Mark & Daniel Maximus Monitor + speakers review


Present market is fulfilled by the vast offering of loudspeakers of all sizes. Its not anymore easy to stand out of the crowd these days. Without making something special or of continuing nature, there is little chance to succeed in captivating the hearths and ears or audiophiles and music lovers. 

Mark & Daniel haven’t seen much of the European coverage lately. This is why we agreed to schedule for a test and review at Mono & Stereo. Few weeks passed and the new pair of Mark & Daniel Maximus speakers hit the shores of Adriatic sea for in depth listenings. 

Mark & Daniel are no new comers. They’ve been around for quite some time on the high-end audio scene. To be exact more then decade starting with their venture in 2004. They specialised in R & D of sound drivers, speaker systems and CAM solid surfacing applications. This give them clear advantage with the designing the systems capable of true hi-fi reproduction. They set the goal elaborately work on these usual speakers disadvantages:


1) Too narrow an operating bandwidth for tweeters;
2) Insufficient driving dynamics to woofers;
3) Lack of FMD control degrades sound clarity.

Mark & Daniel shows quite a complexity in their approach. This will reveal further in the next paragraph. To put it shortly and sum up. They took the time to implement real know how and technical advantages into a prosperous design.

MEET THE MAXIMUS


Mark & Daniel Maximus Monitor + speakers represent the premium Plus(+) series product line and unveil the interesting concept with quite few of their own special twists. 

“The Maximus-Monitor (for vertical placement) and Maximus-Monitor(H) (for horizontal placement) sound systems are mainly designed to meet the critical requirements for the both Pro Audios and Home Hi-Fi applications satisfaction.”


They are reaching for the best possible result in both pro and high-end audio. Combined research and workable solutions cross graded into both design. Let us see whats lurk in the uniqueness of Maximum.

“Only one-half thickness over the conventional substarte materials, a 0.0125mm super-thin polyamide (Kapton) as new diaphragm’s substrate has been successfully crafted to consititute the DM-1a Dreams AMT driver. Due to the lighter moving mass of ribbons to Dreams-a diaphragm, HF response (from the original 22KHz up to 25KHz), transit response, and detailing resolution may further be improved; on the other hand, this substrate with higher compliance to the pleated diaphragm has also significantly extended the low-end frequency response of Dreams one step down; the two-way crossover point has been dropped from the original 800Hz down to lower than 700Hz! Ranged from 700Hz up to 25KHz, amazingly for over 5-octave wide band reproduction has been achieved by this single DM-1-a driver on Maximus-Monitor+ speaker!”


This was effectively proven on the first note strike. The intricate lightness radiated through the room energising all the little nuances of music. These is where real lightness makes sense and rejuvenate the real experiences of live music. Music in real is always full of life and stressless attributes. And the absence of typical tweeter compression artefacts is something, that only ribbons manage to convey so vividly and full of life. 


We can easily dive into the lightness and lushness of the highs. Yet, without the proper matching of the mids and lower frequencies talking about single frequency spectrum feels and reads more like vapour ware rather then resulting in something complete. Mark & Daniel team pushed things further. Not only with the ribbon, but also with their woofer driver. Again not in the pursue of something solitude standing, but to match the uniqueness and high-performance of Maximus Monitor + tweeter. Jointed, harmonious affect. Mark & Daniel elaborates:

“On the other hand to the new 6.5” SX woofer with M&D’s uniquely QMA (Quantified Magnets Alignment) design, having definite unparalleled ±12.5mm (1”) Xmax excursion, the SX6.5q-1.0 woofer has been assembled onto Maximus-Monitor+ speaker; a stunning deep bass reproduction on amplitude (under very high SPL output), frequency (for system F3 down to an amazing 38Hz), and full Q-control (along with the complete excursion range) have been optimised.”


Nothing float seamlessly without matching crossover and better to say crossover point. Without the liquidity of transitional frequency blend, there is no way to reproduce music with the wholeness that we’re experience in person when music manifests. Mark & Daniel have enrolled another set of their outtakes in approaching this problematic point:


“Uniquely low 700Hz crossover point on this two-way bookshelf speaker is not only further apart from the most sensitive (800Hz-4KHz) mid-frequency range for human ears, but also significantly helps for a low FMD (Frequency Modulation Distortion) reproduction to the incorporated SX woofer.”


Joining everything into a working concept sounds like an instant thing on the paper. When needed to make it as working product things can quickly go south. Achieving the wholeness and absence of frequency bumps is thing of expertise, know how and proper acoustical and electronic design. This is where Mark & Daniel have something practically to show. Music feels like a thing of real world and not something coming from some distant unknown world. 

AT WORK 


Maximus-Monitor+ with it 36.5cm are not small speakers and as such reflects the music more fully and controlled as typical bookshelf and monitors. Unique reinforced marble compound enclosure works great as both aesthetically pleasing and as resonance absorbers as unique diamond shaped front panel helps with the minimising of the first diffraction. 


Each speaker spots hefty 15.3 Kg and feels both sturdy and solid. Clever use of shape and materials forms a chassis, that can project more elaborated reproduction, then most similarly sized monitors.  

Mark & Daniel Maximus Monitor + speakers needs at least 100 Watts output power per channel and combining them with Analog Domain Isis integrated amplifier resulted in a harmonious and well balanced system. Isis carries great ability to drive most of the speakers with ease and iron grip. It literally grabbed Maximus guts and drive them continuously. 

With stated 85dB/2.83V/1m Maximus demands a solid partnered amplifier to truly disappear into the space. When matched correctly it will shine with great soundstage and transparency. 


Maximus Monitor + speakers design choices concluded in a mature refined speakers, that with its monitor heritage operate closely to the music as it was meant to be heard. Direct and intimate. 

MUSIC


However good, great, simple, exotic, esoteric or whatever kind of speaker design approach might be it always comes down to one and only thing. Music reproduction as it best. Any speaker should reproduce the music at some level to fall into hi-fi or high-end labeling. 

Maximus Monitor + captivating lightness and midrange intimacy quickly pushes away any mind reservation anyone might have regarding the “monitor” approach. For me great monitor speaker would more often then not comes before mediocre, poorly designed florstander. Any sadly there is to many of them on the market. Don’t get me wrong. It goes the same for the many monitors, but with floorstanders things can go wrong even more quickly. 


Maximus Monitor + speakers showed a fixed universal language with the reproduction across all the genres. Let it be Bjork or Strauss, Leonard Cohen or Suzanne Vega. Time just flied away. These speakers do have the ability to reply emotions and evoke emotions. 

Maximus managed to portrait the music very well in smaller rooms and using the gold triangle positioning. This setting opens up direct and emotional exchange with musical material. Large environments will of course need more work with acoustical treatments to show this speakers best. Still, when used in closed monitoring listening distance they’ll keep a lot of energy transfer intact. 


I liked a lot the share directness of music coming out of Maxiumus. They managed to keep a lot of happening in the positive spectre and most importantly music enriched. 

CONCLUSION:


Mark & Daniel Maximus Monitor + speakers showed much much more effectiveness then expected. Their performance will be at large dependable on the power or integrated amplifier being used with them. Powerful and potent push pull tube amplifier like Trafomatic Audio EOS integrated amp will save glory of the tube camp. This amplifier drove them with ease and control. Forget SET amps or valve amplifiers of + -30 watts. These speakers needs power and authority to shine. 


With solid state amplifiers things are quickly more controlled and feasible. The musical grip is almost instantly easier being locked via solid state. Here the better amp power you threw at Maxiums the better they react and reflect the music. They do have the ability to reflects the amplifier quality almost instantly.

Aesthetically pleasant white marble like effect gives a certain elegancy and diamond shape front panel adds on to the sophistication of more complex contemporary white curves. They do blend with modern lifestyle urges. 

Maximus Monitor + speakers are priced very reasonably. Don’t get fooled with any quick conclusions regarding their performance from their given price. They stand out on their own and offer unique performance even with entry level solid state amplifiers. Pair them with the upper class amplifier and they will truly fly. So, even if you’re pairing them with more entry level amplifier you’ll keep your investment safe and ensured more elaborated performance in future when you’ll upgrade. 


While one cannot expect the full potential of the floorstanders, Maxiums Monitor + do come close in some respects. Especially in smaller or let me say normally sized living rooms. In larger spaces and for more bass driven minds there is always a choice of adding the subwoofer as seen in more and more setups. Still, for normal listening room Maximus Monitor + will work greatly and ignite the music powerfully and involving. 

TECHNICAL 


Reference Price: US$3,800/pair, for standard colors
Standard Colors: 
- Solid White (Code: MD1002)
- Starry Black (Code: MD1423) * Special colors are under request
Frequency Response: 8Hz-25KHz
Two-way Crossover: 700Hz
Nominal Impedance: 3-6 Ohms
Average Efficiency: 85dB/2.83V/1m
Power Handling: 100 Watts
Enclosure Material: CAM solid surfacing
Overall Size: H36.5 x W21.6 xD28.5 cm, H14.4”xW8.5”xD11.2”
Weight (each): 15.3 Kg (34 lb)

Mark & Daniel Audio Labs of North America
3849 E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 237 
Tucson, AZ 85716, U.S.A. 
Tel: 520-780-0987
Toll Free: 888-538-4188

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