Has anyone heard System Audio Mantra Speakers?

I was interested in System Audio Mantra Speakers, probably the Mantra 5 or Mantra 10 bookshelf speakers, or the Mantra 50 Floorstander speaker. There are only a couple of retailers in the USA and they are out of state from me. There are also no reviews on System Audio, though I've heard they are really musical and an incredible value. Not sure how they compare against other speakers. Has anyone heard them or own them? Which model? What did you like about them? I listen to all kinds of genres, but mostly jazz, pop/rock, and some classical. My current system is a Primaluna Dialogue HP Integrated Tube Amp, VPI Prime turntable, and Ortofon Black Quintent cartridge. I expect to add a Herron Audio Phono Stage at some point in the near future as well. Thanks for the advice!

Showing 4 responses by james37

I recently bought a pair of System Audio Mantra 50s. I think that mine may still breaking in, but I will offer some observations.

I do not have a wide experience with different equipment (I do not change mine very often). My previous speakers (which I still have) are B&W Matrix 802 S3s. I also owned Acoustat 2+2s for years. I do visit hi-fi dealers every now and then for a listen.

The most distinctive characteristic of the Mantra 50s is that they are fast speakers. They have a speed and delicacy which brings to mind planar speakers.

Their tall slender build mimics a vertical a line source to some extent. Imaging is very good. This type of build should also reduce floor and ceiling interactions.

I would say that they are pretty neutral: neither forward nor laid back; maybe slightly warm. They seem to more forgiving of less than perfect source material than the other speakers I have owned.

As far as bass, mine measure pretty flat to about 40Hz in my relatively small 11’x13’ room. The bass may be a little lacking in weight and scale compared to my B&Ws. It does seem to have plenty of punch, though. I also bought a subwoofer (JL Audio) to supplement the bass; I cross it over at about 45Hz.

They are said to be not very picky about amps. They seem to work fine with my Audio Research 100.2 solid-state amp.

I (and my fiancée) find the speakers very attractive.

As mentioned in other posts, there are only a handful of System Audio dealers in the USA (I bought mine at Wilson Audio in Metairie, LA). I think that they are much better known in Europe (there are a good many listings of used, mostly older SA speakers for sale in Europe on the various websites; only occasional USA listings).

I think that the System Audio Mantra series speakers have recently been discontinued. It looks like they will be succeeded by the Legend series. There are also the less expensive Saxo series and the more expensive Pandion series.

This is a follow-up to my earlier post about the System Audio Mantra 50s.

Not really much to change my opinion on them. 

They are open, articulate, and musical.  With a tight, punchy bass.

They work well with just about all types of music; but with their combination of speed and dynamics they come off best with high-energy jazz/ rock/fusion. 

Hey initforthemusic220, I remember now that I listened to a pair of Rangers one time and liking them.  Also, my local dealer has had a pair of Pandion 30s and a pair of Pandion 5s but I don’t think they ever had the Pandion 50s.  I recently read a very favorable English-language review of the Pandion 30 (the vast majority of System Audio speaker reviews out there are not in English).

Sounds Good, initforthemusic.  I have never heard the Mantra 70s.

A little while ago, my local dealer had a used pair of Aura 60s; they sold them pretty quick. I think that the Aura's had a little nicer crossover than the the Mantra's; they looked the same.

Funny thing, I am now considering something more 'old school' to alternate with the Mantra 50s.  Probably a pair of Spendors or Harbeths.
I listened to the Spendor Classic 2/3 and SP200 (now the Classic 200).  The Classic 2/3s were very nice, the SP200s were spectacular (but way out of my price range, not to mention I would probably need a bigger room and more power).  

Nice.  I think that the Explorer Masters were the top of the line for System Audio at the time.