Scandyna – The retro futuristic dream of a millennial
Ever since I was little, music has been a part of my life. I have memories way back of my old man playing Michael Jackson on the 90s hifi system, memories from my early teens walking to school with a portable CD-player and from the last decade as a professional DJ. I have always been keen on good sound and on the lookout for the best speakers, amplifier, turntable or D/A converter.
The first time I came across Scandyna was when I bought my first serious stereo amplifier at the age of 16. It was something special with the shape and that yellow woofer popping out from the smooth curvature of the speaker, something belonging to a space age movie. Unfortunately, the speakers were way too expensive for my budget. Instead of putting them on my wall they became the retro futuristic dream of a millennial for almost a decade. In my mid 20s I finally decided to buy the Scandyna MNP speakers and I haven’t regret it once. They’ve been a startling piece of furniture to talk about with guests and a design to defend against a couple of girlfriends who really didn’t appreciate them as much as I do.
Fast forward to present day and here I sit enjoying smooth ambient jazz on the latest edition of Scandyna speakers as I write this text. The aged, but still amazing, white speakers with the yellow woofer have moved down to the basement creative studio and on my living room wall there’s now two silky smooth, all black, MNP speakers. The MNP TV-Pack to be precise. I must admit that I do miss the yellow woofer but what I’ve lost in color I’ve got back in clean design and great functionality. Without the need of a bulky amplifier, I can still listen to music from my turntable via the 3,5mm (don’t forget the RIAA amplifier), get sound from my TV through the optical cable as well as stream music from my phone or laptop via Bluetooth.
The Stereo Pack for TV is made up of one Scandyna MNP Bluetooth as master and a Scandyna MNP HiFi as slave. Since the master speaker has enough power to drive both itself and the slave speaker you’ll only need one power cord to the master and then a thin speaker cable to the slave. For me that has resulted in only one cable going from the floor up to the speaker and one speaker cable running behind the TV to drive the slave. You can use two MNP Bluetooth in a wireless stereo configuration but in that case you’d still need to run a power cord to the second speaker, with that in mind I do think my setup is the way to go.
Sound quality is great with crisp highs, well balanced mids and a warm fussy low-end. I do think of adding a sub, not so much for music but for the true cinematic experience when I watch movies. Then there’s the million-dollar question – surround sound. My standpoint is that humans got two ears which mean that we experience sound in stereo. A well mastered stereo track is enough for me, adding speakers and running cables all over the living room to hear that Huey coming from behind just isn’t worth it.
As I mentioned above, I do miss the yellow woofer, but on the other hand, the all black version is really neat next to my TV. A feature I appreciate is the possibility to switch between different hoops and legs. This is an easy way to make the speaker feel at home no matter if you are going for a Scandinavian, Japandi, Retro or Modern interior design. Just buy a new set of hoops and legs instead of a new speaker. The new wall mount is a great treat as well, cleaner design that fits in the new 20s and easier to mount to the wall with a more sturdy plastic where the screws goes compared to the old model. If there’s something that bothers me about the design it would be the front LED. Since the LED only sits on the master speaker it looks a bit off when the slave doesn’t light up in the same way. Would be awesome if there was a way to turn this off!
In conclusion, the legacy of Scandyna lives on. I got their speakers in my living room and in my bedroom and I’m loving them. Just need to convince my wife-to-be that we should get some speakers in the kitchen as well. Now I’m dreaming of an outdoor Scandyna speaker for the garden, you’ve got 8 months until summer, please make my soon-mid-life-crisis-dream come true!