MAD My Clapton - £3,999

Newcomer My Audio Design is no slowhand when it comes to building speakers here in England

The names are a giveaway. MAD is an acronym for My Audio Design, while christening this particular speaker My Clapton, is further evidence of designer and principal Tim Jung’s background. The My Clapton loudspeaker is designed and manufactured here in the UK.

It’s an unusual speaker in a number of respects, mounting a 200mm coaxial drive unit into a generously proportioned, rather bluff and four-square ported enclosure.

Large eight-inch two-way standmount speakers seemed in danger of disappearing around the same time we were all being forced to abandon Imperial measurements and start referring to 200mm main drivers.

Back in the 1970s, the virtual disappearance of 8-inchers in favour of the 6.5-inch (165mm) main driver was largely due to fashion and the increasing demand for ever slimmer and more discreet loudspeakers.

The UK-made 200mm drive unit used here is, therefore, one of an increasingly rare breed. Like Tannoy’s well-known Dual Concentric designs, it places a tweeter in the centre of a bass/mid cone, but in this case the soft dome tweeter is mounted on a extension to the central pole-piece and loaded by a short horn. This is surrounded by both a hard (c70mm) baffle and a 100mm foam disc. The paper bass/mid cone is roughly 153mm in diameter and enclosed by a relatively stiff surround – a little like those found in PA drivers.

The critically damped enclosure has nicely rounded edges. The supplied grille has a thick frame and looks better avoided, while signals are fed via a simple crossover and a single terminal pair. 

Sound quality

My Clapton seemed to polarise panel opinion in the Blind-listening Group Tests and, while the basic characteristics tended to be identified pretty accurately, the reaction to them varied somewhat depending on individual tastes.

The bottom line here is probably an overall tonal balance which does suffer a degree of midband coloration and definitely errs somewhat on the thin and bright side of neutral. While the character is quite muscular and punchy, with good coherence, plenty of drive and urgency and decent rendition of orchestral textures, it does lack warmth. This leaves the top end of the audio band sounding a little exposed, especially when the volume control is wound up. In a very real sense, it was felt by the panel that this speaker’s character would be better suited to valve, rather than solid-state amplification.

My Clapton delivers a quite engaging and involving overall sound quality in a package that’s certainly distinctive and very different from the marketplace stereotypes. Its rather bright character didn’t suit all our listeners: some criticised a degree of coloration and limited stereo depth, while others welcomed the good coherence and dynamic drive.

LIKE: Muscular sound; decent dynamic grip and fine coherence
DISLIKE: Balance lacks warmth giving a rather thin overall character
WE SAY: A refreshingly different package

DETAILS
ORIGIN: UK
WEIGHT: 12kg
DIMENSIONS: (WxHxD) 255x453x290mm
FEATURES:
• Coaxial neodymium tweeter with short horn
• Single terminal pair
• Critically damped enclosure
• Available in a wide variety of finishes
DISTRIBUTOR: My Audio Design
TELEPHONE: 07782 137868
WEBSITE: madengland.com