This year with a sale on the M & D Maximus Ruby and Topaz at the aforementioned website I decided to take the plunge. I have never ever bought a pair of speakers without auditioning them first but the opportunity was there and I had the cash! What the heck I thought. I could always resell them on ebay if I disliked the sound!
I ordered the most efficient model in the range which is the Topaz. The next models in the lineup being the Ruby, Sapphire and the Monitor, the top model. The standard finish is in white but I decided to go for the black at a small additional cost.
The speakers arrived by courier one morning in a rather plain looking cardboard carton with Mark and Daniel tape all over it. It didn't look too promising but when I took the speakers out of the box I was immediately struck by the quality of craftmanship I was looking at. These speakers only measure 30cm (h) x 17cm (w) x 21.5cm (d) but weigh in at around 8.5 kg each! You really do feel like you are handling solid pieces of carved marble even though it is a marble compound.
The next step was the most important. Hooking them up to my system to hear how they sounded. I was absolutely amazed! The bass these babies produce is astonishing. With great articulation and the most punch I have ever heard from a bookshelf speaker. Transparency levels were almost on par with my ATCs whilst the treble though well extended was not at all fatiging after several hours of listening. I should mention that in my setup the speakers are in a small room about 3mx4m in size so the natural room boundaries would of course add to the scale of any speaker.
Comparing the Topaz with my other speakers was part of the fun too! These are the ATCs of course, a pair of cherished Quad 11Ls and Mission 782 floorstanders. Although a fantastic speaker, the Quads were clearly in a lower class to the Topazs. I would say the Quads have a nice rich, detailed sound that hardens when the volume is pushed. But with nowhere near the bass extension and overall scale of sound of the tiny Topazs. The ATCs had a more neutral if less 'exciting sound' but won out in ultimate transparency. The Topazs seemed to dig deeper in the bass department but the ATCs had the more natural, unforced sound with more scale. The attached image does show the size discrepancies between the two though! Finally the Mission 782s which have been with me for many years sounded a little slow and unexciting to my ears after listening to the Topazs. Amazingly the bass extension of the Topaz was similar to the Missions! I should mention that when the volume was raised the Topazs showed no signs of stress at all. Everything I had read about this speaker in the '6Moons' review seemed to be spot on in my opinion.
These speakers were powered by a 250W per channel power amp by Krell. The Topaz is only rated at 60W output so would probably be a better match with a lesser amp of around 50Wpc or so. The higher models in the M&D range are less sensitive so would suit my amp better. They are also claimed to offer superior sound to the Topazs. More alarm bells going off now with the upgrade bug in sight again!
I just want to mention that I am not in the audio industry or affiliated with any of these companies. Just a keen audio enthusiast who just loves to mix and match audio equipment whenever funds allow! Thought it would be interesting to share my experiences with everyone out there. Certainly if anyone has experienced the relatively new M&D speaker range it would be great to hear your thoughts.
Happy listening everyone! And enjoy the music!