Krix shrinks its wall of sound

Krix first released the Series MX modular screen speaker systems in late 2015, as easy-to-install modular systems designed to be placed behind an acoustically transparent screen. They take many of the principles used in large commercial cinemas and apply them to a residential space.

The first two Series MX solutions were the MX-20 and MX-30. Their combination of LCR and dual subwoofer modules into easily-installed screen speaker systems have become extremely popular, and have inevitably been nicknamed Krix’s “wall of sound”.

The MX-20 is designed for rooms around four to seven metres in length, while the MX-30 is designed for rooms from five to 14 metres in length.

But could this solution work in smaller spaces? “After many requests from dealers and end-users”, says Krix, it is proud to release the new and smaller MX-5 and MX-10 modular screen speaker systems.

The MX-5 is designed to deliver optimal performance in rooms of 15m2 to 25m2, with a minimum screen size of 92-inch 16:9 ratio or 90-inch 21:9.

In the MX-5 the main speakers feature a 205mm mid-bass driver which has a 38mm voice coil wound on a high-powered aluminium former. The high frequency drive units are damped, high power, 26mm doped fabric dome tweeters, coupled with a proprietary Krix waveguide for optimum dispersion over the entire working bandwidth.

The MX-5 subwoofer units feature 275mm (11-inch) drivers with 50mm edge-wound copper voice coil, dual spider assembly, and vented magnet assembly.

The MX-10 is aimed at mid-size rooms of 25m2 to 35m2. The main speakers feature the same 26mm doped fabric dome tweeters with a larger 255mm bass-mid driver with a 50mm voice coil, and the sub modules are larger too, using a large 305mm paper cone driver with a 50mm long-throw voice coil developed for high level low frequency reinforcement.

Pricing is $7995 for the MX-5, $9995 for the MX-10 (see below for full details).

Slim & simple
Fundamental to the Series MX concept is making the design of the front false wall less complicated. The ‘false wall’ of the Series MX is built with a single large rectangular cavity, for which Krix has created an easy-to-fit modular speaker system with five cabinets, all the same height and depth — three speakers for LCR (left, centre, right) plus two subwoofers. Krix also has spacer modules available for extending the soundstage to suit wider screen installations. The systems include acoustically treated front panels which provide a similar benefit to the infinite baffle wall which Scott Krix pioneered for use in commercial cinema installations.

The slim depth of the modules means that minimal space is taken up in the room compared to typical behind-screen installations. The MX-5 has a depth of only 190mm, while the MX-10 depth is 205mm. Both models use passive subwoofers to ensure that nothing serviceable is located behind the screen.

An installation by West Coast Hi-Fi Midland showing the original behind-screen Krix MX-30 solution in place.

Creating the wall of sound
The idea for the MX series came about, we are told, in a conversation between Scott Krix, founder of Krix Loudspeakers in South Australia, and Don MacKenzie, Krix’s National Sales Manager. They were discussing the issues of integrating a high-end home cinema into the modern Australian home (over a couple of bottles of McLaren Vale reds, we gather).

Scott Krix has been designing and installing audio systems for commercial cinemas throughout Australia and overseas since the early 1980s, and today Krix speaker systems are featured in more than 3000 commercial cinemas worldwide. He was bemoaning the fact that most home cinemas being installed today didn’t reproduce the overall experience or impact that a properly designed and calibrated commercial cinema does. In fact, most home cinemas were planned more on looks and budget rather than focusing the design on the overall experience and performance the end user desires — or would desire, were it known.

Don was able to add the view of audio-visual integrators, having had more than 30 years’ experience in that role, designing and installing home cinema systems in the residential market. So he knows the difficulties involved in working with the various trades — builders, cabinet makers and interior designers — as well as how costs can often increase, and compromises get made, especially when you are hiding the front main speakers and subwoofers behind an acoustic transparent screen, so all that you see is a stunning image rather than a stack of speaker boxes.

Scott and Don discussed possible solutions to these problems, and as the red wine flowed, they came up with the Series MX concept for home cinema screen speaker systems.

The whole concept of a full-size false wall is one that was pioneered in commercial cinema by Scott Krix. He solved a lot of the acoustic issues in commercial cinemas by developing a floor-to-ceiling full-width wall behind the screen, into which speakers and subwoofers were flush mounted.

The wall was then covered by acoustic absorbent material to reduce reflected sound interfering with the direct sound from the speakers. This idea dramatically improved the clarity and intelligibility of audio in the cinema.

It became known as the “infinite baffle wall” and is now used in a large percentage of commercial cinemas worldwide. It’s this ‘infinite baffle wall’ that forms the basis for the design of the Series MX systems.

In a similar way the front face of the speaker cabinets in the Series MX are covered with acoustic absorbent material to reduce unwanted reflections. The five speaker cabinets are installed in the rectangular cavity with the front baffle level with the false wall to replicate the “infinite baffle wall” that Krix incorporates in commercial cinema installations.

An acoustically transparent screen is then mounted in front of the speakers, so the front of the home cinema portrays a clean, uncluttered look, just like a real cinema.

The technology utilised in the Series MX speaker systems is also derived from Krix commercial speaker solutions, incorporating high-performance high-sensitivity low-distortion drivers with extensive crossover networks. Krix’s patented horn and waveguide technology is also incorporated into the Series MX design, improving directivity of mids and highs to direct more sound energy to the listening position with less reflection off side walls and ceilings. This results in further improvements to clarity and intelligibility of dialogue.

On sale now...
Krix is now taking orders with stock to be delivered in early November.

Pricing is $7995 for the MX-5, $9995 for the MX-10. Note that these prices are for the front MX solution only, and does not include surround or Atmos speakers; further a power amplifier for the passive subwoofers will also be required.

More information: Krix MX-5  Krix MX-10