Now 20 Years Old -- Mirage MRM-1 Loudspeakers Inherited

To Doug Schneider,

I have questions for you regarding the Mirage MRM-1 loudspeaker. I recently inherited a pair of these speakers with the stands, but was wondering: Is there a manual regarding the setup of the speakers? Also, how old are these? I have them hooked up to a Yamaha 5.1 receiver. They sound great. I just want to get a little bit more knowledge regarding this set and what they are worth today.

Thanks for your input in advance.

United States

It was very interesting to see this e-mail come in -- I reviewed the MRM-1 loudspeaker in the year 2000, which is about when it was released. We also measured it in the anechoic chamber at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC). The MRM-1 was priced at $2200-$2400 USD/pair at that time, depending on finish, plus there was a matching stand available priced at $600-$700/pair, again depending on finish. At that time, it was a very high-end stand-mounted design. I have no idea what a pair would be worth today, with or without stands.

Insofar as the sound quality of that speaker goes, it was good back then and would still be considered good today. Our measurements showed the MRM-1 to have a generally flat frequency response, both on and off axis, plentiful bass for the speaker’s size, and a slightly tipped-up treble. These things were readily revealed in listening. On the downside, the measurements also showed the MRM-1 to be insensitive (82dB/2.83V/m), so a pair needed a lot of amplifier power to make them sing. Its impedance didn’t dip below 5 ohms, though, so the MRM-1 didn’t present too tough of an amplifier load. If your Yamaha receiver is driving the pair well, that’s a good thing.

Even if you could find a manual, I doubt that it will help you too much -- manuals almost never give good information about setting speakers up. I would begin by spacing the speakers 8’ apart and sitting about 8’ from them. Since they have wide and even dispersion, as well as a slightly elevated treble, I would only toe them in about 10 degrees, if at all. Try that kind of positioning and then work from there.

Finally, here’s a piece of trivia on the Mirage MRM-1 that I don’t think many people know -- it was the first speaker that Andrew Welker designed for Mirage. He designed many more speakers for Mirage after that, but today he works for Axiom Audio, where he creates new speakers and electronics, and also carries on some of the design ideas he pioneered at Mirage. . . . Doug Schneider