Lately, almost every well known British Audio Brand embarked into reissuing vintage products. They started with Monitor Speakers then progressed to the bigger Loudspeakers. Now, it seemed to be the Integrated Amplifier’s turn. I did enjoy such resurgence of vintage audio products manufacture. However, I was disappointed with the pricing of such reissued audio products. To me, those vintage audio products enjoyed their respective success due to their respective audio performance and pricing. They were good audio products, especially at the ratio of price to performance. Nowadays, some of these reissued audio products are asking at high to ridiculous price. The manufacturers may defend the asking price with new level of quality designs, parts, manufacture and product.
(Mind me, that some of these vintage audio products were already being surpassed in performance by the brand’s own product [quite some time ago]).
MISSION (Electronics) is a British Audio Brand (initially by Mr. Farad Azima) famed for loudspeakers design and manufacture at ‘reasonable’ price since 1977. Many may not be awared (including myself) that 45 years ago, they did release an affordable integrated amplifier, the 778.
Now, 45 years later, MISSION decided to released an ‘audiophile quality’ integrated amplifier reminiscent to that 778, with genuine power at 65 watts (@ 4 ohms), Moving Magnet (MM) Phonostage with precise RIAA equilisation, multiple digital inputs, Bluetooth wireless for streaming music (through its Digital to Analogue Converter stage of ESS ES9018K2M Reference chip with ESS Technology’s 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, with a sampling rate of up to 384kHz (PCM) and DSD256), a Headphone stage,…and at an ‘affordable price‘ of £549 only.
I paired the MISSION 778X Integrated Amplifier with my FALCON LS3/5a Gold Badge mini monitors. I streamed music from TIDAL through my smart phone (SAMSUNG FOLD 2) via Bluetooth to the 778X.
The combination (778X with LS 3/5a) was not meant to perform the quantity of bombastic mid to low frequencies that were available in the track. However, I was surprised to experience taut and control midbass. Amazingly, there was no discontinuity or breakage from the high to the midbass.
Ms. Skylar Grey‘s voiceation at ‘Everything I need‘ was intimately presented through the combination. The feeling and emotion were not just heard but also felt,…and nothing was perturb by the backing orchestra.
Here, Ms. Sandy Lam‘s emotion poured into the track, ‘Li Xiang Lan‘ was palpable and even surreal through a good audio set up. The combination presented that palpability of emotion captured by the recording mike, and at the same time, the space of the recording venue.
At track 3, ‘Bass Drops‘, I literally experienced both musical instruments separated, spaced and floated behind the LS 3/5a mini monitors, thus gave the impression that the mini monitors disappeared in my audio den. The images of both instruments remained clear and delineated.
Movie soundtrack could be demanding and damaging even when played through formidable audio system (loudness dependable). Here, the combination was not faze by the demands, instead it managed to maintain an ‘openness of the presentation‘.
I think the team at MISSION has done it…a quality Swiss Army Knife-like integrated amplifier that spelled sound quality,…and at a reasonable asking price,…and with 3 years warranty too.