S2000 MTM Speaker Review

by admin

Summary

The S2000 MTMs are a high-value speaker for those looking for acceptable audiophile level quality sound for higher sensitivity purposes. They have the signature Paul Carmody voicing, providing a sound with a slight bump in the bass with plenty of extension, slightly subdued mids, and bumped highs, which all come together to bring out a lot of detail and clarity in heavily layered songs without becoming fatiguing. The depth and imaging in the soundstage combined with high sensitivity will fill a medium sized room, and sonically, the S2000 MTMs definitely qualify as audiophile grade speakers. I use these for 60% home theater and 40% music.

Build Notes

The tweeter isn’t marked positive or negative, which is absolutely stupid and infuriating. The bigger connection point is positive. With the exception of securing the crossover to the board, there’s plenty of room to work inside the cabinet if you want to fully glue the front baffle before doing other work.

Sound

Overall, The S2000 speakers provide a sound signature that provides a lot of details, so people who want a more analytical music experience or listen to a lot of layered music will really enjoy these speakers. They’re voiced very similar to other speakers by Paul Carmody, so if you like his other stuff, you’ll probably like the S2000s.

Bass – There’s plenty of extension, but you probably still want a subwoofer. Bass is tight and performances impressively well.

Mids – They sound natural, but it does sound a bit thin at certain parts. While they don’t have the smoothness that some mid-forward speakers do, they still sound great with vocals and single instruments. They don’t have that “wow” factor when you listen to vocal tracks, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Highs – There is crispness and sharpness in all treble related tracks, and I’m very happy with the performance; however, I think I’d still give the slight edge to ribbon tweeters, which seem to have that magical sparkle and extra crispness that these do not.

Soundstage – Plenty of depth and imaging when listening to most songs, and the separation between instruments is impressive. You can really pick apart every instrument and focus on them individually.

Overall, S2000 MTM speakers perform very well, and they’re competent speakers when you objectively evaluate them; however, for some subjective reason, they don’t have any specific magic that draws me keep exploring my music collection for some reason. For some reason, I don’t have as many “wow, that part sounded amazing” from certain tracks that I get with other speakers, but it’s more of “most songs I throw on these speakers sound pretty darn good!” type of feeling. My guess is that the absence of extra smoothness and depth in the mids might be attributing to this since when I listen to other speakers in the price range, I don’t feel the same way.

Music section

Giorgio by Moroder – Daft Punk

  • 00:00 – 00:36 – His voice is the focus, background noise is barely audible, and his voice has a tremendous amount of depth
  • His voice is the focus. Background noise is barely audible, but clean if you listen for them. His voice has a lot of depth and resonance in them, indicating good soundstage depth.
  • 00:36 – 1:08 – Bass is extremely clean and tight with plenty of extension. Sound is very balanced, and it’s clear that it’s not a mid focused set of speakers since plenty of details come from lower and higher end, indicated by the little guitar riffs and cymbals popping out. Highs are clean and crisp with plenty of sparkle without being fatiguing.
  • 6:58 – 7:30 – The tweeters are clean and crisp, but off-axis performance don’t seem to be the best, and they don’t have the sparkle that ribbon tweeters have; however, they are still very enjoyable to listen and a massive step up for anyone coming from overnight sensation tweeters. Soundstage provides a ton of depth and richness to the sound, and separation to bring out details is huge. There’s a surprising amount of bass extension as well, but you still probably want a sub.

 Tom Sawyer – Rush

  • 00:00 – 00:50 – The voice is a big focus, but these are not by any means mid forward speaker. Bass is tight and has plenty of kick, but it’s not room filling. Highs perform well, but surprisingly, it isn’t something I’m admiring – This could be the result of the highs being more subdued than paul’s other speakers; however, it doesn’t mean they don’t perform well. If you listen for it, they perform more than adequately.

 Come Away with Me – Norah Jones

  • 00:00 -1:00 – Soundstage wise, it feels like you’re sitting far in a concert hall as a result of the mids not being that forward, but you can still hear plenty of details in the piano, bass, and other parts. Her voice sounds a bit thin, but there’s plenty of detail, and the mids sound relatively smooth.

Four seasons L’estate III Presto – Vivaldi (Pavel)

  • 00:00 – 00:44 Violin attacks are decently sharp, the soundstage depth continues to impress by adding plenty of texture of richness from lower strings. Separation is excellent.
  • 00:45 -1:04 Pavel’s aggressiveness definitely comes through, but not in an in-your-face way. You can hear all the intricate bowing details in this section.
  • 1:05 – 1:20 – Again, there is plenty of texture, separation, and clarity in identifying everything from the harpsichord to different violin sections.

 Count Bubba – Gordon Goodwin

  • 00:00 – 00:41 Ah, these speakers are built to handle more layered music. There’s so much separation and clarity between all the instruments, and both details in bass and highs are audible upfront. Bass is tight and rich, and highs are crisp and clean.
  • 1:10 – 1:39 This section is predictably clean, balanced, and filled with details. There isn’t a smoothness that’ll put you in awe, but I’d characterize it as clean and detailed.

Closing thoughts

The S2000s are an excellent choice if you want something with high sensitivity that’s within an accessible budget as they definitely qualify as audiophile grade speakers. I think they’re absolutely worth the upgrade over overnight sensation MTMs for $90 more as I’m writing this just for the tweeter quality alone; however, if you’re looking for 100% music application only for a small room, there are other speakers I’d consider in this price range or consider spending just a bit more such as the Amigas or Speedsters. If your music tastes are focused around heavily layered music with lots of instrumentation, these might still fit the bit for music purposes. For me, they serve excellently for my home theater application that’s 60% HT and 40% music as I have 0 complaints when I listen to music on them.

Random notes

  • Comparing the S2000s to the Overnight sensation, there’s a very clear audible step up in sound quality due to better components, especially the tweeters. I think if budget is a constrain, get the OS; however, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these over the OS if people have the budget.
  • For music, I’d take the Speedsters or Zaph 5.2s any day; however, those speakers are not very sensitive at all, and I’d pick the S2000s MTMs for a home theater set up any day, which is what I use them for.
  • These speakers seem to shine most when you listen to heavily layered music since they have such good separation and balance that really brings out clarity and allows you to listen to every instrument you want to zoom in on.

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