Ian Ringstead comes over a bit Austin Powers when he gives the British made Ophidian Mojo loudspeakers, which cost £995, a listen.

Having recently reviewed the Minimos, the babies of the M series range I am now focussing my attention on the middle model, the Mojo. This differs from the Minimo in having two bass/mid units and the tweeters are offset in mirror image to allow positioning them either to the inside of the speaker or outside depending on taste.

The Mojo is a compact 2-way loudspeaker designed for use either as a stand mount speaker or alternatively wall mounted. Utilising dual mid-bass units in a close coupled array and the unique Aeroflex port system, it is capable of producing a truly room filling sound. Dual 3.5″ bass/mid units utilise lightweight and stiff aluminium diaphragms, balanced neodymium magnet motor systems and long throw rubber surrounds.MOJO-angle

Aeroflex technology enables this highly compact speaker to produce deep and precisely controlled bass by keeping port velocity to a minimum and ensuring the drive units are properly supported throughout their stroke. By building the port systems directly into the cabinet structure the outer walls are braced and strengthened minimising panel resonances. High frequencies are produced by a 27mm tweeter with a Sonolex coated fabric diaphragm and low distortion neodymium motor system closely coupled between the bass/mid units

I won’t go into the Aeroflex technology as I discussed this in the previous review other than to say it is used to great effect again to control the airflow inside the Mojo cabinet. Being a bigger cabinet and having an extra bass/mid unit means obviously more bass and so a greater room filling capability. At the Cranage show the Minimo’s worked better in the room used on the day but in my living room in much better surroundings the Mojo’s showed their character to far better effect. It was a much punchier sound and although initially not as impressive as the Minimo’s had been, over time they began to grow on me and my wife.

SOUND

I experimented with the tweeters both inside and outside of the bass/mid units and although there was a slight difference I didn’t have a particular preference. Others may prefer one position over the other, but like all components this is down to personal tastes. Although the sound wasn’t as airy as the little Minimos, I would say it was more solid and cohesive, having fleshed out the sound. Gareth said he had to experiment with the crossover components and make it more complex in order to get the right sound balance due to the different cabinet interactions of the Mojo’s.MOJO-angle2

The word Mojo originally means a charm or a spell. But now it’s more commonly meaning is sex appeal… or talent. I remember seeing Austin Power’s many years ago with Mike Myers playing a spoof on the James Bond character in the sixties. In the film he lost his Mojo briefly and so was desperate to regain it. The Ophidian Mojos certainly have talent and appeal and for their size are impressive. Again they can take power without sounding strained and reproduce all types of music successfully, especially in the standard UK living room where space is at a premium. I listened to Capercaille’s live album (a current favourite) and was rewarded with the rich acoustic setting of the live venue. All the little clues were there in abundance to the live recording and there was a good sense of depth which aided the illusion of space in the arena.

I tried Ed Sheeran’s latest album X which has some excellent songs on it and it was most enjoyable to hear this talented artist singing about experiences I am sure he has gone through, of angst and of love.

A characteristic of all the M series speakers is that they don’t sound flustered and get on with the job of reproducing music like an experienced professional. The Aeroflex technology really does pay off here and makes them work more easily with awkward rooms I reckon than a lot of other designs. I’d like to try some room acoustic treatments sometime to see how they affect my living room’s sound such as bass traps or sound deadening panels (Review on these coming soon – Ed).MOJO-front

In contrast to the Minimo which had less airflow output from the rear port, the Mojos produce more airflow, so I wonder if this had an effect on its sound characteristic in my living room. I can’t move the speakers too far forward into the room for practical reasons, so maybe some form of dampening behind them might alter the sound. Anyhow they still worked well in my room which is quite well damped, without being dead acoustically and there was plenty of headroom.

CONCLUSION

The speakers I had were in the walnut veneer finish and were very well made and would suit a lot of homes aesthetically. I can see the Mojos appealing to people with a taste for heavier/bassier music, or a larger room that requires filling more easily than the Minimo could manage. Gareth James the designer has again done an admirable job of producing a great sounding, smaller speaker to suit most tastes. My wife and I both love the Mojos and Minimos and it would be a hard choice as to which one we would keep. They both have real plus points. I will be trying the largest model the Mambo at some point in the near future, which will be interesting to say the least. The extra bass and scale they can produce may tip the balance in their favour, or perhaps be too much for my room. Watch this space….

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review Austin Power’s lost his Mojo for a while. Well having lived with the Ophidian Mojos for a couple of weeks I think Austin would have been pleased to say he had regained his. They certainly have appeal and a magic about them well worth seeking a dealer out for in order to audition them or the other models in the range.

As Austin Power’s stock phrase in the films was “Yeh baby”, these babies are too cute to ignore. You never know you might just regain your mojo.

Build Quality: 8.5/10 RECOMMENDED LOGO NEW

Sound Quality: 9.0/10 

Value for money: 8.8/10 

Overall: 8.76/10 

 

Ian Ringstead

 

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