We were impressed by the Tannoy Mercury V4s from the get-go (our April 2011 issue, in this instance), and have basically been waiting for enough price-comparable opposition to present itself before flinging them into a Group Test., which is what we've now done.
They look nothing special on the showroom floor, the V4s – they’re adequately finished, but orange is orange no matter how many times you call it Sugar Maple – though the complement of drivers (25mm polyester dome tweeter and a pair of 15cm paper mid/bass drivers) is promising.
We reckon the Mission MX3s offer a little more pride of ownership, though obviously the Tannoys look and feel a cut or two above the Quadral Quintas 404s.
They do their best work out in the room, and biwired. Pandered to that far, the Tannoys offer a winning combination of scale, authority, clarity and low-frequency acuity.
Composed, natural tempo
Playing Miles Davis’ Dear Old Stockholm, they generate an open, focused and completely convincing stage, and demonstrate a composed, natural way with rhythm and tempo.
There’s ample detail revealed, the midrange communicates articulately and the V4s retain the bulk of their composure even at quite unrealistic volume levels.
Integration between the drivers is smooth, and low frequencies are controlled effortlessly. Treble sounds sparkle too, but take an awful lot of provoking before becoming problematic.
It’s possible to wrong-foot them, of course – back them too close to a wall and the bottom end blooms a little – but for a speaker of this type, and at this price, the Mercury V4s pretty much hit the bull’s-eye.
They sound forthright and subtle, clear and clean – everything you want from a budget floorstander, in fact, with very few of the usual budget caveats.
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