Miller & Kreisel 850 Series Page 2
I promised editor Maureen Jenson that I would use a different SACD demo disc, but what can I say—it didn't happen. The last track on the Film Music of Jerry Goldsmith SACD is called "The Generals." It's my favorite orchestral demo, as it sounds good when played loud and features a full orchestra mixed for 5.1 channels. Through lesser speaker systems at a good volume, the orchestra can get compressed and muddled. Not so with the 850 system. Even at a high decibel level, I could still distinguish the individual instruments. This is especially impressive with the LCR850 center, which sounds quite good for its size. I've heard other center channels this size fall apart on this track.
On to movies. John Woo's Windtalkers is a flawed movie with some great action scenes. Chapter 9 marks the beginning of the film's best action sequence. You name it, it's here: gunfire, explosions, airplanes, artillery, music, shouting, and flamethrowers. In this scene, the system's forwardness was a plus. The urgency that I didn't like with music made for a more-engrossing experience with movies. The action was just a little more interesting; the suspense kept you a little more on edge. It's great when you can find a set of speakers that adds this much to a movie. I found myself drawn into movies that I've seen dozens of times—now that's impressive.
U-571 had the same outcome. In chapter 8, the good guys take over the bad guys' sub. The gunfire was gripping and exciting through the 850 system. This movie has never really pulled me in, even when I first saw it in the theater. Watching it with the 850 system (which must've been the twentieth time I've seen it), I was actually interested in what was going on, not just listening to it for review purposes. Chapter 15, in which the sub gets depth-charged, again revealed that the subwoofer does not go very deep. It pumps out and keeps up in the frequencies that it's capable of, but it doesn't give off the rumble that large subs do.
So, what does this mean overall? Well, the 850 ensemble wouldn't be my first pick for music. I prefer a more-laid-back, almost mellow speaker for music, and the LCR850 definitely isn't that. On the other hand, movies made this system shine. The 850 raised the excitement level of each movie I watched a notch, and that's not something that I can overstate. After all, adding to the experience is what surround sound is about, right?
For aesthetic purposes, you should definitely consider adding the matching stands ($799/pair). If the attractive light-maple finish doesn't fit your décor, the 850 is also available in medium cherry (again, cherry the wood doesn't really look like cherry the fruit). If movies are your thing, M&K's 850 system is worth an audition.
• Excellent performance with movies
• Attractive finish
• Matched all around
LCR850 Speaker $999/pair
LCR850 Center-Channel Speaker $499
LCR650 Speaker $799/pair
V850 Subwoofer $1,199