Image: Hugh Threlfall
August 04 2010
I have often mentioned the British Mordaunt-Short’s exceptional Performance 6 Limited Edition loudspeakers, a £4,000-or-so speaker that would probably cost £20,000 were it not (beautifully) manufactured in China. The P6 LE is the speaker of choice for a remarkable number of hi-fi writers, but by the standards of non-audio geeks, it is still a pretty big old beast.
So it gives me some pleasure to introduce this new sawn-off version, called the Performance 2. It really is a mini version of the big fella – so mini, it needs to be mounted on a glass-bottomed stand. Some may say that once a P2 is on its stand, it might as well be a P6 LE, but it dominates a room far less.
Now I’d be lying if I said the P2 sounds the same as the P6 LE. I even did a blind comparison of one with the other with my younger daughter. She didn’t hesitate to say the P6 LE sounded best, as well it should given the price difference between the two sets of speakers. But we both agreed that, on its own, the P2 would be all a normal person could ever want. The P2 sounds sweet and very strong, with more good noise coming out of it than seems plausible. The P2 has Mordaunt-Short’s patented aspirated tweeter, which literally “breathes” and gives the sound a special openness. The geeks at Mordaunt-Short also invented, among other things in the P2, a “Continuous Profile Cone” – an aluminium surface with critically placed ridges to ensure the sound’s rigidity and minimise distortion.
The small(ish) but mighty P2 is also loved by real audio critics, who even regard it as a new classic. I can easily understand their enthusiasm for what is a terrific, and – dare I say it here? – relatively bargain speaker.