Mission 700: An 80s Classic Reborn
Mission's 700 bookshelf speaker returns after a thorough reworking for the 21st Century while keeping its 80s fashion sense.
The Mission 700 standmount speaker made a guest appearance at the High End Show this year and now makes its presence known officially. Perfect timing, as we have recently reviewed its Applause Award-winning larger stablemate, the all-new 770.
Launched in 1980, a couple of years after the technically impressive 770, the 700 was a more compact and mainstream version of its larger sibling. So, even before we saw the new version in Munich, it was a safe bet that this would be the next model to be given the retro update treatment.
As with the 770, Mission has taken the 700 and improved everything while retaining the original's unmistakable looks and design touches, such as the inverted driver arrangement. The original 700 was one of the first to place the treble unit below the mid/bass driver. Mission still uses this IDG (Inverted Driver Geometry) configuration in its modern speakers. However, it weighs more than it did in the 80s at 12.8kg per side. We're told that this is due to its sturdy construction, which is an explanation I will use from hereon in.
The new Mission 700 is fitted with a 165mm polypropylene mid/bass cone stiffened by minerals and promises fast, tight bass. The mid/bass motor system has been redesigned, too, to take into account modern power handling and dynamics, and, like the new 770, the driver is built onto a die-cast chassis with large rear 'windows' to reduce early reflections back through the cone.
The higher frequencies are taken care of by a lightweight, damped, 28mm microfibre dome backed by a damped rear chamber. Mission states this is a vast improvement over the original's 19mm-dome treble unit.
The wooden cabinet features a twin-wall sandwich of high-density MDF and particle board bonded by a layer of high-damping adhesive to eliminate colouration. The front baffle is strengthened by internal bracing, while a layer of acoustic foam and damping fibre absorb reflections inside the cabinet. This, along with the front-firing reflex port, is tuned to a very low frequency, says Mission, thus avoiding the 'one note bass' typical of some bass reflex systems. In addition, the port is heavily flared at both ends to smooth airflow and eradicate distortion. As a result, we are told that the low frequency extends cleanly to below 38Hz in room. Mission gives a frequency response of 45Hz-20kHz (+/- 3dB) for this 86dB (2.8V @ 1m) efficient, 510x260x270mm (HxWxD) loudspeaker.
There's further damping in the optional stands that Mission has created to go with the 700. These stands come in either black or walnut real-wood veneer to match the cabinet options. The speakers cost $1,999 /pair, as a speaker and stand bundle when they go on sale mid-September.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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