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Besides the Evidence I like to listen to Altec Lansing with a 300B SET amp. And I love female vocals and violin as does my dog Moko. Moko means "puffy" in Japanese. He is more than my friend. He is getting old and I am getting old too. Please see my Moko photo, which I took this morning. Moko is a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. He has very good ears and can tell good sound from bad. If sound is very good, he starts to sleep by me. His favorite is violin, not orchestra.

How did you voice the Evidence?

I tried many different types of amps and music to decide final sound. And sometimes I took my speakers to my friends' houses to try different room acoustics and to get their opinions. One of my friends is a music producer, Mr. Taguchi who is a XRCD founder and received Grammy Awards. He provided useful comments regarding the sonic performance of the Evidence. He always says, "do not listen to the sound but to the music."

Which brings us to: The Evidence, now on trial
We'll start with the clerk's redacted notes once the setup was voiced to my liking:

> Warm-ish (if the warmest hue is orange and the coolest of the warm hues is medium yellow, we're talking about the latter)
> Scores high for accuracy of timbres
> Rhythmically adept with engaging flow
> Well-balanced dynamics
> Space/depth is good
> Exceptionally coherent midrange
> Imaging demons
> Detailed and transparent yet not clinical
> Elegant appearance, small footprint

> The very high-definition presentation results in some dry-ish textures on various recordings (which, if they offend you, may be somewhat mitigated with tube amplification)
> Can be beamy. Sitting still is required for optimal imaging
> Can go phasey off-axis (listener needs to stay centered)
> Too zippy when toed in toward this listener
> Picky about ancillaries

That synopsis led my mind to wander in search of some perspective. What was the last budget speaker I'd lived with for more than three months that really impressed me? And here's where it landed: Were it my money -- and were space, WAF and the need for more power than their 86dB sensitivity suggests not make-or-break factors -- I would have to seriously consider a pair of the Magnepan MMG planar magnetic loudspeakers. With the added bass response and more inherent liquidity, I'd likely buy them instead. If I could afford the right amp, which is where things begin to get tricky with respect to synergy. In short, the Evidence and Maggies share the common strengths of midrange transparency and accuracy of timbre. The latter takes the lead in soundstage spaciousness with a wider and taller window on the music. Additionally, the Evidence offer more fastidious detail and rhythmic proficiency while the baby Maggies deliver a more nuanced presentation. All that aside, just remember: That was a lot of were plus a big if. And, it's intended as a reference that points to another significant achievement at this price - any speaker should be proud to be in the running with this Magnepan milestone.

My deposition
One could reasonably argue for dismissal of the closing charge on the 'but' list (and others, too, depending on your personal predilections) so there is no cause for a final verdict either way. For example, I offer the following reframe: I applaud the Evidence for its sensitivity to ancillary gear. For the long term, I opted to use my 2A3 amps (over the AudioSector integrated which I preferred over the Outlaw Audio Retro Receiver) and never suffered from a lack of volume. If you use a tube amp and have the option of selecting 4- or 8-ohm taps, go with the former.

I also favored a single run of Cardas over a single run of Audience, which still happened to be more to my liking than the no-name biwire (which is the approach recommended for controlling the woofer directly from the amp). These choices, in toto, led me to a more welcoming presentation. None of this is to say that the Evidence is cold, cool or even aloof. I just happen to find the world of subtle shading more inviting than the world of direct sunlight. I also fancy a presentation that leans to the liquid. The point here is that the Evidence will respond favorably to your wishes. Be decisive.

"I don't sell speaker cables or design speaker cables. I just wanted to control Evidence woofer directly from amp. That is why I sent bi-wiring cable. I feel that bi-wiring works well for Evidence especially with 300B SET amp."

All this was sorted out rather quickly since I didn't waste any time before throwing some challenging music into the mix. While it was only fair to expect that the fundamentals of the deep bass on drums and bass guitars would be significantly diminished on Terry Evans' Come to the River, it's more important to note that there was none of that 'lets-make-up-for-what-we're-missing-there-by-adding-something-here' approach to the design. Bravo for no boominess in the mid-bass. As for the rest of the spectrum, I'd have to say the mids and the highs are well balanced unless you choose to toe in the Evidence towards your listening position. You will then experience the full potential of the ultrasonic tweeter, which delivered way too much silvery pressure for me. Be forewarned.

If you're into the imaging thing, you'll appreciate the potential of these speakers. The wide and spacious soundscape on Dead Can Dance's Into the Labyrinth quickly revealed the stability and specificity of the various percussive instruments littered across the stage. As a bonus, there were no tiny pinpoint performers. Continuity was very good and extension beyond the speakers (whenever a recording called for it) was there. Though the presentation was not as tall or horizontally layered as would be ideal, enhancements in those dimensions will set you back a whole lot more cash. Dispersion was also limited, meaning that that sweet spot was challenging to share with my favorite person or pet unless we sat far away from the drivers. That in turn results in a less focused presentation. For optimal imaging and to avoid the somewhat phasey presentation you'll hear if you stray wide (or too deep), be prepared to sit zen-like for the duration of your musical mediation. Be still.

On Michelle Shocked's second release (1988) Short, Sharp, Shocked, instrumental and vocal dimensionality was very good. A number of songs on this album go through numerous shifts in rhythm both incremental and wide. This fluency of diverse pace did not inflict the usual quick and severe punishment that it has to other transducers. Instead, it demonstrated that the Evidence could start the toes a-tappin' and maintain a proper sense of musical flow. This is no small feat. Seriously.

Further, it was made obvious that the MHI Evidence loudspeakers have the ability to easily
differentiate the wealth of jangly, stringed instruments found all over this album both at low and modest volumes. You've already forgotten that these are tiny speakers? Well, just don't go crazy with the gain control. Shocked's voice was smooth and well articulated if a touch dry for my taste. The only other quibble? I found myself missing some of the throatiness I typically hear on "Hello Hopeville" and caught myself occasionally looking for subtle harmonics and the level of body/weight I regularly hear during my time with the DIY Altec 604s. See what I mean? Unfair!

On John Lee Hooker's most successful release The Healer, timbales and other percussive transients were snappy and focused. Though set back nicely in a moderately deep stage, it was easy to hear the individual strokes of numerous and rather fast rolls and fills. It's worth highlighting that while many of these instruments have a limited range, the kind of dynamic elasticity that breathes life into music was still evident. Remarkable.

Closing arguments
To be clear, all the testimony above relates to how these speakers sound sans augmentation. Because they are taut and pitch correct in the lower regions where they do play, I found that
adding a competent subwoofer addressed my remaining trifling complaints to a greater or lesser degree. You know, the missing bass fundamentals, some harmonics, the diminished heft of vocals and instruments and the lightweight foundation that made everything else less inviting? Yes, a good sub can close the deal. Feel free to stick around. Right here.

By now it should be obvious that there's no hung jury here. The take-home message following our deliberations is simple: The Evidence does not seek to defraud. These are truthful speakers that don't attempt to cover up shortcomings with overcompensating sonic stunts or diversionary tactics. Nor will they make foul recordings pleasant. When speakers can (within reason given their inherent physical means) faithfully track dynamics, maintain coherence of the vital midrange, deliver lifelike rhythmic flow and offer credible instrumental tone, we call that speaker competent. When a speaker this undersized does all that at a fraction of the cost of many of the alternatives, the jury has no choice but to find probable cause - for celebration.

Quality of packing: Practical and functional.
Reusability of packing: No problems.
Quality of owner's manual: Brief but adequate.
Completeness of delivery: Complete.
Website comments: Not to be found.
Warranty: Three years.
Human interactions: Timely, helpful and courteous.
Pricing: High performance to price ratio.

MM01A/GB Evidence Specifications
Tweeter - Pure aluminum ribbon
Woofer - Mogami paper cone 4.5"
Impedance - 4 ohms
Frequency coverage - 65Hz to 120,000Hz
Sensitivity - 90dB / 2.83V / 1m
Max. Power - 75W RMS.
Crossover Frequency - 10,000Hz
Break-in period - 50 hours
Weight - 4.0 kg ( 8.8 lbs. ) each
Dimensions W x H x D (includes binding post) - 152 x 247 x 231mm or 6.0 x 9.7 x 9.1"

Ed Kojima replies:
Dear Stephæn,
Thank you for the review. It was so thoughtful and like a literate essay. I hope I understood your opinions and impression fully like native speakers do, and am so glad to hear you like Evidence.

Of course I love Evidence and listen to music myself. If I need to move to a small apartment or go to a temporary place for some reason, I would take the Evidence and a favorite amp with me. That is enough to enjoy music 95% mentally. But sometimes I feel like having more fundamental bass, therefore, I have started to develop a matching subwoofer.

I believe you spent a lot of time and made effort for the review and would like to say more than thank you. Please stop by my house to say hi to Moko when you have a chance to come to LA.

Have a great weekend.
Ed Kojima / mhi
Maker's e-mail