For those versed in Roman mythology, the name Mercury may bring to mind the God of communication, so on the face of it, a good name for a pair of speakers.
Unfortunately, more relevant to these Tannoys is the planet named after him, in so much as it’s far from the best hi-fi on Earth.
That’s perhaps a tad harsh but given our admiration for the company`s usual output - such as the Award-winning Eclipse 3 speakers - the Mercury 7.2s are disappointing, mainly because we’d expect so much more.
Tannoy Mercury 7.2 – Drivers
The Mercury 7.2 boasts brand-new drive units, namely a 6-inch mid/bass driver with a “smooth profile” cone and a 1.1-inch soft dome tweeter.
The mid/bass cone is made from Tannoy’s proprietary multi-fibre-coated paper, the lightness and stiffness of which helps to deliver fast bass notes, while the smoothly sculpted profile aids dispersion and mid-range accuracy.
It’s housed in a new, long-throw rubber surround, which gives the cone ample room to move without over-damping it. The motor assembly behind is larger than previous models in order to handle the increased power.
Meanwhile, the polyester tweeter is laminated with a micro layer of nitro urethane, which damps the dome and pushes break-up frequencies beyond the audible range. Behind it lurks a revised neodymium magnet system.
Tannoy Mercury 7.2 – Performance
Speakers always look good on paper, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating – thankfully, the Mercury 7.2s are delicious.
They deliver a highly musical performance with terrific dynamics, detail and timing. Their presentation is refined and easy on the ear, but with enough bite to keep excitement high when the music demands it. They’re not aggressive by any stretch, but you certainly won’t be bored.
The balance is well judged – not too rich, not too bright. It’s simply a clean, neutral sound that lets the music do the talking. Such neutrality might not impress those who like warmth and richness, but it allows the speakers to paint a clear sonic picture with excellent dynamics.
They’re not hugely fussy about the calibre of your amp either – they were as happy being driven by a mini-Bluetooth amplifier I had kicking around as they were by my powerful Onkyo AVR.
The 6-inch woofers offer fabulous bass reproduction, extending deep into the low frequencies while remaining quick and agile. This lays the foundation for a big, weighty sound with plenty of puff – you can really hear the benefit of those large cabinets.
The Tannoys are equally confident in the mid-range. Vocals are clearly projected and laced with detail. Play “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye and his plaintive voice sounds like velvet, while the strings and saxophone solos soar with clarity and confidence.