Polymer's Major Statement

"Whatever you do, don't miss the speaker company around the corner at the end of the third floor," a dealer who had no connection with the room selflessly told me. "The sound is terrific." Thus I scurried along to the exhibit sponsored by Audio Limits of Colorado Springs and Polymer Audio Research of Florida. There I encountered the new, eye-catching Polymer MKS-X loudspeaker system ($60,000/pair), whose 365 lb loudspeakers boast a pure-diamond, acoustic-suspension tweeter and midrange, plus two 6.5" composite-cone, rear-ported woofers connected in parallel. The pure diamond cones handle all frequencies above 700Hz.

Acoustic designer and new father Daniel Khesin told me that the front cabinet of the Polymer MKS is composed of an alloy that is 4.5 times stiffer than aluminum. The baffle alone weighs 130 lbs, and is part of a cabinet whose striking geometry is intended to diffract sound. Sensitivity is 87dB, nominal impedance 4 ohms, and the claimed in-room frequency response 30Hz–70kHz, ±3dB.

Paired with a Weiss Man301 music archive network player ($9083 without DAC), Thrax Maximum 32/384 DAC ($33,000), FM Acoustics' Resolution Series 245 preamplifier ($20,000 range) and Resolution Series 115 monoblock amplifiers ($130,000/pair), FM Acoustics cables, and Enklein power cords, the system's midrange was exceptionally warm. After noting (without tipping my hand) that the bass response on an otherwise extremely beautiful depiction of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's voice was exaggerated, with lower pitched instruments unnaturally dominating those higher up, I asked Daniel if he was happy with the sound he was getting in the room.

After some hesitation, he carefully stated, "Perhaps the bass calls more attention to itself than we'd like." All of which left me extremely eager to hear these speakers again, in another environment, when they arrive at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach at the end of May.

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COMMENTS
Pro-Audio-Tech's picture

These smallish speakers were just awesome sounding, they played way beyond their size. At $60K not cheap and at that price they have incredible competition, but they sure sounded exciting!

Utopianemo's picture

When I was little, my parents used to give me the "starving children in Africa" bit when I didn't want to eat my dinner.  I wonder how many African kids could eat for the price of this system.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Thank you. Of course, your comment could just as easily apply to a goodly amount of other equipment at the show, or fancy cars, or the cost of a modest home in the Bay Area, or... The world is greatly out of balance, and the gap between the haves and have nots constantly widens.

I wonder if your parents might now say, "Given the inflation rate, do you know that someone who receives minimum wage in the U.S. today can actually buy less than they could with the minimum wage in 1968? Do you also know that the U.S. has intentionally set the poverty rate much too low, because the real figures would prove a national disgrace? Do you know how many American children and homeless people could eat for the price of this system?"

jason

Hifibill's picture

This is an interesting subject. It seems many people miss the point entirely. Do you have any idea how many hard working people work at the Ferrari factory who take pride in their craftsmanship and who also put food on the table for their families? The only way to reduce poverty is to actually encourage rich people to buy these types of products. As the saying goes, if you give the money away you feed a poor man once, put if you teach him how to fish...

So what do you think will happen to all those workers if suddenly everyone followed the advice of boycotting luxury products? And even if they found an alternate job at the Honda factory could they ever be happy doing robotic tasks compared to the very skilled craftsmanship they performed at Ferrari?

 

The same goes for the components that make part of this system. It is better to spend the money buying these products and keep the skilled workers at these factories employed then send cash to charity never sold these problems and never will.

 

Hifibill's picture

It is interesting how people think that these luxury products are ridiculous excess when it is precisely the people who sell cheap products to the masses who are stuffing their pockets while the owner of FM Acoustics might be struggling and is clearly doing it out of passion. Who is the richest family in the world? The Walton's, the family behind Walmart and they sell cheap crap all day long.

So you boycotted the expensive system and the already struggling people struggle more and stuffed the pockets of the mass producers who have done nothing for the starving people in Africa.

Krolo Design's picture

Most audio companies that thrive in this industry are based largely on their passion and quest for building products with high standards. 

Unfortunately, some times there are some companies that get overlooked for products that do not seem directly linked to sound quality.  Audio racks have not been the topic of choice, and this is quite evident for the "Tomo Rack" which was displayed in the Polymer room but failed to get any mention.  Did anyone ever think that the sound quality that was being exhuded from the audio equipment could have been contributed to the rack that they were on?  Audio racks do play an important part and this is clearly articulated in the Home Theatre review by Terry London.   

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I no longer have the list from the Polymer room, but, FYI, it listed the wrong speaker model. The AXPONA booklet also listed an outdated email address. Without running to the recycling bin, I cannot confirm, but it's quite possible that the rack wasn't on there. If it was, my omission was clearly a major error, for which I apologize profusely.

I totally agree with this post. The lack of a good rack has been holding my own reference system back. Thank goodness, I have excellent equipment supports from Nordost and Magico that have gone a long way toward generating the wonderful sound I've been getting from dCS, Pass Labs, Wilson, Nordost, and Synergistic components, cabling, and tweaks. Regardless, after we move to a new home, I intend to set up my reference system with at least one excellent Grand Prix Monaco rack, and reserve my Michael Green Just-a-Rack, which is, when all is said and done, just a rack, to either components of secondary importance, or to Audiogon. 

Mixmastered Acousics's picture

Mixmastered Acoustics was honored to work with the professional and friendly Polymer team at the 2014 show. We were very impressed with what we heard from you guys and look forward to seeing you again! Best of luck to Polymer...

Dan and the Mixmastered Acoustics Crew

[ http://MixmasteredAcoustics.com ]

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