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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Are my speakers any good?
Are my speakers any good?
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Old 13th January 2021, 12:45 PM   #1
john123456 is offline john123456
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Default Are my speakers any good?

I got my speakers for free from someone who was moving house and had to get rid of them quickly.

Click the image to open in full size.

They're Mordaunt Short MS55ti.

They have x2 8-inch drive units (each side) and a titanium tweeter. Non-ported cabinet.

I'm fairly happy with them but as for any hi-fi person I'm always looking at ways of improving things and just wondered how good the MS55ti is and how much I would have to spend to get something better?
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Old 13th January 2021, 01:20 PM   #2
schiirrn is offline schiirrn  Germany
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For an objective answer you might have to give a set of measurements and what area of response data would qualify as "good".
A subjective answer is up to you: what do you like about what you hear through them when compared to your other speakers (assuming that you describe yourself as "hifi person" you already owned speakers before these were given to you) and what do you find lacking?

Looking at the image provided before you spend money on other speakers it would be a good idea to read up on speaker placement in a room an some easy steps to deal with room interaction.

(lately when reading my posts after typing them I find they might come off as having an aggressive undertone; I am sorry if you get that impression, it certainly isn't meant)
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Old 13th January 2021, 01:37 PM   #3
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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These are excellent speakers from the 1980s when Mordaunt Short had a highly regarded range of speakers. I believe they have a high sensitivity of 90dB. I may have the relevant brochure, so may be able to give more details later.

If the drivers are in good working condition, improvements may be confined to the crossover, perhaps replacing the electrolytic capacitors.

As to what you would have to spend to get something better, I may have a 1990s price list to let us work out their equivalent value today.
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Old 13th January 2021, 01:39 PM   #4
fishball79 is offline fishball79  Singapore
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Old 13th January 2021, 01:55 PM   #5
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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Thanks fishball79!

In common with the other speakers in this range, the MS55Ti have overload protection courtesy of two Positec devices. These are included on the printed circuit crossover board and should be checked with regard to their resistance, which should be in the order of 0.5 ohm. Substantailly higher means the Positecs themselves have been damaged by sustained overload. Exact replacements would be very difficult to source and careful owners may just remove/bypass them altogether.

The Positecs are the two little fawn coloured discs at bottom right in the attached image of an MS25Ti crossover board.
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File Type: jpg MS25Ti Crossover Board.jpg (152.1 KB, 203 views)
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Old 13th January 2021, 02:23 PM   #6
john123456 is offline john123456
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A lot of what speakers are about is subjective... including the price. For the cost of these I'm very happy with them!

In terms of positioning, I did site them according to measurements of the room. You'll notice they sit fairly close together and they are away from the wall. The only time I listen to them is when I'm sitting at my desk, so they're positioned for that kind of listening.

I do have some other speakers, also Mordaunt Short Festival 3. The Festival 3 speakers are nowhere near these in terms of quality of sound... but I guess that would be obvious given their different dimensions and price points. I think the Festival 3 is probably a lot older than the MS55ti.

What I don't think I like about the MS55ti is that I've read that titanium tweeters (and all metal tweeters generally) can sound harsh and ringing. And I think I can hear that in these speakers. I probably shouldn't have read the piece which explained this characteristic of metal tweeters because I can't unlearn that information now and I'm not sure if I'd noticed it before.

Aside from that I get the sense that x2 8-inch drivers might not be as good as perhaps x1 8-inch and x1 5-inch... not sure why they put in two of the same size? The reason I say this is combined with the titanium tweeter which is good for the high frequency stuff it sounds like the middle is lacking.

With the right tracks they sound awesome. There seems to be different standards of mastering over the years and some music like say for instance... most stuff recorded by The Kinks will sound flat on almost any system... anyway, getting off track.

Overall I'm pretty happy with them...

What makes it difficult to decide what to do, if anything is having not had any other speakers to compare with. In the past I've owned other speakers but not with the other components I have now so I can't compare.
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Old 13th January 2021, 02:45 PM   #7
Galu is offline Galu  Scotland
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I found my MS price list, dated August 1987.

Price of the MS55Ti Series 2 then, and its equivalent today, in brackets, shown below.

Black Ash: 300 (850)
Walnut: 350 (990)
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Old 13th January 2021, 02:52 PM   #8
john123456 is offline john123456
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Is there any savings owing to time having passed? i.e. are speakers better manufactured if you buy from a big name brand who has high production numbers. I guess old Morduant Short speakers were made in a shed somewhere in England and were probably expensive to produce?

And similarly were there ever speakers produced that were so popular you can get them on eBay for next to nothing?
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Old 13th January 2021, 02:53 PM   #9
Ugg10 is offline Ugg10  United Kingdom
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Looking at the lower right of the spec sheet these look like 2.5 way speakers with on 8" woofer acting as a woofer up to 200hz with a 1st order low pass, the second 8" woofer working up to 4khz with a 2nd order low pass and the tweeter from 4khz with a second order high pass. So one of the bass drivers is actually doing the job of a mid range anyway.

Some metal tweeters can be harsh but the ones in my Mackie HR824's certainly aren't to my ears, depends on the implementation as with a lot of things. Having lots of bare walls and floors will not help though, adding a rug between you and the speakers may help.
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Old 13th January 2021, 03:02 PM   #10
john123456 is offline john123456
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Thanks for the explanation... I guess it doesn't matter that the two drivers are the same size if they're being treated differently.
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