet Maxwell is priced at US$5,100 per pair, with finish options of satin white and Tasmanian Blackwood.
The second in the M8audio line is the Rocket 5.1 SuperResolution, also a bookshelf design.
“We set out to create a beautiful small speaker, that was to set a new benchmark for what can be achieved with sub compact speakers.” said Thomsen.
“With a no-compromise design approach, the Rocket 5.1 SuperResolution takes the small speaker to a whole new level. By only selecting the very best components and integrating each part with the perspective of ultimate clarity, we are very proud of the end result. I believe this speaker sets new standards for sound and performance from a very compact speaker. It is so enjoyable and easy to place and live with that it is difficult to resist.”
The two-way, bass-reflex bookshelf design has a 22mm aluminium/magnesium tweeter and a 132mm low-frequency driver, with a frequency range of 72Hz to 32kHz, sensitivity of 83dB and impedance of eight ohms. Finishes available are satin white and bird’s eye maple, and the price is US$2,200 a pair.
Finally, the Sub OneTen, to get a grip on the lows – the sealed-box, 10-inch active subwoofer complements the Rocket 5.1.
“A good subwoofer that is set up properly should never call attention to itself. The low moving mass of the Sub OneTen results in a faster and more musical bass than any other sealed cabinet subwoofer we have compared it to,” said Thomsen.
“By adding a Sub OneTen to your set-up, you will notice that your system will play significantly deeper than before, and the sound will be very clean, accurate and musical with much improved authority.”
Gain, line-in low-pass filter (40-200Hz adjustable), variable phase (0-180deg) and auto sense on/standby are among the features here. M8audio’s own 300W Class D amplifier drives the OneTen, which is available in satin white and bird’s eye maple, and is priced at US$1,900 per unit.
All three models are already shipping, more details can be found on the website.