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random7100's picture
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Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?
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Evening

I have a set-up comprised of older CD and amp (see my sig), which im perfectly happy with for now. I bought some MIssion 702 standmount speakers just to get it all setup. If youre not familiar, these are basically MIssion 701 but with the slightly larger driver that was later used in the 702e floorstander

I like the 'big' sound of the Missions, the treble, mid and upper bass are alright, but with faster stuff the mid to lower bass can get a bid muddled and isnt very punchy.

Ive been looking at alternatives in the speaker department, especially as the 702s are physically very large boxes for a small room too. I listen to anything from stuff like KIngs of Leon, the Killers, through to Leftfield and heavier stuff like Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, some dance music too, quite varied. id like to keep the qualities the 702s have, but get something punchier and more dynamic. I appreciate i would lose some deeper bass by moving to smaller boxes, this is ok as long as its not drastic.

Ive come up with:

Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearl, Mission 751, B&W601 (if manage to find some decent ones cheap enough)

any opinions on these, or any other suggestions? I do like the idea of Kef Q15, but dunno if theyd be too light in bass for some of my music tastes?

Thanks in advance!

Paul

 

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

The 751s a very fast and punchy so certainly worth a go, but I think the MS20i Pearls are fabulous as well.  I'd also suggest giving an original pair of Quad 11Ls a go.  With the right amplification they are fast and punchy but also have a sophistication of sound more akin to higher quality monitors.

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

I used to like the Musical Fidelity Reference 2's which were £200 around 1989/1990. They were a sealed box, so worked well up against a wall, and used an 8" bass driver - punchy little things. They were wider than they were deep, like the old Heybrook HB1's, so looked less intrusive in smaller rooms.

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

The MS20i Pearls are good speakers, I keep and occasionally use a pair as well as the smaller MS10i's.

The 10's seem somewhat faster and punchier at low to medium volume, they sound ... fun. The larger MS's can handle more power and sound more balanced at higher volume, a more 'grown-up' presentation.

Both have very tight, clear and fast bass and are fairly transparent to system changes. They are fine in stock form and can be further altered for even better sound.

regards

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

My vote would be the 751s. Avoid the Freedom model though- they are a bit closed-in at the top end. Easy to tell the difference- the originals had metal dome tweeters and front reflex ports, the Freedoms had soft-domes and rear ports.

Their bass will stun you for their size!

If you see a pair of Heybrook Heylettes anywhere, they might be worth a shout too. On another route, some of the old B&W DM600 series would fit the bill nicely- DM600, 610 or 620. (Of which the 600i or 610s would be my pick.)

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

Other Missions worthy of consideration: 780 (old style, or the newer Aerogel-woofered ones), 761i (760s with twin woofers).

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

drummerman wrote:
The MS20i Pearls are good speakers,

+1 (and a bit a more)

I still have a mint, boxed and used pair - made in 1998 - that I bought a couple of years ago. (In the cupboard under the stairs).

I used them for about 6 months with a Naim system and they sounded excellent. They need some room though (18" - 24" from the wall behind them and corners) and they are quite big by today's standards for 'compact'/bookshelf/stand-mount speakers.

I also have a recently purchased pair of JPW Sonatas (like Heybrook, another Plymouth based company at the time) that date from about 1991. Sealed cabinets with 5.5" mid/bass drivers. I have replaced the tweeters with brand new ones and they sound glorious (after running in the new tweeters continuously for a few days).

They are going on the wall in a spare room as part of a second system quite soon.

If you like to play stuff loud then I would suggest the MS20i Pearl Editions out of these two - very different - speakers.

 

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

The JPW's are good but being a Plymouth boy myself I decided on the Heybrook HB1's, and later the 3's. I believe they are more 80's than 90's but would recommend they if you can still find any.

 

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

chebby wrote:

drummerman wrote:
The MS20i Pearls are good speakers,

+1 (and a bit a more)

I still have a mint, boxed and used pair - made in 1998 - that I bought a couple of years ago. (In the cupboard under the stairs).

I used them for about 6 months with a Naim system and they sounded excellent. They need some room though (18" - 24" from the wall behind them and corners) and they are quite big by today's standards for 'compact'/bookshelf/stand-mount speakers.

I also have a recently purchased pair of JPW Sonatas (like Heybrook, another Plymouth based company at the time) that date from about 1991. Sealed cabinets with 5.5" mid/bass drivers. I have replaced the tweeters with brand new ones and they sound glorious (after running in the new tweeters continuously for a few days).

They are going on the wall in a spare room as part of a second system quite soon.

If you like to play stuff loud then I would suggest the MS20i Pearl Editions out of these two - very different - speakers.

 

I remember you getting them.

I did at the time try them with a Naim system comprising the XS and matching player. They sounded truly wonderful with the MS20i Pearls. The dealer agreed. They need a little bit of space as you said. The 10i's are somewhat 'bouncier' sounding but dont quite have the resolution and soundstage of the former, a result of the smaller driver/magnet. It has to be said that I use them both with a powerful Denon and even more potent Sony AV Receiver and whilst compression does set in on the smaller MS's eventually, its graceful and mostly comprises bass doubling. - They do absorb a lot of watts with resonable efficiency. The MS20i's are also somewhat unusual as in they use 8ohm Bass and tweeters and go loud with little distortion/compression. Most of my listening is done at low to low/medium levels, perhaps a watt or so maximum but when I listen to well recorded jazz, I on occasions turn the volume up.

I rewired mine and converted to single wiring.

Another speaker available cheaply and sounding nice in a fun, open sort of way is the Eltac Monitor III. A little more open than the MS10i and slightly faster but it lacks some of the 'rightness' of the Mordaunt Short.

regards

 

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

As soon as I saw the thread title, MS10 / MS20 jumped immediately to mind.

 

I had some MS05's back in '97 or so... Superb small speakers.

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

Edit : Double post thanks to the verification nonsense.

 

which ironically, requires verification.

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

Thanks for the replies guys. Confirmed my thoughts and offered up a few other ideas too.

I will keep an eye out :shifty: very curious by the MS20i Pearls, might have to try some of those. I like the idea of 751s, but finding a pair in decent condition and from someone thatl post em is a bit of a job. il keep on it

 

Thanks all

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

Just seen some mint looking MS20i Pearls sell for £35, i missed out because he wouldnt post them, even though he had the box and i offered to arrange a courier for them :cry:

 

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

Thats a shame but there will be others.

I read again through your first post and can't help thinking that you may be better off with another speaker.

Whilst the MS take the power and sound unstrained under duress, they fall under the 'clear' category. Depending on amplification bass can be very deep and tight but the MS20 lack artificial punch, or in other words, the upper bass lift many other small speakers have to make the sound larger.

I dont do a lot of rock but listen to a lot of jazz. For this the MS20i Pearls are perfect.

The smaller 10i have superficially more 'punch' with almost equally good bass, just a little lift added.

regards

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RE: Small, punchy, fast 90s speakers?

If you want a fast agile sound then I think you’d be well served looking at Acoustic Energy speakers, I’m not so familiar with the stand mount versions but heard the AE 109s back in the 90s and they were incredible for the money, the bass was just so tight and articulate that they produced some of the best bass guitar notes I’ve heard. Not particularly deep in the bass but super fast and expressive.

 

I’d forgot about the B&W 601s if that is the sound you’re after, good speakers for the money they are (I own the 602s) I wouldn’t describe their strengths as being in line with the sound you describe. The bass is on the heavy side making for a slightly warm sound, sounds great with electronic and acoustic music but can show limitations with more complex music.

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