Morduant Short Mezzo 1

MORDAUNT SHORT MEZZO 1 loudspeaker review

From Hi-Fi World - January 2009 issue





The Mezzo 1 is a shelf mounter that uses Mordaunt Short's aluminium drive units, the 133mm bass driver using a shallow inverted cone for light weight coupled with stiffness, a shape Monitor Audio also favour. Standing 300mm high, 204mm wide and 255mm deep the Mezzo 1 is compact and of normal weight at 6.2kgs. Unlike all the other loudspeakers though, except the Quads, the Mezzos have a rear mounted port that will need at least a few cms of rear breathing space. The upside of this is that box noise from the port will be lost backward, lessening colouration. Curiously, the larger Mezzo 2s have a front port.  The bass unit is accompanied by an aluminium dome tweeter with a complex assembly to dissipate rear energy and prevent standing waves. Bi-wiring is provided, via sturdy rear terminals.


A silky smooth and deliciously creamy sounding tweeter distinguishes the Mezzo 1. This was the only loudspeaker of the group through which strings sounded gorgeous. Nigel Kennedy's vigorous bow work sailed forth from the Mezzo 1s to both delight and captivate me, something that only the Quad's could otherwise approach, but not match. The Mezzo 1s have a lot of projection, pushing Kennedy's violin out into the room and right into my attention, without any trace of unpleasantness. The Mezzos managed the same trick with vocals too, projecting Renee Fleming's pure tones into the room with delightful energy. In the same way they invigorated Madame Butterfly so they lifted Gerry Rafferty from a none too clear mix in The Ark. A great sense of insight allowed me to see right into complex mixes like this and I thoroughly enjoyed them over a wide variety of material from Rock to Classical. Spinning the 12in, 45 single Tears Dry on their Own, from Amy Winehouse, had the small Mezzos all but trying to jump off their stands they sounded so  energetic. However, this also revealed that although they go amusingly low for a small box, bass quality is soft and murky. This is their one weak area. Stereo staging was open and spacious, with images that reached upward into a nice high arc between the loudspeakers. The tweeter is so smooth and clean I also found myself able to turn volume up without having to cringe. Mordaunt Short voice their loudspeakers to be easy on the ear but vigorous and spacious too. There's a slight warmth to them, but their sheer entertainment value is great.

verdict four globes

Silky mid and treble make these loudspeakers unusual distinctive.


+44 (0)207 940 2200


- silky smooth treble

- natural tonal balance

- projective imaging


- murky bass

- warm sound

- pricey


The Mezzo 1’s frequency response isn’t as smooth as some in the group, but it maintains an even overall trend across the audio band, free from undue high frequency peaking; if anything the Mezzo 1 is likely to have a little warmth, because upper midband energy is a little down. The midband and lower midband are smooth though - important. Bass rolls off a little early, an over damped response usually chosen for near-wall placement. The port, however, provides broad output, exerts broad damping and extends bass down to 40Hz.

Measuring 6 Ohms impedance, the Mezzo 1 is a very civilised load that amplifiers will drive without difficulty. A high 86dB sensitivity makes around 40 Watts a suitable minimum for good volume. Short and long term spectral decays showed no particular problems, but bass distortion was high. The Mezzo 1 is for use near a rear wall. It should sound fast and clean, well balanced and quite easy on the ear, measuring well in most areas. NK


mordaunt short mezzo  1 stepped sine fr3 screen

Green - driver output; Red - port output


mordaunt short mezzo  1   z3   screen


Add your comment

Your name:
  The word for verification. Lowercase letters only with no spaces.
Word verification:


Hi-Fi World, Powered by Joomla!; Hosted by Joomla Wired.