Churning out compact 5.1 sub/sat systems used to be an afterthought for speaker companies, but a few have started to funnel serious engineering resources into the category, creating small systems that rival bigger, more expenive setups. Last year we called out Paradigm’s Millenia One system; this year we recognize B&W’s gorgeous MT-60D Mini Theatre system ($2,950), which comprises five small M1 satellites and the powerful PV1D sub.
The cast-aluminum M1’s tweeter uses the same Nautilus transmission-line tech found throughout the company’s flagship 800 Series speakers, and its 4-inch midrange/woofer features a sound-absorbing “anti-resonance plug” made from polymer foam in place of a more typical metal phase plug. B&W’s semi-spherical PV1D also has a cast-aluminum cabinet, and it provides two 8-inch drivers arrayed directly opposite each other to cancel out vibration, along with DSP and a front display that lets you select between 4 EQ presets.
All of the attention to detail B&W that lavished on the system wouldn’t amount to much if it didn’t perform, but it does. Sampling his store of ECM Jazz CDs, Brent found that favorite tracks sounded “absolutely colossal and hugely reverberant through the MT-60D system, more like what I’d expect to hear through big electrostatic speakers.” Action movie soundtracks also fared well, though Brent did note dialogue sounding unaturally full on occasion, and heard signs of the PV1D being overtaxed on tough, bass-heavy scenes. Overall, though, Brent enthusiatically endorsed the MT-60D as being “very good on movies” and for music “easily one of the best systems you can buy.”
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