AXPONA 2014: Polymer Audio and FM Acoustics and the assault on the high-end


To say that tongues were wagging about this room was a bit of an understatement.

Polymer Audio Research chose AXPONA to unveil their newest, the MKS-X, at $60k/pair. These flagship speakers are a 4Ω, 86dB, 4-way loudspeaker that is built like a vault at Fort Knox. If I was handing out Most Likely to Appeal to Arnold Schwarzenegger, this was the Terminator we would have been looking for. All that metal!

It was every bit as impressive to see in person as it is in the photos. And the MKS-X had all that diamond. Yes, diamond. The tweeter was one of those fancy diamond drivers with the insane rigidity and linearity. They’re silly-expensive because, well, diamonds. Yeah. Anyway, the big surprise was that this wasn’t the only driver doing the Lucy In The Sky thing. No, here was a mid-range tricked out the same way. Kids, that is an expensive set of sound-makers. Think “several thousand” for each of them. Wholesale. Wrap that up in a 350lb enclosure … yeah, this one qualifies for the term “beast”. Just look at all that metal …. Yikes.

The other thing that had the gasps going was the FM Acoustics electronics. This is uber boutique stuff here, and the big guns were on display: a $30k (?) FM Acoustics Resolution Series 245 preamplifier was paired with the $130k/pair (!!!) Resolution Series 115 mono blocks. To be honest, I have no idea what to do with gear that costs this much. Phrases like “ultra small production runs” and “massive investments of time” and “unobtanium parts” are things that I need to see nods toward, but my head hurts just thinking about it.

A $9k Weiss Man301 music archive network player fed a $33k Thrax Maximum 32/384 DAC. A mix of EnKlein and FM Acoustics cabling used throughout. 

As for the sound quality in the room, I think there was a lot to love. To be amazed and thrilled by, even, but I have no doubt that this system would be greatly served by a nice, big room with some more friendly dimensions. And a few less bodies between me and the system. Ahem.

I’m told I might have a chance to catch them again at Newport, so I’ll keep an eye out. This may be one to catch very early or very late, to try and beat the crowds.