Neoseeker : : : : Sonigistix Monsoon MM 2000 Review

Sonigistix Monsoon MM 2000 Review - PAGE 1

- Friday, June 22nd, 2001 Like Share






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theears Jun 22, 01
The Monsoon MM2000 is a very good quality 4.1 speaker set.
These outperform the Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 on music,the sound is more natural.The Klipsch will play louder,more power but sound quality is superior overall on the Monsoon MM2000.

The sub is quite impressive on the Monsoon,too.The one active,two passive driver configuration works quite well in this system.Its done a la Klipsch LF10 and LF12.

Good review overall.

TheEAR(s) Now theears
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Redemption Jun 22, 01
I played with the MM2000 for 2 days and I also think the subwoofer works really well. I don't know much about subwoofer design but the 2 passive radiators really worked as advertised.

Definitely a worthy speaker set. Works paricularly well with games like Half-Life.

I think Anthony didn't play up enough on the headphones jack. Other then the Klipsch 4.1, the other surround speakers don't have a headphones jack. At least not the BA4800, the MidiLand 4060s, and some others that don't come to mind immediately.
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Roj Jun 23, 01
Well gentlemen, good to see you again <g>.

I'm following this thread with considerable interest. You tested with the same sound card I've got (thank GOD it wasn't a Live!) and contrasted the speakers against the newer Klipsch which I have also heard (and don't care much for when listening to music, given their in-yer-face-right-down-front approach - those horns again, eh?).

I found your comment on listening fatigue interesting because that was the problem I had with the MM-1000 and MM-700 models - 15 minutes max was all I could stand with those two (I of course still have my 500s and it's easily 8 months later - grins).

Now, if only I could find somewhere to hear them myself - trying to get hold of them in Canada is NOT an easy thing...
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Brad Estes Jun 25, 01

This system is the absolute Bomb! I'm so pleased with them I'm having a hard time pulling myself away from them to make it to work on time in the AM. I have not experienced any of the fatigue problems being mentioned here. I just can't say enough about how great these speakers are! I got mine for $199 at CompUSA and thenerds.com has them for $215.
Roj, I would buy them on line if I was u. You can read my users review! I spent 2 months listening to other systems (CompUSA had them setup right next to Klipsch 4.1s and MM-2000s killed them dead)and there is no comparison! In fact I have showed them off to many of my Klipsch lovin' friends and they got a little pissed-off! Klipsch has done a very good job indoctrinating everyone (including those who right all the reviews in the PC world) but they are not all they are made out to be! Monsoon MM-2000s are better! I would have bought them at $299 if they had not come down, I thought they were the best at $299. Now that they are cheaper I KNOW THEY ARE THE BEST.
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Redemption Jun 25, 01
Everyone has a different threshold for fatigue. I get fatigued pretty easily. Some of my friends never feel it no matter how shrill the speakers heheheh - they just think it's more detail and sharpness!
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Roj Jun 25, 01
To Brad:

Trust me man, I already know about the overpriced con job that Klipsch is :-)

Now, all I have to do is scrape up $600CDN (includes the tax and rear stands).
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theears Jun 25, 01
Like mosy youngsters like.The Klipsch Promedia apeals to a large portion of the population.These think Pioneer recievers are detailed because they are bright like halogen bulbs and love boomy Sony "subs" because they BOOM the same note at 70Hz and at 50Hz! HA

No Klipsch makes some good speakers like the RB5,RF5,RF7 and the new RSW subs should be very good.I have the RB5 and its not at all agressive,its very directional.Horns are directional.

The Monsoon are great speakers for those who listen to music.Planar,ribbon and electrostatic speakers are detailed and never agressive.The problem is they are very delicate.

TheEAR(s) Now theears
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Brad Estes Jun 25, 01
To Roj:
I don't want to get side-tracked from the topic of this thread but, I have a Soundblaster Live Value and its not bad! I have been looking into the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card for a while now and wanted you to go into a little more detail on the brief comment you made in you first response "thank God it was not a Live" or something like that. I am mostly interested in the Turtle Beach for its claim to take a greater workload off the CPU and free up the system in its audio reproduction. But, what's most important is sound quality! Forget features and price for a moment and could u tell me if its a noticeably better sounding card?
I'm not sure what the exchange rate is for Canadian $$$ but I have seen several MM-2000s on the Canadian ebay.com
The satellites say Made In Canada right on the back! The subwoofer is made in Chine. I wound think you could get a better deal on the Monssons in Canada.
I bought a pair of the speaker stands from theNerds.com for $71. They carried the best deal on them that I could find. Obviously I don't mind buying online. In fact the speakers themselves are one of the first PC products I have bought retail but, I always hunt down the best price and I think CompUSA is trying to clear its inventory b/c all they seem to sell is Klipschs. I think the Klipschs where engineered for techno-music, Hip-Hop & Heavy Metal lovers. All they want is volume and exaggerated bass.
Actually, I think the Monsoons do a better job with those types of music than the Klips anyways.
If you get a chance, listen to some chamber music or Yo-Yo Ma on the Monsoon MM-2000s and then on the Klipschs. The differance is striking! The lower notes of the chello (or how ever you spell that instrument built one step higher than the bass violin) are just amazing on the MM-2000 where the sub on the Klips seems to have no real distinction in the lower notes.
The imaging and soundstage the MM-2000s produce is just so phenomenal! But, it is true from the review though that the trade-off for this is that even the slightest move of the head by just 2 or 3 inches from dead center changes the sound.
I'll shut-up now or else I could just go on and on about these speakers.
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Roj Jun 26, 01
To Brad:

Let's just say I have less than no respect for the Live! line having owned one - it lasted a month and got turfed because of the crappy sound it typically produces. If you want to discuss this further, we should take it offline because I guarantee you this thread *will* diverge if we leave it part of the discussion and no one wants that. Let me know if you're interested and I'll get my e-mail addy to you.

To theears:

You've pretty much summed it up. The Klipsch Promedia folks typically get off on sound that is all boom and brashness with no imaging or subtlety. Wonderful PR for the "mosh pit" set. And you're right - I hate horns (even hybrid ones) for exactly those reasons: they're very aggressive (as you put it) in projecting sound but not at all detailed or subtle. As to that awful sub? "Boom, Boom, Boom, let's go back to my room" is where that's coming from. If they'd limited it to one driver (like the 2.1s) that would have been quite sufficient and would have produced a much more well rounded sound instead of a bass-heavy thumpasaurus. Of course that wouldn't have fixed those damned horns though...

I don't quite understand what you mean by "The problem is they are very delicate" when referring to ribbon / dome /flat panel tweeters / speakers.

This message was edited by Roj on Jun 26 2001.
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highlander Jun 26, 01
It was nice to see your shadow again, Mr. Roj...and by now you
should have heard a lot about the superiority in sound quality of
my Videologic Crossfire over the inferior Klipsch Promedia. I can't
comment about the MM 2000 since I have not heard it...though I
think that the MM 500 is a bargain and a real value to be had for
the sound quality it produced for under a hundred bucks...and I
still have a set...
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Roj Jun 26, 01
Howdy highlander,

Knew you'd show up here :-)
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Roj Jun 26, 01
Brad:

"I would think you could get a better deal on the Monssons in Canada."

I wish! Not so though...

"I think the Klipschs where engineered for techno-music, Hip-Hop & Heavy Metal lovers. All they want is volume and exaggerated bass."

That's about the size of it.

"If you get a chance, listen to some chamber music or Yo-Yo Ma on the Monsoon MM-2000s and then on the Klipschs. The differance is striking! The lower notes of the chello (or how ever you spell that instrument built one step higher than the bass violin) are just amazing on the MM-2000 where the sub on the Klips seems to have no real distinction in the lower notes."

Now we're down to bedrock. I listen to a lot of smooth jazz and acoustic stuff and the Klipsch have all the finesse of a sledgehammer trying to deal with any detailed music. It's the aural equivalent of watching an elephant in a tutu. Brute force they are and that's about it.

An issue for you to ponder and perhaps address:

I had the listening fatigue problems described by our esteemed moderator with the MM-1000 and MM-700 models. I talked via e-mail to a former Monsoon employee who was there while those two systems were being developed: he indicated that those systems were severely underpowered and the flat panels need juice to produce the full spectrum of highs and mids, both lower and upper. According to my source, they could easily have made the MM-700s sound better than the MM-1000s by simply doubling the size of the amplifier but then that would eclipse the quality of the 1000s and marketing balked (why is it always marketing that screws things up??). The MH-500s got around this by using a traditional cone driver for the midrange frequencies - that allowed them to use a smaller amplifier and still get the proper mids. It also had the additional bonus of making that model a lot less directional than the other two more expensive models.

All this to say:

Do the 2000s still have this problem? It manifests itself as an aparrent spike or overemphasis in the upper mids and highs (they sound harsh), not because there is actually a spike but because the lower mids are missing. Given that these satellites push 60W each as opposed to the significantly lower power accorded their earlier siblings, one would hope this issue is now a thing of the past.

"The imaging and soundstage the MM-2000s produce is just so phenomenal! But, it is true from the review though that the trade-off for this is that even the slightest move of the head by just 2 or 3 inches from dead center changes the sound."

The MH-500s have a somewhat wider envelope but I could put up with that limitation if the "perceived spike" problem were cured. Does this directionality occur even when surrounded completely using the stands? Not that music requires surround sound - it most assuredly does not - but I *am* interested in just how directional these speakers are (the 1000 and 700 models without a cone midrange were also very directional).

"I'll shut-up now or else I could just go on and on about these speakers."

That's the point of discussion - we WANT you to go on about these speakers. :-)

This message was edited by Roj on Jun 26 2001.
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Brad Estes Jun 26, 01
OK, who is taking the pricings out of my comments? Sorry if that is a rule I'm breaking. I guess I won't do it again.

Lets just say (in the US) you can get the Monsoon MM-2000s for a 1/3 less than you can Klipschs and, MM-2000s sound better too!
Is that OK?

To Roj,

This "listening fatigue problem" is sounding like a very subjective issue. I'm not sure what exactly it is that you and the Neoseeker reviewer are hearing that seems to become a bother but I believe I have an idea.
I have listen to the MM-700 but was so unimpressed w/ the subwoofer it was not a very long listen. I would agree w/ what Redemption said. To me, I'm hearing greater detail and sharpness while some of you are perceiving the same thing as harshness.
The mids are much richer on the MM-2000s. The clarity is very strong. I intentionally listened to some styles of music that use some distorted instruments but maintain a very clean sound (like Direstraits, Dave Mathews and Eric Clapton). Each instrument maintained a very clear and distinct voice on the MM-2000s while Klips muddy the song and almost totally drowned out the vocals. Each instrument is extremely directional on the MM-2000s! I just don't know how else to say it. There is a very direct sound going straight to your ears!
My idea of harsh is that super strong, over emphasized treble sound creating a high pitched, hi volume 'ssssssss' sound you will most often hear in a drum kit's cymbals in speakers with poor tweeters or too much treble (like the Klipschs). I don't touch the treble on any EQ setting w/ the MM-2000s. Drum kits in the above mentioned bands sound very clear without any of the kind of harshness i mentioned.
I would not describe the MM-2000s has harsh (as I hear Harshness)in anyway but extremely accurate, lively and well defined.
(I will tend to compair these speakers to the Klipschs often b/c of how much I listened to these to systems side by side with the same music)
I would have to say that the MM-2000's 'sweet spot' is still its high-mids and highs! If this is the spike you are talking about (which I kinda like) then yes, it still exists.
This is a lot of $$$ to lay down for PC audio and I don't want to tell you something I think doesn't exist but you find out later (if you ended up owning a set) does exist. Especially, if its a problem you couldn't live with in your speakers.
No, the directionality is not as bad with all 4 speakers on! By the way, this brings me to another point. Klipschs playing music through all four speakers sounds muddier and muddier the loud the rear speakers are set. The MM-2000s sound louder and just as good with all four speakers playing music. I have no idea why this is!
The soundblaster Live has a option in is CD player for 'Movie Mode'. I have a 20 bit CD of Gustav Mahler's 5th Symphony where the conductor gives commentary through parts of the music in the second CD in the set. The movie mode is not the best for music listening but when the conductor speaks the phatom center it creates is unbelievable!!! The orchestra is all around you and then he speaks in perfect center of the front tow speakers! My old Altec Lancings and friends Klipschs with the same soundcard did a very poor performace of this when tried on them.
I would say you need to do what ever you can to listen to thes speakers first before buying b/c of the concerns you have. Other wise, if $$$ is no object go with Highlander and get a set of Vidiologics Crossfires!!!
Brad
Yes, I would like to talk with you (Roj) about the soundcards off-line.
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Roj Jun 26, 01
Brad:

Never heard of the no $$$ rule before but mine are missing too so go figure...

Don't get me wrong - I own a set of Monsoon MH-500s and love the clarity. I just didn't get the same sound at all with the 1000 and 700 models. from how you describe the sound of the mids on the 2000 models, they're more in keeping with what I've come to appreciate rather than what the 1000 and 700 models had. Those models had something of a gap between the highs and the lows that the 2000s aparrently don't have to hear you describe them.

And yes, you'll want to talk to me offline on the subject of sound cards, especially with these speakers - CL's entire audio card lineup 9and their speakers lineup too), is *junk*, bar none, as far as I'm concerned.

Buzz me at rojramsey@hotmail.com.
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