What makes a great loudspeaker? What makes it sing? To Mission the answer is simple: In a well-matched system. The speakers have to allow the performance of the music to shine through. It’s not a group of notes; it’s a performance. It’s not all about frequency response, impedance, sensitivity and directivity, although they all play a part. To paraphrase a famous expression, it’s the music the whole music and nothing but the music – that, in a nutshell, is Mission’s philosophy.
For the LX Series, the speakers’ design has been stripped back to its fundamentals and Mission has focused on producing a range of speakers they are proud of in engineering terms. But can be even more proud of in terms of enjoyment their owners will experience.
MUSIC IS THE MASTER; TECHNOLOGY IS THE SLAVE
LX Series speakers are smart, practical and affordable, sporting a sharp, classic but modern look in keeping with Mission’s customary design focus. Above all, they communicate music with engaging energy and detail, bringing performances to life with all the vibrancy and finesse one expects of Mission speakers.
Mission’s Ethos has always focused upon bringing audiophile performance down to an affordable level, and the LX Series exemplifies this. With the aid of sophisticated modelling tools and software, we’ve been able to maximise the performance of the series using the most modern technology available. Yet Mission’s original slogan, ‘Music is the master, Technology is the slave’, has never been more apt. Ultimately although it’s possible to design a loudspeaker that measures badly, but still sounds good to most. It tends to be very room dependent and that is not our way. Great sound and good measurements keep us very happy. – Whichever Mission LX speaker you select, you’ll want to explore your whole music collection all over again.
High frequency drive units require extremely consistent parts which together with Mission’s extremely consistent manufacturing can deliver the performance required. Given the tiny moving masses involved, one micro-drop extra of high-tech adhesive can destroy the balance of the design, thus affecting sensitivity and frequency response.
For the LX Series, Mission has carefully designed a tweeter with a neodymium magnet for maximum force in a small space, together with a 25mm microfiber dome chosen for its repeatability and consistency in manufacture. It delivers a sweet-sounding but incisive upper frequency as required.
ADVANCED DRIVER DESIGN
DRIVE UNIT POSITIONING AND INTEGRATION
In traditional Mission style, the standmount LX-1 and LX2’s tweeter is positioned below the mid/bass drive unit, in order to aid time-alignment. By placing the treble unit lower than ear level, the path length from the treble unit to the listener is longer than that of the mid/bass unit. As the treble unit dome is physically forward of the mid/bass unit cone, the difference in path length helps to equalise the acoustic distance.
Similarly, the LX-3 and lX4 floorstanders position the tweeter between the mid/bass drivers in a ‘d’appolito’ configuration, rather than above both drive in conventional fashion. The three-way LX-5 is optimised by the HF unit being positioned below the midrange driver and above the bass driver.
The LX Series uses a 4th order acoustic (24dB per octave) Linkwitz-Riley crossover network, developed through a combination of advanced computer modelling, expertise and many hours of listening tests. It is particularly notable for its ability to balance excellent off-axis performance with a flatter on-axis result. Crossover components include silicon steel laminated inductors and polypropylene film capacitors.
While high performance mid/bass and treble units are the foundation of a great sounding speaker, if the cabinet is not properly reinforced it can be an unruly source of unwanted noise.
Extensive research and development was carried out to ensure internal cabinet robustness, eliminating any unwanted cabinet resonances and vibrations. Using a combination CAD analysis, a lot of experimentation and extensive listening tests the cabinet within each speaker has been braced at key points which means the full frequency range is clear and detailed.
The diagram shows areas of bracing and its effect on the sound. Blue areas show where noise is reduced through cabinet bracing, while red areas highlight where there is sound. As you can see, the sound is emanating from the drivers and not from the cabinet, as it should be.