NRPavs   SOLD items 2015 archive 1  Mission  780SE  [1st pair]  stand / rear  speakers  details
SOLD items 2015 archive 1 product details : 
Mission  780SE
stand  speakers - 1st pair
Mission  780SE  stand / rear  speakers  :  image #1  - grilles off / on
Mission  780SE  stand / rear  speakers  :  top  view
Mission  780SE  stand / rear  speakers  :  drivers  closeup
Mission  780SE  stand / rear  speakers  : backs  view
Mission  780SE  stand / rear  speakers  :  left  profile
Mission  780SE  stand / rear  speakers  :  size  scale
   SOLD March 2105 on trademe  to Motueka
S/Ns: 808036333 / both
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    Mission  780SE  stand / rear  speaker - black ash :
   Front-vented, bass reflex box, inverted drivers, 2-way   speakers :
   The Mission 780SE loudspeakers are very compact, yet have a wide frequency range, due to the excellent match of box dimensions to the woofer parameters

   Gramophone review, 1993 of 780SESE model :   Mission has a proud tradition of dimension-and-price-defying small loudspeakers. The 780SE, a 'turbo' version of the cheapest model in the current Mission range and truly deserving of the description 'bookshelf' (although using it on anything but rigid stands will never do it full justice), is the latest in that distinguished blood-line
   In the beginning (May 1990) was the 760, which in November '91 begat the 780SE, with a bigger magnet on the bass/midrange driver and changes to the crossover. In May of this year the 780SE (which remains in production) in turn begat the £30 costlier 780SE, with further crossover refinements : polyester film capacitors in place of reversible electrolytics plus electrically separate high- and lowpass filter sections to permit bi-wiring—and thicker internal wiring
   Other key features remain as in the lowlier version, notably the injection-moulded baffle of mineral-loaded polypropylene. According to Mission, this and the remainder of the cabinet (constructed of 15mm high density particle board) are intended to be light and stiff, and to store the minimum of resonant energy as a result, the aim being a 'fast' and detailed sound in the tradition of the marque
   The most notable aspect of the two drive units : a doped paper cone bass-mid unit and Ferrofluid-cooled polyamide dome tweeter—is their disposition: bass/mid driver above the tweeter rather than below. It's an old idea, commonly employed by Mission but still seen relatively infrequently elsewhere, the point being to equalise the path lengths from the two drivers' acoustic centres to the ears of the listener, without recourse to a stepped baffle
   For this to work correctly, of course, the top of the cabinet has to be at or below ear height, as it normally will be if the loudspeaker is used on stands in the normal way. If for any reason the loudspeaker is located higher then it should be turned upside down to achieve the same result, although the 780SE's instruction manual curiously makes no mention of this : a crucial omission, as we shall see

   Mission's literature talks of the inverted drive unit disposition achieving smooth phase response through the 3-5kHz crossover point, but at least as important is the benefit to on-axis amplitude response. With the drive units time-aligned, integration around the crossover point is much improved
   To achieve good sensitivity (89dB) and passably good bass extension (-6dB at 55Hz) from a mere 6.5-litre internal volume, the 780SE is reflex loaded, the reflex port being integral with the moulded front baffle. I expected the port mouth to have been generously radiused to reduce chuffing — a simple matter with an injection-moulded baffle — but in fact it is barely rounded at all
   Performance : I used the 780SEs atop 22-inch Foundation stands, positioned in accordance with Mission's instructions: 10-20cm from the rear wall and without the loudspeakers toed-in to face the listening position—as it happens, precisely the same arrangement I use for my normally-resident Alphason Amphions. "Ensure no toe-in is used", commands the product information, "[otherwise] imaging will be impaired." Mission also recommends running in the 780SEs for 24 hours on music signal before beginning critical listening. As is my habit, I ran them overnight (14 hours) on pink noise instead, then for a couple of hours on music programme
   Usually I remove a loudspeaker's grilles for listening, since 99 times out of 100 this improves the sound. On this occasion, though, I chose to leave them in place. The reason is to be found in the 780SE's grille frame, which curves around the vertical edges of the baffle to provide a more gentle transition to the side panels : a refinement which is well known to reduce secondary radiation from the cabinet edges
   Within a few seconds of firing up a small, inexpensive loudspeaker in earnest you usually know which of two design philosophies it embodies. Either it's the warts'n'all approach, in which the loudspeaker's inevitable imperfections are undisguised, and hang the awful noises it may make with inexpensive ancillaries; or the cosmetic approach, where the loudspeaker's rough edges are smoothed off, even if this means some sacrifice to ultimate transparency
   In the 780SE, Mission has clearly attempted to plot a middle course between these two extremes. It says the loudspeaker "will clearly show improvements as [the] source improves" — which is certainly true — but also that it "may be used with any competent budget electronics". You might anticipate from this a compromise in the worst possible sense, but in truth the 780SE is a feat of balance of which even Blondin would have been proud
   That is, provided your listening position is correct. The one thing you absolutely must not do with this loudspeaker is to place it too high, otherwise it sounds dull, compressed and two-dimensional. Lower it somewhat, or sit higher, so that you can clearly see its top panel, and it undergoes a transformation :
   The lower treble comes up, returning life to the sound, and suddenly you are presented with a spacious, lifelike stereo image, and sound quality in general, worthy of loudspeakers a class or two higher. The boxes disappear as the sources of sound, and very soon you find yourself asking: if Mission can conjure this captivating performance from a modest £150 box, why do others so often struggle to match it at £500 and more?

   One thing you cannot escape, of course, is the 780SE's lack of bass extension, but Mission has wisely made no attempt to disguise this by an upper-bass lift. As a result the lower frequencies are always tuneful : you can clearly hear what bass instruments are playing, which is altogether more important than the added weightiness any false emphasis might offer
   There is also some mild coarseness and a lack of treble extension, but these imperfections are likewise easy to forgive because the 780SE is otherwise so clean, clear and lively : qualities which are best realised with first class ancillaries (like the Audio Innovations' First Audio Amplifier and Kenwood DPX9010/Audiolab 8000DAC I used) but which will also flatter more modest ones
   In fact, on the basis that designing an inexpensive loudspeaker : where resources are minimal and the variability in partnering equipment is highest, represents one of the professional loudspeaker designer's most difficult tasks, I reckon the 780SE is something of a masterpiece
   It disguises its unpretentious price and diminutive dimensions in the best way possible : by being a thoroughly absorbing and entertaining listen. Take a bow, Henry Azima and team

Specifications :
  -:®:-   Vintage : 1993 model
  -:®:-   Enclosure type : 2-way front vented - bass reflex, inverted drivers - tweeter lower
  -:®:-   Frequency response: 70Hz to 20kHz [±2.5dB],  -6dB at 55Hz
  -:®:-   Finish : Black ash
  -:®:-   Impedance : 6 ohms
  -:®:-   Sensitivity : 89dB [2.83V / 1m]
  -:®:-   Power input rating : 25 to 75watts
  -:®:-   Maximum sound pressure level : 103dB / pair
  -:®:-   Crossover frequency : 4.5kHz
  -:®:-   Effective volume : 6.5lt
  -:®:-   Drive units: HF: 19mm (0.8") polymide tweeter, ferro fluid cooled  LF: 130mm (5.0") Plasiflex woofer
  -:®:-   Input connectors : banana plugs capable binding posts
  -:®:-   Cabinet dimensions [W x H x D] : 180 x 295 x 200mm [7 x 11.6 x 7.9"]
  -:®:-   Weight : 3.5kg each,  - packed both: 8.5kg

   SOLD March 2105 on trademe  to Motueka


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