Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2 Bookshelf speakers

The latest little box from MS measures 320x205x298mm, making it the biggest in this group, and the heaviest at 6.4kg. It comes in a choice of black, rosewood and the walnut finish used here. Behind the grill lurks a 25mm aluminium dome tweeter and beneath this is a 162mm CPC aluminium bass unit. The back contains the reflex port and biwirable speaker terminals.


Settling down to the Beethoven, I was confronted by the most cohesive and comprehensive sound I had yet encountered in this group. Music flowed effortlessly, with a smooth sophistication that was very engaging. I felt that there was a more even balance to the sound than the AEs had managed, allied to a grace that I usually associate with more expensive designs. The soundstage was well populated but relatively uncrowded. Whereas a lot of the speakers here had displayed the full orchestra in a fairly huddled together manner, here I felt there was better separation of the different strands of sound, that neatly combined to create a cohesive group.

This separation did wonders for the Mamas and the Papas LP. It seemed to allow me to disentangle the jumble of musical information presented to me. Little details, submerged in the messiness of the original recording, became more accessible, helped by the space within the stereo soundstage. It was huge, spreading well beyond the speaker edges, and flowing forward into the room and backwards. Within this, the band seemed to have space to do their job of making music properly, and the result was the most approachable and enjoyable performance of this recording I had yet heard.

The Morcheeba LP was a pleasure, flowing from the speakers effortlessly and gracefully. Bass was purposeful, although not the fastest here (that honour goes to the AEs), and had depth and solidity that made it more believable. Above this I luxuriated in the warm but descriptive midband, putting flesh and blood onto the vocals. Treble was the smoothest here; relaxed, but detailed and shapely. Biwiring lifted the performance up another level, adding to the general feeling of this being a well thought out and classy design.

Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2 Bookshelf speakers photo