“I first heard the Polymer Audio Research MKS-X ($60k) at Newport Beach 2014 and was blown away by the depth of the soundstage. Of any point-source speaker I’ve heard, the MKS-X has the deepest soundstage, and some of the best separation at any price point.”
Spencer Holbert, Absolute Sound
“Wow, this was one of the most riveting demos I heard at the show! The violin tone was perfect and the full power and drama of this performance was laid out in a beautifully transparent soundstage. Without a doubt, this was the best I had ever heard Scheherazade sound.”
Steve Marsh, 6moons.com
“This may have been one of the most impressive sounding systems I’ve ever heard at any show. The soundstage appeared far larger than the boundaries of the room and the instruments had weight and realism. Imaging was spectacular and what this system did for live recordings had to be heard to be believed. Not only did hearing this system put me back into a good frame of mind for the rest of the show, but it was without doubt, the best sound I heard all weekend.”
Dave Thomas, Stereo Times
“While only my second time with the Polymers, I am a smitten reviewer. The Poly’s had no business sounding as good as they did due to a disastrous ballroom with no real left hand wall and a mirrored right hand wall. Somehow by Sunday afternoon the room operators had coaxed out that signature Poly sound; astounding ease and naturalness combined with exemplary tone with seemingly invisible cabinets.”
Peter Breuninger, AV Showrooms
Best Sound again at Newport
Best Sound (cost no object): A tie between the MBL X-Treme and the Polymer/FM Acoustics systems.
“Despite the gray sound that characterized most of the Hilton’s ballrooms, and what may very well be their tendency to over-emphasize the midrange, the Polymers threw a wonderful, big soundstage. Myung Whun Chung’s piano sounded all of one piece on his new recording for ECM New Series, which, having played this CD on multiple systems at T.H.E. Show, I consider no small achievement. There was also really nice dimensionality on a cut by Ben Webster.”
Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile
“Finally, I heard the Polymer MKS-X speakers. I didn’t expect to like them – their ads are all about how “high tech” the speakers are with diamond tweeters and diamond midrange. I believe that excellent sounding speakers don’t necessarily require “exotic” materials. And I thought it kind of cheesy that they tried to attract attention to their room with two tall/slender attractive women in slinky dresses -kind of like at the auto shows. But this may have been the best sound I heard at the show, what can I say, the speakers sounded very natural and lifelike.”
“All told, by the 3rd day the sound was getting quite listenable, and, the somewhat contrived playlist not withstanding, for my money this was the best sound from a box speaker at the show…We are comparing the Polymer to the $350K Marten Coltrane Supreme I speakers. Although we heard the $500K Supreme II speakers the next day after we heard these Polymer speakers, the Supreme II speakers were not at their best – they were in an un-optimized system driven by amps of unknown capabilities (the hot off the press Berning amps launched at the Munich show…Contrary to what one might think, the Polymer has a gutsier, somewhat less controlled bass and the Marten Supreme I a very controlled, almost subtle bass that merges with the rest of the music almost invisibly.I think the differences may narrow over time, with break-in of the MKS-X speakers and playing them in a real room with solid walls. Although the advantages of a speaker with well-executed active woofers like the Supreme I is hard to beat, the newer Supreme II speakers are, similar to the Polymer, 100% passive.The MKS-X is woefully under-priced [like the PranaFidelity speakers]. They say they are not making any money on these. I can almost believe it given the price of those diamond midrange drivers. Given what I heard and what I know of the high-end speaker market, these should go for around $120K+…”
Michael Davis, Audio Federation
Spencer Holbert, Absolute Sound
Frank Berryman, Ultra High End Review
“I’m going to start with what was unquestionably the most intriguing product intro at AXPONA Chicago 2014—the $60k Polymer Audio Research MKSX four-way floorstander…were unquestionably the most neutral and transparent speakers on display. Here is a multiway that will make transparency-to-sources listeners swoon: ultra-refined, ultra-high-resolution, with very very lifelike timbre, texture, and dynamics on first-rate recordings, and a “disappearing act” (and soundstage) for the ages.”
Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound
“The Polymer MKS-X Speaker is a peerless transducer. In my long experience in audio I have owned many highly touted speakers. Their limitations have been the source of considerable dissatisfaction. Many superior aspects of speaker design and performance separate the achievement of Polymer Audio from the highly publicized pack of expensive indulgences.
The MKS-X Speaker reproduces the content of recorded music with greater accuracy than I thought was possible from electrostatics, ribbons, horns or dynamic speakers. Timbral differences, precise attacks and decays, the substantial quality of every note, the recording venue and sound staging without artifacts of noise and ringing are clearly manifest. Nuances barely hinted at from other speakers emerge with extraordinary definition. On organ recordings that I have made with a Nagra D Recorder and Neumann Microphones, pedal notes are reproduced with floor shaking impact.
The integration of drivers is exemplary. Distortion from the breakup of cones in loud orchestral passages is non-existent. The diamond tweeter of the MKS-X creates a naturalness in its extended range that cannot be matched by the artificiality of plasma types.
The purity noted in many comments about these speakers is the result of the incredible structure of their cabinets and the choice of the finest materials welded into a meticulously constructed and pleasing shape. The relatively small size of the MKS-X belies its astonishing capabilities. It is a speaker that elevates sound reproduction to a level beyond that of the current crop of well-intentioned efforts.”
George Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning composer & pianist
“For shear naturalness, the Polymer Audio Research room was not to be beat. If you value non fatiguing detail this was the room for you.”
Peter Breuninger, AV Showrooms
“To say that tongues were wagging about this room was a bit of an understatement…As for the sound quality in the room, I think there was a lot to love. To be amazed and thrilled by, even.”
Scot Hull, Confessions of a Part Time Audiophile
See and hear Polymer Audio with FM Acoustics at AXPONA in April. This system will demonstrate performance that will challenge your beliefs about what is possible in music reproduction. Near or far, it’s worth the trip.
” The Polymer Audio Research Master speakers that I heard very recently were absolutely amazing. To hear such transparency and resolution without any added brightness was truly a delight. Whether it was the pure diamond tweeters and pure diamond mid-range drivers, or the extreme structural rigidity (Magico, YG, Wilson, etc. take note), or the combination of the two (plus a fanatical attention to every detail of speaker design including cross-overs), vocals had a palpable presence. As good as the $55k Soulution power amplifier utilized by the extremely personable head/chief designer of Polymer Audio Research Daniel Khesin was, changing to my own all-tube VAC PA 100/100 (originally priced at about $5k – upgraded to almost the VAC Phi 200 power amplifier level by owner/chief designer Kevin Hayes and head technician Brent Meyer of VAC) was a revelation.
Even with only 100 watts tube power, the Masters never sounded compressed, no matter how loud the volume. Low-level listening levels were also just as engaging. With the VAC amp, the already palpable presence increased even more, with a you-are-there, live quality, especially with the on-location recordings, including a live recording of the Americana/Blue Grass husband and wife duo The Honey Dewdrops, for which I was actually present and assisted with the PA sound, utilizing condenser microphones and the self-powered Mackie SRM 450 PA loudspeakers.
Both Michael Rabin’s (from his 1958 rendition of Paganini) and Vadim Gluzman’s (from his Tchaikovsky – Glazunov Violin Concertos with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Litton) violins were incredibly natural, smooth, and again, free of any added brightness or grain whatsoever. Tori Amos’ piano and vocals (from Boys For Pele) were “in-the-room” real, as were the vocals of Eva Cassidy’s “Fields of Gold” from her “Live At Blues Alley”. The usual suspects such as Rickie Lee Jones’ cover of Steely Dan’s “Show Biz Kids” from her album “It’s Like This”, Nils Lofgren’s “Keith Don’t Go” from his album “Acoustic Live”, and Bela Fleck’s “Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo” sounded extraordinary. Peter Gabriel’s “Solisbury Hill” and “Don’t Give Up” (with Kate Bush) sounded the best that I ever have heard, as well as my old standby, Pat Metheny’s “Facing West” from his “Secret Story” album. Even the MP3 saxophone piece at the sampling rate of 128k that Daniel played for me, sounded like a high-res recording!
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that these were one of, if not the most, emotionally engaging and least fatiguing loudspeakers to which I have ever had the pleasure of listening. You owe it to yourself to audition these just to see what is possible with the state-of-the-art in speaker design. ”
Always Musically Yours,
Jeff Cantor, President
The Sarasota Audiophile Society
“The Polymer Audio MKS loudspeakers were just stunning, both their engineering and their sonics. They were completely transparent, and had the power to render complex symphonies with ease in my large room. I never heard the slightest bit of distortion. They were simply a joy to have in my system. Magico & YG should beware, Polymer may well beat them at their own game.” – Bob Walters, President, Bay Area Audiophile Society (BAAS)
“Dear Sirs, Please accept my thanks for presenting the demonstration of the Polymer MKS speakers today in San Diego. I am a retired professor of music (San Diego State University / 1964-2005), at the same time a professional musician in the San Diego area (SD Symphony & Opera / Broadway shows / Jazz-Big band drummer), and conductor of American-composer Harry Partch’s music on CBS/Sony and other record companies. I became involved in high-end audio approximately 12 or so years ago, and this experience was/is a revelation for my audio sensibilities. I listen to audio reproduction from the standpoint of a musician listening to a live performance of music, as well as the engineering of the recording itself, plus the rendering of the audio by the electronic reproductive components themselves and the ability of that system to render a “you are there” facsimile of the recording. I do not audition audio systems from the standpoint of an audio designer or engineer. I suspect such a person listens with much more acuity than myself to the acoustic/electronic acuity of the product being auditioned, and the performance of the music itself a secondary matter. It is my conviction that symphonic music recorded in an ideal acoustic performance environment presents the best testing material for audio systems, as well as classical piano music, classical vocalists w/piano accompaniment, or pop-jazz singers w/small ensemble acoustic accompaniment. In regards to the P-MKS’s (from my particular and possibly somewhat limited viewpoint)–they were: a) very, very natural sounding with a super-wide sound stage; b) easy and relaxing to listen to; c) the highs and mids were very crisp with excellent audio definition; d) the lows on the symphonic material was very natural sounding, but somewhat “thumpy” on some of the pop examples; e) one did not notice the sound coming from the speakers themselves, but naturally existing in the room–a basic test of all audio systems. I am positive I could listen to these speakers for extended periods, and not attempt to escape from the listening environment.” – Danlee Mitchell, Professor Emeritus of Music (http://music.sdsu.edu/newsite/index.php/faculty_bios/mitchell)
“The affable Daniel Khesin demoed his Polymer MKS speakers for about 45 members of the San Diego Music and Audio Guild on May 12, 2013 in a large domestic space of about 1100 sq. ft. located on the Pacific coast. Were I running a sound studio, I’d specify these speakers for every mixing board. Their resolution, transient response, lack of distortion and linearity were as good as anything I’ve heard at the CES in the past decade, maybe better. Piano sounded as corporeal as I’ve heard it reproduced, voices were palpable and large orchestras were substantial. The bottom 1/2 octave was missing on organ recordings and soundstaging was compromised by Dan’s desire to accommodate a large group spread out over a wide area. I suspect both these problems could be resolved in a conventional acoustic space. These very fine transducers should be priced in the same range as the top end Magicos and YGs, but they list for half that at about $40,000.” – B. Jan “Montana” President, San Diego Music and Audio Guild