Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Audio Design (MAD) 1920 Loudspeakers in the House

For the next couple of weeks I get to play with these small British floorstanders, the 1920s, from My Audio Design (MAD). Designed as a tribute to the classic LS3/5a, the 1920s are roughly the same dimensions--except in depth, where the 1920s are much deeper. The 1920s are ported, however, unlike the sealed LS3/5as. They are also much more efficient--90 dB vs. 82/83 dB. That means they should mate well with my 27 wpc Unison Research Sinfonia integrated amplifier.

After just a few hours of listening, I've noticed that the 1920s possess a very classic British sound, which means they are extremely smooth and refined. It's been a while since I've heard an LS3/5a, but I'm going to say the 1920 is more extended in the bass while matching the older speaker's natural midrange. The 1920s are also much more attractive, with thick-walled cabinets finished in a rich walnut veneer. You won't find the LS3/5a's sloppy Velcro fasteners on these baffles.

Thanks goes to the 1920's designer, Timothy Jung, who is friends with Colleen and asked us to give them a listen before they head to another reviewer in the US (they came to us directly from their first American review). There's currently no distributor in the US for MAD, but the entire line is becoming popular in the UK and the rest of the world. After seeing the export prices on the 1920s, I would think that they'd retail for between $2500 to $3000 per pair in the US, which indicates they are a strong value.

I'll follow up after I've let them warm up and play for the next two weeks. Until then, you can check out the entire speaker line from MAD on their website.


  1. Marc, could you comment on how this speaker compares to the Trenner & Friedl ART? Many thanks.

  2. I don't think that's a fair comparison, since the ART costs 2 1/2 times the 1920. They sound very different so far.

  3. I hope MAD does well; a favorite of this Anglo/Audiophile would be the new Duke, the one with the Union Jack on the sides.

  4. Not fair but useful nonetheless as a reference. I have heard the MAD 1920 and was hoping to get some insight into how (if at all) the law of diminishing audio bliss per dollar applies to the more expensive ART (which is hard to sample).

    1. Well, the ART quite simply is the best mini-monitor I've ever heard. Compared to the 1920s, they are more extended at the frequency extremes. The ARTs will go down to 44 Hz, amazing performance for such a small speaker. The 1920s go down to about 58 Hz in comparison. That said, the 1920s seem ideal for those who love the sound of LS3/5a and want a more modern equivalent. They are at least the equals of those Stirling Broadcast LS3/5as that appeared a few years ago. If the 1920s sell for $3000 or less in the US, they will be a great value and I would easily consider a pair. The ARTs, however, are close to $5000 a pair with good stands, and they compete with anything--floorstanding full-range or otherwise--at that price.

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