MoFi Electronics SourcePoint 8 loudspeaker

When I got these new speakers for review, they were so new that, at the time I unpacked them, no official user manual was included or posted on the manufacturer's website, and the promised matching stands didn't exist. Yet, I have the abiding feeling that I am getting to the party long after it has started. The Mobile Fidelity SourcePoint 8 is the newer, smaller sibling of the SourcePoint 10 reviewed by John Atkinson in Stereophile's February 2023 issue, with a follow-up by Ken Micallef in June.

With so much ink already spilled, it seems wasteful of your time, the magazine's space, and my time and effort to rehash what has been ably covered and annotated by my colleagues, so I won't describe the history and qualifications of the speaker's deservedly well-known designer, Andrew Jones, or the principles of design and engineering applied to the SourcePoint 10 and SourcePoint 8 in common. What I will do is what high school English teachers so often request: Compare and contrast.

First, the obvious: The SourcePoint 8 was designed to be smaller, utilizing a smaller driver which, in turn, requires a smaller enclosure. It is smaller by 20% in every dimension, at 11.4" × 18" × 12.6" compared to the SourcePoint 10's 14.5" × 22.5" × 16". Consequently, it is much lighter, too, at 27.9lb vs 46.2lb.

However, creating it was not simply a matter of scaling down in a linear fashion, as Jones explained to me over Zoom.

With the SourcePoint 10, Jones chose a large-diaphragm woofer not only to extend LF performance but also to minimize cone displacement, which is especially important in a concentric design because the woofer cone serves as a (moving) waveguide: Displacement can intermodulate the tweeter's output. An 8" driver mounted with a standard surround with typical half-roll termination would have a much smaller active surface, requiring even greater displacement. So, Jones designed an 8" driver (as measured by the radius of its mounting holes) with a narrowed corrugated termination, which also serves as mounting support. The result is an 8" driver whose active area is almost as large as the SourcePoint 10's 10" driver and whose displacement will be similar, especially since its range does not extend as low: 47Hz vs 42Hz.

Fortuitously, the magnetic motor assembly required for this new driver could be (and is) the same as that in the SourcePoint 10; Jones was able incorporate that "Twin-Drive" assembly with its original 1.25" concentric HF driver into the new 8" driver with not much more than a new basket/frame. As a result of these similarities, one would expect the SourcePoint 8 to retain most of the SourcePoint 10's performance, except for two notes (F1, at 43.65Hz—the second-lowest note on an upright bass or bass guitar—and the F# just above it) at the bottom of the larger speaker's range.

Arrival and setup
The SourcePoint 8s arrived finished in Satin Black Ash veneer in a single box, accompanied by a carton containing a pair of Solidsteel SS-6 stands, which were provided in place of the not-yet-ready dedicated stands. The single, 8" concentric driver is placed centrally on the front baffle, surrounded by facets that enhance dispersion by moderating the acoustical effect of the cabinet's rectangular edges. The only notable event in a basically trivial setup involved placement of the included grilles, which snapped magnetically into the slightly recessed front panel with the strength of a crocodile's bite. (Good thing l always start with speaker grilles on, until I have reason to think they affect the sound for the worse.) I connected my monoblock Benchmark AHB2 amplifiers to the SourcePoint 8's single pair of multiway binding posts with Benchmark/Canare cables.

MoFi's documentation for the SourcePoint 8 and SourcePoint 10 omit any statement about whether the speakers should be oriented vertically or horizontally. All the illustrations show them vertical, and all the logos imply that as well. (The logos are all sideways when the speaker is oriented horizontally.) However, with a single, centrally located concentric driver, there is no obvious reason why they could not be oriented horizontally. (A single SourcePoint 8, mounted horizontally, should be appropriate for use as a center channel speaker.)

I placed the SourcePoint 8s—vertically—on the SS stands and, after some experimentation, situated them about 8' apart and about 11' from my listening spot. In that position, each was about 3' from the respective sidewalls and about 4.5' from the wall behind them. I found that the clearest and most stable center imaging was achieved with the SourcePoint 8s toed in about halfway between straight ahead and directly aimed at the listening position. This placement resulted in a wider sweet spot than I'm used to. The soundstage just snapped into place (just like the grilles!) when I was seated anywhere on the sofa; it quickly lost focus when I started to stand up. Seated ear heights vary, so you should be prepared make adjustments in speaker height or tilt to fully appreciate what the SourcePoint 8s can do.

Sitting and listening
Back in the Stone Age, when I was using osmium-tipped "needles" to play 78rpm records at home, I was shocked to hear what came out of the Zenith High Fidelity record player newly purchased by the parents of a school friend. Listening to a Mantovani LP, I visualized the sound of violins as a gentle waterfall flowing out of the wooden box, never hitting the ground. That childhood image sprung from my memory when I played Marc-André Hamelin's recording of Alkan's Grande Sonate 'Les Quatre Âges' (Hyperion CDA66794, played from file) with the SourcePoint 8s. From these relatively plain and chunky boxes, Hamelin released a torrent of notes as he soared through the opening movement, "20 Ans. Très Vite," expressing the joy and optimism of youth. So many notes (but not too many) flew by, each clearly defined, many with a pearly ping.

Spurred by that experience, I listened to Gypsy Baroque (Il Suonar Parlante Orchestra, Vittorio Ghielmi, Alpha Classics ALPHA 392, CD from file), a delightful collection of gypsy and gypsy-influenced music by Telemann, Tartini, Benda, Vivaldi, and Mozart scored for and played by folk and classical instruments of the time. The MoFi SourcePoint 8s portrayed all those bowed, plucked, struck, and strummed sounds with such character and transparency that I was able to visualize each in its place on the soundstage. The ensemble was positioned between the speakers, extending backward from the loudspeaker plane.

I am particularly fascinated by the last track on this album, "Mozart the Gypsy & Mozart Sîrba (After Mozart's Violin Concerto in A Major K219)," a riotous riff on the last movement of that concerto. Hear the detail in the crunchy bass lines that pace the theme and its ritornellos.

I heard no brightness from the SourcePoint 8s. I also did not hear any hint of "audiophile air" producing a simulated, false sense of spaciousness. What I did hear was a relatively forward and engaging presentation coupled with sharp detail. Familiar voices and tracks were presented honestly and clearly without enhancement or highlighting. Listening to solo voices—"Go Your Way" from Alison Krauss's Raise the Roof (Rounder Records 1166101371, 16/44.1, download); "Dat Dere" from Ricky Lee Jones's Pop Pop (Geffen Records, GEFD-24426, CD rip); "Too Proud" from Give It Up to Love by Mighty Sam McClain (AudioQuest Music, AQ-CD1015, CD rip)—I felt that each singer was fully present in my room. The same was true for "Stimela (The Coal Train)," from Hugh Masekela's Hope (Analogue Productions APJ 82020, SACD rip); Masekela's voice and trumpet were incredibly intimate and focused—an intense experience, although the famously lively ambience did not spread beyond the speakers.

MoFi Electronics
1811 W Bryn Mawr Ave.
IL 60660

avanti1960's picture

Thanks for your review and enthusiasm - it mirrors my own enjoyment when I heard them.
Your setup mentions 4-1/2 feet from the wall behind them. I assume this is to the rear baffle- correct?
This would be difficult for many rooms to handle- how adversely is the sound affected with positioning closer to the back wall?

Kal Rubinson's picture

Yes, I meant 4.5' from the rear surface of the speakers and I do appreciate that one may not be able to accommodate that in smaller rooms.

There's nothing magic about the rear spacing in distinction from any other since, at low frequencies, the radiation is omni-directional. In my setup, the side spacing was 3' and I'd expect that 3' would work well for the rear. However, in that case, I'd recommend changing the side spacing so that the two near boundary distances are different.

MhtLion's picture

Great review! Mr. Rubinson consistently produces amazing reviews which are informative, easy to read, not holding back on weaknesses, and most importantly more objective because he often uses the same reference points/frame of perspective over his series of reviews. Compared that to some reviewers who are over-joyed over the fact they got an expensive gear for free for a set of period.

Indydan's picture

Just come out with any box with drivers in it, proclaim it is designed by the legendary Andrew Jones, and little audiophiles all over the world orgasm in their pants!
The "Andrew Jones" moniker feels more like marketing than anything else. If Andrew Jones is so exceptional at designing speakers, why did Elac, KEF or TAD not employ him for longer? Why does he jump around from contract to contract? Designing speakers for MOFI, which is primarily a record selling business, is not the most prestigious of assignements.

cafe67's picture

well aren't you just a happy little ray of sunshine

funambulistic's picture

Show us on the doll where that dastardly Mr. Jones hurt you.

Glotz's picture

I think you have turn the doll over first.. lol.

pbarach's picture

Have you actually heard these speakers? Or do you want to belittle them solely because you don't like the marketing tactic ("designed by Andrew Jones"). Are you saying speakers he designs aren't good because he has designed them for a bunch of manufacturers? As to why Jones "jumps around," or how prestigious a company he works for, those notions is irrelevant to whether he produces good designs. Also, for over 20 years MOFI has been owned by MusicDirect, an audio retailer; oh, they sell records, too.

MZKM's picture

Seems like the SourcePoint 10 has a bit deeper bass, a less linear frequency response, and wider dispersion?

Unless in a small room, seems like the SourcePoint 10 is better overall.

Trevor_Bartram's picture

I own a pair of Andrew Jones Elac speakers & I'm happy with them. I've heard the displacement theory before but I believe it's a marketing ploy to differentiate these Mofis from his Elacs. Also, Kef's Uni-Q drivers have large displacement & achieve exceptional performance. So what the Mofis are uniquely offering to the US market is Tannoy (& Fyne) technology for the 21st century.