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My Audio Design 1920S Monitors Review Print E-mail
Monday, 24 June 2013
Article Index
My Audio Design 1920S Monitors Review
Set Up and Listening
Marc Philips Interview

An interview with Marc Phillips of Colleen Cardas Imports

AVRev: What attracted you to the MAD line with so many speaker lines looking for an importer?

Marc Phillips: Well, Colleen (Cardas) had known MAD designer/founder Timothy Jung for many years. He had approached her many times to be the US distributor but CCI wasn't quite ready to expand yet. We spent some time with the original 1920 and were very impressed with it, but we weren't sure how to market it in the US. Then Timothy sent us the 1920S and it was such a huge step up that it was hard to ignore that it was something truly special. I've never heard a mini-monitor do the "disappearing act" with such ease. There were actually other distributors who were interested in MAD --although Colleen was always Timothy's first choice-- so we had to act fast. 

AVRev: I found the speaker's overall balance to be quite modern, but they still have that majestic midrange the LS3/5A was known for. Were they trying to remain faithful yet at the same time be unrestricted in improving the original design's shortcomings?

Marc Philips: I'm a huge fan of the LS3/5A, but to tell you the truth there are so many small monitors out there that claim to be the "new" LS3/5A, yet to my ears none of them remind me of the classic BBC sound. Timothy says he was "inspired" by the LS3/5A--the front baffle, for instance, is the same size--but to me the 1920S do things the LS3/5As can't like go deeper in the bass without pumping up the mid-bass frequencies. There are no nasal colorations in the 1920s, either. But that magic LS3/5A midrange is there, along with that incredible imaging. The 1920S is also relaxed through the treble in the classic British tradition, but without sounding rolled-off.
AVRev: Tell us a little about MAD's custom designs. This seems pretty unique.

Marc Phillips: Timothy is fairly secretive about the way he makes his speakers--he uses a lot of proprietary parts, for instance. He also voices his speakers in a unique way by using feedback from a select group of musicians and engineers. Timothy also has a background in psychotherapy and group analysis, and he's dedicated to creating speakers that make an emotional connection with the listener. Finally, he goes to great lengths to ensure the speakers are aesthetically pleasing--for instance, I've never seen a cabinet as strikingly beautiful as the one he has created for the Duke and the Baron in his Royal line. So every MAD loudspeaker is created as a complete experience for the listener, not just another premium small speaker that sounds unusually refined.


My Audio Design 1920S loudspeaker: $3450

HF 22 mm neodynium supersonic tweeter
LF 145 mm ultra precision mid/bass driver

Frequency Response:
58 Hz-40 kHz

Crossover Frequency:
2000 Hz

[email protected]@1 metre

280 x 190 x 230 mm

Review System 1

CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT
Server: Squeezebox Touch w/ CIA VDC-SB power supply
via Ethernet to MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate
external drives.
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box II
Headphones: Grado SR60
Preamp: Audio Research SP16
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Bob Carver Black Magic
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4, Bogdan Audio Creations Art Deco
Cables:  Stager Silver Solids,  Darwin Ascension (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC) Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs TosLink, DH Labs AES/EBU, Audioquest, Forest, WireWorld Ultraviolet, DH Labs USB(USB) DH Labs (USB)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner,Salamander rack

Review System 2

CD Player: Onkyo C7000R
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch via Ethernet to
MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate external drives.
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, MyTek Stereo 192 DAC
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
Cables: Darwin Cables Silver IC, Kimber Hero HB,  DH Labs White Lightning (IC),QED Transparent MusicWave (Speaker),PS Audio (AC), Mojo Audio (AC), DH Labs TosLink, Audioquest Forest USB, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold, KECES XPS

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