Face Off: Sub-$1,000 Subwoofers M&K V-1250THX

M&K V-1250THX
Several months ago, M&K released the first THX Select speaker ensemble. Many of you may remember reading my exclusive review of this amazing budget-minded system (February 2000). If the M&K V-1250THX subwoofer looks familiar, it should. It's the same subwoofer sold with the 750THX ensemble.

The V-1250THX offers little to speak of when it comes to the design. Essentially, it's a square acoustic-suspension (sealed) enclosure with a convex, perforated metal grille that adds a bit of shape. Because the grille doesn't resonate, it's one of my personal favorites, design-wise. It's also an effective deterrent to untrained house cats (think of it as the scratching post from hell). The place where the grille attaches to the woofer is rather fragile and not up to par with the overall build quality.

The M&K also uses MDF covered in black lacquer. Inside, the enclosure offers more than adequate internal bracing to inhibit loss due to cavity flex. The 12-inch frontward-firing woofer is powered by an internal 150-watt amplifier. The rear panel features a 0- to 180-degree phase switch and a variable output control with 0-dB, +3-dB, and "Reference" markings. The output can also be fixed at the THX reference level. There are low-level inputs only, although a toggle switch activates or bypasses the internal 80-Hz/24-dB-per-octave low-pass filter. Senior technical editor Mike Wood pointed out that, even though this may seem restrictive, the ability to bypass the sub's crossover can be especially beneficial if your surround processor doesn't offer a nonfiltered (aka full-range) signal. Cascading crossovers, or using one in the processor and one in the sub, can lower output significantly.

M&K V-1250THX:
• THX-certified for 2,000-cubic-foot rooms
• Classic design
• Quality 12-inch woofer
• Stylish appearance

HT Labs Measures: M&K V-1250THX

Close-miked response of the V-1250THX subwoofer indicates that the lower - 3dB point is at 43 hertz, the - 6dB point is at 32 Hz, and the upper - 3dB point is at 172 Hz in THX mode.— AJ