Scansonic MB6 B Loudspeaker Page 2

Underpinning the junior model's combination of detail, focus and imaging is notably greater bass extension, yet without sacrificing any of the low-down speed and control that has so far been a hallmark of the latest versions of the MB speaker range.

With these loudspeakers on the end of high-quality amplification – I tried the Bricasti M20/M25 combination [HFN Nov '20] and, at a more affordable level, the Michi P5 preamplifier [HFN May '20] and M8 monoblocks [HFN Oct '20] – it was clear that the increased low-end punch available here didn't stop the MB6 B from delivering a thrilling sense of air and space in the sound.

If you're a sucker for that brief glimpse of recorded ambience in the moment before the music starts, or the way the sound decays away into a well-captured acoustic, you'll find much to like here. That was certainly the case with Elton John's 'Border Song', from his self-titled 1969 album [Mercury Japan UIGY-9612]. The sense of performance and of the lone performer at his piano in a credible acoustic was striking, before the backing vocals soar up with a rush of exuberance, and the drums punch through the mix with real impact.

Similarly with Christophe Beck and Frode Fjellheim's 'Vuelie' (the theme from Frozen), by Norwegian choir Cantus on Spes [2L 2L-110-SABD], the MB6 B speakers deliver a precise, ultra-clear view of a typically wide-open recording. Every voice in the choir ranged before the listener is readily apparent, as is the acoustic space, and again the drums have both weight and fine attack.


That speed, allied to the explicit yet sweet treble from the ribbon tweeter, is heard to good effect with Angelo Verploegen and Jasper van Hulten's The Duke Book [Just Listen Records JL019], a wonderfully simple tribute to Duke Ellington played on no more than flugelhorn and drums. The recording, made live with no edits or overdubs, displays fabulous speed and drive. The drum kit sounds particularly snappy and punchy, and there's a glorious sense of the two musicians occupying the same acoustic space, their playing bouncing off each other.

Hall Effect
On a different scale, Britten's Serenade For Tenor, Horn And Strings, recorded in the composer's own concert hall at Snape Maltings [Linn CKD 478D] shows the speakers fully able to let the notes hang in, and decay into, the hall's ambience. The strings and the two soloists are delivered with entirely realistic proportions, with the diction of tenor Allan Clayton made explicit by the apparently seamless integration between the speaker's drivers – and again, that sense of experiencing a performance, not just listening to a recording, is a strength here.

More obviously live sets also benefit from the broad, deep focus and airy top end of the MB6 B speakers, with the 2019 Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert, conducted by Christian Thielemann [Sony Classical 19075902822] having a lovely rich, warm sense of the well-heeled audience gathered in the big room of the Muzikverein.

One can't help but be reminded of John Lennon's line, 'Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewellery', but it's hard to argue with the feeling of occasion, and of the audience playing as big a part in the event as the orchestra. The band's on form, the audience is having a (very polite) ball, and the weight and balance of the loudspeakers convey all the atmosphere of the concert.


Sheer Drive
So yes, you certainly need to take a bit of care when it comes to positioning these loudspeakers to get the best of that bass, but do that and the MB6 Bs aren't afraid to rock out, whether with the pomp of 'Thunder Child' from that famous War Of The Worlds recording [Columbia DPCD960000] or the sheer drive and slam of The Who's 'You Better You Bet' [Face Dances; Geffen 96kHz/24-bit download].

The clarity here is a major factor, but the speakers never stray into 'too much information' territory. Instead, they deliver a sound that's both satisfying in hi-fi terms and musically compelling, too.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
You'll need to shove them closer into the corners than common sense would suggest, and make sure your amplification is up to snuff, but these tall, slender speakers don't just look fabulous: they also deliver the music – any music – with real vitality and impact. They're detailed, refined and classy, but hit them with something rougher and harder and they'll rise to the occasion in admirable style.

Dantax Radio A/S
Supplied by: Decent Audio, Stockton-on-Tees
05602 054669