Mission 751 Freedom standmount speaker

T

the record spot

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Due to a slight change in my domestic circumstances (a polite term for my marriage separation over the last couple of months), I've recently moved into a new flat overlooking the sea which has a similar front room as I had until recently, but with the more suitable stereo arrangement being to have the speakers pointing across the room as opposed to down the length of it with the 752s.

I came across a pair of Mission 751 Freedoms in Edinburgh's Retro Reproduction last week and bought them. Condition is okay, build a little smaller than I recalled when I had the original 751s back in the early 90s but obviously high quality. I've often said that the 75 series was Mission's peak; particularly the 751 and 752 and they stack up well now still as I've just as frequently pointed out!

The Freedom range made some slight changes to the original; the bass port is now at the rear, the tweeter is now a silkk soft-dome arrangement, but the polyropelene drive unit and the inverted arrangement with the tweeter sitting below is retained form the original.

As I now have neighbours downstairs (a trade off, bang goes the detached house - it's okay we rented it anyway!), I didn't want floorstanders, but the Freedoms were worth checking out. I've had them for a few days now and there's quite a difference from the original. The main thing I've found is they're a little smoother with a softening of the detail the originals have. As it happens, I like the mesh-dome metal tweeter which they integrated beatifully in the original design with no harshness exhibited during playback.

What works extremely well is vocal and simpler music - I listened to Joni Mitchell's "Hejira" before coming across to see the kids tonight and it was astonishingly good. My usual staples of The Yes Album and Genesis' trick of the Tail albums have also had outings, but I need to run those again given now I've had the 751s running a few days now, but they did sound less focused and smoother than with the 752s. Scale is obviously reduced but the setup is different, so I'm not too bothered about that and in any case, the range can rock out when needed. What is noticeably better is pinpoint accuracy in the placement of instruments; the detail is right there - bass lines are deep, midrange is lovely and full without bloom and the treble is reigned in a touch. I'm not sure if that's a hangover from the 752s I've used for a few years now, but it's fun hearing the little 751s again, albeit in a slightly different form.

If you get the chance, grab a pair - for £100 or so (a touch more if you buy in a dealers in all likelihood), you'll get a speaker that enjoys a better build than anything out there just now under £500, with the possible exception of Tannoy's lovely DC4. Sound-wise, the original range is beyond reproach IMO but of course I am biased. The Freedoms may be either a matter of taste, or just need to be pushed a little harder to hoist its skirts and have a birl round the room and possibly both. I'll let you know how I get on and if they stay or get replaced by something else.

(PS - no need for any fuss/major comment around the separation, but I thought it helpful to add some context; thanks in advance).
 

chebby

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the record spot said:
... no need for any fuss/major comment around the separation...

I can't comment on the seperation that Mission 751s achieve, as I have never heard any, but stand-mounts are usually better in this respect as you seem to have found...

the record spot said:
What is noticeably better is pinpoint accuracy in the placement of instruments...
 
T

the record spot

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Ah, that wasn't the separation I was referring to, but maybe that was your sense of humour...?!
 

CnoEvil

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Great find RS...one for the cognoscenti. Rarer than the 751, but worth sniffing out. It would probably take a £500-£600 speaker to equal it.
 
T

the record spot

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Yes, it's a nice sound - different to the original and having heard them more now, they're a growing listen. I can't recall exactly how the original 751 sounded now, but they did of course leave a lasting and favourable impression (!). For the money I paid, these are a good find and yes, I'd imagine we'd be looking at that kind of figure to come near to their presentation. I'd thought about trying some of the £200-£350 crop, notably the reduced Tannoy DC4 which are £350 in Richer Sounds, but good though they are, I'm happy with the choice I've made in the 751s.
 

chebby

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You've got me wondering if I should take my Mordaunt Short MS20i Pearls out of their box under the stairs and give them an airing. (I still have some Partington Trophy stands under there as well.)

They - like your Missions - were a 'special' version of an older design. Completely different drivers to the stock MS20is and more like old Epos designs. (No suprise given that Epos' founder Robin Marshall designed them for MS.)

They made a good account of themselves for a few months with my old Naim stuff and I have never compared them with my Rega R3s. (I bought the MS20i Pearls as a cheap stop-gap pending a speaker upgrade that never happened.)

The only problem is that the Regas look great and I hate speaker stands! (Big wooden lollipops on mini oil rigs!) So I probably won't do the comparison just in case I prefer the Pearls :)
 

chebby

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Nah. I have a load of stuff (MS20i Pearls, Beresford DAC, speaker stands, various cables and a couple of 'cult' film cameras) that I must get around to selling on ebay and clearing space under the stairs. (Too lazy to sell all but the big ticket items.)

Then we can get a very small lodger...
 
T

the record spot

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Hi PP, it's hard to say without sitting down and doing a side-by-side and that's not something I'll be doing in a hurry these days!

I would say, however, that given that I could've spent what I paid for the 751s on an entry-level speaker I think I've done well, so, yes, it'd be fair to say you might want to look at that kind of price-range. You might find from £400 upwards; hard to say. In the end as I said earlier, the 75 range went above and beyond what the original price suggested. I've heard a few of them now (751, 752, now the 751F) and there isn't a bad one out there. It's an easy recommendation I think.

If you'd £600 to spare though, I'd look at Tannoy's Signature DC4 standmount. Tiny speaker, but beautifully put together.

Incidentally, for you speaker stand devotees out there, try the Mission Stancettes. £60 out of Richer Sounds. Well built, sturdy and a nice fit for a smaller standmount. Easily assembled and with a nice inbuilt cable tidy in the main support strut (there are three to each stand).
 

Pete Shields

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The 751's remain a great little speaker, a classic, and for the price you've paid a great buy - assuming you've paid around the £100 mark.

I've been toying with upgrading mine for several years now and if I remember correctly, you posted way back that I should keep hold of them.I've threatened to upgrade numerous times and posted in these forums to say as much.

Like most people in this climate the purse strings are well and truly tied (and there is an impending redundance on it's way), so I'll have to happily stick with my 751's (one fo year my 16yr old son to inherit when he finally discovers hifi is not just a bush clock radio...)

I could possibly biwire them to my Cyrus 6xp. Have you done this with the Freedoms, and has it made any difference?
 
T

the record spot

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I paid a little more from an independent dealer, but am fine with that. They don't turn up every day and I could walk out the door with them.

Using them with some Audioquest type 4 biwire, but planning to replace that with some 762 strand cable and single wire them, using a little of the 762 strand as jumper leads. I'll sell the type IV thereafter. FWIW, I'd done the same thing with my 752s, swapping out the type IV for some 322 strand and found the latter very slightly better single-wired.
 
the record spot said:
Hi PP, it's hard to say without sitting down and doing a side-by-side and that's not something I'll be doing in a hurry these days!

I would say, however, that given that I could've spent what I paid for the 751s on an entry-level speaker I think I've done well, so, yes, it'd be fair to say you might want to look at that kind of price-range. You might find from £400 upwards; hard to say. In the end as I said earlier, the 75 range went above and beyond what the original price suggested. I've heard a few of them now (751, 752, now the 751F) and there isn't a bad one out there. It's an easy recommendation I think.

If you'd £600 to spare though, I'd look at Tannoy's Signature DC4 standmount. Tiny speaker, but beautifully put together.

Incidentally, for you speaker stand devotees out there, try the Mission Stancettes. £60 out of Richer Sounds. Well built, sturdy and a nice fit for a smaller standmount. Easily assembled and with a nice inbuilt cable tidy in the main support strut (there are three to each stand).

Fair play to you, RS. You've clearly had a ropey time...

I've not heard any Mission speakers (you've pushed the virtues of Mission for a long while), and I've aimed any upgrade at Totem, PMC and the GX range from MA (all great speakers), I'm just wondering whether I've missed a trick here?

Space is an issue in our bungalow and don't mind sacrificing bass extension as long as the overall sound is equal or better than I have now.
 
T

the record spot

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Not so sure about whether or not they'd be better than what you have now PP, but - and it all depends on how much bass you like - but I've never found the 751s wanting for bass in either incarantion. One of the things that stands out is how deep the speaker will go for the size. I've plugged the rear firing bass port on mine (it's forward facing on the original 751, but moved to the rear on the Freedom version) and it still sounds good and rich.

No idea how they'd compare with the Totem Arro's or the others you mention and in fairness, I'd expect those to outperform the Missions, but that said, you'd be spending a whack more to achieve it. If you're ever up in the Edinburgh area, give me a shout, happy to do a quick listening session.
 
the record spot said:
Not so sure about whether or not they'd be better than what you have now PP, but - and it all depends on how much bass you like - but I've never found the 751s wanting for bass in either incarantion. One of the things that stands out is how deep the speaker will go for the size. I've plugged the rear firing bass port on mine (it's forward facing on the original 751, but moved to the rear on the Freedom version) and it still sounds good and rich.

No idea how they'd compare with the Totem Arro's or the others you mention and in fairness, I'd expect those to outperform the Missions, but that said, you'd be spending a whack more to achieve it. If you're ever up in the Edinburgh area, give me a shout, happy to do a quick listening session.

Cheers, RS - no immediate plans to visit your city (visited a number of times years ago), but as and when I'll let you know.
 

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