We recently put on permanent demonstration the superb new Brigadier Mu2 SE loudspeakers from our friends at Serhan & Swift in Australia. The original Mu2 is still ongoing and remains a wonderful loudspeaker, over the past 18 months or so they have certainly developed a bit of a cult following. They travel under the radar somewhat compared to some of the more established speaker brands but everyone who takes the time and effort to listen to them has nothing but great things to say about them.
The SE version of the Mu2 is essentially a highly tuned ‘hot-rod’ version, they are priced at £7995 a pair. They use the same ScanSpeak Ring Radiator Tweeter and Revelator Mid-Bass drive units (the exact same ones that found in some other loudspeakers costing in excess of $50,000 USD so they are rather well thought of). What is different with the SE though is the cross-over and the cabinet.
The crossover in the SE benefits from the careful selection of high end Auricap XO capacitors which were chosen after extensive listening (and measuring) by Brad and Morris. Components are not just selected because of the brand or the reputation of them, synergy is the key factor – they have to perform and integrate perfectly with the rest of the speaker. The bass and treble crossovers are kept separate and hand wired, point to point, then silver soldered onto 5mm thick high density substrates. Proprietary micro vibration control is also applied here. These measures reduce unwanted cabinet noise and distortion even further.
Attention to detail to this level simply means you get to hear more detail when you are listening to the music!
The standard Mu2 uses a 25mm birch ply cabinet which has a high quality lacquer applied to it. Birch-ply is chosen as it has quite unique damping properties and it is vastly superior to MDF from a sonic perspective, cabinet radiation is vastly reduced which in turn reduces the noise floor. With the SE version the same birch-ply cabinet is used, but it only only 19mm thick, on the outside of this is a 6mm solid rosewood cabinet crafted from hand-selected New Guinea Rosewood – no wafer thin veneers here thank you very much! Effectively this creates a box with in a box, they are then bonded together which reduces the noise floor even further. The rosewood is finally hand oiled to bring out the natural beauty in the wood, due to the nature of this wood no 2 pairs look quite the same and quality of the finish is truly outstanding as you can see in the image below.
How do they sound?
Incredible for a such a small box is a good place to start. These are incredibly coherent and articulate loudspeaker – I was talking to a customer about them just last week and he said that ‘they simply just sound right’ which is a superb compliment. They certainly don’t sound anything like a compact stand-mount speaker, they have real presence, weight and scale and they paint an incredible soundstage which is as deep as it is high.
They pull apart the music but never in an analytical way, they draw you in and seduce you, an invisible window into the music, helped along by the incredible cabinet. So many speaker designs are hugely coloured and impart so much of their own character onto the music, not so here. My demo room is 4.5m x 3.5m (with a high ceiling) and I’ve never felt there to be a lack of bass or weight either, they fill the rom with ease.
For me any speaker has to make the music connect with me on an emotional level, if something gives me the shivers or makes the hairs of the back of my neck stand on end and I know I’m listening to something good – I want to be engaged by the music and simply keep listening, the Mu2 SE does all of this and more without breaking a sweat. They have caught me out a number of times with music I know really well where there are very subtle nuances/details in recordings which I’ve never picked up on before – it all comes back to Brad and Morris’s obsessive attention to detail with them wanting to get the noise floor as low as possible.
They are incredibly flexible over placement as well, they work close to a wall, in free space and due to the off-axis tweeter you can run them with tweeters on the inside or the outside. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but I prefer the tweeters on the outside of the cabinet. You get a bigger presentation with them this way, in a smaller space they can work well on the inside, experimentation is the key here.
The original Mu2 are ongoing as a loudspeaker and the SE is essentially the next model up in the range. Not to take anything away from the original Mu2 as they are a superb loudspeaker, but the SE does outperform them in every conceivable way. It’s obvious they are from the same family, but the SE is essentially a more grown up, refined version with greater detail, more weight and scale.
As with my other speaker brands Vimberg & Avalon the Mu2 SE simply focus on playing music without actually getting in the way of the music, which is a difficult trick to accomplish! They are honest, transparent and a real joy to listen to.
If you are looking for a serious loudspeaker, but something physically compact these should be on your audition list for sure.