MoFi Electronics SourcePoint 10 loudspeaker Page 2

Andrew talked about how he linearized the concentric motor system and by doing so stabilized the fixed field so it doesn't get modulated by the signal current, which leads to nonlinearities, ie, distortion products that, because they occur after the crossover, will not be attenuated. (The crossover filters the signal going into the cone, not the sounds coming out of it.) He also discussed how, in a concentric drive unit, there's always a limit to how much magnetic energy you can get to the tweeter, which you need for it to have a high sensitivity. Andrew came up with a structure where the woofer and tweeter magnets contribute to each other's magnetic field, resulting in a greater flux density than either motor could achieve alone. He was going to call it a "compound coupled magnet structure," but MoFi decided on "Twin Drive." "Being a twin, I'll take that one!" exclaimed Andrew, whose twin brother Owen is also an audio engineer.

Setting up
I left it to Jones and Jon Derda to optimize the positions of the SourcePoint 10s in my room. I had initially set the loudspeakers vertically on 18" single-pillar stands. However, after listening to some familiar recordings, Jones and Derda felt that 24" stands would be better, with the speakers sitting horizontally (see photo), where they resembled the Gale 401 speakers I had used for a while in the late 1970s. The MoFis were attached to the stands' top plates with Blu Tack pads, and although the stands' pillars were filled with a mixture of sand and lead shot, we stabilized the bases with small bags of lead shot. The stands were spiked to the wooden floor beneath the carpet.

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The front baffles ended up 73.5" from the wall behind the speakers, the right-hand woofer 51.5" from the books that line that speaker's closest sidewall, and the left-hand woofer 31.5" from the LPs that line that speaker's sidewall. Jones and Derda toed out the SourcePoint 10s slightly from the listening position, and while the coaxially mounted tweeters were 32" from the floor, a few inches below the height of my ears, the 3° taper of the speakers' sidewalls meant the drive units were tilted up toward my ears by exactly that much.

The main source of music was my Roon Nucleus+ server feeding audio data over my network to a Roon Ready MBL N31 CD player/DAC, which in turn was connected directly first to the Schiit Tyr monoblocks I reviewed in the January 2023 issue, then to my regular Parasound Halo JC 1+ monoblocks. I didn't use the MoFi SourcePoint 10s' magnetically attached grilles, and the speakers were single-wired with AudioQuest Robin Hood cable.

Listening
To make sure the SourcePoint 10s had settled down after setup, I used the speakers for a week's worth of casual music playback before I started my critical listening. Then, as always, I started with the 1/3-octave warble tones on my Editor's Choice CD (STPH016-2). The SourcePoint 10s cleanly reproduced the tones down to the 40Hz band, and the 32Hz tone was reinforced by a room mode. The 25Hz tone was audible at my usual listening level, but I couldn't hear the 20Hz tone. There was no audible wind noise from the ports with these last two tones. The warble tones sounded clean, with no distortion. The half-step–spaced tonebursts on Editor's Choice spoke cleanly and evenly down to 32Hz, though those around 2kHz were slightly accentuated. Listening to the enclosure's walls with a stethoscope while the tonebursts played, I could hear some liveliness in a narrow band centered around 400Hz.

The dual-mono pink noise track on Editor's Choice was reproduced as a stable central image. The noise sounded smoothly balanced and uncolored, though with a slight lift in the high treble. I was aware of this character imparted to the violin when I listened to Mozart's Flute Quartet in D Major from Serenade, which I recorded live at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 1996 and released as a Stereophile CD (STPH009-2). The balance wasn't bright as such, but it sounded slightly tipped up, emphasized by the lack of low frequencies on this recording. With orchestral recordings that were more fullrange, like the 1966 performance of Elgar's Sospiri with Sir John Barbirolli conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra (16/44.1 ALAC, Angel 67264), which I recently ripped from the CD, the presentation was tonally well-balanced.

Only when the recording itself had a treble-forward balance, like the Classic Records reissue of the early 1960s performance of Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave with Peter Maag conducting the LSO (16/44.1 ALAC rip from CD, Classic Records CSCD 6191), did I feel that the SourcePoint 10's high-frequency balance was getting in the way of the music. But even then, the MoFi speaker's treble sounded clean—just too high in level.

I have written before that the acid test for a loudspeaker's lack of midrange coloration is solo piano. The absence of masking with the instrument's intrinsic tonal character coupled with the frequency gaps in the equal-tempered music scale allow problems no place to hide. Robert Silverman's Steinway D in the Stereophile recording of the Canadian pianist performing Liszt's B-minor Sonata (16/44.1 ALAC, from Sonata, STPH008-2) sounded uncolored, as did Lars Vogt's piano in his recording of the complete Brahms Violin Sonatas with violinist Christian Tetzlaff (DSD128 files, Ondine ODE1284-2D/HDtracks). That midrange cabinet resonant mode I heard with a stethoscope didn't appear to color the sound of the piano, though there was again a touch of character to the sound of the violin at the top of its range in the Brahms.

The piano's left-hand register in both the Liszt and Brahms recordings sounded appropriately powerful, without any boom or hangover. The low frequencies on my unreleased recording of Jonas Nordwall performing Widor's Organ Symphony No.5 (24/88.2 AIFF file) were reproduced with a combination of massive weight and good control. With the sub-40Hz pedal notes at the work's climax and an spl at the listening position of around 93dBC (slow ballistics), measured with the Studio Six app on my iPhone, the woofer's excursion appeared to be less than ½" peak–peak.

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The SourcePoint 10s' stereo imaging was precise and stable. The positions of the three string players on the stage of Santa Fe's St. Francis Auditorium in my Mozart's Flute Quartet recording were clearly presented in the soundstage behind the central image of flutist Carol Wincenc. The supportive acoustic of the Albuquerque church in the Liszt Sonata could be heard surrounding the image of the piano. And on "Somewhere in Hollywood," from one of my picks for this issue's Records 2 Live 4 feature, 10cc's Sheet Music (16/44.1 FLAC, Tidal), the many multitracked voices and instruments were stably presented in a layered soundstage.

Jumping forward 50 years, from the 10cc album to a modern pop record, a man my age has no business being a "Swiftie." But my wife and I were driving into Manhattan and she played a song on the car stereo that I didn't know at all but wanted to. It was "All Too Well (Taylor's Version)" from Taylor Swift's album Red (Big Machine Records). The following day, I cued up the 24/96 Qobuz version in Roon and pressed Play. OMG. Taylor's voice had a touch of sibilance emphasis, but the sound was impressively clean. I turned up the volume so that the spl at my chair averaged around 100dB (C-weighted). This is about as loud as I can stand to listen, but the sound remained clean, with the bottom-octave bass line in the chorus swelling magnificently into the room.

The SourcePoint is a high-dynamic-range, almost full-range design. Going back to my regular KEF LS50s, which I love for their lack of coloration and their superbly accurate stereo imaging and soundstaging, I was painfully aware that the KEFs are small, limited-loudness loudspeakers with restricted low frequencies and a slightly suppressed top octave.

Conclusion
Its high-frequency balance means that the MoFi SourcePoint 10 will have a more neutral treble in rooms larger than mine. But even in my room, it didn't sound bright as such, though it was very revealing of the sonic differences between the amplifiers with which I used it. But when you consider the clean, superbly well-defined low frequencies, the natural-sounding midrange, the high sensitivity, the easy-to-drive impedance, the ability to play loudly without strain, and the affordable price, the SourcePoint 10 gets a thumbs-up from this reviewer. Good job, Mr. Jones.

COMPANY INFO
MoFi Electronics
713 W. Ellsworth Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-3322
(734) 369-3433
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
Indydan's picture

The sound quality of these speakers is nowhere near the level of hype it is receiving! Mr. Atkinson seems to like it, but it does not sound like he is doing backflips, nor that the speaker is in any way a giant killer.

Glotz's picture

If so, where is the speaker a let down, man?

Just asking for clarification of your position- "Nowhere near"...

Indydan's picture

Yes, I have heard it. The Mofi is roughly in the same ballpark price wise as my Harbeth C7es3-XD.
I would NEVER trade my Harbeths for the Mofi. Not even close.
AS another plus, my Harbeths are made in the UK, not China.

Glotz's picture

Very valid comparison. Thank you!

Indydan's picture

Regards.

Ortofan's picture

... Suntan capacitors from Hong Kong?

https://www.on-mag.fr/images/stories/2017/02/gal_harbeth_superhl5plus/6Harbeth_SuperHL5Plus.jpg

https://www.suntan.com.hk/

Indydan's picture

Yes they are.

Ortofan's picture

... imported, as well.

So, how much of the speaker's content can be imported into the UK before the finished product can no longer be considered to be "made in the UK", versus merely assembled in the UK from foreign and domestic components?

Indydan's picture

If we start looking at it like that, we could make the same argument for many, if not every product.

A lot of scotch is aged in bourbon barrels. The bourbon barrels are from the USA. I guess scotch isn't really Scottish...

remlab's picture

The measurements are WAY better than I thought they would be. Interesting that they chose the side mounted configuration for the review, because very few people, other than sound engineers, would use them that way.

DavidMA's picture

Regardless of what one thinks about the sound of these speakers, I do appreciate the extended discussion of the design decisions (and their alternatives) that went into the creation of the speakers. Usually, design decisions are glossed over for fawning praise or superficially discussed. I wish more in-depth discussion of design decisions and their alternatives would be incorporated into reviews of equipment - speakers or electronics.

Jazzlistener's picture

I was excited to read this review given this is an Andrew Jones design and an unusual one at that, but the reviewer clearly lacked any interest in reviewing this speaker. I came close to dozing off part way through it, but forced myself to read it until the end. Two thumbs down.

cognoscente's picture

As an Andrew Jones design owner myself I always read reviews of one of his designs with extra interest. Good to read that Andrew Jones stays true to his design philosophy. I myself own the Elac's Adante AS-61 which I bought at the end of the sales cycle as a demo model (I wonder why the Adante series has not been a commercial success, because of the sound or because of the looks, too big for a contemporary look, do large speakers only sell if they have a vintage retro look? After all, the Adante only received very good international reviews (BE/DE/NL/UK/USA, the ones I read). I assessed them in a direct comparison at the time with the Cabasse Murano (no radiator design) which sounded a fraction better but also cost more than double my demo model deal. The Adante replaced my older Elac speaker (which now serve in the study) with their famous jet tweeter. Fresh and tight, the Adante sounds mature in comparison, more deep bass and attack (and why the Adante is so big I guess, good deep bass requires cabinet volume). The dealer described the Adante at the time as Andrew Jones's working-class Tad. I think that not doing justice to Elac. Anyway what strikes me is that Andrew Jones often changes assignments, from Kef, Infinity, Pioneer, Tad, and Elac now to MoFi Electronics. I don't know if that speaks for him.

funambulistic's picture

I have this speaker as well and think it is fantastic. I, too, wonder why the Adante line was not a bigger hit, but don't mind too much as it is like I uncovered a rare gem. I am sure it was due to a number of reasons, most likely that it did not fit the "affordable" marketing optics that Elac was pushing with Jones' less expensive designs, including the previous Pioneer offerings (I am sure most folks purchasing at the Debut or UniFi level have never heard of TAD). Of course, it could have been because of Guttenberg's not so glowing CNET review or the silly one over at ASR... Anyway, I would love to demo the Sourcepoint to hear what AJ has concocted. It would have to be very good indeed to make me consider giving up my Adantes! Unfortunately, I am sure it is.

Glotz's picture

You guys are way critical of John here... impolite and harsh.

That being said, say what you want. I enjoy freedom as well.

This product speaks to the mastery of Andrew Jones as a speaker designer, especially in light of him working for several mfgs. It's validation not condemnation.

michelesurdi's picture

tin,ten,whats that word?ah yes,tannoy.

David Harper's picture

so what is it specifically about these speakers that makes them worth almost 4K? because price determines sound quality? Looks like they're worth maybe 1K/pair.

ChrisS's picture

...build some yourself.

LukeW's picture

I would lean toward a set of the ZU AUDIO UNION 6 SUPREME Loudspeakers and save a couple of bucks in the process. I love the concept of a a large single driver speaker. One that is made in the USA is pretty amazing too.

Indydan's picture

There is already a pair for sale used on Canuck audio mart.

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