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MajorFubar's picture
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Speakers to replace Mission 794.
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I’ve decided to sell my Mission 794 loudspeakers. When they're good they're very very good, but there's too many albums I enjoyed listening to via my previous speakers that are unlistenable through these. Even the Marantz PM66KI cannot tame their upper-mid ferocity, which can be an open door with the 'right' recordings but just plain fatiguing with others.

So...I'm on the lookout for some detailed but smooth-sounding floorstanders for my 5m x 4m room. Tonally I prefer overly-warm to bright and harsh. I'm no bass-head, but if I was made to choose between the two evils of boomy speakers or thin and bright speakers, I'd pick boomy every time.

I’m tempted to buy used because generally you get so much more for your money, especially as my budget will only be about £600 tops, ideally less. I've thought about, but haven't heard, some MA Studio 20 SEs, which I think were highly recommended for use with my Marantz kit back in the day (though at the moment I'm using the Cyrus gear).

I've had an offer from someone who wants to do a direct swap for a pair of Castle Knight 3s. I haven't heard them and I can’t find any reviews of them on the WHF site, but superficially they seem a backwards step, considering the price difference between those and my £1,000 Missions. Also I don't know how Castles 'sound'.

I've even thought of hunting-down some Tannoy 611s or 613s from back in the day, 'cos sometimes I feel I've never been really happy with any speakers I've owned since the 607s I bought nearly 20 years ago. But it’s difficult to say how much of that is a rose-tinted memory.

Anyone any ideas for a shortlist?

Thanks

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

Hi

I have a PM66KI and CD63KI and have just upgraded my speakers to the Monitor Audio 20SE's, I previously had a pair of Mission M73i's

I found the Missions far too boomy for my liking, even when each speaker was mass loaded with 12kg of atabites and isolated on granite plynths they were still a tad too boomy

The monitor audios are night and day different, very fast and tight bass, however, they are ruthless at revealing poor recordings, especially in combo with the KI's

I would rate the MA20's very highly indeed and if you can find a decent unmarked pair within your budget, then bag them whilst you can

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

Thanks. Yes I saw your recent thread about your speakers. By coincidence our HiFi paths have almost paralleled at some point because prior to these Mission 794s I was using M74s (not the later ‘i’). I bought these Missions blind (or should that be ‘deaf’), which is something I’ve never ever done with speakers before, based on the assumption that with an original RRP of nearly £1,000 there’s nothing about them which wouldn’t better my M74s. It hasn’t fully worked out that way.

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

Anyone know anything about the Castle Knight 3s that I've been offered as a direct swap? I know nothing of the Castle sound, but my preference is sound that is warm and enveloping, more than the 794s are. Equally though, I don't want speakers that  can't present the sense of scale that the 794s deliver.

Decisions decisions.

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

FOund this old thread:  http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/castle-knight-3

 

I have only heard some bookshelf Castles forget which model some years ago and I won't say they were on the warm side, safe and pleasant. If you don't like bright and harsh why the Cyrus amp.? I would have thought an Arcam or Leema maybe better for you?

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

Thanks for the link, I'll have a look

BigH wrote:
If you don't like bright and harsh why the Cyrus amp.?

 

Because I've always been impressed with how much detail they seem to relay from the source. For years I used a Cyrus 1 in my home studio before I bought powered monitors, and as an amateur producer I used to find that these early Cyrus amps were the closest thing to a 'straight wire with gain' that I'd ever be able to afford. The Marantz does have a warmer presentation, but even it can't seem to tame how forward these speakers can sound in my room with the 'wrong' recordings.

Other speakers I've owned and used with these amps in this room have ultimately not been as revealing as these Missions (such as the Tannoy 607, Mission M74, W/d Diamond 8.3), but they didn't suffer from this forward brashness which I accept could be just as easily a mismatch with the room's accoustics and the amp(s) than a failing of the speaker per se. But having said that, I don't think I'm the first to note that the Mission 79x series have quite a forward presentation.

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

If you can find a pair of Mission 752s in good shape you'll probably be alright.  Even if not you can sell them on for the price paid. Mint ones are around £150 and performance was always trip notch to my ears.  The original mesh find tweeter version would be my pick as it didn't exhibit any of the harsh traits people seem to think such tweeters have instead being very musical with good detail and insight.

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

the record spot wrote:
Mint ones are around £150

 

lol I must be just picking a bad day. There's two on eBay atm, one with what I class as severe woofer damage for £120 and a mint set at £300. The set at £300 look nice but they're collection only from Nottingham which is too far from here by far, unless they're boxed and I can send my own courier. They advert doesn't indicate that they are.

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

I picked up an absolutely mint boxed pair of 752 in rosewood from ebay for I think £160. The guy had used them only as rears in a 5.1 and had seriously looked after them. They were collection from nearby, so I was lucky. It's doable, but takes a bit of patience, and people sticking buy it now prices of £200 - £300 is a bit silly. Feels like £150 is a realistic price. But then they're a fine pair of speakers.

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

Yeah the logistics of getting any used HiFi which the seller can't post (or at least package-up) is always problematic round here. Most items for sale of this nature always seem to be down south, and when even Birmingham is a two and a half hour drive away, it makes picking anything up south of there very difficult.

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

Don't do it...... stop!

The only other speaker I have ever considered swapping my Mission 782se's for were the 794....but never did - they share the same dimensions & spec.

I am suggesting you consider upgrading your amplification,fine as the PM66ki is, it lacks the power to really do those speakers justice (FennerMachine had the same issue with the 782 with some ..er....mature Quads).

Don't know if you've ever read me but I attempted to upgrade my amp and found to my dismay the 60watt Rotel 1520 and AudioLab 8200a failed to control these speakers like my old Yamaha can - the very symptoms you discribe is what they were failing to - harsh upper frequencies and  in my home mono tone bass when pushed. (distortion - the yamaha never distorts)

driven with a powerful amp I'm sure you'll achieve that 'very good' all round. The drivers are small and I believe they need a powerful amp to shift them properly to achieve a full frequency sweep. But saying that I love the way the design projects vocals and mid-range detail out into the  room. My rooms about the same size as yours too.

With your budget I'd consider an upgrade of your amp....... I'm just saying.... if you don't mind lumping them around audition some amps...... :wave:

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

You're right it could just be a speaker-amp mismatch. Yet I think on this occasion it's more of a speaker-environment mismatch or even just a speaker-MajorFubar mismatch. At the levels that I play music at, neither of the amp combinations are stressed beyond tickover speed, and while I know the Cyrus is not the weightiest of performers, its paper specifications state that it can swing a current of 60A peak-to-peak at the loudspeakers when required, so it's certainly not weedy  Smile

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

MajorFubar wrote:

You're right it could just be a speaker-amp mismatch. Yet I think on this occasion it's more of a speaker-environment mismatch or even just a speaker-MajorFubar mismatch. At the levels that I play music at, neither of the amp combinations are stressed beyond tickover speed, and while I know the Cyrus is not the weightiest of performers, its paper specifications state that it can swing a current of 60A peak-to-peak at the loudspeakers when required, so it's certainly not weedy  Smile

The Cyrus kit looks lovely but are low powered - every generation the whathifi crew say the samething about the latest version of their kit - "its so much weighteir than the old one...."  then give them another 5 stars, by my reckoning the older ones must have made a decent speaker sound like a tweeter. And any company selling a PSU to add on to your amp....... lol.

But fair enough look like your minds made up, but any speaker capable of delivering 'certain genres' perfectly is capble of delivering all music perfectly and to me points to the amps being used as speakers only do as they are told.... so to speak.

 

Let us know how you get on anyway...... not that I want them but how much do you think you'll get for them, if you don't mind me asking. 

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

I have the 796 speakers which can also be somewhat forthright in the mid range, but can also be absolutely stunning with vocals and small scale music. I found that reversing the speakers so that the side facing bass units fire outwards, rather than inwards, has opened up the bass and generally gives a weightier sound. It might be worth experimenting before selling!

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RE: Speakers to replace Mission 794.

Have you considered Dali speakers at all, as these tend to offer the kind of sound you are looking for, particularly the Dali Zensor series, which are very well put together for their price?

You could also consider the Ikon 5's, which would take you over buget (new) but may well turn up second hand?

I use Mission 753's and it is along time ago now since Mission produced anything of the kind of quality back then, so I know how you feel re your 794's, in fact in my opinion, the 790 series was about the last of the greats by this brand.

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