What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Sun, 10 May 2009, 8:00pm

Opera Grande Mezzo

Tested at £1500
80100
4

The Grade Mezzo combine classy aesthetics with a hugely capable sound. They’re well worth a listen

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For

  • Impressive build quality
  • even-handed nature
  • seemless integration between drive units

Against

  • Could do with a little extra bite and more grip at the lowest frequencies

Italian speaker manufacturer Opera has been on a good run of late and these Grande Mezzos continue the high standard.

These towers stand tall at 95cm high, but they are slim and the cabinet quality is top class, with quality veneer and a leather-covered top panel.

Set-up is straightforward, though we'd like a better spike arrangement for the rear: a single bolt fixing for the crossbeam isn't quite secure enough.

An unfussy nature
The Mezzos prove to have an unfussy nature. Their well-judged tonal balance means that the highs and lows are kept in check, and positioning them anything from around 50cm from the rear wall works well.

The uniform tonality also means they're not too picky about partnering kit. As long as it's suitable for a speaker at this price level there's a good chance these Operas will sound good with it.

Positioned with a touch of toe-in, these floorstanders set up a stable image.

There's no shortage of scale or weight, leading to enjoyable results with larger scale symphonies from the likes of Tchaikovsky. Dynamic swings are delivered with confidence, high volumes shrugged off with ease.

Just a little bite required
You can add pleasing integration and a decent turn of speed to the plus side of the equation, too.

However, listen to the likes of Santogold's debut album and a few minor shortcomings become apparent.

An extra degree of bite – these towers sound a little polite – and a little extra grip in the bass wouldn't go amiss. That said, they remain a good listen.

The Grande Mezzos aren't superstars, but they are capable alternatives to the likes of Spendor's A5s. If you like your music with added civility, give them a good long listen.

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