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Speakers

Mordaunt-Short Performance 6

Lovingly designed from the ground up, the Performance 6 speakers provide rich, vibrant sound to please the discerning -- and cashed-up -- audiophile.

Upside
Looks-wise, the Performance 6 is all sleek lines, gentle curves and brushed surfaces. Available in granite or silver finish, each speaker is 1.21 metres tall and weighs in at 30kg -- hefty, sure, but nowhere near the behemoth status of the Jamo Reference R 909. The overall look is distinctive enough to be stylish, but unobtrusive enough to blend in with your furnishings.

Mordaunt-Short is big on developing all the ingredients for their equipment in-house, and the Performance 6s feature cabinets constructed from proprietary polymer resin, rather than wood. This allows for a high level of control over the density of the cabinet, which varies from high on the external side to low in the inner section.

The proprietary hardware continues inside the cabinet, with a 25mm aluminium dome tweeter that "breathes", 16.5cm Continuous Profile Cone (CPC) woofers and 100mm mid-range featuring the latest in neodymium motor design.

We listened to an variety of audio on three different formats: CD, SACD and vinyl. Each recording displayed a purity, and depth of sound that made us want to snap up a pair of these speakers and bring them home for keeps. Particularly impressive was an acapella/gospel style take on Bohemian Rhapsody, which unshackled itself from its 70s rock origins and soared with a clarity that made us forget all about that head-banging scene in Wayne's World. A vinyl version of Nancy Sinatra's Bang Bang displayed the scratches and pops you'd expect from a record, but these only added to the richness of the sound.

Downside
Well, there's the price. At $9,400 per pair, these babies aren't exactly within reach of your average music fan wanting to trade up from old computer speakers. But for audio aficionados seeking to invest in a solid base for a home entertainment set-up, the Performance 6 pair is well worth investigating. Life's too short to listen to low-bit rate mp3s through entry-level hardware. And look at it this way: this model is around half the price of Jamo's gigantic R 909 offering.

Outlook
If money is no object, and you're keen to turn your lounge room into a 5.1 channel multimedia haven, you might want to consider setting up a Performance system. Joining the Performance 6 speakers are the Performance 5 centre channel speaker (AU$3,350), Performance 2 standmounters and the Performance 9 subwoofer (AU$3,990).

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