on October 25, 2013
I have two sets of the original MB42s that I have installed the crossover upgrades in, so they are effectively the MB42Xs now.
They were pleasant sounding even before the crossover was installed, but the upgrade moves these into audiophile territory. They are wonderful sounding with surprising accuracy for such an inexpensive speaker. There are a couple of places on the frequently spectrum where they deviate, but it actually adds to the warmth of their sound. And the bass response is quite impressive for a 4" woofer.
Now...these are small speakers, so they don't have the cone surface area to blow your hat off in a large room. But having said, they do play surprisingly loud and the 4" driver is the little woofer that could. These takes well to power and you can drive them pretty dang hard before they start breaking up. Their ideal applications would be near field or in small to medium sized rooms. As Zeo mentioned above; add a sub and you got it covered! I am using one set in my office with a small sub; I listen to them for 8 hours a day with zero ear fatigue. The other set is in a work room at home; no sub (yet) but they sound great even without them. I have used one set in a workshop along with a 10" powered sub and I drove them hard in there.
I have some expensive speakers too, but like many I am on an ongoing quest for cheap speakers that sound good. I have speakers all over my home, in my office; I'm not a wealthy man so I can't afford expensive speakers everywhere. The Miccas are the most shining example of great sounding cheap speakers that I've found. I highly recommend them.
I wanted to add...I also have some of the Micca 8" ceiling speakers in my home and they are also of very high quality for low prices. I hope the company continues to expand their offering of quality speakers at low prices. I would love to see them build a big brother to the MB42X with a 6.5" or 8" woofer. Man, that would be sweet! Hello Micca...are you listening? LOL
I went ahead and ordered a set of the MB42Xs just to make sure they sound like my upgraded MB42s. They do, the speakers sound wonderful as small speakers go. Micca has obviously kept the quality where it matters.
I agree with Zeos that I liked the woodgrain finish on the old models better; they were actually kinda pretty for cheap vinyl covering. But the new matte finish is not the end of the world. And the magnetic grill is supercool!
I have speakers that cost several times as much that don't sound as good as these. Buy them, you won't be disappointed.
When you get these, make sure you break them in before passing judgement. Play them as some pretty good volumes for a minimum of 20-30 hours to loosen up the woofer and relax the tweeter. Not that they sound bad out of the box, but they will dramatically improve as they get some play time on them.
All three pairs of these that I have (one pair of X's and 2 pair of originals with crossover added) are still playing perfectly. All three have been broken in well and sound great. The pair I have in my office constantly get complimentary comments from people who are surprised at how great they sound.
As is typical with rear ported speakers; placement is fairly critical. Bass response will vary significantly according to how much reflection you get from the rear of the speaker. As mentioned previously; I have one pair that are sitting on some deep (18") shelves in a work room. The sound from the rear ports is reflected forward, enhancing the bass response. Honest to goodness...you wouldn't believe how these sound. I am not using a sub with this pair, yet the bass is very strong. They sound amazing, all by themselves in this application.
I suspect some of the people making poor reviews on these either don't know how to properly hook them up or they are not giving them any break-in time. I don't men to be insulting; it's just that a lot of folks are not technical and don't know these things. In reading the reviews, I would recommend two things before commenting on these speakers: 1) Break them in for 20-30 hours minimum (even more is better). These speakers need break in more than some do. 2) Place them where the sound from the rear port is reflected back at you.
And, of course, the basics. Make sure you observe polarity when wiring these )plus to plus and minus to minus, it really matters) and drive them with a decent amp. Many are using the Lepai, and it's a dandy little amp. But use an amp with more headroom and the bass response will be better still. Around 50 wpc RMS is a good match for these.
Do these things and I am confident that you will agree that these are fine speakers, and a crazy deal for this price.
-One more thing-
A lot of folks are running these on the Lapai T amp. It's a dandy little amp, and I have a set running on one too. But of you really want to see what these speakers have, use an amp with more power. Speakers draw most of their power while playing low bass notes, and that is when a smaller amp will run out or power...or headroom as we call it. When that happens, the sound can sound a bit shallow, and the bass will not be as full or powerful as it should be. It can even distort.
About 50 watts per channel (real RMS watts) is what these really need to wake up. Or for a small room, you can stick with your small amp and use a powered sub, that will take some of the load off the main amp. I am using one set with a Lapai and a small powered sub, and they sound very clean in my office.
I am still a huge fan of these speakers. There is nothing in this price range that will touch them, and many speakers that sell for far more don't sound as good. I listen to two sets of these daily (one set in my kitchen and one on my office) and I enjoy them tremendously.
Long term update
I have three sets of these, two in daily use, and all are working perfectly. I listen to one set in my office several hours a day, and ejoy them immensely. Not quite audiophile grade, but pretty close, and at junk prices. Pair them with a subwoofer, and you have a fine speaker system for a small to medium sized room. The only thing I plan on changing is my sub; I currently have a 6" sub I built out of junk, and it could be better. But that takes nothing away from the Miccas.
At I have stated above; these need LOTS of break in to sound their best. But once they are loosened up, they are amazing! I think some have rated them low because of the bass response; but you can't expect a 4 woofer to shake the house. What they do well is deliver amazingly smooth and accurate sound that is very pleasing to the ears. The highs are bright and sparkling without being shrill, the midrange is clear and accurate, and the bass is realistic without sounding boomy or fake. One set I am using is on a high shelf in an ideal placement where the rear port is reflected forward, and the bass response is very satisfying and actually pretty impressive. In particular; guitars and vocals sound extremely natural on these.
I also have a pair of the MB42X-C (center channel) speakers I'm using as a stereo pair. They are even better, with the twin woofers producing stronger bass. You'd be shocked at how these compare against larger speakers!
In short...buy these. The sound is bright and warm, and so pleasing to the ears. If you like pounding bass, pair them with a sub, and you will want for nothing. Unless you have big bucks to spend on exotic speakers, buy these and enjoy while you save money.
Yet another update
I upgraded the sub at my office with a 10" Dayton sub. Decent sub for the money, and definitely a major step up from the small 6" sub I was using. Everyone who hears my office system is amazed at the sound quality. I had a salesman in last week and he was so impressed that wants to order the MB42-X's for his home now.
So yes, I still love these speakers. They are wonderfully warm and pleasant to listen to, with accuracy that will defy their price range. Not perfect, but so close...
But...I see that Amazon has had a major price jump on these; from $69 to $99. I think this is a mistake; they are now pitting these against other speakers that have better and more attractive cabinets. Don't get me wrong; these speakers are worth the price because of their sound quality. But at $100, they are no longer a steal. I hope they will see that this huge price jump is a mistake and lower it back down. Time will tell.
But I will state again...I do love these little speakers! I have found nothing better for small room applications, regardless of price.
I just can't stop bragging on these speakers.
I had a rough day at work today. Very stressful, and I wanted to slap someone.
I closed my office door, and turned up my sound system to chill out.
To refresh...a pair of MB42-X's, a Lepai 2020 amp, a Dayton 10" sub. I have a 2nd computer in my office with thousands of songs loaded on it, and a nice sound card for reproduction.
Oh what good it did me!! To be able to listen to high-end audio and relax probably kept my blood pressure down.
These aren;t the best speakers I own, but they just might be my favorites. I have some very expensive speakers that are audiophile grade. But I think I enjoy these Miccas more than I do the high-dollar models.
There is nothing anywhere near this price range that will touch them. Yes, there are a couple of areas on the graph where these show inaccuracies. But what really matters is how they please your ears. They are so sweet!
Buy a set of these! If you're a bass monger, use a sub along with them. You will have a system that you can't beat unless you spend hundreds more.
But remember...break them in for 30-40 hours before you judge. You'll be glad you did.