Mordaunt-Short is a British loudspeaker maker with a reputation for making high-end products. The company started in 1967 and offers a wide range of stereo and home theater speaker systems and the Carnival 2 is one of their more affordable bookshelf models.
"Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication" – Leonardo da Vinci
With two finishes, Black and Calvados (a sort of Maple-looking finish) and their compact sized enclosures, the Carnival 2s will complement nearly any décor.
The size, appearance and simplicity of the Carnival 2 speakers are refreshing and it gets even better when you listen to them.
Fire 'Em Up
The piano and cello in Dana Cunningham's "The Color of Light" had a natural timbre when reproduced by the Carnival 2 speakers. These two instruments are particularly revealing of a speaker's capabilities. Likewise, vocals provide clues about the neutrality and accuracy of a speaker as I heard in the duet of "Fever", performed by Ray Charles and Natalie Cole. The wide dynamic range in this track came through with excellent detail and clarity.
I prefer the simplicity of a two-channel system without a subwoofer and the Carnival's 5 ½" woofers had more than adequate bass and mid-bass response. Although the deepest, lowest bass notes are clearly passed over, a sub is not needed to enjoy the Mordaunt-Short speakers. A case in point was Queen Latifah's "Hard Times", with bass that sounded warm and well balanced with the rest of the system even without a subwoofer.
Overall the Carnival 2 speakers are easy to enjoy with all types of music and offer surprisingly refined sound quality for a pair of small bookshelf speakers.
The Bottom Line
The fit and finish of the enclosures is excellent and the results are a solid, inert cabinet.
The best part is the price of the Carnival 2: $299 per pair. They would make a great pair of speakers for a modest stereo system or as surround speakers in a home theater system.
I briefly scanned the Mordaunt-Short dealer list in the US and found few dealers, so you may have to search a bit to find one near you, but your efforts will be rewarded with a fine loudspeaker at a very affordable price.
- Drivers: One 5 ½" woofer and one 1" soft dome tweeter
- Magnetically shielded
- Frequency response: 55 Hz - 20 kHz
- Impedance: 4 - 8 ohms
- Recommended amp power: 15 - 100 watts
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.3" x 12.6" x 8.6"
- Weight: 10.45 lbs. each
- Price: $299 / pair
- Contact: www.mordaunt-short.com