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Tannoy Mercury 7.4 review
p2 Measured Performance
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TANNOY MERCURY 7.4

 

Noel Keywood reviews a new budget Tannoy – one you can afford and fit in your home!

 

I'm used to reviewing massive Tannoy Prestige loudspeakers – a three man lift. By way of contrast Tannoy's new Mercury 7.4s are a standard size floorstander with a conventional D’Appolito drive unit arrangement of bass/mid drivers above and below a tweeter. For size, finish details etc go to our Tannoy link at the end of this article. We ran the 'speakers in for 50 hours, measured them and listened at our London offices. 

   Measurement showed a fundamentally accurate and well engineered loudspeaker (see Measured Performance) with some advanced properties, such as broad bass damping and a very smooth, extended bandwidth tweeter. Not a pile of doggies then.

   What you get from this Mercury is massive volume from very little power and a sparkling bright and clear sound with pin-point detailing from extended treble. As I turned up volume to shattering, the Tannoys held together. What I was looking for here was the point at which muddle would appear, since at normal listening levels they are starkly clear, where some muddle or confusion is usual from budget boxes. They held together even at very loud.

   From the outset I could hear a smidgeon of pushyness in the midband that projected detail, drawing a hard edge around images but this made for dramatic stereo. It wasn’t unpleasant. 

   These Tannoys are not laid back. They are glassy clear, fast and forthright. But they are also clean and accurate. 

   Bass? Hmmm… I had to put on my sorting hat here. There was a little emphasis – but in small quantity. Quality was good but I could hear the affection for some notes over others. At high volume, there was no loss of grip. The bungs made little difference and could have been better, by being longer and more dense. So bass was ‘good’, but a little characterful. More obvious was some boxiness from side wall resonance, but that is to be expected from a lightweight budget cabinet. 

   Overall, I thought the Mercury 7.4s were fabo for the price. They are grippingly clear, very fast and have even bass that is kept under good acoustic control. Dynamically, they were lively and engaging. 

    You could not easily find better at this price unless you want a speaker that is warmer and more laid back – as they were in the past. As always, listen first if you can.

 

FOR FULL REVIEW SEE HI-FI WORLD, AUGUST 2017 (Apple Newsstand, on-line, newsagents)

 

SYSTEM: McIntosh MC152 power amplifier, Icon Audio Stereo30  SE power amplifier, Oppo BDP-105D Universal player, Astell&Kern AK120 hi-res digital source. LP: Timestep Evo modified Technics SL-1210 Mk2 turntable, SME309 arm, Ortofon A-95 MC cartridge, Icon Audio PS3 MkII valve phono stage. IsoTek Evo3 mains re-generator.

LISTENING ROOM: 6400 cu ft, acoustically treated and neutral, Notting Hill, London. 

 

Music Group UK

 

Tannoy Mercury 7.4 details HERE

 


MEASURED PERFORMANCE

 

 

Our pink-noise, third-octave analysis of frequency response shows the Tannoy Mercury 7.4 floorstander has an even balance right across the audio band; it is fundamentally an accurate loudspeaker in basic tonality. There is a small lift in output at crossover, around 3kHz, enough to give a little emphasis to upper midrange detail. The tweeter has a smooth output but it extends strongly to 18kHz and is +2dB above the midband, so treble will be obvious. 

   Together, these characteristics mean the Mercury 7.4 veers toward brightness. Our response is a best result, achieved slightly off-axis, when the speaker is pointed straight down the room, not directly at listeners. Treble output was slightly more pronounced on-axis.

   Low frequency output starts to roll away below 200Hz but then returns to peak at 60Hz, before falling quickly. The ports are tuned a bit low (35Hz) against this but still exhibit a broad damping effect, our impedance trace shows. In all, the 7.4s are still reasonably even in bass output, with the supplied foam bungs in place. The ports extend output to 20Hz so deep lows are possible, but not with any power since port output was low. With bungs removed bass rises by a small 1dB or so; they make little difference.

   Sensitivity was very high for a small floorstander, measuring 90dB from one nominal Watt (2.8V) of input. Impedance measured 6.6 Ohms overall, but the bass unit is 4 Ohms. The loudspeaker will go loud at low volume control settings and needs no more than 40 Watts to reach very high volume. 

   The Mercury 7.4 measured well in all areas. It will come across as a tad bright but very detailed. Bass will be in good balance but some narrow emphasis may be apparent. NK

 

FREQUENCY RESPONSE                      (what does this mean?)

 

 

 

IMPEDANCE                                         (what does this mean?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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