Review: Whatmough M30,M10,M05 Speaker

Category: Speakers

My musical tastes are very eclectic. I use my system for both video and audio. My main system is a $20K retail system that I have put together over many years. I prize clarity, soundstaging, dynamics and speed over warmth and euphonics.
I own 4 stereos, and don't really need more, but at the price offered this system was something I couldn't refuse to check them out. The speakers are made in China, and designed by a long time Australian designer.
The cabinets are built like most modestly priced speakers, comparable to Axiom, Sound Dynamics, and NHT. The vinyl veneer is as good as any, and the overall finish is as good as any in this price range. The speakers use a coated fabric woofer cone, with no foam surrounds(good!), and cloth dome tweeters.
I was most pleasantly surprised to find they are very neutral, pretty detailed, with an overall very smooth and well integrated sound. They play fairly loudly. All the models here have very similar voicing.

I actually prefer them to the NHT 1.5, Sound Dynamics RTS3, and Axiom M3ti and M22ti(all of which I've owned). Although they all have strengths and weakness, I find the smooth, detailed top end easier to listen to, while the mids are gneraaly comparable. What you give up compared to more expensive true high end speakers is the inner voice separation and clarity. While very good for the price, the inner voices sound veiled and a bit blurry and indistinct compared to my $2k plus VMPS 626R ribbons (not surprisingly).
They have no nasty flaws, though, and are easy and enjoyable on the ears, something you usually don't get for the $ that these are offered at. Very tough to beat for the $, IMO.

Associated gear
Various levels, from Yamaha RX396 receiver to very high end components.

Similar products
35 years in the hobby, owned 100+ pair of quality speakers.
Is your review for the entire package shown? How clear is the center (M05)? In your opinion, how would this grouping be for an entry to mid level HT setup that is also used for music? Have you ever listened to the Ascend CBM-170? If so, how do these (Whatmough) compare? Thanks!
I think the Ascend is a more open and detailed speaker, but the M30 has much more bass output (perhaps a bit too strong in the midbass for some). The center is very smooth, with a full sound, but as in all pseakers in this package, it is not the most detailed. If you want full bass w/o a sub, this is a tough package to beat for the $. The tradeoff is somewhat less clarity. The Ascend with the later addition of a sub is a better sounding package, IMO, but will cost at least 2x the M30 price. You can't get it all for this $, but the sound is very enjoyable, IMO.
Thank you for your informed opinion. I plan on purchasing this system, along with a new amplifier to use with it. Could you suggest an amp that would be adequate to drive this system and work as a home theater amp? I need a single unit that would handle, CD, DVD, Tape deck, etc.
I'm on a budget and would be looking to spend around $500.

I bought the package myself, but it has not arrived yet, should be here any minute now.

As for you question, buy a used Denon or Yamaha receiver and you're ready to rock.

Could the M30 be used as rear speakers ?
I plan to use mine as rears, there should be no problem.

I purchased these speakers going on 3 years ago and have enjoyed them.They sound "good" but for 400 bucks what did I expect!I started my home theatre with a Sony system with the small plastic "cigarette pack" sized speakers and these were a BIG step up! I saved all the boxes and packing materials and recently sold them for $500. I took that $, called Magnepan and for $897 factory direct, got their HT system and MAN what a DIFFERENCE! If you're into bargains this systems is IT. CALL Them you won't be sorry. Rick